Eating out: dining at a restaurant with your baby

Eating out: dining at a restaurant with your baby

Thinking of taking your baby out to a restaurant? This article provides useful tips every new parent should know when taking their baby out for dinner.

When our baby was a little over a year old, my wife and I decided the time was right to go for a family outing to one of our favorite, pre-pregnancyrestaurants. Personally, I'm more of a take-the-baby-and-see-what-happens kind of guy, but my wife was really worried that our daughter would have ameltdown and we'd be horribly embarrassed.

Once burned, twice shy
Our first time out was, as my wife feared, a complete disaster. Every thing that could possibly have gone wrong did. It took us a month and a half tosummon up the courage to give it another try. And try we did but this time we had a plan (see below for our suggestions). Naturally, my wife and I wereboth a little nervous about our next foray into the exciting world of dining out. Never being one to disappoint, our daughter knocked over a glass of waterand took a big bite out of one of the crayons our waiter had thoughtfully brought. But all in all, we knew that our careful planning had paid off when thecouple at a nearby table complimented us on our well-behaved child.

Choosing where to go

  • Stay away from crowded, noisy places unless you know your baby loves that kind of environment.
  • Call ahead to see whether babies are welcome and to make sure the restaurant has enough high chairs.
  • Keep it casual. White tablecloths and crystal wine glasses are to babies what red flags are to bulls.

At the restaurant

  • Sit near an exit. You may need to take an upset baby out of the restaurant quickly.
  • If the baby will be eating with you, don't forget her food and a few extra spoons, just in case one (or two) ends up on the floor.
  • If your baby is walking, don't let her visit other tables unless you're absolutely sure that the people there really want to be visited. It may be cute to you but annoying to others. Also, wandering (and crawling) babies are tripping hazards to waiters.
  • If you're holding the baby on your lap, be very, very careful. Babies are born with a sixth sense about restaurants. They will lunge for whatever's hottest and sharpest and what will make the biggest mess when it's spilled.
  • The restaurant staff will usually not have time to entertain your baby. They've got plenty of other stuff to do.
  • Don't be embarrassed if you have to leave suddenly. Babies melt down, have blow ups, get sick.
  • Try to make it home for your baby’s bedtime. Being in a new place can be stressful enough.

See what suits your baby and adjust the plan accordingly. Finally, you’ll only learn how to improve it by being brave enough to try your first familyouting.

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experienced restauranteur

8/25/2015

We have taken baby out dozens of times. I love it because I bring her food, but she also eat from my plate. It keeps me accountable to always order fresh steam veggies that she can have. Disposable bibs and placements and a pack of wipes are a must!

Eating out

8/25/2015

Once I went to the restaurant where was a special place for children.There were many different toys,balls etc. So our 1-year girl was happy there. Another time we went to the restaurant with no children place. It was a disaster! Her food was everywhere...on the table, on the floor... After this I decided not to feed our daughter in the restaurant when she is in a bad mood...

Eating out

8/15/2015

I usually gives my son the food he can bite or mash. He definitely interested in what we are having.

Be prepared for anything

8/9/2015

I usually take an extra cup of milk or juice for my 18m old, one time my family went out to eat, and the place had no kids menu at all, let alone juice or milk for him to drink. I always bring extra just in case!

Eating Out

Lalo 8/1/2015

I went to Olive Garden and they have a special section for families with kids; I think there will be a section in every restaurant exclusively for families

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