Purchasing Baby Supplies While Traveling Across Europe

We traveled through England, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France over a month long period with an 8-9 month old and figured out how, where, and what to buy his supplies while traveling instead of taking all this with us. I found little information on this before we left, so I am hoping this helps someone else out.

(Please note that our baby uses Gerber formula here in the US and based on a history of tummy issues, we wanted to stick as close to that as possible, so we went with Nestle brand formula where we could since Nestle makes Gerber. If you are tied to Enfamil or Similac, you will be out of luck, as these brands did not look to be carried in Europe. For diapers, wipes, and other stuff, we remained agnostic about brands while traveling.)

 

England

  • Boots stores are everywhere and seemed to be the best option to buy most everything – diapers (both Pampers and Huggies were sold there), wipes, formula (did not find any Nestle brand although I am told that they own the SMA brand), baby food (lots of options available, including the tube style), etc.
  • Everywhere we went – stores, cafes, etc. – had baby changing tables and high chairs

 

Belgium

  • Local grocery stores carried everything we needed, included “Nan” brand formula made by Nestle.
  • The main brand of diapers was Pampers.
  • Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs) are a great toy to buy in Belgium since this is where they are from.
  • Very few places had changing tables or high chairs

(read more about our visit to Belgium)

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Netherlands

  • Albert Heijn seems to be the main grocery store chain in Amsterdam and they have them every few blocks. They were hit/miss in terms of formula – we found “Groeie Start” by Nestle at one, and not at another and bought something different.
  • The main brand of diapers was Pampers and there were lots of wipes options.
  • Biscuits/cookies were available here, especially the Verkade brand, and Zachary enjoyed munching on those. Food is a little different in the Netherlands as they start feeding solids earlier than we do in the US. The tube style food we saw in the Netherlands is specifically marked for 12 months and older.
  • We never saw a changing table in any bathroom and be prepared to pay with coins for access (50 cents to 1 euro) to go into the bathrooms where you will then be changing on the floor or a counter … or just use your stroller.

(read more about our visit to the Netherlands)

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Luxembourg

  • At the pharmacy (not the grocery store) is where we found Nan brand formula (same as in Belgium).

(read more about our visit to Luxembourg)

 

France

  • Monoprix and Carrefour were the main store chains across Paris, Avignon, and Nice, with Monoprix seeming to be more reliable in terms of finding “Nidal” brand formula by Nestle.
  • Baby food was in full abundance, even in chocolate flavors! The tube style baby food in France is marked for 12 months and older only. Zachary’s favorite food, by far, was the “Bledina” brand mixed veggies.
  • Pampers were available but we also found that “Bout Chou” brand diapers and wipes were great.
  • There are lots of great French toy stores. If you don’t already have a “Sophie” toy, France makes a great place to get one since this is where she originated. Smurfs are also available here, like in Belgium, and Barbapapa is another famous French cartoon and toy series.
  • We found very few changing tables and never saw a high chair.

(read more about our three French destinations)

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5 Responses to “Purchasing Baby Supplies While Traveling Across Europe”

  1. [...] When Zachary moved to formula (read about My Breastfeeding Journey for more info), we used various types based on samples we had received.  But, due to having reflux, he just never enjoyed it and therefore took a long time to drink and had very little. His pediatrician suggested we move to Gerber Good Start as it provides a gentler alternative and has probiotics.  Ever since we transitioned to this brand, Zachary has drank more and faster – and has thrived.  It was literally a night-and-day difference.  Extra bonus is that Gerber Good Start is made by Nestle, and so if you plan to travel internationally, this is a more reliable brand to find overseas (read more about that here). [...]

  2. Pam says:

    Thank you for this info (and a bunch of your other posts)! I’ve been looking for info on baby food in Europe everywhere and stumbled across your blog from your Totseat review on Amazon. We’re headed to Amsterdam & Paris in late September with our (then) 9-month old so your chronicle of experiences here has been invaluable.

    You said that food is a little “different” in the Netherlands — were you still able to find pureed baby food? Our daughter has been eating solids since 6 months but hasn’t moved on to table foods yet.

    Also, did you find the fact that the Totseat is so low problemmatic? Any tips for eating out in either Amsterdam or Paris? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Angela says:

      Pam,
      Thanks for the comments. I am glad you have found the posts helpful – this was all difficult for us to find before we went so we hoped it would help others!

      Regarding baby food in the Netherlands, most of what we found there was what we would call more of a “stage 3″ type, with chunks in it. Zachary wasn’t too keen on it at the time, so we kept trying it but mainly relied on bottles while there. He did like the “biscuits” in the Netherlands, though, and besides trying graham crackers and puffs a few times prior to that, the Netherlands was his first real exposure to finger foods. In France, we found more of the classic purée food, which he really liked there – and of course, lots of baguettes!

      We did not find the Tot Seat problematic. At the times – 8 to 9 months – we were either using it to feed him via spoon, or hand him a piece of baguette, or let him play with a couple of tethered toys while we ate, and that all worked great. Today, at 12 months and 100% on table food, it may not work as well since he needs to be at table height … But for your purpose, it should be great. There are no highchairs anywhere, so it is a MUST!

      Overall, eating out there with a baby is pretty easy since it’s all outdoor cafe type setups.

      Have fun and let us know how it went! Enjoy the great family memories!
      Angela

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