Tempted to skip eating out until your child turns 10? Turns out that going to a restaurant with your new baby in tow is doable and even enjoyable. All you need is a little prep work and some mommy must-haves for a fun family dining experience.
Do your research You probably wouldn’t want to dine with your little one at a formal, fancy restaurant. Look for a place nearby that’s casual and lively (but not too loud), and that’s used to having babies among their clientele.
High-chair hygiene To avoid spending the entire meal worried about the germs your new baby could pick up, bring along plenty of baby wipes.
Pack extra food Fed ahead of time, a younger baby might even sleep right through your meal! If you have an older tot, keep snacks like crackers on hand to pacify her while she waits for the food to arrive.
Small toys A baby book, soft animal or squeeze toys are perfect for banging on the table without making too much noise.
Bibs and baby-proof dinnerware Wipe-off or disposable bibs make for an easy clean-up. If the bib is reusable, consider storing it in a plastic baggie after meals. It’s also smart to carry a baby spoon and bowl in case your little one gets the urge to toss her (very breakable) restaurant china off the table.
Expect the unexpected It pays to be prepared, but you can’t always anticipate a public tantrum or crying fit. Be ready to duck outside for a while or ask for your check early if your new baby decides she’d rather be eating at home.
Dining out as a family doesn’t have to be an ordeal. The more you go to the restaurant with your baby, the better you’ll become at anticipating her needs when you’re eating away from home.