Dining out with baby – the SURVIVAL PACK at Little Boo-Teek
Dining out with baby - the SURVIVAL PACK
Every mother has it...the fear....of your first time dining out with your new baby. So you want to dip your toe in the water of regaining a social life after the arrival of your baby. You’ve seen other parents out to dinner at cafes with babies sound asleep in a capsule or pram or quietly eating in a high chair. You think you can do it. Surely you can. HOLD IT! Before you step one foot out your front door, you need to know about our dining out with baby survival pack. It’s not as simple as it looks. You could be faced with crying, boredom, or the dreaded explosive poo that seeps out the nappy and sends wafts of foul stench through the restaurant – killing the ambiance for you and your partner, as well as the entire restaurant.
Bibs for style and sauce protection
This is not the time for the cutest little dribble bib that perfectly matches your child’s outfit. That’s what I did the first time we took our baby out with us to dinner. She was on solids and we shared our meal with her. The end result was sauce smeared all over her beautiful dress. Food was spat and dribbled all over the place. Now I know to take a big, gutsy bib – that is still stylish – in my dining out with baby survival pack.
Distractions to bust the boredom of dining out
As stimulating and witty as our dinner conversation was (or maybe it was sleep-deprived stammering) my little one was soon bored out of her little brain. She was grabbing for the knives and forks, pulling at the place mat and napkin, even reaching for every glass on the table. We were heading for diabolical destruction of our lovely restaurant table, when I pulled out the one toy I packed. Huge mistake! Now I make sure to pack lots of toys. My dining out with baby survival pack has some tried and trusted toys and books, and also some new toys, or ones that haven’t been played with for a while. While I’m eating my meal, my baby is entertained for an hour or more.
Wipe everything before letting your baby eat out
You need a mountain of wipes when you eat out with your child. It doesn’t matter how clean the restaurant or café is, wipe down everything. Now I don’t mean to sound obsessive, but a lot of high chairs have layers on layers of food on them. Even if they’re not the grottiest I’ve seen, my dining out with baby survival pack has anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down the straps, tray and sides - I do stop at wiping the legs of the high chair! Then there is my precious baby who likes to touch and squeeze and rub almost every mouthful of food that I want to get in her mouth. So outcome my pack of baby wipes, for her face, hands, arms, legs, feet, hair. It’s like she needs a sponge bath every time we eat out.
Choosing a restaurant for baby friend dining
The key things I look for in choosing a restaurant or café when I’m dining out with baby are:
- Kids menu: if they offer specific menu items for kids, you know that children are welcome and they likely won’t mind how much mess or noise your baby makes;
- High chairs: a few high chairs in a dining room mean the eatery has some safe seating for the little one with you;
- Baby change facilities: now I’ve been caught out with my baby doing a volcanic-like poo that has oozed out of the nappy and through her clothes. It’s been smelly, and taken me some time to detect that my little cherub was the culprit of such a foul and disgusting smell. But there were no baby change facilities at the café. I had to either walk all the way back to my car to change her or do it on the bus stop seat nearby. Neither took my fancy, and I wanted to yell at the waiters for not providing the right facilities for babies.
- Lack of snobbery: Let's face it, eating out with a grotty, food throwing baby isn't going to work in a posh establishment. If you choose a kid friendly restaurant, the waiter won't sneer (as much) and you'll have a much nicer time. The hot spots can wait for now.
- So when you’re ready to get social with your baby and head back to your favourite restaurant or start looking for new cafes, remember our dining out with baby - the survival pack, so your expedition doesn’t become an absolute disaster, you’ll get to enjoy delicious food you haven’t cooked along with a little adult conversation.
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