To think if you're taking a baby of under 18 months out for a meal

(108 Posts)
Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:24:16

It's ok to take some small toys for them but under no circumstances is it ok to take the annoying noisy battery operated ones especially if you're going to set them off and the child proceeds to ignore them.

McNewPants2013 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:26:24

Yanbu quiet toys only.

OwlinaTree Sun 23-Jun-13 19:26:59

Oh god yes. Friends had I pad with downloaded cartoons to entertain child at the table - and no headphones. angry

onedev Sun 23-Jun-13 19:27:35

YANBU, as has already been said, quiet toys only!!

JollyShortGiant Sun 23-Jun-13 19:28:12


usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:28:23

I think no matter what some parents do with their children in restaurants, someone will moan about it on MN.

They were obviously trying to keep their baby entertained so YABU.

Chottie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:29:19

I agree with OP.


Guess what, there are children in this world. Children make noise. Children like toys that make noise. Children have just as much right to be there as you.

Nishky Sun 23-Jun-13 19:31:17

I agree

Nishky Sun 23-Jun-13 19:32:43

I mean I agree with the op. books, chunky crayons and paper - no problems. Anyone who thinks it is ok to take a noisy toy out to eat should eat at home

Fuzzysnout Sun 23-Jun-13 19:33:10

YANBU. It's not acceptable to spoil someone else's meal out by being selfish. Consideration.

Fakebook Sun 23-Jun-13 19:33:19

At least they were trying to keep them quiet. Which Michelin starred restaurant were you dining in? hmm.

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:33:40

och go somehwere they dont serve kids or maybe later on in the evening when the noisy little buggers are in bed kids like noisy bashy throw on the floor toys meh dont be such a misery grin

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:34:41

They weren't trying though. They were ignoring the child and thought pressing the toy would be sufficient to occupy it rather than interacting with it.

If it makes a difference we were at a local gastro pub

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:35:14

do peopl e think children shouldnt go out in public until they are 12 or something

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:35:37

I should point out we were there with our kids (school age) I know what it's like trying to occupy and amuse them when they're small. First step would be to interact with them

parakeet Sun 23-Jun-13 19:35:41

Not if they're going to be so noisy that they spoil it for everyone else they don't.

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:36:01

so you were in a fancy brewyers fayre honestly go out later

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:36:24

I have no problem with babies in resteraunts. Just noisy toys with bad music on them.

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:37:06

buy if he didnt have the toy he mightve been running around singing or shouting and annoying folk

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:37:26

Why should we go later? We have school age children who have school in the morning

stiffstink Sun 23-Jun-13 19:38:42

What sort of toy was it? <nervous>

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:38:46

She was sat in her highchair bored and making noise. The child's noise I didn't mind, I can tolerate children, they make noise, goes with the territory. I hate those vtech style toys at the best of times nevermind when I'm out for dinner

TidyDancer Sun 23-Jun-13 19:39:04

Have some people even read the OP?

She hasn't said she doesn't want children in restaurants, she has said she takes umbrage at parents who use noisy toys to distract and don't even care that the distraction isn't working.

I think in general, it's totally and completely reasonable to expect any party in a restaurant to minimise the annoyance to other patrons. That's really what the OP is about.

And she is not being unreasonable.

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:40:14

I read the OP, I stand by what I said.

YANBU op, what you have described is irritating.

TheSmallClanger Sun 23-Jun-13 19:40:36

I would not have been amused either. Restaurants and gastropubs and other similar establishments are not the place for noisy toys.

And no, I don't think they are really the place for a toddler, either.

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:40:52

yes I read it fine

Just how long do you think crayons entertain a child for? An average dinner takes at least an hour out in a pub/restaurant. In that time my kids would have gone through crayons, books, stickers, walked around outside copious amounts of water and I'd probably end up escorting to the iPhone/iPad too.

AmandaCooper Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:28

Watching with interest. I just had this conversation with MIL who has just bought DS (3.5 months) some musical toys "to entertain him on the plane". She says the other passengers will prefer it to baby screaming. I said I wasn't sure they would see it that way.

TidyDancer Sun 23-Jun-13 19:43:04

I am very surprised to hear some haven't misread.

I think the overwhelming majority of people would be annoyed by this unnecessary noise.

