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AIBU?

11 month old in restaurant

576 replies

Anoushkaka · 20/05/2023 14:00

So I know things have changed with parenting since I had my own children, youngest is now 11 but do some parents literally just let their kids to what they want?

Went for a meal yesterday with DH and our children. A couple come in with their baby and get seated near us. Highchair is brought over and they put him in but don't strap him in because he doesnt like to be strapped in, mother said this to waitress. They order food and literally plonk a bowl of mash, veg and gravy on the highchair for baby to eat. He puts his hands straight in and starts feeding himself with his hands, food is going everywhere, patents are looking at him and saying "what a great boy he is".

Baby literally has food everywhere, parents make a half hearted attempt to clean baby which results in an almighty tantrum and him nearly falling out of the highchair because he wasn't strapped in. Dessert comes and the same thing with a bowl of ice cream, its everywhere. They then give him a sippy cup that spills all over him because obviously its not one for his age group.

He screams to get out of highchair, father takes him out and let's him bang cutlery on the table, pull soil from a nearby plant pot and again spill water everywhere. All the parents kept saying to staff was ,"oh sorry, he is just so independent and clever for his age".

I was appalled to be honest. I spoke to my friend who is a childminder and stressed that yes unfortunately a lot of parents are now like this.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1089 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
34%
You are NOT being unreasonable
66%
MontyPyth0n · 20/05/2023 14:01

Mind your own business maybe?

InchHighPrivateI · 20/05/2023 14:03

A baby made a mess, you say?

YetAnotherSpartacus · 20/05/2023 14:03

Mind your own business maybe?

The OP probably wants exactly this but given the circumstances and atrocious 'parenting' this is nigh impossible.

Sussexcricket · 20/05/2023 14:06

Babies eat messily and spoon feeding isn't as common now 🤷‍♀️

WaitingfortheTardis · 20/05/2023 14:07

At least they didn't get a tablet/phone out for him, that's something I see regularly now, usually with sound on and no headphones.

Anoushkaka · 20/05/2023 14:07

It was hard not to notice. Babies make mess but surely it's lazy parenting to just let an 11 month old feed themselves so you can't enjoy your own meal. I doubt he even got any in his mouth.

OP posts:
overitunderit · 20/05/2023 14:07

I don't get the issue? Babies are messy. You sound very judgmental.

Betterbear · 20/05/2023 14:08

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7Worfs · 20/05/2023 14:08

I have a baby and he is spoon-fed in restaurants to avoid mess. Regular gurgling is fine, but if he starts crying we take him outside for a bit or head home.

I’ll tell you what’s more annoying though - parents who have never explained to their 3+ yo that we speak quietly and don’t roam in restaurants.

SarahAndQuack · 20/05/2023 14:09

I think that sounds a bit excessive TBH. Taking the baby to a restaurant, fine; not strapping him in; fine, baby eating messily, possibly ok. But most people would clear up properly and I think if a baby is screaming the house down you do take them out, don't you?

MuffinToSeeHere · 20/05/2023 14:09

Anoushkaka · 20/05/2023 14:07

It was hard not to notice. Babies make mess but surely it's lazy parenting to just let an 11 month old feed themselves so you can't enjoy your own meal. I doubt he even got any in his mouth.

You've never heard of baby led weaning?

Babies make a mess and he's just as entitled to be there as you were.

WaitingfortheTardis · 20/05/2023 14:09

It was also a safety issue not to strap him in, which is clearly not sensible.

Anoushkaka · 20/05/2023 14:09

It's the eating with his hands the whole time thsti don't understand. Fair enough if it was finger food but mash, gravy and ice-cream?? Then pulling soil from the plant and parents just sat there and watched him all proud because according to them he is so clever and needs to explore.

OP posts:
sparepantsandtoothbrush · 20/05/2023 14:10

Mine are older teens now OP and I would judge what you've described. But going by the other comments I assume it's common and apparently expected for this to happen these days

7Worfs · 20/05/2023 14:11

MuffinToSeeHere · 20/05/2023 14:09

You've never heard of baby led weaning?

