Traveling To Germany With a Baby or Toddler: EVERYTHING You need to know

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I’ve now traveled all over Germany (and the world) with a baby twice (and soon to be a third, once this little nugget is born.)
Not twice, as in we have traveled to Germany twice, but twice as in with two separate kids with quite different temperaments and attitudes for over 5 years now.
Traveling with a baby is actually really easy (in hindsight, of course!) and Germany has actually made it quite fun to travel around with a baby and toddler.  

Germany Baby Travel

^Pin It For Later!^

From my own personal experiences of countless international flights and trips right here in Deutschland with our own little ones, I’m going to outline everything you need to know if you are traveling to Germany with a baby, from when to go, flight tips, where to stay, what to do, and plenty more.

Don’t forget to read “Traveling to Germany With Kids” as there is TONS of other info that you’ll want to know as well, such as some of the best family-friendly accommodations, foods for kids to eat, car rentals for families, and so much more!

 

Is It Worth Visiting Germany With a Baby?

family vacation germany
Can babies go to German Fests? Heck Yes!

I get asked all the time if a family should visit Germany with kids (read my full article on traveling to Germany with Kids Here).

And if you’ve already read that article, then you already know that I think pretty much anywhere is kid worthy for travel.   But Germany is a REALLY great and a fantastic place, especially for a Germany family vacation, but specifically for baby friendly holidays.  Here’s why:

  • You Can Take Trains All Over (eliminating the need for baby to be stuck in a car seat for hours, or even needing to bring a car seat).  
  • There is a wide range of activities 
  • It is extremely safe
  • While there are plenty of attractions in Germany for kids, you can still get by with doing a lot of “normal” style traveling with babies and toddlers (ok, maybe skip the long museums, unless you can get them to nap while you tour them!) 
  • Germans are very family friendly
  • If a doctor/ pediatrician  or pharmacy is needed, it is often not hard to find ones that speak English
  • Many family friendly hotels actually have babysitting or Kinder Clubs offered
  • There are almost endless places to go to in Germany with kids and babies

When To Go To Germany With a Baby or Toddler?

best castles for families in germany to visit
Double Baby Wearing for the win at Burg Eltz!

You can read when I think the best time to visit Germany is here.  To be honest, I would argue that most of that still rings true even with a baby.  However, I do think you should take note of certain seasons and more so, how it may affect your packing. (Since I personally think PACKING for babies is sometimes one of the harder parts of traveling with the baby!)  For example, some seasons are going to require a lot more gear.  When traveling with a baby, it sometimes feels like you are bogged down with a ton of stuff to begin with, so it’s hard to justify even MORE just to deal with the elements!  Here are some of my thoughts on the seasons in Germany and traveling with the wee ones.

Summer: It’s probably no surprise that the summer is the high season for travel.  You’ll have already read in my article above about different temperatures and how it really only gets VERY hot for sometimes a few weeks, often in August.  Therefore, I think that late July or even early September would be really ideal weather times for a baby.  Not too hot, yet still good possibilities of good weather!

Autumn: I LOOOVE the fall in Germany.  However, with the fall often comes a fair amount of rain.  I don’t know about you, but traveling with my kids when it’s rainy just kind of makes us all miserable.  Don’t get me wrong.  We do it! But we could have better times without being drenched.  If you do go during a rainy season, I HIGHLY recommend a good rain suit for your baby or toddler.  I particularly love these kinds of ones when traveling.

What to pack for toddlers when traveling
Hiking in the Luisenburg Rock Labyrinth, which we did between Nuremberg and Dresden

Winter: You may be thinking, “It’s cold! I don’t want to travel when it’s so cold!” However, I actually don’t mind traveling in Germany in the winter with the babes at all.  You’ll want to have several layers so that everyone is warm.  I find that babywearing helps to keep them toasty as opposed to a stroller.  If you do go the stroller route in the winter, you’ll want extra blankets and be prepared for trudging through the slushy snow, which is NOT fun with a travel stroller!
Tip: Long Footy Pajamas make for great “Long Underwear” for babies in the winter!!!

babywearing in winter
Yes, there is a baby bundled up in there!

