In LO Tips for Traveling with a Baby, caregivers share their experiences traveling in destinations throughout the world with their Little Ones.

Where did you go?

Finland

When did you go?

April 2016

How old were your Little Ones at the time?

9 months and 3 years old

Eating & Drinking

Breastfeeding: What are accepted places for women to breastfeed? Is it accepted to breastfeed in public?

It was too cold for me to breastfeed on the streets, but I did breastfeed on a train. It didn’t feel like it was an issue at all

Food/Water Safety: Was the water potable in your destination? Was the food safe in your destination? If either was unsafe, how did you deal with that?

Everything was safe.

Baby food: What sort of baby food selection did you find? Where did you find it?

You can find organic baby food in every supermarket. Restaurants also offer a lot of kids’ meals.

Formula/Milk: What sort of formula selection did you find and where did you find it? Was pasteurized whole milk readily available?

Yes, pasteurized milk is available everywhere. Lactose-free products can also be found almost everywhere.

Restaurants: Were restaurants equipped with high chairs? How did restaurant staff treat your Little One?

Yes, even gas station restaurants had everything for our Little Ones, including changing stations and toys.

Getting Around

Navigating with Little One: Was your destination stroller-friendly? Did you use a stroller/carrier? Did you face any challenges with either? Do you recommend any strollers/carriers?

I brought my big stroller (Joovy Caboose), and we also used a carrier for nature walks. Helsinki can be tricky with a stroller when it is loaded with two kids.

Public transportation: Which types of public transportation were/not amenable to traveling with your little one?

I only used the train to the airport and it was great. Plus, here was the big surprise: when a parent is traveling with two kids, all three people ride for free! Yeah!

Car seats: What are the local car seat regulations? If you traveled with a car seat, do you recommend one specific kind?

We rented a car with car seats from FIRental.

Sleeping

Hotels: Can you recommend accommodations that provided cribs? If you brought your own crib/pack n’ play, please explain why that was the best option for you.

In Helsinki, we stayed at an apartment, which did not provide a crib. Big hotels outside of Helsinki had cribs —   Scandic Rosendahl in Tampere was great. But in small hotels, there weren’t always cribs, and if they had cribs, they weren’t always nice.

finland1-1

Diapers

Changing facilities: Did you find that your destination offered a great or small selection of diaper changing facilities?

I was surprised to find changing stations everywhere, plus often two different types of potties – one for beginners, as well as rings to make the toilet seat smaller. Best of all, everything was clean!

Diapers: Where did you purchase diapers? Which brands were sold?

You can find Pampers and other European brands in supermarkets and pharmacies.

Medical Concerns

Pre-Trip: Were there any vaccinations that your Little One needed prior to your trip?

No.

General Questions

What were the local attitudes about Little Ones? How was your Little One treated overall?

The Finnish are very child friendly. They were very kind to my kids, even when they were a bit louder than what you usually see in Europe!

What were the greatest challenges in traveling with your Little One?

Bathing. Most of our accommodations had showers, and the sinks weren’t big enough for my baby.

Was there anything you wish you’d known about traveling in your destination with your Little One?

The weather was tricky, but that’s the way it is there.

What are some Little One-friendly activities/sites you’d recommend in your destination?

If the weather is good, you can really enjoy the outdoors. And even if the lakes are frozen, you can still walk around, look for reindeer and chase ducks. The trip to Suomenlinna Island from Helsinki is totally worth it. We also loved Tampere, which has a great park in the city. There are very nice playgrounds all over the country. If it’s cold outside and you are traveling by car, you can always stop at a gas station so that your kids can play in the indoor gymborees — for free!

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Submitted by:

Marisa Bender

I was born in Argentina but have spent most of my life in Israel — mainly Tel Aviv.  I work from home, have two sweet kids, and am not afraid to travel with them!

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