After four months of pretending I don’t have a baby while dining out, I have come to a sad conclusion: I have a baby, and she does indeed throw a kink in my dining out plans. Really wish someone would have pointed that out to me BEFORE I conceived, but what ya gonna do?
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to survive an experience dining out with your baby. If these don’t work for you, don’t worry–it’s probably more your baby’s fault than mine.
- Go to ethnic restaurants. The idea here is ethnic restaurants tend be a bit noisier than most restaurants, hiding any unwanted noises your little precious angel may make. Ella has fit in well at most Mexican/Ethiopian/Vietnamese/Chinese restaurants we have subjected her to. We even got lucky at our favorite pho shop and had a waitress take pity on us. She whisked Ella away and played with her on the other side of the restaurant while my husband and I got a few seconds of two handed eating. It was a beautiful thing (especially once I realized she wasn’t going to be sold on the black market, she was just playing with chopsticks).
- Distractions, distractions, distractions! Take ‘em wherever you can get them. Bring them with you, or use your surroundings.
- Have an escape route! I think the best way to be prepared for dining out with a baby is to realize that you can never be prepared, those little bastards can change on the drop of a dime. That is why it never hurts to have an escape route planned. Sometimes it can be as simple as dining in your own neighborhood for a quick trip home. Other times it can be as elaborate as your husband distracting the waiter so he doesn’t notice your baby puking all over the nice linen table cloth or realize that she had a blow out in her pants before you do.
- Don’t be afraid to drop food on your baby. As long as it is not scalding hot or freezing cold, odds are a little rice on the head never killed a baby before,and it won’t now. It’s a fact of life if you are my child and want to be held during meal time–wear a rain coat, cuz Mama takes no prisoners when she eats.