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Taking baby to restaurants - when does it get easier?

(154 Posts)
atvh Sun 16-Aug-20 17:59:57

As the title says really! My four month old is a wonderful little boy, but I find it so stressful taking him out to eat. We’ve just got back from Sunday lunch at the pub. We took him out just as he was due a nap (perfect timing you’d have thought!) He fell asleep in the pram on the half-hour walk there, then almost as soon as we took our seats at the pub (which was nearly empty and not noisy at all) he woke up and was wide awake for almost all the meal.

He seems to cry a lot more when we’re out compared to when he’s at home for some reason. We take toys to distract him which works to a point, and DH sometimes puts him in the sling if he’s really crying, which does help him fall asleep but also means that DH struggles to eat (as soon as he sits down DS wakes up again!)

Is this normal for 4 months or are we just unlucky? And when does it get easier to take babies or young children out for meals? Part of me just thinks I’d rather stay home until he’s older and avoid the stress if I’m honest!

OP’s posts: |
Mustardbay Sun 16-Aug-20 18:02:37

At 2 it's much worse sad

beela Sun 16-Aug-20 18:04:02

It will get worse before it gets better. Sorry.

HeyBlaby Sun 16-Aug-20 18:04:15

Ups and downs but at 4 he has settled and is easy. He was also good when he started solids as he would entertain himself with that (the mess wasn't so nice...)

Mamabeemer Sun 16-Aug-20 18:04:48

Age 4

LittleBearPad Sun 16-Aug-20 18:06:37

At 6 months when they can sit up it’s potentially better depending on their mood as they can eat. It’s messier certainly.

negomi90 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:07:56

Its going to get worse when he's mobile and cries because he can't crawl/walk around.
Then worse again when he's a toddler and is hungry but can't wait for the food or for all the waiting.
It doesn't get easier until he's old enough to be reliably entertained with phone/drawing/games.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 16-Aug-20 18:08:48

When he's a bit older, you'll be able to get a babysitter grin Actually not joking. We generally didn't bother taking DS to restaurants with us till he was 4, and even then it was fraught because he always needed a massive shite halfway through. Always. That ended at around age.... 6? Now at 8 he's (mostly) a joy to eat out with.

allfalldown47 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:09:47

For other people's sake I actively avoided eating out, until both dc could be trusted to not ruin mine (someone else's!) meal out!

SnackBitch2020 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:10:09

My daughter is nearly 4 and I'd say it's been alright in the last year or so! Used to dread going out for meals with her before that (sorry)!

atvh Sun 16-Aug-20 18:10:41

Aged 4 - really? At the pub there was a family near to us with a child in a highchair. He must have been about 12-15 months and seemed to be very happily eating and entertaining himself with minimal fuss while DS was crying. I could only look on in envy!

I wish we could just stay home, but DH thinks it’s important to get baby used to these environments. Does it really make any difference at 4 months though? confused

OP’s posts: |
doadeer Sun 16-Aug-20 18:10:50

Oh goodness I found this age far easier than mine now at 19m when he can only sit for a few minutes. At least when he was little I could just sit feeding him quietly. Now he would be trying to bang the cutlery into the table and pull everything off 🤪

Mummyofboys88 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:10:51

4 definitely for me too. I have a 5 and almost 3 year old now. Getting a bit better with the youngest, but at 4, for us it was very easy (with my eldest anyway!)

ExplodingCarrots Sun 16-Aug-20 18:11:24

Yeah I'm afraid it gets worse before it gets better. Age 4 is when I knew I could trust DD to sit nicely without a fuss.
When she was 6 months she shrieked so loud once she made the whole restaurant jump 🙈 she was just excited to eat all the yummy food. Then once when she was 2 she decided to throw a massive tantrum out of nowhere. Thank god the waitress understood and popped us in the small bar area and put CBeebies on for her.

edgeware Sun 16-Aug-20 18:12:12

Oh I’ve always taken DS. It gets easier when they eat themselves, but then they have a short attention span. He’s 2.5 now and we go often. It’s fine if you don’t expect them to sit still for hours!

trilbydoll Sun 16-Aug-20 18:12:34

Depends if you get a toddler who is happy to colour at the table. My two were so as soon as they could do that it was fine (12m probably) but if you get one who just wants to be moving all the time it'll be a bit later!

SparkyBlue Sun 16-Aug-20 18:12:51

You get a sweet spot at about six or seven months when the high chair and food is still a novelty and they enjoy looking around them. Then it all goes to shit again I'm afraid.

Feralkidsatthecampsite Sun 16-Aug-20 18:13:00

Really crying babies need taken out of the restaurant imo.

Incrediblytired Sun 16-Aug-20 18:13:01

To be honest... it doesn’t for a long time.

You only see people with very content babies (who sleep all the time) eating out. You don’t see the hoards of people with fractious babies eating out because they can’t bear to put themselves through it...

atvh Sun 16-Aug-20 18:14:49

You get a sweet spot at about six or seven months when the high chair and food is still a novelty and they enjoy looking around them.

I did try sitting DS on my knee, but he doesn’t really seem interested in looking around and watching the world go by. Is he just too young for that?

OP’s posts: |
Bringmewineandcake Sun 16-Aug-20 18:15:11

The only easy time taking a baby / young child out to a restaurant is when they're a newborn, sorry! It's going to be hard work for a fair few years now.

runningonemptyfulloflove Sun 16-Aug-20 18:16:27

It'll get worse before it get better, in terms of ease for you. Few more months and you can eat with both hands rather than hold baby, but baby will get bored in high chair and some be old enough to colour in for an hour or whatever. You have to change your places you eat really. I eat out a lot with my 19 month old, but majority of the time they are really kid friendly places, some have small play areas for them etc. Just my opinion.

GinWithASplashOfTonic Sun 16-Aug-20 18:19:29

For the sanity of yourself and fellow dinners at least 4 years old. And even then that discretional to the type of restaurant and how long the dc can sit still for and if they can be occupied with colouring etc.

I know if kids who were nightmares in restaurant until at least they were 8.

beela Sun 16-Aug-20 18:30:17

Even when they do get to 4ish, it's not that relaxing. Eating is usually pretty functional for most children. Why would you linger over it when you could get it over and done with and get back to playing?

HoneyBee03 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:30:21

I found that after 6 months it was impossible to take DS out to a restaurant. He's now 2 and we recently took him for lunch at a family pub and it was okay. We took his little cars and a sticker book and I spent most of the time making sure he was distracted by it. I imagine we're a good few years away from taking him to a restaurant and actually having a nice time!

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