Spring: Spring is another amazing time of year to be in Germany, however, it is quite unpredictable with weather and again, can come with plenty of rain.  Therefore, the same tips for Autumn ring true for Spring.  Also, if you or your tot have seasonal allergies, the spring in Germany can be a doozy!

Things To Consider

How Much Are You Going To Bring?

packing for germany with kids

Oooooh gone are the days of traveling with just a carry on!!! With that being said, I still like to pack as light as I still can…yes, even with a baby.

However, you’ll want to really consider your trip, what you are doing, how you are going to get around (more on that down below), and where you might stay in order to figure out exactly what you should bring.

For example, if you are going to just be traveling by train, that means being ready to possibly run from one track to another if a train ran late.  You don’t want 3 giant suitcases, your stroller, a car seat, a travel crib, and a pack of diapers hanging loose as you attempt an Amazing Race style of challenge!

On the other hand, if you are going to be renting a car, it’s a bit easier bringing more gear and dealing with a trolley in the airport to get you to your car rental. 

Don’t Pack Too Much Into Your Itinerary

I am known to be a pretty ambitious traveler.  But I often cringe at people’s dream itineraries when they ask for help planning their trip to Germany.  While Germany is a small country in comparison to, say, the US, it is not a teeny tiny place, either.  Too many people try to do too much in too little time.

Add a baby into the mix, and that can just be a recipe for stress.  I want you to ENJOY your Germany trip!!!

Stay several days in each location.  Better yet, pick cities and towns that have a lot to do there as well as a lot of close day trips. Consider places like 

This means that you will cover less ground, and may miss out on some famous cities or sites, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t still get to see a ton. 

Passports

baby passport
Getting a baby passport

Remember, no matter how old your baby is, they will need a passport.  Sometimes, it can take a few months to get everything together, send it in, have it processed, and get it returned.  Therefore, plan accordingly!

Infant passports are good for 5 years (compared to the 10 years for adults) and there are VERY specific rules for getting the picture correct.  If you are from the US, you can read this extensive article on how to get an infant passport.

Flying With a Baby to Germany

flying with a baby to germany

Can I tell you a little secret?  Now that I’ve had a few kids, I actually miss the baby stage for flights!  Babies are shockingly pretty easy to hang out with on the planes if you know what to do. 

  • Don’t stress.  Easier said than done, right?  I remember my first ever flight with Lil B and at any noise he made I freaked out, worried that he was bothering everyone.  But you know what?  Babies cry.  That’s what earplugs and headphones are for the other passengers!  And honestly, the flight attendants are phenomenal.  They want everyone happy, so they are usually more than accommodating to families to help us out.  I’ve also had many, many conversations with flight attendants in the back galley as I baby wore and “paced” the back getting a baby to sleep.  Something about the movement and Mamas voice always seemed to calm (eventually!) the baby down and the attendants were typically just fine with me back there (unless the seatbelt light was on)
  • Request a Bassinet Seat. When you book your tickets, call your airline immediately with your reservation number and ask for a baby bassinet. These are *typically free and are in the bulkhead seating area, which means you get a bit of extra legroom, too. There are weight restrictions (often around 25 pounds as the max). Unfortunately, my babies would always wake up the second I put them in these, but I often enviously would see other babies resting ever so peacefully as Mom actually ate a meal with two hands and a free lap!
    3. Lap Baby Tickets. We are cheap frugal travelers, so we always fly with a lap baby until they are 2 and require their own seat.  I personally felt that having to deal with a car seat (they have to be airline approved) in an airport was more than I wanted to deal with and that my babies always did better being with or on me anyway rather than strapped to a seat for 15+ hours on an international flight!  This is a personal decision for everyone, but I never felt like my babies were unsafe, even during heavy turbulence.
    4. Remember that air pressure can cause issues for babies.  I always wait until we are literally rolling down the runway and then will nurse my baby as we take off (and do the same on descent) to help with air pressure changes in their ears.  If you don’t nurse, then a binky/pacifier works great as does a bottle.  If they don’t do any of those and are old enough to chew, then really any food will help, as the chewing motion will help relieve any inner ear pressure.
    5. It’s amazing what babies will find amusing.  Under 6 months old, I find babies tend to sleep shockingly well on flights (must be that turbulence and white noise effect).  Friendly seat neighbors always seem to be willing to play a game of peek a boo and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve “walked” (I hold his hands) up and down and up and down the aisles.  People generally don’t care.  Other things that are great for babies:

