Norway with a Baby or Toddler – Everything to Know

We just wrapped up an incredible trip to Norway with my 21-month-old, making it his 13th country.

It was one of my favorite trips we’ve done with him, thanks to how easy, pristine, and safe it is in Norway. It’s no wonder it’s regularly ranked one of the world’s happiest countries.

That said, it was not always the most baby friendly in every imaginable way. Here’s everything to know before you plan a trip there and how to get the most out of it.

Baby and Kid Friendliness of Norway

I’m happy to report that Norway is very family friendly. We saw so many kids all around Norway, and it seems like family life is a priority for many locals. When maternity leave lasts for a year (unlike, cough cough, the zero paid leave I got in the US) it really feels like moms and young families are supported!

We found high chairs at every restaurant we ate at, plenty of clean family restrooms and changing tables, and kids play areas are all around. Locals aren’t as enthusiastic about babies as say, Bali, Portugal, or Thailand, where they’ll happily hold your baby while you eat at a restaurant, but it still felt like a very family-friendly country. We didn’t encounter anything but friendliness and people who happily waved back at Felix when he waved at them.

I also observed moms nursing in Norway, and it seems openly accepted without any need to cover up.

Getting Around Norway

Norway, like most of Europe, has fantastic public transportation. You can easily get around any of the major cities by using trains, ferries, and buses. We also found Bergen quite nice to walk around. If you need some help finding your way, English is widely spoken in Norway.

If you’re visiting Lofoten, though, you’ll need to rent a car. Driving is easy and straightforward in Norway, and we didn’t have any issues.

Remember European cars can be kind of tiny, especially their trunks, so if you’re traveling with baby gear, you might want to size up. While some rental companies offer car seats for a fee, we brought our Cosco Scenera with us for ease.

Also like most of Europe, Norway has plenty of cobblestone to contend with, which is rough on smaller travel strollers like the ones that can fit in the airplane overhead bin. We traveled with our Joolz Aer and it was no match for Bergen’s cobblestone. I saw most moms there with strollers with larger wheels, and I suspect the UPPAbaby Vista and definitely the Guava Roam could handle them just fine.

We found an elevator whenever we needed one, and the local airline, Widerøe, in Norway was also accommodating with free checked car seats and strollers (definitely use a car seat bag), and free stroller gate checking as well.

Diapers, Formula, and Baby Food in Norway

Grocery stores are plentiful and well stocked, even in Lofoten. I expected this to be the case in the cities, but not necessarily the arctic regions, so this was a nice surprise.

Every grocery store we went to, without exception, had a section with formula, diapers, wipes, and baby food. Most stores are pared down to just a small section on Sundays, if they’re open at all, but those always had diapers and baby food, too.

We’ve learned the hard way to bring our own ultra absorbent diapers from home (Coterie is just superior, and we’ve tried samples from 13 countries to prove it), and an extra large diaper bag to hold everything. We almost always still have to buy some diapers on the road, and they were easy to find and use in Norway. Pouches and snacks were also cheaper than in the US.

Where to go in Norway with a Baby or Toddler

Norway is characterized by a few cities, gorgeous fjords, and some famous arctic areas. We had a mix of all, and I think just about any of them could be great with a baby or toddler except for Svalbard, which is known for its icy landscape and polar bears. As much as I’m dying to go, most of the activities there wouldn’t be safe nor appropriate for a little guy.

For our first trip to Norway, we visited Bergen, a quaint (yet the second largest) city in Norway, as well as Flåm and Lofoten. There were plenty of beaches, play areas, and kid-friendly activities in all of them. We’ll be returning for a cruise with my toddler through some of the fjords, and some land fun at Geiranger Fjord, in June. It was all great for Felix, who loves nothing more than rocks and water.

Keep in mind that Norway is an outdoorsy destination, and much of what there is to do there involves hiking. Bring along a hiking backpack carrier (more on how to travel with one here). We decided at the last minute to bring our Deuter Kid Carrier and I can’t believe we almost left it at home. We also brought a hip carrier and soft carrier (Artipoppe) for shorter distances.

That said, most of the best hikes are very steep and some are quite long, so know your (and your kid’s) limits for how long and far you want to go.

Norway Water, Street, and Food Safety

Norway’s water is safe to drink from the tap, and with all of that snow melt, it requires minimal processing or treating, and tastes fresh and wonderful. We never bought any bottled water there – it was completely unnecessary.

I generally found Norway to be pristine, and that went for food safety too. I had no reservations about feeding my son everything we ate and shopped for. Norway is also the only country I’ve been to where every label from every sandwich in a bakery to restaurant menus had allergens listed. Since we have to avoid egg and peanut, this was SO nice.

Norway is also one of the safest countries in the world with some of the lowest violent crime and theft rates on Earth. It was nice not worrying about getting pickpocketed or worse. While I love South Africa and will tell anyone it’s one of my favorite countries, I felt a little uneasy traveling somewhere with so much violent crime with a baby. Norway, on the other hand, felt quite freeing.

Where to Stay and Cribs in Norway

Although I overall felt like Norway was a great place to travel with a toddler, there’s one thing that really surprised me – hotels usually charge extra for cribs. For the Oslo airport hotel, I had to shell out almost $40 just to use a hotel crib for one night. I’ve never come across this anywhere else we’ve traveled and find it strange.

This is part of the reason why we almost exclusively chose vacation rentals for our stay in Norway (all booked through Airbnb). They didn’t charge extra for cribs and we had the option to cook our own meals, have Felix in his own room, and have nice extras for after he went to sleep, like the hot tub pictured above.

Every single crib we came across was the same style of pack n play shown above. They’re a nice size with thick mattresses and a Slumberpod is just large enough to fit over them. For when we have to share a room or for midnight sun, a Slumberpod has been key for us.

Overall, Norway was an easy place to travel with a toddler, and would be with a baby or young kids as well. It’s clean, safe, easy to navigate, and it’s jaw-dropping gorgeous. It’s hard to find any fault with it (apart from the $40 hotel cribs). At the time of this writing, it’s cheaper to travel there than usual due to currency fluctuations, but that won’t last forever, so go now!

Norway with a baby or toddler travel guide

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