Going out to a restaurant with a baby can be a pleasant experience… or a nightmare. Your life doesn’t have to stop when you become a parent, but you might have to make some changes to how you do things. You don’t have to sacrifice everything. All it takes is a little planning. Use these six tips to dining out with small children.
1. Choose a child-friendly restaurant.
Often, smaller family-run establishments welcome parents with young children and have everything to please a little client, including a special menu for kids. The presence of high chairs is usually one more positive sign; a good playground is like an answer to your prayers if you have a toddler or older child.
2. Ask for stroller accommodations.
If you’re out with your stroller, ask the hostess or manager to sit you in a place where your stroller won’t be in the way. Many places have a table or two out of the way or near a wide aisle so you aren’t constantly bothering other guests.
3. If needed, bring something of your own.
If your child is a picky eater (and a lot of children are), don’t expect the restaurant to have something for him. Bring something you know he will eat. The restaurant shouldn’t have an issue with this as long as everyone else is ordering a meal. If your child is very young, don’t forget to bring the necessary baby food.
4. Don’t rely on entertainment to be provided.
Many establishments will offer children coloring sheets and crayons to keep them occupied, but don’t depend on this. Keep some crayons, a book, or maybe some small toys with you when you go out to eat. Smart phones and tablets are great occupiers when they start to get restless.
5. Treat your child as part of the family.
Remember that your children are part of your family, not accessories to be dragged along. Engage your child like you would anyone else while out to eat. Expect them to contribute to the conversation and mind their manners. If your children are old enough, let them decide on their own meals and order from the server.
6. Don’t stress about a tantrum.
At some point your child will have a tantrum and make a scene. Don’t despair; it happens to everyone. Parents and other guests will be understanding as long as it’s obvious that you trying to remedy the situation or remove your child from the restaurant. Whatever you do, do not ignore the situation and allow your child to run amok. That’s the surest way to earn the ire of the staff and guests.
Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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