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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:

TheDayMyButtWentPsycho · 28/10/2018 07:47

“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.

Or Brighton, where I am!
And for a very family friendly city, there's very few family friendly pubs.
But pubs will always be full of family's on Sunday.
Pubs in the surrounding areas are far more family friendly, some have play parks in the gardens.
You need to shop around OP.


LotsToThinkOf · 28/10/2018 08:00

I'd explain to them, they might be more accommodating than you think. They might have noticed that you struggle but don't feel it's their place to say anything.


blueskiesandforests · 28/10/2018 08:01

Yep, obvious compromise is a pub with play equipment in the garden (although going into winter that will still be problematic as your friends will want to sit inside snd you'll be inthe garden watching your DD) or the ones people are talking about with soft play.

Taking a 2 year old to a pub which isn't one of the out and out family ones only works for a meal - and not a long leisurely one, but literally one course and expect to leave immediately. I do also find it surprising that 9 month olds are so placid - one maybe, but a whole group is surprising. All my kids were crawling or in one case walking at 9 months, the cuddly on your lap for hours not doing much except looking around phase was certainly over by about 6 months.


MaggieAndHopey · 28/10/2018 08:12

I absolutely hated socialising with friends and our tiny children in pubs/restaurants. Now mine are older (8 and 11) I've started to relax and sometimes even enjoy myself but at that age it was total purgatory. I feels ya.


BlahBlahRidiculous · 28/10/2018 08:14

I have the opposite issue with one of my friends. My bub is 9 months, hers is 13 months. She messaged the other day and said we can only meet up at her place now as her bub is too active to go out. And it needs to be her place because she can't relax at other people's homes.
I was a bit miffed, I enjoy going out for a coffee. Going to hers would be alright sometimes, but I'm always going to her place.


Looneytune253 · 28/10/2018 08:21

With respect though surely you’ll be exactly the same in a park or coffee place and you’ll have to be running round after your lo so you’ll be in a less favourable position. Why not have play dates at houses?


timeisnotaline · 28/10/2018 08:24

Don’t say anything. It’s a short phase and only happens with your first , let them enjoy the pub. They will be running around the park soon. I look back on being able to do those things with one as blissful, im glad friends didn’t think we shouldn’t get to enjoy still being able to go out with a baby because their child was a little older. It will all even up soon.


MicroManaged · 28/10/2018 08:29

Just wait it out op...those with 9 month babies are enjoying their last couple of months of this quiet time.

Pretty soon they’ll be harassed in a park and running after the every step of their 20 odd month old when your three year old plays independently near you Grin


IncomingCannonFire · 28/10/2018 08:32

I'm quite jealous of all these babies that will happily sit in high chairs for hours. Mine would be crying to get out. Or trying to crawl off and eat something disgusting on the floor.
As toddlers they would have been off out the door and complaining loudly. Only now at 4yo can I keep the eldest quiet with a screen.
Dont get me wrong I can take them to cafés or for a pub roast and they sit and wait nicely for their food, at a meal time, but they would not sit while I tried to have a leisurely drink and chat.
However, it's important to try and make an effort. All our friendships have melted away.
We used to do an evening games night when the kids were in bed but no-one seemed to reciprocate. Sad


BlahBlahRidiculous · 28/10/2018 08:33

Exactly MicroManaged, I just want to have coffee out while I can...


blueskiesandforests · 28/10/2018 08:41

Blahblah that's the point though - while you can. That time has passed for your friend for the moment. Have your coffee out with someone else.


LittleBearPad · 28/10/2018 08:43

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.

The only reason many pubs make money is through food. The majority aren’t going to send families who will spend money away. Spit and sawdust pubs might not let children in but it’s highly unlikely that’s where OP is going.


BackBoiler · 28/10/2018 08:52

We take turns at each others houses for drinks and takeway/nibbles. Kids go upstairs to play if they get bored downstairs although I do get a little disco going in the dining room with music and disco ball Grin


Thehop · 28/10/2018 08:54

None of you should spend afternoons in pubs with babies or toddlers.


Ilikeviognier · 28/10/2018 08:54

Totally get this. I would ditch the pub- just doesn’t work with toddlers unless there’s an in built soft play- which you could try if you can find one?

Your friends will get it soon enough - just hang on a few months!


BackBoiler · 28/10/2018 08:55

I know that wouldnt work for yours but I am guessing you all have toys downstairs


BlahBlahRidiculous · 28/10/2018 09:01

blueskiesandforests, dont mind doing what suits her - just not all the time.


museumum · 28/10/2018 09:02

You’re going to need to compromise cause taking a baby who can’t walk to a play park is pretty shit too.


kaytee87 · 28/10/2018 09:03

@museumum if the babies are happy to sit in a high chair for hours, I'd hazard a guess that they would be happy to sit in their pram with the occasional push on a swing.


TeachesOfPeaches · 28/10/2018 09:24

I hate taking my almost 3 year old to cafes and pubs so I don't go. I suggest meeting at playgroups, parks, museums etc and if they want to go then great.


gamerwidow · 28/10/2018 09:28

I understand why you don’t want to go but taking a baby to a park is pretty rubbish because they can’t do anything yet and it needs a lot more input as a parent than plonking them in a high chair. See your friends without the kids for now and wait for them to catch up.


Ghanagirl · 28/10/2018 09:34

FFS always one idiot🤷🏾‍♀️


confusedofengland · 28/10/2018 09:34

Can you take a bag of toys & snacks with you? At a similar age to yours, all my DC could be entertained by this for at least an hour or so. The younger 2 in particular had to sit through lots of meetings at school, so this was a valuable piece of kit for me! Contents included books, sticker book, crayons & paper, baby mobile phone, links, toy cars, breadsticks, raisins etc. Then wheel out iPad if desperate!


tenorladybeaker · 28/10/2018 09:35

You need to do some proper research to find a toddler-friendly pub. Our nearest pub is a nasty sky-sports temple. Our second nearest is a gastropub which isn't suitable for under age 7. Our third nearest is toddler-heaven with a whole room full of nice sofas and a huge play box full of toddler toys. We spend whole days there when DC younger but now it's a bit babyish and we go to the posher one with some boardgames brought from home. There are a huge variety of pubs and it's ridiculous to make a blanket statement that pubs aren't toddler friendly. You just haven't found the right one yet.


53rdWay · 28/10/2018 09:39

None of you should spend afternoons in pubs with babies or toddlers.

If these are pubs that have high chairs, I'm guessing that like many pubs now a lot of their business has moved to food and family lunches. Pubs have changed a lot over the past 20-30 years.

YANBU, OP. But your friends will be with you on the toddler-wrangling front soon enough and know the hell of soft play along with the rest of us.

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