Should you bring a stroller to Paris with kids?
The simple answer is YES. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to carry my kids on my hip when they get tired. My back just can’t handle that anymore, especially as they get older. I’m not sure why so many people argue against using a stroller in Paris with kids, when in reality it is just as painful/joyful to use a stroller in Paris as it is in any other city.
The argument I have heard the most is that strollers are a pain to use in the subway. This is true, but it isn’t any more annoying to use a stroller in Paris metros than other metros throughout the globe. You have to find an elevator if your kid is sitting in it. Elevators can be next to impossible to find, at least easily, at a Paris Metro station.
Then again, if you get your child used to getting out of the stroller and walking, or either being carried, down the steps to the metro train, your stroller becomes just another tool in your travels. I recommend a simple umbrella stroller as soon as you can put your baby in one because it is easy to fold and carry under one arm while you carry your baby in your other arm.
Museums are also another argument for not using a stroller in Paris with kids. Many museums will make you check your stroller so you don’t clutter up the walkways that people use to see the art. This is especially true at the Louvre, where crowded can become suffocating when a popular piece of art comes into view. This is when you want your baby strapped to you in your ErgoBaby carrier, so you can protect them from the crowds, or you hold your toddler up high so they don’t get hit by anyone’s purse or camera bag while they are in the stroller. You are here to show your kids art anyway.
Don’t let your kids zone out in the stroller. Engage with the art you are seeing. Even a baby can look at a dark frame with light artwork in it. I know my boys were fascinated because they could actually see the contrast when they were little.
Umbrella strollers are also easy to fold up when you head into a restaurant or patisserie. I saw more than one sleeping baby in a stroller in a restaurant during our visit to Paris with kids in the spring. Granted, the restaurant was not packed since we were having a late lunch. The staff didn’t seem to mind too much as they had tucked the family in a corner so no one would trip on the stroller.
Overall, I think if you want to use a stroller in Paris with kids, and you are comfortable folding it up and carrying it at times, you should bring a stroller to Paris. It’s not any harder to deal with when you travel to Paris with kids than when you are at home. And really, if you are a little inconvenienced, it’s Paris for goodness sake. Just enjoy it and stroll on.