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To be fed up when friends with small babies want to go to the pub when it’s a nightmare for me with a busy toddler?

124 replies

Blossom321 · 28/10/2018 05:59

Anyone else feel the same? DD is 22 months, very busy, doesn’t want to sit long in a high chair when out (sticker books do the trick for a limited time), loves the park/swings/soft play etc.
DH and I often feel like we don’t see our friends enough since having her, but most of them now have babies too so things are getting better.

However, their babies are under a year and still happy to sit on a lap / high chair for hours whilst everyone else has a drink and a catch up.

We try and suggest something which we can enjoy, eg walk, grab coffee and park (so DD can safely burn off steam whilst we catch up); but all anyone wants to do is go to a pub. Not toddler friendly AT ALL. DH and I end up tag teaming whilst she explores the pub, don’t get a chance to properly chat to anyone or finish a drink and always leave feeling a bit miffed and that it was a total waste of time and not the best environment for a happy but active toddler.

AIBU to be pissed off at endless suggestions of Saturday afternoons at the pub with babies? Or do we just wait for their babies to hit toddlerhood so they “get it” too? Yes, their kids are younger (9mos etc) so we should try and fit in with them but a toddler is much more work out and about. I’m also 35 weeks pregnant and chasing her around isn’t easy.

Rant over.

OP posts:

AjasLipstick · 28/10/2018 06:55

I find it weird that people with small babies and toddlers think it's ok to sit in the pub drinking for hours WITH the children!


IsTheRainEverComingBack · 28/10/2018 06:56

Say something to your friends! Maybe they’re just being a bit clueless. I don’t have kids yet but many of my friends too, I’ve been hanging out with them in parks and their gardens for years because even as a not-yet-parent I know long pub lunches aren’t fun for toddlers or their parents! Saying that I have one two year old niece who will sit through pub lunches if we’re out for an occasion and another who will be all over the place and need constant walking to keep busy (different parents) Some kids can do this, so maybe they know some of the ones that can. Tell them this is no fun for you, and will be even less fun once you have a small baby as well, say you want to see them but really need a more child friendly venue. Good friends should be understanding.


IsTheRainEverComingBack · 28/10/2018 06:58

Also - agree - pubs not really a place for kids, unless obviously more family ones and you’re there for a meal.


EssentialHummus · 28/10/2018 07:00

You’ll get your own back in about three months OP Grin. Until then take turns with DH?


Devillanelle · 28/10/2018 07:01

Even soft play is crap with a toddler that age because they won't be contained in the baby bit but are too little for the bigger kids bit and there's always massive eight year olds charging about.

What 22 month old and 9 month old children share is that they're perfectly content in the house playing with toys, so it's time to start meeting at home for a while.


VladmirsPoutine · 28/10/2018 07:02

I'm surprised they all have babies that are happy to sit on laps or high chairs for hours. Where does one order such a baby?


user1471426142 · 28/10/2018 07:06

Can you suggest a garden centre with cafe instead? This has worked well for my group of friends as the toddlers can go wandering and quite often there is play equipment and the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed.

My little one is really good in restaurants generally but normally needs a little walk between courses. Busy venues aren’t ideal for this whether pub, restaurant, cafe. Bizarrely, she’s always been impeccably behaved in slightly posher places but she’s been at her worst in pubs. No idea why really! timing is also important. We’re much more likely to have a nice meal out at early evening than lunch time unless we arrive before 12 because my toddler needs her post lunchtime nap or she gets v grumpy.


LynetteScavo · 28/10/2018 07:06

I also think inviting them to yours is the solution. I had a very active fact he wasn't happy being still even as a baby, and the solution to socialising with him was to invite people to my toddler proofed home.


nowifi · 28/10/2018 07:10

Yes only pubs I go to now have soft play attached, pretty soul destroying Grin


mumto2babyboys · 28/10/2018 07:11

I feel your pain. Can't wait until mine are older 3 and 2.5 and are able to sit and hopefully behave themselves


Ifoundanacorn · 28/10/2018 07:11

I second inviting them to your house. Or dropping the pub idea until you feel more comfortable (or they catch up) I wouldn't want to take my dc to a pub anyway unless it was the family version and they tend to have playgrounds you can use etc.


shearwater · 28/10/2018 07:12

Penisbeakers - You've reminded me that by far the worst, most disruptive behaviour in pubs is conducted by drunken entitled adults. Anything from groups of drunken people being loud, lairy and intimidating, to sexual assault and fighting. Spoils the night a lot more than toddler or baby noise. I'd rather have most pubs as a family-friendly environment with food as people tend to behave better. People shouldn't be getting plastered to any point where it makes them antisocial to any degree, regardless of whether children are present.


crimson72 · 28/10/2018 07:20

“Why would anyone take their child- baby or toddler- to regularly spend Saturday afternoon in a pub? People really do this?”

I’d hazard a guess that you don’t live in London then. Half the tables (if not more) when I go out for Sunday lunch at my local pubs in zone 2/3 are made up of families with babies, toddlers and young children.


penisbeakers · 28/10/2018 07:23

@shearwater yes there are arses that disrupt like that, but it's an adult arena + booze, so boozed up folks are going to be arses. It's no place for children.