Babies make a mess and he's just as entitled to be there as you were.

Lol.
I am baby-led weaning and wouldn’t even occur to me to inflict that on people in public!

HopesMama32 · 20/05/2023 14:11

Anoushkaka · 20/05/2023 14:09

It's the eating with his hands the whole time thsti don't understand. Fair enough if it was finger food but mash, gravy and ice-cream?? Then pulling soil from the plant and parents just sat there and watched him all proud because according to them he is so clever and needs to explore.

It's called baby led weaning....

LongRoadtoNowhere · 20/05/2023 14:11

My DS is nearly 2 now but refused any food we tried to give him on a spoon and did make a lot of mess at mealtimes. We chose not to do restaurants often for this reason, or to give him less messy foods like nuggets / chips / veg because the clean up was such a faff in public - it was hard to clean it all up entirely and we didn’t want to leave it for the staff.

I don’t think it’s fair to say letting a child feed itself is lazy parenting at all - it’s just BLW. A totally normal (and encouraged) part of growing up.

Personally wouldn’t have done that myself with an 11 month old but don’t really give a shit what other parents do as long as they clean up after.

Emjay91 · 20/05/2023 14:12

We’ve done baby led weaning with both of our kids so we have never spoon fed them. They get a spoon and we would load it for them but often they would use their hands. They wouldn’t be screaming and we always cleaned up everything, including the floor if needed as best as we could with wipes. I hate when people leave a huge mess for someone else to clean up.

Also we often don’t strap them into high chairs as it was recommended to us incase they choke - those 10-15 seconds to unbuckle could be the difference between life or death in that situation. We would never leave them though and always right with them.

wintersprung · 20/05/2023 14:12

You're not wrong IMO. If you take a messy child out in public it's your responsibility to clean up after it. It shouldn't have to fall on restaurant staff and it shouldn't affect other patrons. Your desire to take a baby to a restaurant doesn't trump common decency or the rights of others to enjoy their meal in peace.

Unfortunately some people just aren't kind parents. It can be pretty easy to have a child, but it's far less easy to actually parent it.

PinkButtercups · 20/05/2023 14:13

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MuffinToSeeHere · 20/05/2023 14:13

7Worfs · 20/05/2023 14:11

Lol.
I am baby-led weaning and wouldn’t even occur to me to inflict that on people in public!

Which is fine but that doesn't mean others are then wrong for going out in public to eat with their child.

Some babies like to use their hands. Yes it makes a mess but then so do many adults and at least the babies don't know any better.

comfyshoes2022 · 20/05/2023 14:14

I’m not bothered by a baby eating with his hands and creating somewhat of a mess at a restaurant, provided that the parents thoroughly clean up the table and (if needed) high chair and floor at the end of the meal. Eating with hands while the meal is ongoing seems harmless, and I don’t see why it would affect someone at another table.

The plant and screaming are bad.

Shopper727 · 20/05/2023 14:15

Baby led weaning is one thing but this sounds like another, I would perhaps encourage them to eat gravy and mash at home but give bite size foods out and about. I wouldn’t want covered in whatever he’d covered himself in and having to clean him up. And no babies don’t like being strapped in but sometimes it’s for their own good. This does sound a bit like they do what is easiest but it’s not how I parent, or most people but you don’t have to deal with it op so I’d have finished my meal and left happy I didn’t have to clean up said child and deal with that every time I’m out.

Maddy70 · 20/05/2023 14:16

Baby's should be spoon fed in a restaurant. It's unfair on the staff and nearby customers to get splattered in food

Jumbojem · 20/05/2023 14:17

This sounds like classic rose tinted glasses "never happened in my day, parenting these days is atrocious". My youngest is 14, wouldn't have been unusual even back then. Can't believe OP felt the need to come home and make a post about this!

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