Top Tips for Eating Out With Baby

Once you bring a newborn home, you might wonder if your complete regression to the mere basics of survival will ever right itself – will you ever sleep again? Have an uninterrupted toilet break? Watch a film and understand it because porridge brain hasn’t entirely destroyed your cognitive capacities? Enjoy a grownup meal in an actual restaurant?

Baby in high chair

While we can’t guarantee the first three (at least not for the next three years of your life – sorry), a recent survey of 63+ been-there-done-that experts has some ace tips on achieving a real-life dinner date with your tot in tow. Check ‘em out:

“What is your #1 tip for new parents eating out with their newborn baby or toddler for the first time?”

  1. Bring a Nursing Cover or Bottle (or wear Easy-Access Nursing Clothing)
  2. Go When They’re Fed
  3. Forget Candlelit Romance and Opt for Busy Restaurants (many babies like the ‘white noise’)
  4. Go When They’re Sleeping
  5. Keep Baby in a Car Seat Carrier (for ease of transition)
  6. Pick a Quieter Time of Day
  7. Don’t Stress About What Others Think
  8. Bring an Extra Change of Clothes for Baby
  9. Don’t Go Alone (extra hands come in, uh, handy!)
  10. Try to Eat on the Patio for More Distraction (weather-permitting)
  11. A Baby Wrap (an excellent sleep-so-mum-can-eat tool)
  12. Bring a Change of Clothes for Yourself
  13. Find a Restaurant with Comfortable Booths
  14. Enquire if the Restaurant is “Baby-friendly” to Avoid Death Stares and Less-than-Helpful Staff
  15. Look at the Menu and Choose Your Meal Before Going in
  16. Restaurants with Changing Tables in the Bathrooms are An Obvious Must
  17. Ask for the Cheque & Doggy Bags In Advance
  18. Ask to Sit in a Less-Busy Section (to avoid those death stares)
  19. Order a Glass of Wine (imperative)
  20. Silicone Place-mats (for Toddlers)
  21. Don’t Be Afraid to Over-pack
  22. Don’t Expect to Finish Your Meal (sorry)

For the full list of eating out with little kids tricks see here.