The other day I found myself in the pouring rain on Trafalgar Square. With all cafes crowded with tourists, I decided to pop into the National Portrait Gallery with my baby to get cover.
When we got in, baby was hungry so we headed to the second floor in the Tudor Gallery where there are wooden benches in the middle of the gallery, perfect to sit on for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in front of 400 year old paintings forces you to look at them in a lot of detail, and you end up discovering interesting details – I never realised how the children in the Tudor paintings look just like adults! I did not spot any other mums with babies, but by now I am happy to feed anywhere, anytime.
I am not a huge art fan but it turned out my 8 week old baby is! She loved the Tudor gallery and was absolutely mesmerised by the pictures. Babies love faces, and looking at the face of Anne Boleyn is no different. I carried my baby in a sling so she was at face height with the paintings. My baby was also fascinated by the golden frames that sparkle in the gallery’s spotlights. If your baby is equally mesmerised by lights, it is worth going to the National Gallery just to take some fun pictures with your baby apparently looking intently at high brow art.
Practicalities: There is a baby changing area on the first floor. I didn’t go into the restaurant, as it looked relatively posh – not the place you want to have a potentially screaming baby, however, it looked like it had a nice view. However, the National Gallery next door is great for comfy cafes where it is easy to breastfeed in with soft benches.
Cost: free to visit
How to get there: walk from Leicester Square or Chairing Cross Tube station
Baby friendliness indicator: *** The National Gallery is a fun place to go with a baby and interesting for adults, however, I personally found it less easy to get around in than other museums as there seem to be few, however if you are ready to sit on the hard benches in the galleries you will be rewarded with looking at pictures in detail.
How to make the most of your visit: The national Gallery is open late on Fridays with talks, music and drinks. A fun place to look at pictures in a different way.
Your advice: have you got any recommendations to make the most of the National Gallery?