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:43:17

I'd prefer a noisy toy to a screaming child.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 23-Jun-13 19:43:32


To take noisy annoying toys is just rude and selfish. There are plenty of other toys and I'm sure they can cope without noisy toys for an hour or two

Escorting? Damn phone- resorting

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:37

I'd prefer a noisy toy to a screaming child.

^ ^ that,

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:39

I used to sit and talk to mine when they were small, play silly games (quietly) and just generally interact with them and help them eat their dinner. Y'know, normal stuff.

They've eaten in resteraunts since babydom and never needed to take anything noisier than the child themselves.

What I find really offensive is pish pubs are the braying fools who frequent them and get drunk but that's ok because they're eating a meal too. As Julius nudges Geoffrey and bellows on about the jolly good time they had on the rugby tour I would welcome a vtech anything. It would undoubtedly make more sense.

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:46:17

That's where interacting comes into it. And if they're bellowing or screaming remove the child (with a parent) to a space away from the other diners.

Seriously all parents have had to do it at some point! It's part of training the small people in the art of eating out smile

Sirzy Sun 23-Jun-13 19:47:14

Sometimes a bit of nose from a toy is a better alternative than a shouting/screaming/running child. Its not ideal and it is something I would avoid but some children can't be calmed with books or colouring especially not very young children.

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:47:26

See I find them annoying too northernlurker and have been known to ask a manager to remove them or find us a new table blush

csmm Sun 23-Jun-13 19:47:43

YADNBU! Fair enough if you want to test your own sanity at home with jingly pieces of crap, but it is not fair to inflict them on the rest of the population. And not just small children either. We were out to dinner on holiday and the parents produced an iPad for their kids (aged around 3-10) and let them watch The Sound Of Music at full volume. We were not impressed, though I guess it could have been worse hmm

CombineBananaFister Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:58

I agree children are noisy but if it's not the type of place where there is stuff for the kids to do then you do need to take something to entertain them but as someone said whats wrong with paper/pencils/quiet toy??

If your child can't be entertained like that then maybe it's unfair to take them at that age and find a more young-child friendly place because it must be fairly boring for them too.

I don't think children should be 'seen and not heard' and you do expect some noise with toddlers but I don't think in the name of 'tolerance' you should have to put up with ANYONES excessive noise. I'm talking to you mr-IPad-film-watching -no -headphone wearing-selfish twat for the entire 2 hr train journey home.

Interacting?? But then the threads about loud parenting start. Can't win hmm wink

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:50:49

was the rest of the pub deathly quiet then?

Most pubs I go into are noises places.

Sirzy Sun 23-Jun-13 19:51:45

Exactly usual.

It was a pub not a funeral. Some noise is only to be expected!

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:08

I don't think many 18 month olds can colour in or draw pitures

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:27

See I prefer loud parenting to annoying shitty noisy vtech style toys grin

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:31


mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 19:52:38

but if you go out to eat there is noise anyway is it just these toys that get on your nerves or was it the fact that the parents were ignoring him that is annoying you.

Geordieminx Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:24

No noisy toys
No mobile phones constantly ringing
No loud conversations on aforementioned phones

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:28

Thinking on it mrsjay it was probably a case of 6 of one half dozen of the other. The toy was being set off for no reason

Loud parenting
Noisy toys

Just need children eating chips and its restaurant bingo wink

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:55:18

Unless they are the usual gifted MN children.

Nishky Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:54

My children have come to restaurants and never needed toys. Sufficient books etc worked for us- they never resorted to screaming or running around

cansu Sun 23-Jun-13 19:57:38

You would love us then. Two dc with ASD. Non verbal so can't be entertained with conversation nor unfortunately with books and chunky crayons. We take iPads and mini DVD players on the rare occasions we venture out. We wouldn't expect swanky restaurants to cope with us but I would expect we should be accommodated in cafes and gastro pubs etc etc.

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:57:55

Here come the perfect parents.

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 19:58:41

That was to Nishky

pantsjustpants Sun 23-Jun-13 19:58:48

Dc4 is 18mths and we tend to go to child friendly places at the moment. We take quiet toys and books, but he can make a noise with anything to be fair!

I think it's easy to forget how difficult it is to keep a small person entertained and, hopefully, quiet. I know I had! However, I think it's important to take them out to different situations otherwise they'll never learn how to behave.

Sirzy Sun 23-Jun-13 20:00:00

Good for you Nishky. Not all children are the same though which is what so many people tend to forget on these threads.