    • Anything that “opens and closes” (I used an old eyeglass case) and my babies would just spend who knows how long literally opening and closing it.  Want to really spice it up? Once they start to get bored, sneak something inside and BAM! You’ve got yourself a few more minutes!!! (Ah, the joys of babyhood)
    •  Food! Seriously.  Once your baby is eating, this is a great time waster.  We did babyled weaning, so we started with whole Apples and that would burn through a good hour!!!! (Praise the travel Gods!!!!) Finger food is also a good one, like goldfish crackers or puffs. Pepper strips were also a hit.
    • Lightweight books.  I love the soft, plush books that I can just shove down into a bag and not worry about damaging, like these.  If they have something they can play with on the book, like flaps, then #bonuspoints!
    • Songs.  You don’t need to be the next T. Swift to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  The Hokey Pokey is another fan favorite (really anything that involves actions)

Flying to Germany With Toddlers

how to survive an international flight with a toddler
Using a “Blow Up Foot Cushion” for a plane bed

If you are flying to Germany with a toddler, I think that most of the things stated above for babies still stand true, but here are a few additional tips for flying with toddlers that we’ve learned over the years.

  1. When booking seats, try to reserve the two outer seats of a row.  Nobody likes the middle seat!!! This often gets left free and you get a spare seat to stretch out! If it does get booked, NOBODY wants to be squashed between a family, so they are often more than happy to switch for an aisle seat and to get you all back together.
  2. Get a blow-up foot pillow to use as a bed.  These are God Sends!!! Just blow it up after take off and they can comfortably lay down and sleep.  Here is the one we use.

Toys and Activities for Flying With Toddlers:

  • Coloring Books are great and tracing type games
  • Magnet style toys.  We love these magnet building blocks
  • Magnadoodles, Tic Tac Toe, and we LOVE reusable sticker books, like these
  • Books!!! Not only read through them, but also talk a lot about the books (“I see 1, 2, 3 trees”, “Point to the fish”, etc), this helps burn some time.
  • Read Aloud books on the tablet for toddlers (with toddler headphones)
  • A few figurines for imaginative play (like superheros, animals etc)
  • We do a lot of Montessori activities at home (Montessori Certified teacher here!).  We like doing any of the free card sets from Montessori Nature, or Lil B has spent a lot of time on planes doing stringing activities, LIKE THIS
  • In order to really stretch out the time, we do things like “No Tv/ Movies while eating meals” since my kids are slloooooow eaters
  • We still try to limit screen time, so we have a “rule” that at 2 and over (we personally don’t do screens before that) that they must do 2 “activities” from above before watching 1 show.
  • Parenting Pro Tip: I avoid things like legos. I do NOT like dealing with little pieces constantly falling down.

Food and Basic Supplies for Babies While Traveling in Germany

bavaria with a baby
Baby eating the food we eat off our plates

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is a very common and encouraged thing in Germany and I have breastfed both of my babies here with absolutely NO issues.  One thing to know is that nudity in Europe isn’t as sexualized as it is in the US.  Therefore, most people see breastfeeding as what it is: feeding your baby! Some moms choose to cover up for their own comfort.  I personally hate covering and never felt any rude stares, never received insensitive comments, etc.  In fact, I often would get the opposite, such as an encouraging smile from a fellow mom or an “aaaw, I remember those days” kind look from an old Oma passing by. 

Baby Food in Germany: If you are giving baby food to your little one, Germany has great products that you can find at any local grocery store or DM.  HIPP is one of the most common and well-liked brands and is known for its quality.  You can also find great little finger foods here as well, like finger snacks, teething cookies, etc.

There are also the little mini baby “meals” that you can heat and go. 

