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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 09:40

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

And why the fuck not prey, tell.


PinkHeart5914 · 28/10/2018 09:40

Pubs aren’t for babies/toddlers. So many other places to take children but no some parents choose the pub. Not a fan at all of dc in pubs!

Why can’t you all meet up in a restaurant? You can all have food and drink, take the dc some colouring or an iPad (absolutely must be sound off) and your dc will be distracted with food for a while too. I’ve got 3 dc and find restaurants a good way of still seeing my friends.

Invite them to yours?
Invite them on a day out? Sea life centre, zoo are good choices with young dc


TheDayMyButtWentPsycho · 28/10/2018 09:40



blueskiesandforests · 28/10/2018 09:45

Pinkheart why are pubs off limits but restaurants fine? Some family chain pubs are vastly more child appropriate than most restaurants! If a pub is unsuitable for socialising with toddlers (as it probably is unless its got a play area or a garden in summer) so is a restaurant!


53rdWay · 28/10/2018 09:49

Restaurants serve more expensive booze so the toddlers are less likely to get hammered?


BlaaBlaaBlaa · 28/10/2018 09:55

Haha I love posts like this. All the judgy pants out becauseshock, horror some people choose to take their kids to the pub! And even worse ...drink alcohol in front of them!!

We've been doing this since DS was a newborn and there is nothing wrong with it as long as the pub is happy and children are kept under control. It's even better if there happens to be a band on. My son is really interested in music and performing and it's definitely due to the fact to go and see bands regularly.

OP ....I feel your pain. It can be tough with a toddler. We have a group that gets together regularly in the pub but it has got difficult recently as a few of the kids are toddlers and not content with sitting quietly for very long. We've started going to each others houses instead. We take it in turns to host .....adults can all sit around and have a drink and a catch up and the kids get to play. It's far less stressful! Could that be a solution for a while?


BlaaBlaaBlaa · 28/10/2018 09:57

@pinkheart restaurants are 100% more hard work with toddlers....


blueskiesandforests · 28/10/2018 09:57

53rdWay Grin


BlaaBlaaBlaa · 28/10/2018 09:58

@thehop why not?


Montsti · 28/10/2018 10:01

I would say something, but I’ve got 4 young kids and we’ve always taken them out for meals etc..and not had any major issues. Pub garden, colouring, iPads, quiet table games etc...

I wouldn’t let them run around...and would tell them off or remove them from the restaurant if they were behaving badly/ruining other people’s meals etc...

I suppose all children are different...things might change for you in a year and you’ll be happy to go to pubs with your child...


SpottingTheZebras · 28/10/2018 10:03

We used to have this issue with PIL because they would want to meet up half way for lunch. The best thing I can advise is to do something really exhausting in the morning and either your DC will be tired over lunch so more inclined to sit still or else (if they do still) they can nap in the pram whilst you eat.


GrabEmByThePatriarchy · 28/10/2018 10:05

If you're not a fan of babies and toddlers in pubs pinkheart, go to one that's childfree. There are pubs that want the custom of families and families that want to go, so mind out of the way of other people's mutually beneficial commercial arrangements.

On another point, I'm interested but not surprised to hear this is particularly common in London. I'd imagine because of the housing situation, more and more families with babies and toddlers simply don't have accommodation large enough to hold a group of friends and kids for a get together. I'm in the north, and we definitely moved towards socialising in houses once the babies got mobile and disinclined to sit still... but the key word there is houses. Harder when you're in a shoebox!


ferrier · 28/10/2018 10:05

Pub lunches are great for families with small children. We used to do it all the time. The trick is to choose a pub with decent kiddie facilities like a play area, to slowly train your child to sit in a high chair for longer, but to not expect to be there all afternoon either!


seven201 · 28/10/2018 10:05

I feel your pain! I have two different sets of friends where the other kids are a year younger. I'm a bit more 'that won't for us' or I'll have to leave dd at home as she won't stay in a pub for more than half an hour. The friends say things like "she'll be fine and we'll help" but it's just so far from relaxing. I hate it. I usually go with leaving dd with dh. It sounds like your friends are more joint friends though so that's harder. Pubs with a good soft play corner (rare)? Garden centre that has a good toy corner plus serves alcohol?


blueskiesandforests · 28/10/2018 10:13

They aren't goung for a pub meal people!

They are spending Saturday afternoons drinking and chatting - not a toddler friendly lunch then leave soon after finishing eating.


EK36 · 28/10/2018 10:19

Yes I got fed up with old friends of mine doing a similar thing. I resented going as I had not been part of a conversation nor finished my drink. It was a huge waste of time. Maybe give it a break until their little ones start toddler stage, then suggest more appropriate places to go. As they'll get it then.


BlaaBlaaBlaa · 28/10/2018 10:24

@blueskies and why is that a problem?


blueskiesandforests · 28/10/2018 10:32

@BlaaBlaaBlaa because a lot of people are talking about pub lunches. Pub lunches are very different from sitting in a pub with toddlers without eating, especially if the pub doesn't have play equipment or a garden.


gamerwidow · 28/10/2018 10:36

It’s much harder to entertain a toddler having drinks in a pub then it is to entertain a toddler while sitting at a table having lunch in a pub.


BlaaBlaaBlaa · 28/10/2018 10:39

Not necessarily. We regularly go to pubs that don't have a play center, toys or a garden. We check with the landlords that they're happy to have kids in but half the pubs in my village would shut if kids weren't allowed in!

My DS loves going to the pub. He knows the staff and the regulars and is generally well behaved because it's somewhere we've always taken him.


anniehm · 28/10/2018 10:42

Each family is different - the places that are good for toddlers aren't necessarily good for babies anyway. Either be proactive and suggest meeting somewhere more suitable for you or politely say no. We have friends with all kinds of age children, you can never please all the people all the time. Is a sitter an option?


Oooooft · 28/10/2018 10:57

I can hand in heart say I would never even consider taking my child to any of the pubs near where I live! There is just not a child friendly pub scene here at all! People who go to pubs during the day in the pubs near me are definitely not the people you want your kids around!


gamerwidow · 28/10/2018 11:05

Yes a village pub is likely to be a community hub and child friendly an inner city pub not so much.


Sleeplikeasloth · 28/10/2018 11:26

It depends on the baby and toddler surely. We go out v regularly (mostly restaurants or pub meals) with our 18 mo, and it's fine. We've done it from a young age, and she's pretty chilled out. Even if the others aren't eating, the Op could get some food for her toddler, which would help.

It's also a very short term problem. The babies ill be walking very soon (my daughter was very much a toddler by 10 months), and so you'll very quickly find your interests more aligned again. Certainly by Christmas, some of their babies will have more in common with your toddler.


BlaaBlaaBlaa · 28/10/2018 11:33

Exactly @gamer which is why blanket statements and broad generalisations judging parents for taking their children into pubs are unhelpful and offensive.

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