It hasn’t been easy. Anyone who has stayed in our guest room over the last two years has undoubtedly arrived with a suitcase full of baby clothes and supplies from the US. Even France. Here’s the problem: the birth rate is so low in Italy (1.4) that babies simply aren’t big business like they are in the US. There is no Toys’R’Us, no Babies’R’Us, no Walmart, no Macy’s, certainly no Costco and definitely no Giggle.
There are a few department stores, each with a small, expensive selection of clothes that are shockingly low quality compared to what you’d easily find at Target. But, at last, I have found a few good resources. The fact that it’s taken me two years and (nearly) two babies to do this probably says more about me than Rome though I swear there are more shops and services available now than when we first arrived. But who knows. Anyway, here are my go-to shops for baby clothes in Rome:
- Really. They have cute things for babies and kids, all made pretty well and the prices are definitely right. They even have maternity clothes and breastfeeding shirts & bras. There is one store on the Via Del Corso but I can’t promise they’ll have any of the above. It’s mostly a tourist destination for teens. My favorite location is outside of Rome, accessible by car, at the Da Vinci shopping center near Fiumicino (off the Roma-Fiumicino autostrada).
- This is actually a French chain that Paul turned me on to. The quality of most of their things isn’t great BUT the store is huge — think Super Walmart with a grocery store built in — and they have lots of baby gear. In fact, they carry loads of Petit Bateau–all at reasonable prices since the store itself is French. Just use caution on the sizing; they run small. The best location is Porta di Roma.
- I haven’t shopped much myself here but friends in Rome swear by this chain for baby clothes. We’ve gotten a few things as gifts and each is cuter than the next. Like H&M, they’re trendy clothes at great prices. Hard not to like! There’s a nice store on the Via Del Corso.
- It’s not cheap but these clothes are gorgeous. And French. There’s a shop right in the Termini train station (in the huge shopping concourse on the lower level) and another at Roma D’Est, the mall outside of Rome. Again, the sizes run a touch small so adjust accordingly. Also, they have fabulous sales, which is when and where Phoebe acquired such a fancy winter wardrobe last year. Lucky girl!
- Not for clothes but if you’re looking for nice toys with a huge selection, this is a great store and even better website. We bought a mini-kitchen for Phoebe’s Christmas gift (mums the word), selected for two reasons: It doesn’t have a brand name such as Hello Kitty anywhere on it and the store delivered it in less than a week for 4 euros. They have tons of things for bigger kids too, in fact, more.
Shops that I’ve used but am not enamored of:
Prenatal. Another chain, there’s a pretty big store on Via Nazionale, one on the Via Del Corso and another in Porta Di Roma (and likely more). They have baby clothes, maternity clothes, high end strollers (Bugaboo) and cribs plus a small selection of supplies (bottles, sippy cups) and breast feeding equipment. It’s okay but every time I go there it just seems annoying.
Oviesse. Another chain but don’t confuse it with the new OVS. The original chain carries baby clothes and a few maternity clothes–including one of my beloved new sweatsuits. They have packs of onesies there, which is actually unusual in Rome. My favorite location, the one that seems to have the most inventory for kids, is on Via Trastevere.
Ikea. Of course–and not for clothes. But for kids’ furniture–including cribs, changing tables, stuffed animals, bibs and even toys–it’s hard to beat. The only problem is the vastness of the place. So huge it’s hard to get through in under two hours, which is a tad too long for girls like Phoebe. My favorite location is Porta di Roma, which is newer, bigger and seems nicer than the southern location (and both are reachable via public transport). They deliver but it’s been an ordeal in my experience.
MORE ideas here — some I’ve tried, some I haven’t but if you’re looking for something in particular, give it a shot. In the meantime, shout with any ideas about where I can buy a glider chair! I’d love one in the upholstered chair style…