At 18 months DS would have been happy scribbling on some paper, 6 months later he would have thought you were mad wanting to do that!

As long as parents are making an effort to keep their child happy and calm do we really need other parents judging?

needaholidaynow Sun 23-Jun-13 20:00:48


God forbid if they start screeching and shouting happily, or they have a paddy. Children are children and if noisy toys are what keep them from being bored then it's none of your business. Move to another table.

Nishky Sun 23-Jun-13 20:03:27

I think people accept that children make noise, it is using noisy toys that the op objects to, not noise made by the children

crashdoll Sun 23-Jun-13 20:03:39

I think I'd rather a crying child (something natural that cannot be helped) than a noisy toy that the child doesn't give two hoots about anyway!

crashdoll Sun 23-Jun-13 20:04:29

Are people not reading the OP?! She said the child was ignoring the toy!

ParadiseChick Sun 23-Jun-13 20:05:11

Yanbu, it's not rocket science. You don't take the most annoying toys out in public!

FiddleDeeDees Sun 23-Jun-13 20:05:56


Even a young child can be diverted with a book and a bit of parental interaction. If they can't, it's probably best to leave eating out for a while and try again in a couple of months.

Sounds like the parents in question had hoped the child would be able to entertain him/herself for a while, so they could have their meal uninterrupted. Understandable, but not realistic.

Bringing out noisy toys is just discourteous to other diners.

If I go for dinner at 5-6 o clock I expect crying, screaming, kids running about, arguments over garlic bread and noisy toys.

If I go at 8-9 o clock I would expect older kids and less noise maybe a ds or iPhone hopefully with the sound turned down a bit as older kids are old enough to understand. Unless of course they have autism or something in which case if that's what the mum needs so she can finish her meal so be it. Two hours of my time when the mum has it 24/7

CombineBananaFister Sun 23-Jun-13 20:06:50

I don't understand why it's not ok to say 'actually, I'd like to go out for a nice meal with a reasonable level of noisiness in a restaurant that doesn't cater specifically to children' without it making you a child-hater or intolerant?
There are still some places surely where it's ok for adullts/adult behaviour to be expected and I say that as a DM of a VERY lively 3yr old, it shouldn't always be about including children?
It's not like there isn't a vast choice of child-friendly places to go.

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 20:07:37

Was the OP watching the child and its parents for her entire meal then?

PurplePidjin Sun 23-Jun-13 20:07:50

My 7mo's favourite game in restaurants Tesco's caff is bashing a spoon off the table/highchair tray and shouting "Yayayayayaya". Far, far louder than anything plastic and factory made. How do you teach a 7mo "ssh"? hmm

OP Had the toy not been Vtech would it be different? Are actually only bothered because it was a Vtech? If so YABU as that's roy discrimination grin

Seriously though I'd rather hear toys then hear a child scream and cry.

TwinkleSparkleBling Sun 23-Jun-13 20:10:01

It sounds as though the problem was with the parents ignoring the baby-or expecting it to be "entertaining" itself.

snooter Sun 23-Jun-13 20:10:04

Quiet toys better than noisy but any toys better than letting small children wander / race around the restaurant.

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 20:11:02

Maybe op wouldn't have minded if the baby was bashing a niace wooden toy on the high chair tray.

needaholidaynow Sun 23-Jun-13 20:11:05

Ok, so there will be children that aren't interested in the noisy toys. But there will equally be children that repeatedly want to press a button and play music over and over again and if it keeps them entertained then so be it. As for the ones that aren't interested, like my DS who wasn't interested in anything not even the quiet toys, people had to put up with a few tantrums and my loud parenting until his chips arrived smile

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 23-Jun-13 20:12:30

Rather a noisy toy than the woman yesterday who said 'delicious' 900 times at the top of her voice to her DS.

crashdoll Sun 23-Jun-13 20:14:34

Honestly, usual you don't have to have a sour face all of the time. OP was having a whinge about a loud toy, not a noisy child.

Clarabumps Sun 23-Jun-13 20:16:19

cansu- me too! My ds2 has asd and i take an Iphone with me so he can watch his films before he kicks off and gets bored. He watches this while we wolf down our meal and say a prayer we get to do so before chaos ensues and we don't get "the stare" from other diners.
It's either that or we never go out at all. Ever! we don't go out a lot and its normally to the local cafe.
So I hate to throw a spanner in the works but if anyone has a problem with my sons noisy toys then they are more than welcome to take a shot at calming him down.

mrsjay Sun 23-Jun-13 20:24:24

Thinking on it mrsjay it was probably a case of 6 of one half dozen of the other. The toy was being set off for no reason

I guess if it annoyed you it annoyed you but I still am not convinced little toddler would be content with crayons or a book

usualsuspect Sun 23-Jun-13 20:26:14

I rather think the OP was the one with the sour face.