I don't hang out in pubs because I'm not a fan of that behaviour either, but even if I was, kids don't belong in pubs, unless like I said it's a pub as part of a family restaurant.


shearwater · 28/10/2018 07:28

Most pubs are eating places and so suitable for families though, unless they specifically say they aren't. I'm assuming the OP isn't talking about a table-free stand up and drink until you fall down place which doesn't serve food, or some kind of hostile to women and outsiders old man's local with sawdust on the floor and spitoons.


Treacletoots · 28/10/2018 07:33

I can see both sides. It's pretty crap for little babies at Play centres, parks etc and that would involve more work for your friends with the little ones. I guess you're in the minority? You could always negotite a 50/50 where it's pub one time, play centre the next? I have a 22 month old too so totally feel your pain, although she will sit nicely for quite a while with books or toys or simply being chatted to?


Miscible · 28/10/2018 07:35

When I see posts like shoxfordian's, I think it's time for a new ODGUD acronym - Oh, do grow up, dear.


felicityy · 28/10/2018 07:35

You need to be honest with them, as hard as it is for you they will likely be blind to it now, and will only see where you are coming from when their children are older, just say would anyone mind if we met up I'm X cafe as its so hard to catch up with you running around after DD.

They might think you are a bit annoying now but will understand in a year!

Yes, their kids are younger (9mos etc) so we should try and fit in with them for what it's worth I found these days easier, they have less of a "routine" generally and are quite happy with milk and a nibble of your food in a high chair.


Feb2018mumma · 28/10/2018 07:38

I find soft play or parks difficult, have a 8 month old and he is too small for it all so when we go I am left trying to stop him climbing on things he's too small for and getting in the way of older kids. I think the way you find pubs hard your friends would find toddler activities hard? Hopefully it will get easier for you soon


Creepyexgirlfriend · 28/10/2018 07:39

Inviting them to yours would be the obvious solution.

This would be my suggestion too. And agree, in a few months it will all change. Unfortunately it's one of those annoying parts of having kids. Perhaps you could go on your own one time and swap with your partner?


Shoxfordian · 28/10/2018 07:43

I need to grow up for not letting my kids run around in a pub? Ah ok, my mistake. Toddlers should be able to run around freely in pubs. Silly of me.

Maybe we need another acronym
Tsap, try some actual parenting


TheDayMyButtWentPsycho · 28/10/2018 07:44

We're pub fans, all my friends are pub fans as well.

One of three things is an option IMO.
1, only go when the weather is good enough to sit out in the garden. A closed in garden where the toddler can take toys and have a little run around with a bit more space.
2, go to a family friendly pub. Compromise (your friends need to) we have a pub where the upstairs as a big toy section and the downstairs bit is clearly for adults.
3, just avoid altogether until your LO is 3+
and you have more arsenal to keep the toddler happy (sticker books etc will work better for longer when she's older).

I feel your pain! Our kids are older now and we love a nice roast at the pub or a coffee on Saturday morning.

I'm 7 months pregnant so will be going through this all again 😂


penisbeakers · 28/10/2018 07:46

@shearwater i dunno - tons of pubs aren't attached to restaurants, and some will even deny the entry of kids altogether, which serves to highlight the issue. If I were (as unlikely as it would be) to be IN a pub, i wouldn't really want to have to watch my language, or worry about being overly jovial on the off-chance that someone might wander in with a halfling or two. This isn't to say I'm a noisy gobshite, but when I'm drinking with mates, I'm not going to curb my language. In a place where booze is served and adults are going to be served as the majority, I don't want to have to worry. It would drive me away.


Needallthesleep · 28/10/2018 07:46

We have a very busy, crawling ten month old who won't sit still, so I totally appreciate your problem. We have scoped out pubs where there is at least a small area that our baby can crawl up and down without disturbing other people, or kid friendly places where others tend to have young children and so totally understand. We are in zone 3 London though so have had the same experience as a pp that most others in pubs have babies and toddlers too!


MimiSunshine · 28/10/2018 07:47

Of course your friends don’t get it. Hand on heart did you at the same stage, or had even given it a second thought?

We used to take our under 1 year old out all the time and she was great, people commented on how well behaved she was and I’ll admit I felt proud probably a bit smug too
Now I look back and think of course she was well behaved, she was 6mths old, couldnt move and was breastfed so easily and quickly soothed.

Now she’s 2 and we don’t go out anywhere near as much, when we do we take half of all her toys with us as distraction techniques and aim not to linger.

We were at a wedding recently (we were child free 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻) on a table with a couple and their little baby, people were congratulating the couple on their well behaved little baby (who just slept and fed) and I could see us in them and their proudness.
Obviously we didn’t say anything to them but to each other, we were like they have no idea what’s coming 😂

Just be honest and tell your friends that the pub does t work for you, suggest a local park type place that has a decent cafe and suggest meeting up for an autumn walk to tire out your toddler then some lunch or hot chocolate and cake in the cafe.
If your friends still won’t agree then you just have shitty friends.

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