Rio de Janeiro is a great place for families, but if you are coming here with babies or very young children, there are some practicalities to take into consideration if you want your trip to go as smoothly as possible.
Firstly, bear in mind that restaurants and cafes rarely have high chairs, so it’s well worth bringing along a lightweight portable high chair if you want baby to be able to join you at the table, and make the dining experience a whole lot easier and more enjoyable for all concerned. Babies are welcomed at all but the most formal restaurants, and staff will happily provide fruit or water and heat up bottles or food if required.
Bear in mind, too, that restaurants and cafes do not usually have changing rooms. Bring changing mats with you, and be prepared to change baby on whatever flat surface you can find. Again, ask staff and they will usually be able to point you in the direction of a suitable space.
On the other hand, shopping malls have marvelous changing rooms – complete with baby baths, rocking chairs and cool water for nursing mothers, microwaves for heating up food, and even free nappies and wipes.
The beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana also have strategically placed changing tables, so there’s no need to risk sand in the nappy. These are basic but functional, and you’ll need to bring your changing mat along.
Check with your hotel if they are able to provide a cot or crib – cheaper places tend not to, so a lightweight travel cot is a wise investment.
Lastly, bear in mind that the rough paving of Rio de Janeiro’s streets can make walking with a stroller tough going, so be prepared to take a lot of taxis.
Come prepared, and you and your family are sure to have a wonderful trip to Rio – Brazilians love babies, and your child is sure to receive a huge amount of friendly attention.