Milk: So, truth be told, I am personally not a big milk drinker, but Bavarian milk is REALLY delicious! I love that it is local and they have more rules on antibiotics and what not, so (I feel like) the milk is a better quality here.  If you are dairy-free, you’ll also find all the milk alternatives such as soy, almond, hemp, and so on at all the grocery stores.  

Diapers: No need to lug a million diapers with you.  I have found that Aldi (grocery store) has really affordable diapers, but the DM drug store is really easy to find in most large cities and you can stock up there as well.  When looking (or needing to ask) they are called “Windel(n)” or sometimes, “Wickl” and wipes are “(Baby)Tücher.”
Tip: A changing room is called a Wickelraum if you need to ask for one.  For example, “Wo ist der Wickelraum”

Changing Tables: I’ve heard some people complain that changing tables aren’t as easily found in Germany as they are in the US in public places, but I’ve honestly never really felt that way.  However, they are often in their own little room (like I mentioned above, the Wickelraum) instead of in the main bathroom.  Also, I have found that it’s not very common for the men’s bathroom to have changing facilities but the women’s does. Soooo, that means Mama is probably on more diaper duty than Dad! 

Getting Around Germany With a Baby

baby train travel in germany

Driving in Germany with a Baby

If you are traveling with a baby in Germany, you probably already know that a car seat is required.  I personally always bring my own car seats with me when traveling.  The reasoning for this is that I don’t always know if the car rental seats have been in an accident, are expired, or when the last time they cleaned them was.  By lugging mine with me, as much of a pain as that is, if we plan on driving a lot, it is just easier on my mind. Alternatively, contact your car rental agency to rent a car seat through them

Tip: Check your car seat on in luggage on the plane so you don’t have to haul it through the airport/planes (we always do lap baby anyway) but be sure to pack it in a protective bag, like this.

Tip: When booking a car seat with a rental company, be as specific as possible.  For example, the age, the weight of baby(in Kilos!), rear or front-facing, etc.

Autobahn Rest Stops:

autobahn rest stops in germany

There are plenty of pull off parking lots if you need to stretch, feed the baby, or just get out of the car for a minute.  However, there are also some really fantastic Autobahn Rest Stops that have full restaurants inside.  While most of these charge a small fee (around 1 Euro) to use the bathroom, the family room for diaper changes is often free.  

At many Autobahn stops, you’ll also find little playgrounds.  When our kids are toddlers and preschool ages, this was a great way to break up a trip and let them run off some of the wiggles that built up while driving. 

Taking the Train With a Baby in Germany

deutsche bahn kids

We LOVE taking the trains here in Germany, especially with the babies and toddlers.  If you are hitting up a lot of main sights, you will most likely be able to connect them all via trains and easy public transportation and won’t need a car.  (If you are following my 10 days in Bavaria Itinerary, you might want to consider a vehicle though for a few stretches of that trip) 

Kids Are Free Under 6 on Deutsche Bahn

One reason to take the trains in Germany is because kids under 6 (under 5 if using a regional ticket, like the Bayern Train Ticket) are free!

Booking a Seat Reservation For Kids

If you are taking longer trains or will be on an ICE train, I do recommend getting seat reservations for yourself.  For just a few Euro extra, you can get your baby or toddler their very own seat as well and will just need to do that in the reservations section of booking your ticket
*Note: On many trains, like regional trains, there are no seat reservations, so you just find a seat wherever.  However on longer trains, like the ICE or IC, if you don’t reserve a seat, it can sometimes be tricky finding open seats together.

ICE Trains With Kids

train travel with kids in germany

The Inter City Express (ICE) Trains are great ways to zip around Germany if you are traveling longer distances.  Deutsche Bahn does a phenomenal job of catering to families by offering some special amenities and services:

Family Area:  There is a section on most ICE trains called the “Familienbereich.”  This is an area dedicated to families with kids (think grade school ages).  This is a good area because you’ll find that in most of the other cars, it is VERY quiet.  Having rowdy kids will surely get you some nasty stares in the normal cars.  However, in the Familienbereich, your kids are free to be….well, kids!!!

Infant Compartment: My favorite is the “Kleinkinderabteil” which is a dedicated compartment for families with young kids (infants and toddlers). It is an actual enclosed, small area that fits about 8 seats that has doors that close.  I love this because when my kids are toddlers, we just close the doors and I don’t have to worry about them darting down the aisles.  It’s kind of like our own little enclosed play area. 

