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Going to restaurants with crawlers

(104 Posts)
TheCrumpetQueen Sun 29-Sep-13 14:58:04

Going out with ds before he was crawling was a breeze but now he doesn't want to sit still in the high chair for long. Are we going to have to just give up on eating out for a bit?

happydaze77 Sun 29-Sep-13 15:01:04

Having the same thoughts. Places that have a little playground or soft play area are worth a try - although they're sometimes more suited to older toddlers. Watching for any other suggestions. . .

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 29-Sep-13 15:02:51

Yes, ds is 9 months so still falling often. Thing is, I want him to be used to restaurants from young so he is (hopefully) well behaved when older

mumofboyo Sun 29-Sep-13 17:30:30

Keep going to cafes and places like that, maybe with play areas available for the young kids, so that he's used to eating out. Bring a book/tablet/toy to keep him entertained. Let him play with the cutlery or menus or napkins. Blow some bubbles. Get him a drink and some light snacking finger food to eat before the meal and between courses.

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 29-Sep-13 18:25:56

Good tips!

AveryJessup Sun 29-Sep-13 18:29:29

We stopped eating out much when DS was between 9 and 18 months. There were a couple of family friendly places we went to and that was it. Now we are getting back into it again as he is almost 2 and can colour in, use his iPad etc.

daisydee43 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:33:08

Dd is 18mths so walking - restaurants are a nightmare - best tips: go when they are not tired and only for a quick meal. I don't take dd to restaurants often but sometimes you have to

froken Sun 29-Sep-13 18:49:57

We go to our local restaurant really early (4.30 ish) we are usually the only ones in there and we let ds crawl about, he loves pulling himself up on chairs and crawling under the tables.

We know the owners fairly well far to lazy and eat out too often so we asked them if they minded, they said ofcourse not, they bring ds some fresh bread and milk ( that he doesn't drink but dp drinks it whilst they are not looking)

If ds was making a fuss we'd take him away but so far he seems to enjoy it smile

QTPie Sun 29-Sep-13 20:18:56

DS was always fine whilst still eating... Do quick meals, and lots of little finger foods (ie box of raisins).

I think that it is good to get them used to cafes/restaurants at an early age (otherwise they still won't get it when they are walking), but you have to set expectations low, choose family friendly or "child tolerant" places (noisy with lots going on helps). and be prepared to keep them busy with food and toys and make a "quick exit" if things get hairy....

debbie1412 Mon 30-Sep-13 06:32:59

We had to take about a year off from doing it. The joys the joys x

StupidFlanders Mon 30-Sep-13 06:52:03

Lower your standards of restaurants! We have a couple "ds safe" favourites and buy take always more often.

MiaowTheCat Mon 30-Sep-13 07:30:38

Get them not to hold the child food back for the rest of the order. With the extra time it takes for kids to eat it means more chance of you all finishing together!

Roshbegosh Mon 30-Sep-13 07:33:21

Give the rest of us a break and stay home please. Your DC can get used to restaurants later. If you must then yes, go when they are empty.

TheCrumpetQueen Mon 30-Sep-13 08:19:14

Thanks for the great advice. I think we will take a break from proper restaurants but we go to a lovely family friendly one which is has lots of shrieking kids.

Rosh To be clear my ds doesn't disturb anyone, he never cries and I get told how good he is but that is down to a lot of distraction/iPhone playing etc which isn't very relaxing for me and dp. I never agree with letting children scream in restaurants so please don't tell me what to do, when you don't know what I do at all!

QTPie Mon 30-Sep-13 09:02:52

OP, it can just be about finding half reasonable kid friendly restaurants - restaurants that are noisy with a lot going on. Favourites with us include Yo Sushi (surprisingly popular with families with small children...) and Jamie's Italian: both noisy with a lot going on (where you won't disturb anyone and LO will be some what entertained by the environment), but reasonable food (although not gourmet) and not too many shrieking kids.

