Finding your baby and toddler essentials in Italy
Breastfeeding in Italy
f you are breastfeeding you will have no problem feeding your baby publicly while in Italy. If it is warm, remember to stay hydrated and eat well while breastfeeding.
The quality of the water in Italy is generally good and it is generally safe to drink however it may have a different sodium and mineral content which could cause an upset tummy. Otherwise, bottled water is available everywhere but please be mindful of the fact that it can be overpriced in hotels and it is cheaper to buy it in the local shops and markets. Remember to use boiled bottled water for babies under 6 months when making formula and check to ensure that the mineral water is low in sodium and minerals.
Cow and Gate is sold in Despar/ Spar and pharmacies under the brand name Millan however this may have a slightly different taste to what your child is used to. Aptamil is also available and is sold in Bennett, Il Gigante, Despar/ Spar, Esselunga and in larger pharmacies. Nestle formula is also widely available.
The formula in Italy can be different to formulas in the UK and Ireland. Even brands that your child is used to may taste different. It is always safer to bring your formula with you and you can buy other bulky items such as nappies and wipes there.
Fresh milk is also available in supermarkets and it is called ‘latte fresco’.
Baby Food is largely the same as in Ireland and the UK and you will be able to buy a wide variety of flavours and the package will have a picture showing the main ingredient. Hipp Organic is available in most large supermarkets and you will find Cow and Gate (branded as Millin) in Despar/Spar, Esselunga and Il Gigante. Milupa and Nestle are also sold in larger pharmacies.
Fresh meat, fruit and vegetables are available in larger supermarkets if you want to cook for your child and Boots in the UK and Ireland do a range of handy organic, salt free stock cubes which are easy to pack and make a great base for cooking. You will also be able to buy small baby suitable pasta shells if you wish to cook yourself.
You will also be able to buy baby biscuits (biscotti), yoghurts, cereals, puree, raisins and baby juice in supermarkets throughout Italy.
People tend to eat late in Italy and it is not unusual to find young kids up late at night. Many restaurants don’t start serving until after 7 so be prepared to either keep your baby up a little later, put him or her to sleep and take them out in their pram or stroller or just order room service or cook in your accommodation.
Many restaurants will have high chairs but it is handy to have a fold away highchair just in case. Al fresco dining is popular throughout Italy and this will allow for more space to park your buggy.
You could either bring microwave sterilizer bags (these are great if you are staying in self catering accommodation or if your hotel will allow you access to a microwave) or sterilizer bags which you fill with water and leave for 30 minutes. Both of these options are small and lightweight and can be packed easily and are available in Boots in the UK and Ireland. Another option is to bring sterilizer tablets. To use these you will need a large container with a lid.
Huggies and Pampers nappies and wipes are sold in large and some small supermarkets throughout Italy and local brands are also available.
There are mosquitos in Italy although there have been no reports of malaria. Click here for further information on insect protection and how to deal with bites.
Italy can be get quite hot during the summer months so make sure to protect your baby from overheating and bring light loose clothing. For further information on taking babies and toddlers swimming click here. For more information on protecting your baby from the sun click here.
Taxis in Italy will have a seat belt in the back if you plan to bring your own car seat however this may be cumbersome and you can also arrange to hire a taxi with a car seat if you will only be using a taxi for airport transfers (See getting around). For further information on keeping your child safe while travelling, click here.
A good first aid kit is essential for any trip abroad. Click here for advice on first aid and how to treat minor injuries, burns and bites yourself.
For more information on putting together a first aid kit, click here.
If travelling from the UK and Ireland you should ensure that you and each family member travelling has either the European Health Insurance Card or private health insurance. Irish residents can apply for the card at http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/schemes/EHIC/ and UK residents can apply at www.gov.uk . This card allows you to get health care covered by the public health system in Italy. If you have previously applied for a card make sure that it is in date before you travel. Travel insurance should be taken out if you are covered by private healthcare however check your policy as it may offer you some cover while overseas.
The European Emergency number is 112 where you will get English speaking operators who can direct your call to the appropriate emergency response services.
Most pharmacists speak English well and if your child is unwell they may be able to direct you to a doctor or hospital.
Contact your consular service or embassy if you have been a victim of crime, arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, if you or anyone in your family has a serious illness, experience the unexpected death of a partner or spouse and for help with repatriation after a crisis. Consular offices also provide help in the case of a lost or stolen passport.