Both of these areas have places for strollers to be stowed, outlets for tablets (or bottle warmers), and a bathroom nearby with a changing table. 

Note:  You have to reserve both of these family areas well in advance and they often get booked out FAST.  If you know you are going to be taking an ICE train and want these areas, then I recommend booking your ICE train tickets as soon as they come out (typically about 3 months out) and booking your family compartments immediately. 

Also, there is a small fee to reserve these, but it’s only about 10 Euro for a family of 5

Live Entertainment: DB has now started offering a service (Familienbetreuer) on select routes of the ICE train where a person will go to the family areas and do live entertainment with the kids!! Your little ones can do some arts and crafts, there might be storytelling, and some even have face painting!  (Note: This isn’t on all ICE trains and it is currently a suspended program during COVID)

Get a Free Activity Kit:  You’ll notice I am a big fan of always having some sort of activity for the little ones to tinker with to keep them busy, whether at a restaurant, on the plane, or on the train.  Head to the meal car of the train and ask for a Kinder Activity Kit.  It varies in what’s included, but typically has stuff like a coloring book, activities booklet, little game, and kids magazine.  Sometimes they even have little train figurines as well. 

(Figuring out if you should drive or take the train with your kiddos? That’s all in our Children’s Guide, listed above) 

Strollers vs Babywearing

I’m not even going to pretend to be unbiased here.  I am ALL “Team Babywearing” while traveling.  However, that’s not to say I haven’t shoved my stroller around a cobblestone street a time or two, so here’s what you need to know for both.

Babywearing

Babywearing While Traveling

I am obsessed with babywearing.  Folks, it is SOOOOO easy, especially when in Europe! I always look at the tourists struggling with their stroller on the cobblestone streets as one wheel is surely about to bust off if it hits one more bump! And not to mention the stairs!

Remember, Europe is old.  The cities are old, many buildings are old.  It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a section of the old town that requires big steps to get somewhere or if you are in an old building, it’s not a shocker to not have elevators.  Babywearing is a godsend!  Here are a few of my top tips for babywearing in Germany:

  1. Get Them Used To It: Not sure if your baby will be worn? Start small several months before your trip.  Wear him/her for 3 minutes today.  Did it go well? Try for 5 minutes tomorrow and 8 the following day.  Didn’t go so well? Do 3 minutes again tomorrow and slowly build your way up to about an hour.
  2. Remember the Weather:  When my babies are really small, I front wear them, which is perfect for coat inserts,like this, that basically extend your coat and give another layer of warmth to your baby.  In the summer, remember sunscreen on those little legs that peep out from the carrier!
  3. Use a Backpack as a Diaperbag: If I am front babywearing, then I can also double up and wear a backpack on my back.  However, when I am back wearing, it is essential that my husband has a backpack that has all the daily necessities.  You need a spot for diapers, wipes, spare clothes, snacks, cameras, travel books, etc. We actually converted this Osprey Backpack into a Diaperbag using lots of packing cubes and it’s worked flawlessly for us for the last 5 years. 

What Baby Carrier Should You Use?

family holidays in germany

Whichever one your baby likes and is comfortable for you!!!  Personally, I own 3 pairs of Tulas (a summer, an all-season, and a Toddler) so needless to say, that’s the brand I recommend.  Kelty and Osprey are both great brands if you are looking more for a hiking carrier.  We like that style when we are doing more of a mountain hiking trip, but I do like how those often have a zip away mini bag to store stuff. 

Using a Stroller

baby stroller germany

Ok, so you really don’t want to heed my advice on babywearing and to just forget the stroller, hu? 

That’s ok.  My husband is the same way.  He prefers to have something to “shove things in” in so that our backpacks aren’t so heavy.  Alternatively, if it is just me traveling with the kids and I already have someone on my back, I DO need somewhere to store our “stuff” while out and about.

Others just don’t like to, or can’t babywear.

