Paris with 6-mo-old baby
My husband and I will be spending a week in Paris in March with our baby, who will then be six months old. We will likely do a lot of eating in cafes and making pique-niques to have outdoors, weather permitting, or our hotel, if not. But while I don't think it's feasible to go fancy and feast on hours-long tasting menus at the finest restaurants, I would like to go to some more casual bistros with the wee one in tow. It sounds as if Paris is quite baby-friendly, but I'm wondering about logistics, esp. at some of the smaller places. Do people have experience dealing with strollers or carseats? Should we anticipate having to fold up and stash the stroller, making it necessary to either hold her or bring a portable booster seat? I'm trying to figure out what we need to pack (and buy!) for the trip, and I would be greatly appreciative of anyone who can share their experiences with an infant.
I lived in Paris for a while when my older daughter was 7 to 13 months. Most casual places are tiny and the stroller won't make it to your table, so be ready to fold and stash. Eating on patios or plazas is the best option, weather permitting, because baby can sleep while you eat. People are generally friendly but don't expect special treatment in busy cafes or brasseries, especially where the waitstaff is all male (an all too common occurrence!). A booster seat may not be great for a baby, she'll probably want to sleep. A car seat could work in some places but there won't be a lot of space in others. So a baby bjorn kind of thing may be better.
I have no experience with an infant. However, if you haven't been to Paris before, then it might be helpful to know how really really really close the tables are to each other. Most of the time, the tables are so close that they have to be moved out of the way to get seated, there's no room to even step in between.
There are strollers about, most times though, they get stashed in the coat room. It'd be very hard to impossible most places to bring a stroller to your table.
That said, at many of the more casual places you can sit out on the patio tables where it might be easier to get the stroller up to you.
5 and 1/2 years ago we went to Paris and Normandy with a 3 yr old and a 5 month old in late August and early September. Our then infant was great. She didn't care where she was as long as she was well fed (won't forget breast-feeding her on the tour eiffel). We found that she was quite the cute pudgie conversation piece. Small family-run neighborhood places were best (we were mostly in non-touristy parts of the 16eme). Female owners/staff volunteered to hold her and walk her around, taking her back to the kitchen for a spell to entertain the kitchen staff and to give us a break. And then of course, she slept a lot, too.
Have a great time. Babies are cute in any language - and even crying ones will get you nice looks of empathy from the women in the markets.