Finding Baby Formula, Food, Nappies and Other Essentials in Europe
Feeding your Child in Europe
Breastfeeding is generally acceptable and legally protected in Europe. The type of formula and food available will vary greatly from region to region as will the availability of kids menus, high chairs and changing facilities in restaurants (see our destination guides for more information). Hipp Organic and Aptamil are widely available throughout Europe .If you need ready-made baby food, there’s plenty of choice, including organic ranges. It is always safer to take your baby’s usual formula just in case they are fussy or don’t take to the new formula, but if you run out, you should find it’s readily available.
Family Accommodation in Europe
Hotels and resorts generally cater well for babies and small children. They often have family rooms, special rates for children and play areas. Suites are a good option if you’re travelling with the whole family. They offer plenty of space and can be cheaper than two standard rooms. There’s also a huge selection of self-catering apartments that may suit you better than a hotel. You could also try a bed and breakfast. Make sure your accommodation provider knows you’re arriving with a baby, and ask if they’ll provide a cot, high chair and stair gate if required.
Other Baby and Toddler Essentials
You should find your usual brand of nappies and wipes in most supermarkets and pharmacies. Pampers and Huggies are widely available although Huggies can also be sold under the brand name ‘Dadot’.
Most cities will be have stroller accessible buildings, bus and train stations. There are some areas which are notoriously difficult to move around with a pram or stroller for example, many of Paris’s metro stations do not have elevators and the buildings are old and have smaller doors and very little room inside. You might consider taking a baby carrier with you to certain parts of Europe (see our destination guides for more information).
The experience of eating out in Europe varies greatly from region to region and country to country. Most countries will provide some level of service for parents dining out with children and many of the major tourist destinations will have family restaurants and options for toddlers on the menu. If you are travelling to the UK, Ireland, Germany or Spain for example, you will find there are high chairs and also baby changing facilities in many restaurants. Such facilities and high chairs are notably lacking in other countries such as France. If you are travelling around Europe, it is best to bring a good changing mat and a fold away high chair to ensure that you don’t end up holding toddlers while you eat (See our destination guide for information on eating out).
Where to stay with babies and younger kids in Europe
When choosing accommodation, self catering apartments or houses can be fantastic with younger kids, particularly if you will be visiting a city. Self catering accomodation allows you to have your own space, cook your meals and put the kids to bed in their own rooms while you stay up without having to tip toe around in the dark!
If you decide to stay in a hotel, you will find that almost all European hotels will all have cots and high chairs and you will be able to find kids menus and high chairs in most restaurants. There are also plenty of hotels which are focused specifically on families and plenty of activities which will appeal to kids of all ages. For example, in Austria and Germany you will find Kinder Hotels, which specifically cater to parents with babies and toddlers. These hotels have baby food, formula, creches, crawling rooms, activities for younger kids and some even have midwives on staff.
Other great options include camp sites in France and Italy which offer baby friendly mobile homes, rural retreats with baby and toddler friendly apartments and play areas and resorts which cater specifically to families. If you are travelling on a budget, many European hostels also have family rooms.
Health & Emergencies
European countries provide a healthcare service however if you are not an EU member state national you will need travel insurance with good medical cover for all the family. In an emergency, call 112. If you or your kids need medical treatment, keep all your receipts as you’ll need them for any insurance claims.
European roads tend to be quite safe and the medical care is of a high standards.
There are mosquitos in the Mediterranean countries so be sure to bring insect protection for little ones if you are visiting there. It gets quite hot on the Continent during the summer months so also remember to bring sun protection.
If you are travelling with very young kids, make sure that you speak to your GP before booking to ensure that there are no issues or health concerns that you need to consider.