Bonjour! And without any further ado, let us get started for all things bébé.

If you’re reading this, either you are in possession of a baby or infant, or perhaps very soon to be? In which case, congratulations.

Or, perhaps you have a few little ones in your entourage, getting to that age when everyone seems to be sprogging up.

If you have taken on the wonderful adventure of parenthood in Paris, then I’ll wish you ‘Bon Courage’ for pushchairs and public transport. But the very good news is that there are few places so generously bursting with baby boutiques.

And these shops we’ll E-visit aren’t your basic soulless, super store. If not independent, they give off those vibes – creatively curated with delicate attention to detail, irrespective of their size.

 

Photo credit by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

Toys for Tots (and gift ideas)

Got a niece celebrating 365 days on planet Earth and at a loss for what to buy her? Look no further than these brilliant toy shops. Some overlap with clothing too, but all dish up hours of colourful amusement, first and foremost.

Moulin Roty

There is something charmingly inviting about the Moulin Roty: Colourful and brimming with creativity, it somehow escapes the scandi neutral colours trend that has aggressively conquered children’s fashion with pastels as far as the eye can see.

Photo credit by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

Here, you get the impression that the toys are to be played with, not displayed. They are bright and inviting. They have sweet little faces and an instant appeal.

It is hard to walk past their window display of woodland creatures sewing, without having one’s imagination captured and being beckoned through the door.

Photo credit by @moulin_roty on Instagram

My daughter was gifted a red racoon named Georges from le Moulin Roty. He is slinky and soft, with varying textures and minute attention to detail.

Pull his tail and his whole little body buzzes and vibrates in a way designed to procure baby laughter. The best thing: No batteries, as the mechanism operates using a spring.

If you’re in the area, and what a useful, central Marais/ 11ème address to start your shopping at, may I recommend the Best Boulangerie next door.

Du Pain 20 boulevard Filles du Calvaire

Bread. Photo credit by TiBine from Pixabay

At First glance this joint may leave you wondering if more care has in fact not gone into the interior design than the bread? However, you’d be wrong to quickly dismiss them as hipster aesthetes.

I enjoy the bread at Du Pain regularly, going for their exceptional baguette often and their mouthwatering larger loaves with all sorts of flours and fillings, on days I don’t mind paying for my bread and getting scant change from a €10 note.

Their sandwiches are delicious. There are two no nonsense iron tables out front and a little seating in the back. Go here for your lunch and savour artisanal carbs.

After lunch, you’ll find the prettiest toys in Paris here:

Moulin Roty
22 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire,
75011 Paris

 

The Conran Shop

This cool Britannia boutique has made it across the channel to enchant chic Parisians with its well made ware.

Photo credit by Baby Natur on Unsplash

There’s a whole section dedicated to your dinky folk. Here you’ll find young French designer MyuM with her charming knitted vegetables available in a variety of options: Music box, rattle or cuddly comforter, created using a crochet technique and organic cotton.

In my opinion this boutique comes into its own for generous, gimmicky gifts, which will make a talking point and look design magazine delightful even when strewn across your friends’ children’s floors.

You know exactly which friends will appreciate the Conran Shop’s sense of sophisticated style.

For your elegant friends such as Ines de la Fressange, considered an iconic Parisian woman – Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s the Parisian couple whose interieur design (in their Louis 14 apartment complete with a double sitting dining room) and personal grooming hasn’t changed since becoming parents.

Or maybe the sleek minimalist yuppies who can’t get enough of Danish design and holidays to Japan.

Here you go. Win present purchasing points!

The Conran Shop
117, rue du Bac,
 75007 Paris (Tel : 01 42 84 10 01).

Brand New Babes, or soon to be Mamas

These are my ultimate recommendations if you or a friend has a newborn, or little bun, brioche(?) in the oven.

WOMB

WOMB stands for ‘world of my baby’, which sounds cooler in French, it being an in joke for the younger generation who speak English well enough to get the double entendre.

This concept store was birthed from a desire to offer a one stop shop for hip, young parisian parents. Nestled in the heart of the trendy neighbourhood Sentier,  you’ll find everything your heart could desire when it comes to chic versions of the essential baby accessories: Pushchairs, snug buggy liners, a Babycook..

I also adore their clothing, with a selection of beautiful French brands, such as: Arsène et les pipelettes, Petit Bateau, Blune, Emile et Ida. Utterly irresistible outfits for your little one, without having to schlep round several shops.

Photo credit by Ciprian Sam on Unsplash

There’s more! As a fully paid up concept store, the boutique regularly hosts prenatal yoga, as well as workshops on relevant topics such as baby wearing. Come in to brush up on your skills all things baby and socialise with other young parents in the quartier.

WOMB
93, rue de Réaumur
75002 Paris
Métro : Sentier
www.wombconcept.com

Séraphine

Sometimes it’s hard to feel elegant, or even pulled together, in the last months of pregnancy, or while getting to grips with breastfeeding, as so tired that you’re actually indifferent to when you have a naked boob hanging out or not.

This beautiful brand, Séraphine, will come to your rescue like the fairy Godmother you never knew you had.

Occasion wear and outfits you’d covet even if you weren’t pregnant from Séraphine. Photo credit Séraphine Maternity’s Instagram.

Founded in London by Frenchy Cecile Renaud, the successful business is beloved by celebrities and royals alike and scooped up the Queen’s award for enterprise.

You should go to Séraphine if you are invited to a Wedding, or any other black tie or formal event during the period that you’re breastfeeding.

If there’s one higher end maternity purchase you make, branching away from H&M Mama’s jeans, leggings and tops, it should be here.