In this case, I recommend a lightweight, but sturdy and durable collapsible stroller.  It needs to be able to handle those cobblestone streets but not be huge and bulky to be a pain during transit and flying as well as manhandling up and down the various stairs you will most likely encounter in Germany.

Here is the stroller that I personally use in Germany for travel (if hubby absolutely insists) and it has stood the time of many Altstadts, uneven roads, and trips around Germany and beyond.

Eating Out in Germany With a Baby

Kids Germany

One thing you really need to know is that Germans are a quiet people, in general.  When you are out to eat or on the train, if you pay attention, you’ll see just how quietly everyone talks.  Unfortunately, this can be somewhat overwhelming for parents who have loud toddlers or babies who like to throw food on the floor (N0? That’s just my kids!?)  

But that is not to say that kids aren’t welcome at restaurants or even that you should avoid them.  Here are our survival tips for eating out in Germany with a baby though:

Look for Bier Gartens: I find that the more we can eat outside the better.  Outdoor cafes and beer gardens are much more relaxed than indoor dining, the kids can be a bit louder and it won’t be as obvious, and many Bier Gartens even have little playgrounds!!!! Once our kids got to toddler ages, these became almost a necessity when looking for places to eat. 

Ask for a Kinderstuhl: Some people report that not all restaurants have a hair chair, but I honestly have never really found this to be true.  However, if you are worried about this, these little chair fabric covers convert every chair into a high chair.  They are easy to pack, so it could be worth having in your day bag, just in case!

Kids Corners: Many restaurants will have an indoor kid corner (this is not a given or in all places, but it is a nice surprise when you see one!).  It may have a few puzzles, some little trinkets to toy with, coloring pages, etc.  

Kinder Cafes: Oh….My…..Gosh!!! Why don’t these exist in the US!?!?!? I am obsessed with Kinder Cafes when I find them (again, not a HUGE, popular thing, but many larger cities have one).  These Cafes are made especially with you, a parent in mind.  You can go to a cafe, order real, adult food, real adult coffees, and then your little tot can go play….leaving you to eat and drink in peace!  Some Kinder Cafes have a small climbing area or slide, others just have a big toy area to keep little ones entertained.  The first time I went to one was when Lil B was 1.5 and it was glorious to have a meal where I could actually enjoy the whole thing!  Sometimes, there is a few Euro charge for the Kinder area, other times, it is just a part of the cafe.

What To Eat

foods for kids to eat in germany

Traveling with a baby can feel overwhelming sometimes.  This is why I personally went the baby led weaning route, meaning that starting at about 6 months, baby eats whatever we eat!  This made traveling SO much easier, not having to worry about where to warm up (or even buy) baby food, etc. 

From about 6 months to 2 Years, my kids just get what I eat.  I ask for an extra “Teller” (plate) and share my schnitzel, wursts, pizzas, maultaschen, or whatever it is I’m dining on. 

Once they start eating more (Hey, Mama don’t always like to share ALL her food!) you can start asking for a “Kinder Menu” where there is always kid friendly options.  (I also have a full list of foods that kids will enjoy in my What German Foods For Kids To Eat Guide) 

Babies and Toddlers also LOVE gnawing on pretzels and probably anything from a bakery, really!

Looking for great foods to try in Germany?  Here are my top 20 favorite, authentic foods to eat in Germany

Accommodation and Lodging With a Baby in Germany

I have found that when we are traveling with just a baby or toddler, that our style of accommodation didn’t NEED to change that much.  However, here are some things to look for and consider as well as baby-specific hotels you can look into that cater to families. 

Tips for Traveling With a Baby in Germany at Hotels

  1. Bring Your Own Travel Crib: When we are traveling with a baby, we usually bring our own travel crib.  You can find ones that are about 15 pounds and super easy to carry around.  The reason why I like doing this is because baby can then get used to their own “bed.”  After all, being in a strange room and place can be scary.  But also, have you actually seen hotel baby beds?  Who knows when they were last cleaned, if they are fully up to code and safe, etc.

Here is the Travel Crib We Use and Love

best travel crib for europe

Pro Parent Tip: Want to watch a movie while the baby is sleeping? We often put our travel crib in the bathroom!!! Hey, it allows us to have a bit more flexibility in our hotel room and as long as baby is sleeping and is safe, we’re good!

