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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%
Parker231 · 21/05/2023 18:30

SouthLondonMum22 · 21/05/2023 18:23

Is there lots of research? All I can find is anecdotal evidence.

The NHS also has no mention of traditional weaning causing developmental delays or fussy eating. In fact, they outright say that there is no right or wrong way when it comes to weaning.

Your baby's first solid foods - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

DT’s were spoon fed jars and pouches. No delays in anything - healthy with no food dislikes.

SamW98 · 21/05/2023 18:30

fitzwilliamdarcy · 21/05/2023 18:23

@StampOnTheGround No, but you can take them outside until they stop. The restaurant having highchairs doesn’t mean it’s exclusively for those with babies and it’s tough luck for everyone else’s experience.

Absolutely. Surely any decent parent with manners would remove a screaming child and have respect for other diners? It’s an absolute no brainier imo

SouthLondonMum22 · 21/05/2023 18:31

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:28

Imagine a winters day, feeling like you had to take your baby outside because they were being a baby. What a dumb comment.

If it's winter, they will be dressed appropriately. Going outside for a few minutes isn't going to kill them.

fitzwilliamdarcy · 21/05/2023 18:33

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:28

Imagine a winters day, feeling like you had to take your baby outside because they were being a baby. What a dumb comment.

Imagine having a disability that makes high pitched noise in an enclosed space physically painful. I don’t go to restaurants much because for some reason parents seem to think their children will melt in the rain or explode in the cold.

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:34

MN at its finest, bashing other parents - sure you'd all act differently if it was you in some of these positions.

I 100% agree parents should be cleaning up any mess and yes if a screaming child was literally doing it for ages then move them, but it sounds like the moment a baby even whimpers you'd all have them banished outside.

Also to clarify, this thread has no relevance to me personally before I'm accused of having any babies being described here 😂

GingerCoi · 21/05/2023 18:35

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:19

I don't think you can control a baby screaming though can you? It's just tough luck, if a restaurant has high chairs, they welcome babies and these babies don't always play by our rules. Also baby led weaning is very popular, although I agree that the parents should clean up the floor and not leave it to restaurant staff.

Aaaand here's the problem: this restaurant is "family-friendly" therefore my child can scream continually, run amok, throw food, throw soil, hell, throw whatever they like, and I'll look on indulgently (if I look at all!) and enjoy my meal, safe in the knowledge that any and all disturbance to other diners is FINE, because, after all, this restaurant is family-friendly. 🙄

No, you can't stop a baby screaming or doing all the other things that babies do, but what responsible, considerate, effective parents do is remove the baby when the noise / throwing / whatever starts to impinge on others.

Family-friendly = children are welcome, we understand they talk loudly sometimes and that they might spill a drink or whatever by mistake, but you're the parent, it's your job to monitor and ensure they don't do this to excess and disturb others.

Family-friendly does not equal free for all, children can scream as loud and as long as you like, run around, chuck food, disturb others.

Understand?

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:37

I've been out for food today and witnessed food throwing and crying from a lot of tables - the parents clearly didn't want them to behave like that but there isn't a lot to do, I wouldn't add to that stress by demanding they went outside.

L

Sorryyoufeelthatwayy · 21/05/2023 18:37

Screaming aside, Id rather see a messy baby than kids plugged into ipads at restaurants.

LolaSmiles · 21/05/2023 18:38

I 100% agree parents should be cleaning up any mess and yes if a screaming child was literally doing it for ages then move them, but it sounds like the moment a baby even whimpers you'd all have them banished outside.
Nothing people have said suggests that a baby whimpering should be banished outside.

Why on earth should people have to tolerate a screaming child for ages before a parent shows an ounce of common sense and consideration?

Pianono · 21/05/2023 18:39

Maybe restaurants could spell it out by borrowing most of the John Lewis dog policy and substituting [dog] with [child]...

Dogs must be well behaved, and carried or on a fixed lead. Customers must be in full control of their dogs at all times and are fully responsible for their dog’s behaviour. If a dog is disruptive or aggressive in anyway, we can ask the owner with their dog to leave the shop.

Before anyone takes offence, this is 😂

SouthLondonMum22 · 21/05/2023 18:41

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:34

MN at its finest, bashing other parents - sure you'd all act differently if it was you in some of these positions.

I 100% agree parents should be cleaning up any mess and yes if a screaming child was literally doing it for ages then move them, but it sounds like the moment a baby even whimpers you'd all have them banished outside.

Also to clarify, this thread has no relevance to me personally before I'm accused of having any babies being described here 😂

Well, no. There's a difference between screaming and some grumbling here and there, especially if you can see that the parents are well prepared with toys, snacks and are attempting to minimise their baby disturbing others.

