Topless in Paris
May 17, 2007 1:27 AM   Subscribe

Parisfilter: breast feeding and colicky baby etiquette plus, housing choice

I am traveling in June to Paris (yay!) First, need to know if there are etiquette issues with breastfeeding in public e.g., in a bistro. I cover myself and the baby so there is nothing bare; second, should I go with a hotel or try to rent an apartment for three days? We are two adults, one very active toddler and a 3 month old infant who has colic like clockwork at 7PM (what is the etiquette on that one? Take baby outside or what?). Yes, I have looked at the previous threads marked breastfeeding and Paris. But any more fresh information or insight is welcome. Oh yeah, we are cheap to boot let's say ~100-150 US is my limit per night. Thanks all.
posted by jadepearl to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Breastfeeding in public should be fine, Parisians won't mind at all. I've seen it done in restaurants, in the metro, etc.

Parisians are notoriously not too shy; last summer there was a story about women sunbathing topless by the Seine, although I can't remember the details.
posted by stereo at 3:43 AM on May 17, 2007

Three days seems a little short for an apartment rental (of course, I think you can't do Paris in less than a month). Go with the hotel; unless things have changed in the decade since I've been there, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a room for that price, though you may find that you don't get much in the way of square footage, the shower might be down the hall, and you might not be in the arrondissement you prefer. Also note that many Parisian restaurants open no earlier than 7 PM, so the colic might hit just as you get to the restaurant. (Then again, who's to say that your baby will adjust to Paris time?)
posted by mcwetboy at 5:25 AM on May 17, 2007

Best answer: The shortest-duration apartment rentals I've seen were 2 or 3 weeks, so you're hotel-bound. Good news is, Paris is a city of many, many, many hotels.

You can totally get a hotel room for under $150 US. (It'll be harder to come in at the $100 end with two adults.) It will be small by American standards. The bathroom will be smaller. Start revving the toddler up now for the neato "kid-sized" room that he/she will be sharing with the two of you and the baby.

Parishotels is very simple straightforward site for searching by cost and neighborhood. Hotel Central Montparnasse is where I stayed a couple of years ago and loved it. (Private bath and decent-sized rooms, very close to two metro stops, plenty of snacks and less-expensive restaurants in the neighborhood. E-mail's in profile if you wind up staying in Montparnesse and want more lowdown.)

Yep, breastfeeding is fine. Yep, take the baby outside.

(Is this your first trip to Paris?)
posted by desuetude at 6:36 AM on May 17, 2007

I don't think breastfeeding an infant, could be called as been topless in public.
posted by WizKid at 7:13 AM on May 17, 2007

Definitely take the baby outside if it's being fussy. I don't think I've ever seen a mother breastfeeding in Paris, but I'm guessing if it was done discretely no one would much care.

In general France is very child friendly; the government actively encourages folks to have kids. But the French also understand that children need to behave in public and not be a nuisance to other people around them. Nice restaurants, in particular, are places where children need to be acting appropriately.

BTW, 7pm is very early for dinner in Paris. 8:30pm or 9:00pm is a more common time for dinner.
posted by Nelson at 7:38 AM on May 17, 2007

Response by poster: This will be my first trip with family. Paris as a single woman would seem to be very different as a family so my backpacker knowledge is not too helpful. And to Whizkid, got you to look didn't it?
posted by jadepearl at 9:26 AM on May 17, 2007

Eh, 9 pm is late for dinner with small children, even among Parisians.

Brasseries will likely be a good bet for a reliable dinner. They're big and there's lot of neat stuff for the toddler to look at (people coming and going for the tabac, newspapers, and having espresso at the bar.) The Alsatian-derived cuisine is approximately equivalent to comfort food (toddlers not being known for their haute tastes -- roast chicken and mashed potatoes are a fine brasserie standard). They're not particularly expensive and keep earlier and later hours than bistros. Also, beer.
posted by desuetude at 9:58 AM on May 17, 2007

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