  1. Co Sleep:  If you are comfortable with it, it is REALLY easy to find baby-friendly accommodation if you co-sleep.  You don’t need an extra bed, you don’t have to have extra gear to bring along, and some babies will sleep better with you than in a new travel bed. 

traveling with a baby in germany

Where To Stay

AirBnB

When we had our first son, we started really utilizing AirBnBs.  It was SOO nice to not have to eat our currywurst for dinner on the cold, hard bathroom floor (yes, this really happened to us in Berlin) with our whispered voices because the baby was already asleep.

However, we have stayed in some AirBnBs that actually gave us a ton of anxiety because they were NOT baby friendly.  Here are some things to look for when booking:

  1. Look for “family-friendly” wording!  Some places will even list it as such.  Others will say things like “crib available” “kids toys” etc
  2. Try to avoid stairs. Once your babe is crawling, German style stairs in homes can be a nightmare to deal with
  3. Pour over EVERY photo.  I take so much time dissecting each and every photo.  Are there a ton of decorations, are there a lot of knick-knacks that my 9 month old is bound to pull off of every shelf, are there plants that surely my child is going to want to try to lick, is there a bathtub, etc
  4. Reach out to the host. If you aren’t sure, simply message the host asking if it is baby/ toddler friendly

Tip: AirBnBs are not illegal in Germany, however, a person can not sublet their apartment or home if they don’t own it.  In fact, I had a fellow member of our Travel in Bavaria Tips and Advice Facebook Group concerned about her Munich AirBnB booking because the host was telling them things like “If anyone asks, tell them you are friends.”  If someone owns their place, there is no issue renting out to AirBnB, so if this is something that concerns you, a quick message to a host before booking can clear any of that up for you. 

Tip: If you want to make sure that your homestay is on the up and up and not skirting any local rules, all listings on Booking.com have to be registered.  On the left hand side, you can filter for apartments and homestays (many that are on AirBnB are also on Booking) and even “family friendly.”

Kinder Hotels

Kinder Hotel is an actual chain of “Certified” family friendly hotels. At a Kinder Hotel, it is perfect for families traveling with babies.  In each room, you’ll find a baby cot, bottle warmer, diaper pail, baby bath, kids stools in the bathrooms, etc. 

We like Kinder Hotels because there is free childcare!  The minimum age can vary, but even kids as young as a few months can often go (or you can hire a sitter directly through the hotel).  We did this when in the Alps, so that hubby and I could go for a day of hiking on our own and then the next day used it as well to take advantage of the Sauna and Spa amenities at the hotel! 

Center Parcs

centerparcs with a baby

 

No, that’s not a photo of Baby Jail. Mr. J is tired out from a day of swimming at the Center Parcs Aqua Mundo, where they have baby cribs available all over the pool area! 

I currently am loving using Center Parcs.  They have resorts all over Germany and you can read my full review on going to Center Parcs With a Baby here. The reason I am loving these family friendly places to stay in Germany is that it is made just for families and are basically little small villages that are full of family centered activities all right within a short distance. They are particularly great holiday parks for toddlers, where they will love the baby pools, the petting zoos, and more. 

The biggest con to this for traveling families to Germany is that you won’t find a Center Parc as a hotel within a city.  It is more of its own, separate location and activity.  Therefore, if you are go, go, going on your trip, these will most likely be a bit out of your way.  However, if you are looking for a few days to really slow down and just have some really great, relaxing family time, it could be a great way to break up a busy trip! 

 Click Here To See Current Center Parc Deals and Discounts

Famil Hotels

Another baby friendly accommodation that caters just to families are the Famil Hotels, which are all over Germany as well. 

 Famil Hotels have tons of family friendly activities on site, many have childcare included, and you can find ones that have full or half board as well. 

Pensions and Guesthouses

Guesthouses can be tough to stay in with a family because sometimes they are smaller rooms.  However, if you plan on c0-sleeping with your baby, they are fantastic options as they are often really well priced, most have amazing breakfasts, and they definitely give you a great German ambiance! It might be harder to get a child cot requested for a room, and we’ve even been in some where they are too small to set our own up in. 