Séraphine 6ème
4 place Saint-Sulpice
75006 Paris
Tel : 01 43 26 17 26
Séraphine 16ème
84 avenue Victor Hugo
75116 Paris
Tel : 09 81 90 07 23

https://www.seraphine.fr/

Bonton

In a city where it’s an understatement to say is not spoilt for space, Bonton is a true temple to childhood fashion, frivolity and dreams.

Opening in the heart of the fashionable 3rd arrondissement, ( Brunch capital of Paris), five back, Bonton have managed to stay at the top of their game since then.

Just doors down from Bonton, enjoy a snack at Neighbours in le Marais – Photo credit  by Neighbours

Continually innovating, their window displays change with the seasons and events of the year and are executed with artistic flair, meaning you’ll be hard pushed to pass without oogling at or photographing their wonderful work.

In fact, Bonton has become quite the place to see and be seen for hip, well dressed, young families. There undisputed uniform amongst their 30-40 something clientele goes something like this: Baby Zen Yoyo pushchairs, cashmere coat, A.P.C handbag, utterly adorable kids in coordinated clothing.

Photo credit by Suke Tran on Unsplash.

All three floors are entirely dedicated to your little ones, with everything you might need to fulfill their heart’s desire. There’s a kids’ hairdresser, a vintage style photo booth (where families can immortalise their day out), as well as the timeless, elegant collections of this beautiful brand.

The basement is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of spot on accessories, toys, furnishings and home decor.


Bonton
5, Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire
75003 Paris
Métro : Saint Sebastien Froissart
www.bonton.fr

 

Badou

Badou is a top end brand from Christian Baudoux. It was originally conceived in collaboration with Bonpoint in 1979.

He worked on making, selecting items which were perfectly adapted to junior’s needs whilst blending in with the decor and tastes of his parents.

Photo credit by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash

Badou’s furniture and decor fits children’s bedrooms from birth through to the teenage years.

Christian Baudoux’s daughter Stéphanie developed a range of bed linens, constantly being updated with new designs and fabric. In 2004 the father-daughter team branched out on their own creating Badou.

The Parisian brand is especially appreciated by chic Rive Gauche parents. Hence their flagship store in the old money 7th arrondissement.

Worth a visit for inspiration if nothing else.

Baudou,
7, rue de Solferino,
75007 Paris (tel: 01 45 55 42 79).

 

Peter Pan

You’ll find this bright and inviting little shop just down a side street from metro Saint Paul, tucked away from the main thoroughfare.

Photo credit, Paul Candelabre from Wiki Commons.

This area, the beating heart of the Marais, is a great area for shopping: You can get everything you need to done and yet if you find you do need the bigger chains or a department store? Well then you’re a hop, skip and a jump away from the Rue de Rivoli and BHV.

Right, back to the magasin of the moment, Peter Pan!

Peter Pan was born when Pan Gang, a Chinese kite maker, met Belgian artist Myriam De Loor.

The brand rather simply describes itself as selling things “for children and for your home”. Stepping into the shop, you feel the sense of fun that has gone into the creation of these beautiful objects.

There’s also detail and discipline in the poetry of the prints. You get a strong impression that nothing is left to chance in the world of Peter Pan.

Photo credit by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

Part shop, part gallery, part dreamy haberdashery full of otherworldly inspiration. I challenge the strongest among you not to be struck by a strong desire to resurrect a creative practice, walking around these four walls.

Baby accessories in droves: cuddly toys, quilted sleeping bags and animal print flannels are all to be found amongst the more exotic creations of kites and lampshades.

The Conran Shop

This cool Britannia boutique has made it across the channel to enchant chic Parisians with its well made ware.

Photo credit by Baby Natur on Unsplash

There’s a whole section dedicated to your dinky folk. Here you’ll find young French designer MyuM with her charming knitted vegetables available in a variety of options: et ses légumes attachants déclinés en boîte à musique, hochet, ou doudou, en crochet avec des fils en coton bio. >> The Conran Shop, 117, rue du Bac, 75007 Paris (01 42 84 10 01).

Baby Boutique La Croix Rouge

The Red Cross, well known for their incredible charitable and humanitarian work, are also working hard to support families in central Paris.

Whilst we often associate Paris with a well-heeled class who have managed to offset their “impôts” in a way that allows them to continue being very well off; there is more to Paris and its inhabitants that stereotypical social class.

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Photo credit by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash

The fact of the matter is, a good deal of Paris is struggling, living in relative poverty. Precarity affects over 20% of the population in the 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements of Paris, (source : lagazette.fr)

The Red Cross started Baby Boutiques realising that whilst the arrival of a child is often a joyful time for a new family, it can also be an expensive one.

Their Baby Boutiques in the 10th and 12th arrondissements help the accessories required for infants, babies, toddlers and small children circulate amongst Parisians.

This is clever for several reasons: There is a population who cannot afford to buy these items new; a second class who prefer shopping second hand, mixing and matching due to environmental concerns around recycling, and finally parents looking to pass on clothes and toys due to scarce space to store.

All money collected from sales goes to paying the boutique’s running costs and of course to the charity.

La rue Paradis is entirely dedicated to babies and their mothers. There are a few new items, little muslin cloths etc mixed in with the huge selection of second hand clothes.

A blogger commented that the clothes were all in very good condition.

About six years ago I was a volunteer in the rue Paradis Baby Boutique. We were trained to sort through the donations, organising them into groups for sizing. If there was even the smallest mark, then they would be sent away to be used for the Red Cross to use on their humanitarian missions.