Now, we’re not here to say that bringing babies to restaurants is always the most pleasant experience. With babies, there’s just no guaranteeing that ANY public voyage is going to be all sunshine and butterflies and good behavior. There are, however, several things you can do to help make your restaurant experience a positive one.
- Choose wisely
A child-friendly restaurant is your best bet for an easy culinary experience with Baby. You don’t have to settle for chewing on frozen pizza while being serenaded by animatronic woodland animals, but you should save the Michelin star establishments for strictly adult affairs.
- Pack provisions
Wherever you decide to dine, remember to bring a well-stocked baby bag with you. First, remember plenty of diapers, wipes, and lotion. Next, throw in some reliably distracting toys and books, in case Baby starts to get restless mid-meal. And of course, if she has progressed to bottle-feeding, bring along a bottle too.
- Offer Baby an appetizer
Feeding Baby before the two of you hit the road can smoothen your outing considerably. Not only will she arrive at the restaurant elated and sated, but she might also be ready for a nice, long nap.
- Have a seat strategy
Patrick Swayze may have refused to put baby in the corner, but when you’re taking Baby to a restaurant, requesting a corner table can make for a more relaxed meal. You’ll be off to the side and less conspicuous to other diners, which will allow you some level of privacy if Baby becomes fussy or needs to feed again.
- Eat, but don’t feast
There’s nothing like indulging in a long, leisurely meal, but the odds of Baby making it through any marathon munching without a peep are low. Try to time your restaurant experience for an hour or less.
- Remember why you’re eating out
Sometimes dining at a restaurant to try something new. Just as often, though, you’ll find yourself eating out because it’s fun to let someone else do the saucepan slinging for a change. So once you’re seated, just take a few breaths and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve already gotten Baby out of the house and into the restaurant. Next thing you know, the two of you will be taking a wine-tasting class together.
Not for a few years – or decades – but it’s all about baby-steps, right?