Radiator1234 Mon 30-Sep-13 09:10:00

I can't remember at what age it started ie crawling/ cruising/walking /talking / tantrums .... But sometime between about 1 and 2 I thought it was way too much hassle and stress to go out with my DD who is now 3....fortunately now she can be entertained/reasoned with/ bribed/ sit still and do coloring .... So it's back on! My other DD is just on the brink of crawling though so if guess my leisurely lunch days are soon to be numbered for the short term !

stubbornstains Mon 30-Sep-13 10:09:33

Depends on the child. If you have one who's happy to sit at your feet and do colouring, then it's OK. Mine was a bolter, so I didn't do restaurants or cafes between the ages of 1 and 3. Why pay good money to be stressed and anxious? He's 3.5 now, and we have been eating out quite a lot recently- it's great, but there's still no lingering and chatting possible.

silverangel Mon 30-Sep-13 10:11:56

Yep - we only go to restauranty pubs now - DTs are 2.3 and are much better if they don't have to sit for ages. Anything else is too stressful!

PicnicPie Mon 30-Sep-13 10:20:04

We go with our DD who is 9 months and crawling and cruising. It is hardly the relaxing meal we hope for but we are persevering just so at she gets used to it. We eat quickly and take lots of crap stuff with us to keep her entertained. We normally go at less busy times.

That, or we leave her with MIL grin.

Lottie4 Mon 30-Sep-13 10:39:52

When our daughter was younger, we went to places with an in or outdoor play area. If you go somewhere like this, which is obviously family friendly then I think you can relax a bit more. It's hard to keep them in one place and you will have to persevere, but we generally wanted our daughter to stay still when ordering food, one of us would then take her off to play and then while eating. Again, she could go off to play afterwards. Inbetween we had things like books, little toys and paper and crayons. The turning point for us was when she actually started eating properly and could choose something herself (she was an early talker), sometime when she was 18 months I think. She seemed to enjoy choosing a meal for herself.

OcadoSubstitutedMyHummus Mon 30-Sep-13 11:02:19

We have tended to go at very quiet times eg 5pm, order quickly and something that won't take too long to come and don't have a starter. Then take child to have a look at interesting pictures on the walls or whatever whilst food is cooked. The sitting and waiting bit whilst getting hungry is what causes the real problems IME.

Graciescotland Mon 30-Sep-13 11:06:49

Strategic sofas are your friend; if you can find one with a side pressed to the wall then your DC can stand up peeking over the back and you have space for books/ toys. Transfer to a high chair when eating.

Quenelle Mon 30-Sep-13 11:20:09

We sort of gave up at that age, although partly because we couldn't afford to eat out often anyway.

But DS is 4yo now and always behaves well on the rare occasions we do go out. We take non-annoying toys and/or books to keep him occupied.

So I would say it's not critical to persevere to ensure they behave when they're older.

nappyaddict Mon 30-Sep-13 11:31:06

Pizza Hut and Harvester are good because you get the free salad bar that they can graze on whilst waiting for the food. Also carvery/all you can eat buffet type places because there is no waiting involved - you just go up straight away with your plate.

With DS I only used to put him in the highchair for actual eating. In between courses I let him get out so he didn't get fed up of being restrained. I would take him for a walk in either the bar area if it was quiet or outside for a bit if it wasn't raining. If we couldn't do that then it was sitting on my lap colouring, playing with stickers or play dough, looking at a book, playing with fabric toys etc. I never took noisy toys or plastic, wood or metal toys because they make a racket when they bang them on the table.

I always ask for DS' food to come out as soon as it is ready, even now at 7 because he takes so long to eat. If he finishes before us I usually order his dessert which then keeps him occupied for a bit longer.

Also I find family run places at quiet can be a bit more tolerant of children than so called family friendly chains. The chains are never empty and can get really busy and a baby crawling/toddling/running about is going to get on people's nerves. The local Chinese, Greek, Thai and Italian restaurants are nearly always empty at 12pm and 5pm. The Indian is the same but not open at lunchtime.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Mon 30-Sep-13 11:37:01

There's a period of time where you just don't bother! With both my boys from about 10m - 18m-2yrs it was more hassle than it was worth! It's doable but a lot of effort and going out for a meal is meant to be fun - for everyone!

But both are able to behave and now enjoy eating out.

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