As you might be well aware by now because I have tendency to deluge you with travel photos and Instastories, I was in France for two weeks last month for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We planned our trip so we’d have a bit of exploration time, because you can’t just go to France and not soak in all the magic, right? At the time of our booking I wasn’t pregnant, but once we found out that the little guy is on his way, I thought it would be great fun to dedicate a couple of days to baby shopping in Paris. In fact, when I was there last year for a conference, my friend Anne of Pret a Voyager, took me to a number of beautiful baby shops, which at the time were so inspiring, but not relevant to my life.
This time around, I put in hours of online research to identify the best ones and a number of Parisian friends stepped in to offer their advice. Thank goodness for an insider’s view! Paul and I ended up spending 2 1/2 days walking around the city exploring beautiful shops and feeling so lucky we got to be there during such a beautiful time of the year. I was 7 months pregnant and all of a sudden the aches and pains that everyone talked about of pregnancy became my reality, though I’m sure walking for 10-12 hours a day had something to do with it. We decided that we need to come back annually to repeat the process…and perhaps stay for a number of months 😉
When we arrived in France, Lili Barbery-Coulon, a former beauty editor at Vogue Paris, M Magazine of Le Monde, and now works on her own site, Ma Recreation, contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested in hearing some of her recommendations. Uh duh! I’m no dummy! And she gave me SO many amazing recommendations, along with addresses and hyperlinks and other food and clothing recommendations. A good portion of this guide comes from her because I wasn’t able to get to all of them. Thank you, Lily for the insight! You guys are in for a treat, because this is the ultimate list! I left some of her notes below so you could read all about it.
I also have to thank Anne Ditmeyer of Pret a Voyager for the tour of Paris she gave me last year. Anne gives tours on Vayable and I strongly suggest hiring her, especially if you’re looking for a non-traditional take on the city. She knows everything about Paris and customizes your interests into a wonderful tour.
Thanks also goes to Elodie Love, Madame Love, who has wonderful taste and recommended so many of these lovely shops to me.
I’m dividing the tour into specific areas of Paris so you can focus your energy depending on how you’d like to spend your time.
6th and 7th arrondisement Saint Germain des Prés area
If I had a limited amount of time to spend baby shopping (I know not everyone will be crazy enough to spend 2.5 full days doing this), I would focus on the Saint Germain des Prés area in the 6th arrondisement. There are so many wonderful shops in just a small area. I think we spent nearly one full day here and we didn’t even get to it all.
I LOVED this one and spend a lot of time in it even though it’s a rather tiny shop. I loved the colors and prints. We found some cute bloomers for our little guy. –B
60 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006
Note from Lili: If you go there, you need to have tea and cake at Mamie Gateaux on the same street. Paul and I did just that and it was adorable and delicious and made our feet very happy. 66 rue du Cherche Midi)
This is one French brand that is found at nearly every US boutique so I was familiar and didn’t spend too much time there because they have a US site as well but it’s such a classic that I had to go in. –B
This is a department store in France, which I would liken until Target. They often do collaborations with rad designers, including one a few months ago with my favorite illustrator, Nathalie L’ete. I even tried to order some items from the US before I knew what I was having and thankfully my international order didn’t work out because all the items in my basket were for a baby girl. According to Lili, Monoprix is “super cheap, super cool, all Parisian girls go there to buy clothes to their kids.” I found some well-designed items for super cheap. –B
There are a number of locations throughout Paris, but Anne first introduce me to the two located in this area and because I loved the area so much I loved going back to these locations. The aesthetic is bright and poppy. They sell fabric and notions and beautiful handmade rice paper sculptures. It’s where I bought my little Eiffel Tower last year (seen here).
36 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 AND
10 bis Rue Yvonne le Tac, 75018
Note from Lili: If you stay in the area, please go to the following:
Don’t let the generic name fool you, it’s a beautiful concept shop that sources ethically. –B
22 Rue Yves Toudic, 75000
A note from Lili: right next to it, you must go and try the best croissant ever at Du Pain et des Idees, which we did and she was true to her word. I had also tried it last year when my friend Anne brought me. Plus it’s so beautiful and you don’t even mind the wait.
A rad children’s concept store with a small baby section owned by the same people who do Merci. Make sure you go to all 3 levels and take a peek into the barber shop. (it’s two minutes walk from the famous concept shop, Merci ) –B
We stumbled on their pop-up shop where they were having a major sale. Tons of items for less than 15 Euros and we stocked up! The owner frequently travels to India to work on the fabrics. I love the mix of modern and Indian influences. There’s a mix of neutrals and bright colors.