There's a difference between that and just cooing about how special and clever your baby whilst they are loudly screaming.

SouthLondonMum22 · 21/05/2023 18:45

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:37

I've been out for food today and witnessed food throwing and crying from a lot of tables - the parents clearly didn't want them to behave like that but there isn't a lot to do, I wouldn't add to that stress by demanding they went outside.

L

There isn't a lot to do? Parents should just allow food throwing? Do they allow their children to throw food around their house too? I doubt it.

Violinist64 · 21/05/2023 18:56

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:37

I've been out for food today and witnessed food throwing and crying from a lot of tables - the parents clearly didn't want them to behave like that but there isn't a lot to do, I wouldn't add to that stress by demanding they went outside.

L

All I can say is that I am glad l wasn’t there.

ilovesooty · 21/05/2023 19:26

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:34

MN at its finest, bashing other parents - sure you'd all act differently if it was you in some of these positions.

I 100% agree parents should be cleaning up any mess and yes if a screaming child was literally doing it for ages then move them, but it sounds like the moment a baby even whimpers you'd all have them banished outside.

Also to clarify, this thread has no relevance to me personally before I'm accused of having any babies being described here 😂

Where did anyone say that a baby should be taken outside if it so much as whimpers?

PinkSparklyPussyCat · 21/05/2023 19:28

Nothingisblackandwhite · 21/05/2023 16:24

I certainly would not be this offended ! I have 3 kids ! I know they do all sorts . I traveled half of the world with mine , visited a lot of restaurants from posh restaurants to mc Donald’s . If people are bothered about a child crying ir making a mess stay home , just don’t expect others to do it simply because you hate kids

I'd be fucking fuming if some kid started pulling up my plants! They'd be asked to leave once the parents had repaired the damage. They wouldn't be throwing food around either but thankfully my friends are normal people who wouldn't allow that sort of behaviour.

letthemalldoone · 21/05/2023 19:53

LolaSmiles · 21/05/2023 18:38

I 100% agree parents should be cleaning up any mess and yes if a screaming child was literally doing it for ages then move them, but it sounds like the moment a baby even whimpers you'd all have them banished outside.
Nothing people have said suggests that a baby whimpering should be banished outside.

Why on earth should people have to tolerate a screaming child for ages before a parent shows an ounce of common sense and consideration?

Absolutely! You can try to distract them but if the screaming is prolonged, then the child needs to be removed from the situation. I was always able to manage it with mine, but then I'm old lol so what would I know?!!😜

Vintagejazzing · 21/05/2023 20:45

StampOnTheGround · 21/05/2023 18:19

I don't think you can control a baby screaming though can you? It's just tough luck, if a restaurant has high chairs, they welcome babies and these babies don't always play by our rules. Also baby led weaning is very popular, although I agree that the parents should clean up the floor and not leave it to restaurant staff.

This is exactly the attitude that causes problems. Parents thinking that because a restaurant supplies high chairs and changing facilities they can be as rude, noisy and inconsiderate as they like.
Many restaurants also allow you to charge your phones. Does that mean you can bellow and shout into your phone and disrupt everyone around you? Or if a restaurant serves wine people can get totally pissed and obnoxious? I think you might find exercising judgement, consideration and a bit of basic cop on is an important tool in dining out without annoying everyone else.

UWhatNow · 21/05/2023 23:48

“Nothing you can do”?
About your own child’s behaviour? 🙄

…poor kids having such ineffectual useless parents.

Chickenkeev · 21/05/2023 23:59

I feel like i'm going nuts like! Am totally not a judgy parent but you control your kids like. It's just good manners.

Frankola · 22/05/2023 06:47

@Anoushkaka Since you had your child BLW (Baby Led Weaning) has become a big thing. This encourages children to eat any and all foods and use their hands,if they like, to eat the food. The process is about eating independently rather than being spoon fed purees etc.

I'd hazard a guess this couple did BLW. But the point is, they cleaned up after him.

Kids make mess and noise. That's life. My only concern would have been the straps not being fastened.

Dazedandbemused0 · 22/05/2023 06:52

The one thing I don’t miss about the UK since moving abroad is this miserable unnecessary bloody attitude towards babies and young children that people like you have. I’ve never experienced in it any other country in the world - the idea that babies and children are nuisances who can spoil a strangers whole evening just by existing! Babies make a mess, they make noise … so? Don’t look? Are you so upset by other adults existing or is it only babies who piss you off? Babies and young children have every right to exist in spaces where adults are for goodness sake. If you don’t like their existence then you bloody stay in! Why should their parents?! It doesn’t sound like this parent did anything wrong except have a baby who behaved in a totally normal way for their age. YABVVVVVVU but then so are like half the UK population who have this shit attitude towards kids. HTH.

