Say Goodbye to Restaurant Disasters!
With these 7 tips, you can go out to eat with your newest addition without stress, screaming, or having to ask for to-go boxes!
We’ve all been out to our favorite restaurant only to witness a restaurant disaster when the laid-back ambience was broken by the piercing wails of a screaming baby. Not much fun for the restaurant patrons, and definitely not much fun for the harried, stressed-out parents who just need to get out of the house! Those moments have probably made you swear off of restaurants until your baby is at least...twelve, but fear not! Use these tricks and tips the next time you go out to eat to ensure a good time is had by all!
Embrace the Early Bird Special
If your baby goes to sleep at 6:30 every evening, don’t decide to go out to eat at 6:00. She will be exhausted, fussy, and overly sensitive to the noise and lights of the restaurant, and she will DEFINITELY make her displeasure known!
Instead, embrace the joys of an early dinner! Hit your favorite spot at 4:30 or 5:00, and you and your family will be more likely to have a nice dinner with a happy, energetic baby. You’ll get home in plenty of time to not disrupt her bedtime routine, so she’ll sleep better. Plus, you’ll get the other benefits of eating early, too, like beating the crowds and having more personalized attention from your server!
Late Night Dining
Conversely, if your baby falls asleep well in the car or seems to sleep well in his car seat, consider going to a later dinner. Put him in some cozy infant pajamas, drive until he falls asleep, and bring him into the restaurant while he’s asleep.
Request a booth or bench-style seating if it is available so you can keep him in his carrier and set it beside you on the bench. Pull the shade up or strategically drape a cover over his carrier to keep the light out, and you should be good to go!
Plan Ahead for Your Meals
When dining out with your baby, you’re on borrowed time! At any moment, your baby can go from napping happily in his car seat to wide awake and ready to voice his displeasure. To make sure you can make the most of your time, avoid wasting any time staring at the menu not sure what you want.
Check out the menu before hand, know what you want, and be ready as soon as the server comes to get the drink order. If you have questions about dietary restrictions, call ahead and ask, so you have total clarity about what you want.
Save Time Where You Can
Along the same vein, save time in other ways, too! For example, ask for the check when you get your meal, so if the baby starts fussing when you’re almost done eating, you’ll be good to go. It is a universal truth that if the baby is crying, and you’re trying to leave, the server is nowhere to be found or the printer breaks down or some other calamity keeps you from leaving.
Avoid that calamity, and just ask for the check. If the baby is still doing great at the end of the meal, ask them to add dessert! You’ll have a reason to celebrate!
Know the Baby Will Get Hungry, Too
You have probably experienced this at home - as soon as you’re about to take your first bite of food, the baby starts fussing to eat. It doesn’t matter if she ate 15 minutes before, when Mama eats, she eats, too! Being at a restaurant is NO different.
If your baby is on baby food or finger foods, be sure to pack some snacks or her dinner. Most restaurants are good natured about heating up a container. Otherwise, pack a bottle or wear a shirt comfortable for nursing (or bring a cover. You do what’s comfortable for you and the baby), and she’s at all awake while you wait for your food, offer her a bottle or to nurse. By the time she’s done, your food will still be hot!
Whether they are too hot or too cold, restaurants are rarely comfortable, and a hot, stuffy baby or a cold baby is a crying baby! Before you go out, pack some baby clothes you can layer, like long-sleeved sweaters and pants or bring a receiving blanket to keep her warm. Also know that sitting by a sunny window will be hotter while the breeze from an overhead fan may be too cold.
Take a Walk Before Going Inside
Before you go inside the restaurant, take the baby for a walk in his stroller. Just a ten-minute stroll can mellow him out and acclimate him to being in an unfamiliar location. Maybe this will help put him to sleep while you eat his meal (fingers crossed!)
Taking a walk before dinner also helps you gauge his mood before going inside, too. If he’s fussy, you know you may be holding him through dinner, or you can even take the opportunity to decide to wait to go out to eat another day. Believe me, it’s easier to cut your losses before you get seated than to try and wait it out and give up halfway through dinner.
Follow these steps, and most likely, you can enjoy a lovely, delicious meal at your favorite restaurant. And you deserve it, too! Parenting is tough work, and we all deserve a break. But remember, even if you have a rough time once, keep trying to go out and about with your new baby. The more you try, the easier it is!
No matter where you go, do it in style with baby clothes from Piper Jade Kids. Join our newsletter and receive the latest news, sales, and see the newest arrivals to our inventory. Subscribe today, and you’ll receive 20 percent off your first purchase!
Tell us what you think about this article. Feel free to give us your input and we can always add good stuff to this blog post!