Souredstones Sun 23-Jun-13 20:30:14

I have issue with a noisy toy going off unnecessarily in a resteraunt.

I am a) not a miserable anti child baby eater
B) totally unrealistic to expect a small tot to sit eating a meal without making noise, I like seeing children eating out. I expect a child to make human type noises of many variations
C) sour faced

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 23-Jun-13 20:39:43


What is "loud parenting"? I've seen it a few times now and am none the wiser. Shouting parents?

rockybalboa Sun 23-Jun-13 20:41:14

Urgh, I can barely tolerate noisy toys at home, let alone in a restaurant!! We once went out for a family meal and DS was sick en route (aged 2) and we had to go buy him a cheapo supermarket outfit and I grabbed a toy car off the shelf to placate him without really looking at it and the bloody thing was SO noisy! I was mortified and my dad, who is the sort to be very very concerned about what others think of him nearly had hysterics. Noisy toys should be bathed with or left out in the rain. My kids can make plenty of noise of their own accord..!

playftseforme Sun 23-Jun-13 20:42:21

If I take a noisy 'toy'/device to a restaurant I take headphones designed for children with me. Electronic toy noise drives me mad in a restaurant.

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 20:43:35

YANBU. I have an 18mo, it's a nightmare age for eating out. I'd work through books, crayons, quiet toys, and then if she really wouldn't sit reasonably still and was making loads of noise then one of our party would just accept defeat and take her outside for a walk for five minutes.

You can do different things with different children at different ages. Certain ages are just not good for sitting still in a restaurant for an hour or so. Plan accordingly. Expecting everyone else in a restaurant to put up with running, screaming or a loud, inane electronic toy isn't fair, and quite frankly smacks a bit of "my child is more important than anyone else."

(Disclaimer - in most circumstances your child in more important, obviously)

ali loud parenting is basically over enthusiastic , loud interacting and talking to your child.

"Shall we order the lobster Alexander , you like lobster don't you ? We had it in holiday in the Caribbean do you remember Alexander. We stayed in that hotel with the huge beds....... Etc "


Whilst simultaneously looking around to gain eye contact with anyone

VikkiiKawaii Sun 23-Jun-13 20:50:22

YABU! I have a fifteen month old and things like her rattle and toy telephone are the only things that would keep her quiet while we're eating out. I don't see why we should have to avoid bringing her out to child-friendly places (the pub we go to has a small children's area). She would maybe scribble on paper for about five minutes but it's not something which would keep her occupied for a whole meal.

WestieMamma Sun 23-Jun-13 20:59:09


My little one is only 10 weeks old and loves his musical crab. It clips to the hood of the pram over his head and has music and flashing lights. He cries when it stops. We went out for a meal this afternoon and Crabby went too. What sort of meanie begrudges a little baby being entertained by their favourite toy sad

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 23-Jun-13 21:03:20

Would you prefer me and 18mo DS and his (silent) tractor book?

"That's a RED tractor."
"That's a BLUE tractor."
"That's ANOTHER blue tractor."
Etc etc.

We are both so terribly, terribly tired of tractors. So is everyone else in our local café, I imagine.

Nishky Sun 23-Jun-13 21:06:51

westie people who are trying to eat a meal I expect

Babies in my experience can be fascinated and entertained by a whole host of things that are not noisy

crashdoll Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:47

Westie The baby wasn't interested in the toy though.

mamij Sun 23-Jun-13 21:14:21

I can see your point op, but was the rest of the restaurant so quiet that all you could hear was the noisy toy? I would rather the noisy toy noise than other loud customers!

Buzzardbird Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:20

These toys usually have a quieter setting ime. I wouldn't have ever taken noisy toys out to a restaurant though. Even on hol when she needed to sleep a dvd with headphones sufficed.

If it's a family restaurant, sorry but suck it up.

