I'm a freelance writer, mum to three girls aged between 6 months and 10 years and I love travelling, eating and exploring, always with my girls!
Published May 14th 2012
Having recently re-entered the world of babyhood at the ripe age of 39 and also having moved from the UK to Melbourne, Australia, I had to learn fast. Where to shop for baby, where to change baby and most important - where to have coffee and cake with baby in tow.
Here is my personal top 3 but please add yours below as I'd love to find out more.
Warren Glen Nursery is one of my favourite places to visit with kids of all ages. With it's picturesque surroundings in Warrandyte, stunning garden centre and beautiful gift shop a whole morning or afternoon can be spent here.
The gift shop has lots of breakables but also gorgeous kids' toys to discover. Also some pocket money toys to get mummy out of buying the expensive wooden dolls house my darling daughter admires or as a bribe afterwards for behaving well in the cafe!
Outside on the way to the cafe there is a wooden bridge over a pond with ducks to spot.
Once over the bridge you enter the cafe where the 'This is a breastfeeding Friendly Cafe' sticker makes a mum like me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! At the back of the cafe there is an enclosed area as well as an outside area with a wooden train which is popular with young visitors. Again, plenty of space and the menu is varied and the food delicious. Highly recommended.
The Foyer Cafe in Wonga Park. This is a training restaurant and the staff volunteer their time to gain experience in the hospitality industry. This means they are really friendly and helpful. The food is basic but very affordable and tasty too.
There are two outdoor play areas and various indoor play opportunities. The large patio is great for mother group get-togethers as pram space is ample. In winter, it's nice and toasty under patio heaters and the soup is yummy, served with plenty of bread. The menu is limited though and change from day to day so do check before you go. There are baby changing facilities, parking for parents with prams, reasonable kids menu and on Wednesdays they have story time for children.
As it is mostly visited by parents and very spacious, I felt very comfortable breastfeeding here. The only downside is that they are only open during the week in term-time and close at 3pm.
Jam for Joe in Blackburn is much smaller than the other two but it still packs a yummy punch. The coffee is delicious, there are comfy couches which makes for easy secret breastfeeding and lots of toys and books to keep toddlers happy.
We visited when there was a kids' market on in the church it's attached to, so it was very busy, but the staff were still friendly and upbeat. A lovely little cafe I'd like to visit again for some proper lunch.
These are my favourite cafes to visit with baby, where I felt comfortable feeding her and the staff paid special attention to her. And I didn't feel like an intruder because I have a pram or my baby dares to voice her opinion. Which is why I love them.
Great article Claudine! I am also in Melbourne's East and a new mum. When we eventually get out of the house we will head to Warran Glen. Any other
articles about 'baby friendly' spots would be great to read. I've just subscribed to your articles. Cheers Gen