LolaSmiles · 22/05/2023 06:58

Dazedandbemused0
Who said anything about babies spoiling an evening by existing?

That's beats earlier claims in the thread that people think babies should be removed for whimpering, or simply hate children.

Babies will make a bit of a mess whilst they learn how to eat. They will make baby noises. That doesn't mean parents should order things that go everywhere, coo over how advanced and independent their child is and then watch on as their child pulls at plants and gets soil everywhere.

None of the above is about disliking babies. It's about finding some parents lack common sense and basic consideration for others.

🤷‍♀️

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 07:34

Dazedandbemused0 · 22/05/2023 06:52

The one thing I don’t miss about the UK since moving abroad is this miserable unnecessary bloody attitude towards babies and young children that people like you have. I’ve never experienced in it any other country in the world - the idea that babies and children are nuisances who can spoil a strangers whole evening just by existing! Babies make a mess, they make noise … so? Don’t look? Are you so upset by other adults existing or is it only babies who piss you off? Babies and young children have every right to exist in spaces where adults are for goodness sake. If you don’t like their existence then you bloody stay in! Why should their parents?! It doesn’t sound like this parent did anything wrong except have a baby who behaved in a totally normal way for their age. YABVVVVVVU but then so are like half the UK population who have this shit attitude towards kids. HTH.

The difference is that "abroad" parents teach their children how to actually behave in restaurants.

I live in France and the emphasis is on teaching children to eat like little adults very early on. We avoided taking my son to restaurants from when he was starting solids to when he was about 15 months old. Then we started slowly (in the UK actually) on a family holiday with my parents, in pubs with gardens. He was old enough to sit in a high chair and eat things like chips and chicken nuggets with his fingers, and we would give him a yoghurt which he's practised eating pretty much every day. When he got bored of sitting in his chair or on someone's lap, one of the adults would take him off for a walk round the garden.

He's now just turned two and if we go to a restaurant we rock up with his bib and his booster seat (because they don't always have high chairs) and he will sit and eat his food nicely with a spoon and fork. Talking is fine, shrieking absolutely is not. We don't tolerate throwing food. We don't actually tolerate throwing food at home either. All our friends' kids are the same. If one of them did start to misbehave their parents would take them outside for a bit.

The only time I see the kind of behaviour described in the OP in restaurants here in France, the parents are invariably speaking English.

Nothingisblackandwhite · 22/05/2023 08:43

Dazedandbemused0 · 22/05/2023 06:52

The one thing I don’t miss about the UK since moving abroad is this miserable unnecessary bloody attitude towards babies and young children that people like you have. I’ve never experienced in it any other country in the world - the idea that babies and children are nuisances who can spoil a strangers whole evening just by existing! Babies make a mess, they make noise … so? Don’t look? Are you so upset by other adults existing or is it only babies who piss you off? Babies and young children have every right to exist in spaces where adults are for goodness sake. If you don’t like their existence then you bloody stay in! Why should their parents?! It doesn’t sound like this parent did anything wrong except have a baby who behaved in a totally normal way for their age. YABVVVVVVU but then so are like half the UK population who have this shit attitude towards kids. HTH.

This ! 100% this .
other countries even have tills on shops for people with young children and pregnant women , children are given seats in public transport and made a part of daily life . Over here in the U.K. is like they are a burden ! I grew up in continental Europe and taught children were the most important member of society and should always be respected and protected . It seems that meme was lost here .

Nothingisblackandwhite · 22/05/2023 08:46

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 07:34

The difference is that "abroad" parents teach their children how to actually behave in restaurants.

I live in France and the emphasis is on teaching children to eat like little adults very early on. We avoided taking my son to restaurants from when he was starting solids to when he was about 15 months old. Then we started slowly (in the UK actually) on a family holiday with my parents, in pubs with gardens. He was old enough to sit in a high chair and eat things like chips and chicken nuggets with his fingers, and we would give him a yoghurt which he's practised eating pretty much every day. When he got bored of sitting in his chair or on someone's lap, one of the adults would take him off for a walk round the garden.

He's now just turned two and if we go to a restaurant we rock up with his bib and his booster seat (because they don't always have high chairs) and he will sit and eat his food nicely with a spoon and fork. Talking is fine, shrieking absolutely is not. We don't tolerate throwing food. We don't actually tolerate throwing food at home either. All our friends' kids are the same. If one of them did start to misbehave their parents would take them outside for a bit.

The only time I see the kind of behaviour described in the OP in restaurants here in France, the parents are invariably speaking English.

Children often run around in restaurantes in lots of counties in Europe , we just came from Italy and the evening in a very nice restaurant children where constantly playing outside their table with each other , same in Cyprus where we regularly holiday , Portugal , Spain , Greece . Nobody expects kids to be queira and sitting down 2 hours .

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