I personally hate noisy toys full-stop, try to avoid them in my house and certainly don't take them out but don't get annoyed with anyone who does. They're babies. I'm sure other diners have been annoyed with me singing the 'wheels in the bus' but I take the kids to family-friendly restaurants so you have to expect this

NatashaBee Sun 23-Jun-13 21:52:49

I was on a 4 hour flight once with a 3 year old who had only one toy to entertain them... A kazoo. I'd have loved some noisy battery operated toys that day!

HooverFairy Sun 23-Jun-13 22:05:15

Maybe the toy wouldn't have seemed so irritating had the baby actually been interested in it, but the baby ignored it and the parents ignored the baby. To me, THAT is the irritating aspect, not the toy.

Slightly O/T, this reminds me of the AIBU where the poster's neighbour had complained about her 3yo making a noise early on a morning whilst playing. Turns out said 3yo was playing with some sort of mental, singing, sit on donkey thing. I think sometimes parents can forget how irritating some toys can be, it's not always a deliberate ploy to annoy those around them.

Tincletoes Sun 23-Jun-13 22:16:13

I am relieved I had my daughter last sometimes. Had she been my pfb no doubt I too would have been smug in how wonderfully she behaved, and how it was all down to my superb interaction. She would be quite happy with some books and people watching.

However she wasn't born first, and her elder brother was horrendous at that age. Just a different personality. And we avoided taking him to gourmet restaurants! But sorry, we'd have taken him to a pub on a Sunday and as others have said, would have assumed playing with a noisy toy would have been preferable to screaming.

Shelby2010 Mon 24-Jun-13 13:42:38

Why do people always suggest crayons to entertain toddlers? At that age my DD would scribble for 5 seconds on the paper, try and scribble on tablecloth, chair etc Try to eat said crayons & then finally settle for dropping them on the floor & wailing for them to be picked up. They still don't hold her attention if we are out somewhere noisy or busy, but at least she doesn't eat them so much!

mrsjay Mon 24-Jun-13 13:46:58

"That's a RED tractor."
"That's a BLUE tractor."
"That's ANOTHER blue tractor."
Etc etc.*

^^ made me laugh

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Mon 24-Jun-13 13:52:32

YANBU purely because I want to commit murder dispose of the talking toys in our house.

As for if they were wrong, I honestly don't know. All I know is a parent encouraging their child to do the 'Peppa Pig Snort' risks death by chucked pram. blush I hate my toddler group.

MiaowTheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 14:19:55

YANBU - I've temporarily stored all the fucking annoying beeping, buzzing, shapes are in my cookie jar instruments of parental torture in this house to give my own sanity a break for a couple of weeks (and it's made a marked difference to DD1's playing to be honest - instead of just mashing a button to play a brainfrying song repeatedly)... there's no way I'd inflict them on an innocent public - I take things out to amuse DD1 - but never the noisy stuff.

On the other hand - I take ALL the electronic shit to visit grandparents. If they bought all the most annoying specimens of them - they deserve to share in the joy!

Flobbadobs Mon 24-Jun-13 14:20:20

I did this once, was mortified after about 2 minutes of the sodding vtech bear and how loud it suddenly went!
Now if taking a toddler out I just order noodles (for her) and a dustpan and brush (for afterwards) Easier and quieter grin

KellyElly Mon 24-Jun-13 15:59:16

I would rather hear a noisy toy than have a restless toddler tearing round a restaurant. If the volume is turned down low enough it should not really be making any more noise than the loud conversations etc already going on.

Yabu, i'd prefer a noisy toy to a screaming child, they were doing the right thing by keeping their toddler entertained for themselves & others.

quesadilla Mon 24-Jun-13 16:42:07

I'd say depends on the place. Posh, quiet setting its really not on but in a rowdy pub for Sunday lunch or a child friendly place where there is a reasonable expectation of kids running amok being there it wouldn't bother me.

anklebitersmum Mon 24-Jun-13 16:45:11

A noisy toy is noisy by definition, avoidable and therefore rude by default.

Yes, ven the most perfectly well behaved child is quite capable of 'having the strop of the century' or "TALKING LIKE THIS" when it's least appropriate. But a noisy toy is noisy regardless.
-- until you remove the batteries and shove em up the parent's harris--

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 24-Jun-13 16:49:32


BrianTheMole Mon 24-Jun-13 16:54:23

YANBU op. Noisy toys are bloody annoying. I'd far rather hear loud parenting than be forced to listen to a crappy noisy toy.

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