I’ve lived in Cork City since 2009, meaning that this year is my 7th year here. In 2014 I gave birth to my son, which meant that I started to view the city in a whole new light – accessibility was a very real issue and I started to see just how accessible and inaccessible certain places were with regards to wielding my buggy around. I looked in envy at Mama’s whose babies were happy in a sling or structured carrier, as I wasn’t able to do the same thanks to a back injury and a disagreeable kiddo. I began to structure my almost daily wanders around where was best to have the buggy with me. It’s changed the way I look at the city, and am constantly on a search for different places to go, so in the nature of sharing the wealth, here is my guide to Baby Friendly places in Cork City in 2017.
I did a full on post about the joys of finding a changing area in Cork that worked for us – here are some of the highlights!
Boots, Opera Lane – always my No 1 choice for changing areas in Cork city, they’re kept impeccably clean and well stocked with nappies and wipes if you have forgotten your own. There is also a feeding area in one corner. Staff are friendly and helpful too (and you can get some browsing done of the gorgeous Mini Club clothes for your little one too!)
Debenhams – next to the cafe there is a changing area which is fairly basic but in my experience is kept clean at all times and is easy to access.
Brown Thomas – a really cosy changing area with separate feeding room for mid-browsing of all the homewares or pretty clothes which aren’t suitable for sticky toddler hands to touch! It’s on the floor below the cafe. (Near the shoe section)
Cornmarket Centre – easy to access by lift, while the toilets are pay-per-use the changing area is free of charge and is generally well kept. Again, bare basics, changing table, sink, hand dryer, but it does the trick in a really central place.
Insomnia in Easons, Patrick St– Friendly staff, buggy accessible, fab deal for hot drink and cake for less than a fiver – where can you go wrong? It’s in the centre of Cork City as well so near to everything! My one gripe is that there isn’t a changing area for little ones but it’s close to Debenhams at a push. I’m a big fan of their carrot cake, and as little man has gotten bigger, it’s been fab for Babycinos with him too – they do them with almond milk now too!
Cafe Velo, Georges Quay – While outside the general city centre area, this place is fantastic for breakfast, coffee or even just their desserts (I compel you to not be tempted!) – great selection of high chairs, staff friendly to families and good buggy access. Those teapots are ENORMOUS and wonderful.
The Woodford, Paul St – this wasn’t somewhere I initially thought of when I was wielding my buggy around town, but when I tried it out I wasn’t disappointed. Great for tea or coffee mid-shopping trip or for a spot of lunch, staff are fantastic and prices are competitive. Their changing area does require requesting a key but is kept really well.
Perry St Market Cafe, Drawbridge St – I didn’t realise this place existed until two years ago but since my discovery it’s become one of my favourite places to go with toddler in tow. Not only is it incredibly accessible, the food and coffee are great and reasonably priced, as well as containing a great changing area, with staff who can’t do more to help you.
Nash 19 – This is a new discovery of mine that I’m making it my business to frequent because it’s just so wonderful. Not only are the staff super attentive, their food is divine and they make a great cup of coffee. So friendly to small kids as well, and having been there with a friend who was baby-led-weaning, it was refreshing to not get rolled eyes and tuts at the inevitable mess. It’s a favourite of other parent friends too, and with good reason!
I don’t know about you, but I find it an issue if I’m on my own with the buggy and nature calls – I don’t feel good about leaving my baby outside the door of a public toilet where I can’t see them, but there isn’t really an alternative in most places (the bigger shopping centres in the outskirts do this very well though!). However I’ve found a few spots in Cork city centre which have facilitated Mama’s like me.
Dunnes Stores, Patrick St – the disabled toilet in the cafe upstairs has a changing area included, but also has enough room for the buggy while you grab a much needed toilet break!
Merchants Quay Shopping Centre – in the regular ladies bathroom, there is one stall which has space for a buggy at the same time – no having to leave the buggy outside the stall so you can constantly see your child!
It’s important to be able to get your little ones fed when out and about, and to grab a tea or coffee for yourself! All places listed have been previously fantastically breastfeeding friendly establishments as well, which is very important.
Debenhams, Patrick St – there is a facility to heat up bottles and food for babies/toddlers in the cafe upstairs.
Luigi Malone – Great friendly staff, kid friendly menu including baby bowls and lots of room for buggies when you’re out and about. Super close to the main shopping street as well, which makes it really convenient.
Perry St Market Cafe, Drawbridge St – Excellent menu and such friendly staff – really great place to bring kids for food! They’ve also got cafe’s in Blackpool and Mahon City Gate as well as this one in Cork City which I’ve been advised are all to the same standard.
I’d love to make this something to add to – let me know of your experiences in the comments or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking to make a definitive guide to getting around with baby/toddler in Cork City, as it feel it would be very useful to have as a resource! I’d love to hear from you about experiences you’ve had, or places I’ve forgotten about!
Other things to do with Kids in Cork that I’ve blogged about:
- Chuckies Soft Play – perfect for a rainy morning!
- Library Story Time Mornings
- Fota Wildlife Park
- Cuidiu Coffee mornings in M&S Douglas
- Ballybrack Woods – Perfect for a wander!
- Top 5 Coffee Spots in Cork City (maybe coffee is just for Mammy).