What was I thinking taking my toddler to Europe?? My first advice is don't do it. If possible, postpone until your child is older and take a more child-friendly vacation. If that's not possible, then I do have a few tips for you to hopefully make your excursion easier for you and Baby.
First, do bring a stroller. Yes, if you are taking the subway and traveling on cobbled streets and climbing crazy staircases a stroller will suck, but not as much as not having one at all. I only brought my ergo pack, and wore her the entire time. We won't go into the back problems I am still dealing with.
Second, consider your baby. Both France and England have great parks, and really any patch of grass where Baby can safely run around for a while will be much appreciated. London has the best parks we've ever seen, with special buzz-in gates surrounding the child area to keep kidnappers and pervs away. Besides the parks, the only other places we saw other babies were the toy stores. We played for hours in each one. **Make sure you make a time agreement with your little one rather than just scooping him or her up when you are ready to go. Tantrums are guaranteed if I don't let Isla know when she only has one more minute left to play. I remind her again at thirty seconds, and then count down from ten.
Third, bring your partner. My husband was still recovering from back surgery when we took our trip. The single parent thing is even harder than it looks.
Lastly, don't forget to ask! Or at least make sure the person in charge sees you have a babe with you. France is so baby-friendly. People smiled at me just because I was carrying a baby... kind of like they do here in the states when they see a pregnant lady. We did not have to wait in line anywhere because as soon as Isla and I were spotted we were whisked away to the front. Do ask if you are able to get a bassinet for the flight. Whether or not you choose to use it, you will be seated in a row with substantially more leg room.
I have a feeling this was my last trip to Europe for a long time. I am, however, heading off to Cabo after the first of the year, so I'll be sure to post about that. This time I will have backup, and between my husband, siblings, and mom I'm anticipating a more relaxing trip.
***Cabo was excellent. Probably the most fun we've had as a family, ever. Go someplace warm with an ocean and pool, and save the Europe trip for when Baby is older!