Hotels

My preferred search engine is Booking.Com when looking for hotels.   You can actually filter out different things like prices, pools (pools aren’t too common in Germany, unless at more of a resort style hotel or big chain), and even “family friendly”.  You can read all the reviews and see pictures so that you can feel pretty confident in your booking. 

Most hotels will have a child cot or crib available for you.

Packing List For Traveling With a Baby To Germany

germany travel with a baby

When traveling international, *most airlines allow each ticketed passenger a carry on and a checked bag.  If you have a lap infant, they may not get a checked bag (check your particular airline) but they will most likely give you a carry on item PLUS a diaper bag.

Typically if you are flying with a baby, even just a lap baby, you are also allotted 2 baby items, such as a car seat, a stroller, or a travel cot, etc at no extra charge. 

For a Carry On

I like the Osprey Backpack that I mentioned above that we use as a diaper bag as our baby carry on.  It has tons of pockets and compartments which makes travel organization a cinch.  

  • Diapers: ALWAYS pack more than you think you need (because you just know that one time you don’t will be the day they have diarrhea) I typically pack about 15-20 diapers in our carry on (our international journey to Germany take us about 24 hours total).  This is usually way more than I need, but again, I have been in a situation or two, that I am ever so thankful to have every last diaper.
  • Wipes
  • Small, hand held bag with just 1-2 diapers, a few wipes, and 1 change of clothes for a quick “Grab and Go” diaper change.  We use a small packing cube for this
  • Small baby blanket (to cover up on the plane as well as to use as nursing cover, if you choose)
  • Bib
  • Changing pad 
  • 2 Changes of baby clothes
  • A Wet/Dry bag, like this, for any clothes that may get too dirty
  • Snacks (if old enough)
  • 2-3 Books, like these easily packable ones
  • A few activities like some toys
  • Travel sized/ approved Infant Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (and make sure you know exactly what dosage for baby’s weight)
  • Pajamas to change into for sleep
  • Optional/ If You Use
    • 2 Pacifiers
    • 2 Sets of Bottles (and bottle sterilization wipes)
    • Baby food (think of how many meals you will be having if you are doing purees) plus a spoon
    • Any comfort items (like a special cuddly bear, etc) 
    • Diaper cream (be sure this is travel sized!)
    • Breast pump, plus storage for milk

For Toddlers:

Carry On For You

  • Passport Holder (this way everyone’s can stay in one, safe place)
  • Your baby carrier/ sling
  • All your typical carry on items that you like
  • Headphones
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask
  • Phone Charger
  • 1 Spare set of clothes for you (in case of spit up ooooor, well, see the point above about diapers)

In Your Baby’s Checked Luggage

  • Enough diapers and wipes to get you to the first DM, Aldi or Rossman’s to get a new pack (5-10)
  • Clothes (I pack about 2 outfits per day for babies and toddlers to allow for accidents and messes plus 2 additional backups).  
  • Socks
  • 2 Sets of Pajamas
  • Sleepsuits (we use the Baby Merlin and then the Nested Bean
  • Weather Specific Clothing:
    • Summer:
      • Swim Suit
      • Sun Hat 
    • Winter:
      • Bear Suit for Winters (I love these things!!!) 
      • Hats and Gloves (and spares because you know you’ll lose a mitten somewhere!)
      • Booties (even if not walking, like these ones)
    • All Seasons:
  • Optional/ If You Use
    • 1-2 days worth of baby food until you can get to a store 
    • A few extra toys (for example, for toddlers to play with at the hotel)

Toiletries:

  • Baby wash (I always forget this and never have anything for baths!) and lotion
  • Nail clippers
  • Sunscreen 

Baby Gear 

Don’t Bring

  • Baby Monitor (just download a free baby monitor App on your phone if you really need one)
  • Playmat
  • Travel bath
  • Noise Machine (again, just find a free app on your phone)

Traveling with a baby or toddler can be an absolute joy in Germany if you are prepared, have the right mindset, and are ready to explore!!  What questions do you still have if you are planning a trip to Germany with a baby?

 

 

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