This is the first of our Feeding, Diapering and Strolling your Baby series for Western Europe. I will try to write about as much as I remember for Frankfurt, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid and hopefully be able to provide some tips to make traveling with really little ones easier.
Baby Guide to Frankfurt: The FDS Diaries
Coming back to Frankfurt was like reliving a dream come true. We spent our first year of marriage in Germany traveling around Europe and enjoying the accessibility of the train system. Never before had I traveled here with the boys and I was unsure as to what to expect. I was unsure as to how Germans would react to the babies after living in South East Asia for the last three years and being used to utter devotion presented to our children in every stop. I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful city with smiles available to the boys every time we visited a new venue. Not only did the locals try to attract their attention but on occasion got down to their level and played with them.
This was our first country to visit in Europe with children and I was lucky to be able to find baby supplies readily available most anywhere and to my surprise in very affordable prices.
Feeding the Baby
My biggest concern was to find a formula that would resemble the formula Joshua was already drinking (breast-feeding mommies, you are so lucky!) and finding the most natural baby food. I had never fed Joshua anything other than home-made purees and organic cereals so I was a bit scared to see him get sick after trying a prepackaged product and of course I felt guilty to feed my baby what I thought was “fake” food. I know, this sounds crazy, but this is the first time I travel without my baby food steamer and processor.
After trying not to get overwhelmed with all the available options I found the following products and didn’t have any odd reactions from Joshua:
I opted for the Aptamil Formula from Milupa Labs . An 800 gram bottle was only about 12 euros! I couldn’t believe it! Josh didn’t have any odd reactions and was happy to drink the formula.
After looking at hundreds of different varieties I tried the Bebivita Brand. Joshua’s favorite flavor was anything with grieß, which is basically grits. We tried a turkey pot and he simply rejected it. I don’t think I would try anything with protein again. The best option is to get the fruits and grits and give the baby a bit of protein by feeding him/her little pieces of meat. Be warned that most of the baby food is sold in glass containers so that can get heavy when traveling. The price ranges from 65 to 85 cents per bottle. They do sell smaller plastic containers that are a better option when planning to move on to a different city.
Feeding the Toddler
If you don’t want Haribo Gummy Bears to be the main source of nutrition for your kids (some are shaped like vegetables after all), you should avoid the candy areas of the main department stores because you’ll either leave with a full bag of candy or a very grumpy child.
I was lucky to be able to feed Evan most everything! I thought I was going to have picky-eater issues but that never happened. Grilled Sausages are available most everywhere and they are an easy meal on the go. McDonald’s and Burger King did rescue me from hungry-toddler emergencies and overall I was happy to be able to feed Evan a somewhat balanced diet. Since we were there for two weeks I bought fruit at the supermarket and kept it in the mini-bar and that helped a lot as a snack on the go.
Most restaurants I visited were kid-friendly and I never had problems finding a baby-chair. Getting food take-away and eating it at the park was a relief both for me and Evan since he felt free to run around and eat at his pace while I didn’t have to mortify feeding two boys at the same time.
If you need to change your baby after a long flight once you arrive in Frankfurt, fret not. They have several changing rooms in the baggage claim area and they even have a big sink where you can bathe your baby if you are in transit and had an emergency.
If you are staying in Frankfurt, diapers are available most everywhere. My favorite place to buy both diapers and baby food was the DM pharmacies. They are like a CVS or Walgreens and have a vast array of products available, including Essie nail polish!
I found diapers both for Evan and Josh without a problem and although I bought the same brand I always buy, Pampers, they had many European brands that seemed very good. The prices were very similar to those in the US.
A great place to change babies while out and about is changing room on the 5th Floor of the Galeria Kaukoff Department Store on the Zeil. They have a playroom right by it so I could even sit down there for a bit relax and regroup to start walking around again.
Frankfurt is an amazing city to walk, bike and stroll in. I just wanted to cry when I was able to go out of my hotel room, take the stroller to the tram a few meters away and ride the tram with the stroller. Most subway stations have elevators and never did we have a problem trying to haul strollers up and down the stairs. This was a relief for me since I was doing most of the strolling by myself with a baby strapped to my chest.
I don’t have any specific tips in this respect because I was just so amazed to find ramps and elevators everywhere. On one occasion I did have trouble finding an elevators so I just used the escalator and even though I got stared at I didn’t have to walk up the steps with two big loads.
I really hope those of you traveling to Frankfurt get at least a glimpse of the options you have when traveling with little ones to this wonderful city. Coming up our favorite places to visit in Frankfurt with kids.