Baby Information for Paris

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Changer les couches on Champs-Élysées
The words sound poetic but in reality, they mean that you are changing the baby’s diapers on the Champs- Élysées.
Sometimes it seems that women of the world are on a constant quest for a certain spot. Well, we have to help babies that need changing learn about this important endeavor.

If it is cold outside and a Paris park bench won’t do, the task has been made easier and convenient whether you are at Printemps, Galeries Lafayette or at the PointWC.

Packing the gear
Traveling with a baby can also be filled with other “what if” scenarios. Questions such as renting a stroller, finding a baby sitter that will come to your hotel, emergency numbers, and reading about Paris baby tips. These questions might enter your mind with your new traveling companion.

For renting baby equipment in Paris 
Contact Camille at Baby’tems. You will find a complete catalog of all that Camille offers on her Web site. Find out current information on traveling with small children on Camille’s blog (in French)

Pack up the diaper bag and bring the family to Paris, the answers await you herein.

PointWC
I found PointWC, which is located near the avenue and metro Franklin Roosevelt and the Boulevard Champs-Élysées in a shopping mall (also located in Printemps and Carrousel du Louvre).

It is a lively, designer-styled public bathroom like you have never experienced.

When you change the baby here, your cost to enter the toilet also allows you to borrow a padded changing mat.
PointWC has a special stall that is not only equipped with a toilet and sink, but has a changing table and a kiddie toilet.

It is more comfortable and clean than your café, department store or museum bathroom; it is more of an attraction because it is unusually different.

Each stall/cabines is unique. The “Kids” stall by Laufen comes equipped with a sink, changing table, big person’s toilet and a little person’s toilet, plus the changing amenities, if necessary. Eric Salles, the owner, knows what it is like; he has children of his own for experience!

If you forgot the diaper, use the handy dispenser has one.

Finding the changing table 
While in the children’s department of Printemps one day, I stepped off the elevator, looked to the left and spotted mothers and babies in a cheerful, little room full of baby furniture.

Even Galeries Lafayette has a nursery that is located on the fourth floor of their children’s department.

When I thought I had found them all, my visit to le Bon Marché turned up a simple spot on the lower level.

Printemps (inquire for current location)
When you exit the elevator on the “-1” level (sous-sol/basement level) in the “Maison” building you will see the “l’Espace Bébé” to your left.

Happening upon this nursery is what originally set me on this trail to find other places that might provide a shopping-with-a-baby dream come true.

Would you like to borrow a stroller while shopping at Printemps? Contact the help desk (l’Espace Printemps Service) on the same level.

The room in Printemps (in cooperation with the French magazine Parents) provides a sink, microwave oven, bottle warmer, high chairs, chair to breast feed and a changing table.

For a free baby kit, go to to the information counter, “l’ Espace Printemps Service” (between the Polo Ralph Lauren and Timberland stands) in the children’s department.

This service center is a counter with chairs in front of it. If you reach the lingerie section, you have gone too far.

Inside this kit, you will find a liter of milk, water, a baby bib and spoon, and something for “mom or dad” to read.

Galeries Lafayette (inquire for current location) has a baby care station that provides bottle warmers, diapers, changing table, a cooler with drinks, etc.
Their nursery overlooks the street, (as opposed to be within a building without windows). It has subtle lighting and soft drinks available, but offers no kit.

La nurserie de Blédina is located on the 4th floor of the main store near the baby care department behind the Jacadi section.

Blédina, the French baby food specialist, sponsors the Galeries Lafayette nursery.
For more information you can contact Galeries Lafayette at the telephone number: 01 42 82 33 09.

Le Bon Marché
I found a changing table at Bon Marché on the lower level (-1). But that is about all it is.

Le Bon Marché provides a toilet area with three stalls strictly for mothers to be and mothers with children.

They have a changing table that has a padded changing mat, paper to put on the mat, step stools for the little ones, a water fountain and a padded chair. This is a “bare bones” facility.

From the main entrance take the escalator in the middle of the store. At the lower level turn left and once past stationery, and look for the sign “les 3 hiboux” on the right. Follow the path down the stairs  into the children’s department.

If you need a ramp, it is to the left in the corner and is called “Chemin des pousettes”. The nursery is in the Burberry corner just past Bonpoint. (By the way, I just found out that Bonpoint has an outlet store located at 82 rue de Grenelle in the 7th arrondissement.)

C&A
The clothing store,  on Boulevard Haussmann 49 is a possibility for a desperate moment, especially if you need to breast feed and are not sure of public reaction. Lucille comes through the train station Gare Saint Lazare often and suggests C&A as a “good place to change the baby and did the necessary in their Customer Services area. Not that comfortable but when one is a desperate mum ! Good spot to breast feed mainly .”

Additional information

Babysitting and childcare
In case you want to have some more information, I thought providing names of local babysitting companies might be helpful and also a place to rent baby items.

Ma Babysitter Paris – read the story, and visit the Ma Babysitter Paris Web site.

Maman à Paris can provide an emergency babysitting service Monday -Friday, 7.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (This might be more helpful if you live in France)

A childcare directory and classifieds are available on the The Angloinfo website for Paris and Ile-de-France . You may also find contact information for au pairs, nannies, and several doctors on this global expat network.

A friend at the British Embassy provided some contacts if you are looking for a babysitter.

The following are more for those who live in the Paris region:
Allo Assistance Baby Chou:  01 43 13 33 23. Quality Approved by the prefecture de Police.
 Home Service: 01 34 12 21 05
Au paradis des Petits: 01 43 65 58 58. Provides a baby sitter in an hour for Paris and in 2 hours for near sububrbs.

The weekly magazine l’Officiel des spectacles lists several sources for babysitting/ “gardes d’enfants” and the current fees.

Emergency phone numbers
List of emergency phone numbers is provided by Maman à Paris. 01 45 22 38 71. You will also find the names of pediatric hospitals with phone numbers and addresses.

MESSAGE – a mother support group provides a wide range of help and information services. We can help members with choosing a doctor or a place to have their baby in Paris and preparing for birth and breast or bottle-feeding. There is a confidential support line that provides help with many parenting concerns, as well as information on education options.

MESSAGE also publishes the ABCs of Parenting in Paris – a practical guide for English-speaking parents living in Paris with children. This guide covers more than 100 topics on family life in the capital, ranging from childcare and education to using medical and emergency services. Scroll down the page for a link to the Acrobat (.pdf) document.

Calling from a phone in Paris, the free emergency numbers are:
15 for emergency doctor (SAMU – Le Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente de Paris), doctor on call (SOS médécins),
17 for police,
18 for the fire department (pompiers), etc.

Traveling by train
The TGV (high speed train) provides a “Family” space.
Contact them for all questions. Near the “Family” area is a nursery equipped with a changing table and bottle warmer.
If you have food that requires heating, contact the personnel in the dining car to use their microwave.

Note: When you buy a ticket, put in the country where you will pick up your tickets. You avoid using a third party and can either pay on line and pick up your ticket at a machine or pick it up at the SNCF/TGV ticket counter at any train station.

Addresses
PointWC – Champs-Elysées
26 Champs-Elysées (at the beginning of the Champs-Elysées)
Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt, 75008
Telephone : 01 42 56 35 25

Open : 7 days a week between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. 
Contact: Eric Salles

Find PointWC at the following addresses:
POINTWC – Champs Elysées, 26 Avenue Champs Elysées, 75008 (the original)
Telephone 01 42 80 26 48
POINTWC – Printemps Haussmann, 64 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 75009
POINTWC – Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001

Printemps
64, boulevard Haussmann 75009 
Open: Monday to Saturday from 9:35 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Open late: Thursdays to 10 p.m.
Telephone : 01 42 82 57 87

Galeries Lafayette
Haussmann store Their international Web site http://www2.galerieslafayette.com/international/index.do I do not know how long this link will be working.
40, blvd Haussmann 75009 
Open: Monday through Saturday : 09:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Late night opening every Thursday until 9 p.m.
Closed on Sunday
Telephone : 01 42 82 34 56

Le Bon Marché
24, rue de Sèvres 75007
Open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7.p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Telephone 01 44 39 80 00