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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%
Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 13:23

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.

Generally speaking though a child eating shouldn’t been fastened into a highchair as in the event of choking it’s extra time faffing with straps

Parker231 · 22/05/2023 13:26

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 13:23

Generally speaking though a child eating shouldn’t been fastened into a highchair as in the event of choking it’s extra time faffing with straps

DT’s were always strapped in - would take them seconds to get out!

SouthLondonMum22 · 22/05/2023 13:39

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 13:22

I don't get it either.

Presumably all the children who were spoonfed purees as babies were also given finger food, right? Nobody is feeding their child pieces of toast on a spoon.

It seems to me that not doing baby led weaning means sometimes you spoonfeed your child purees, sometimes you give them finger food to pick up, and eventually they figure out how to use cutlery and feed themselves.

Doing baby led weaning is... what, exactly? Just never feeding your child with cutlery? I mean, OK, whatever works for you, but to me that just sounds like choosing not to use one of the various ways of feeding your child, rather than doing anything particularly groundbreaking.

From what I understand, it simply means that the parent never or rarely feeds the baby. The baby feeds themselves, with hands and then with cutlery.

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 13:45

SouthLondonMum22 · 22/05/2023 13:39

From what I understand, it simply means that the parent never or rarely feeds the baby. The baby feeds themselves, with hands and then with cutlery.

Well then those parents shouldn't take their baby to a restaurant until they can reliably feed themselves.

I'm not sure why removing the option of spooning some mashed potato into your child's mouth when they're unable/disinclined/too tired to manage it themselves is really something to shout from the rooftops about.

LolaSmiles · 22/05/2023 13:51

Doing baby led weaning is... what, exactly? Just never feeding your child with cutlery? I mean, OK, whatever works for you, but to me that just sounds like choosing not to use one of the various ways of feeding your child, rather than doing anything particularly groundbreaking.
It's nothing groundbreaking. It's just giving a child age appropriate foods and letting them eat what they eat, learn how to use a spoon in their own time etc rather than pureeing food and spoon feeding.

What some (lazy runs and hides) parents like to pretend it means is give your child anything and everything in any situation and environment, then everyone should accept food throwing, food bashing, and a whole load of mess, whilst they look on adoringly about how a meal time is a half an hour long sensory experience.

In my opinion BLW suffers from the same problem as gentle parenting. It's nothing revolutionary, and should be about age appropriate expectations with parents taking appropriate parental responsibility, but in reality some parents like to have no boundaries and play the "BLW/Gentle parenting" card to get out of jail free.

SouthLondonMum22 · 22/05/2023 13:54

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 13:45

Well then those parents shouldn't take their baby to a restaurant until they can reliably feed themselves.

I'm not sure why removing the option of spooning some mashed potato into your child's mouth when they're unable/disinclined/too tired to manage it themselves is really something to shout from the rooftops about.

They can also do what those who do finger foods do and just go with more sensible options when they take little Henry out to eat.

Unfortunately, it's just like anything else with some aspects of parenting. Some mothers use it as a way to shame other mothers, just look at some of the language used on this thread alone and how some can't wait to brag about what a great eater little Henry is.

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 13:57

Parker231 · 22/05/2023 13:26

DT’s were always strapped in - would take them seconds to get out!

It’s just the general advice, but it’s an individual sort of approach I think because some children will sit nicely and others won’t… a harness in a highchair couldn’t contain my youngest so he had to be swapped to a booster as it was dangerous with or without

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 13:58

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 13:45

Well then those parents shouldn't take their baby to a restaurant until they can reliably feed themselves.

I'm not sure why removing the option of spooning some mashed potato into your child's mouth when they're unable/disinclined/too tired to manage it themselves is really something to shout from the rooftops about.

Man that’s a dumb thing to say

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 14:05

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 13:58

Man that’s a dumb thing to say

Can you be more specific?

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 14:15

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 14:05

Can you be more specific?

That kids who can’t ‘reliably feed themselves’ shouldn’t be allowed to restaurants…

fitzwilliamdarcy · 22/05/2023 14:18

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 14:15

That kids who can’t ‘reliably feed themselves’ shouldn’t be allowed to restaurants…

If their parent refuses to be involved in the process and wants them to eat mashed potato and gravy, then no, they shouldn’t. That’s not remotely “dumb” (an ableist slur, by the way).

GoodChat · 22/05/2023 14:19

Well then those parents shouldn't take their baby to a restaurant until they can reliably feed themselves.

How about adults who can't reliably feed themselves? People with disabilities, or who've had strokes etc? Should they just stay at home in case their presence makes you uncomfortable?

Countingdowntodecember · 22/05/2023 14:22

At home, this is broadly how I weaned my DS. I did also preloaded spoons so that he could practice using cutlery, but I think touching food and learning to feed themselves (even mashed potatoes) is good for young children.

11 years is a long time and lots of people lean towards baby led weaning now. It might be messier than what you were used to, but it has lots of benefits too.

I wouldn’t have let my DC make that level of mess in a restaurant though.

LolaSmiles · 22/05/2023 14:31

How about adults who can't reliably feed themselves? People with disabilities, or who've had strokes etc? Should they just stay at home in case their presence makes you uncomfortable?
Why are you trying to co-opt the difficulties of people with additional needs, disabilities and medical conditions to try and justify parents who choose to allow their children to throw food around the place, tip water all over the place, pull plants, put soil everywhere?

It's not unreasonable for people to expect parents to apply common sense and basic courtesy. If they really think that weaning their baby means setting their child up to fail, ordering their child food that they're likely to struggle to eat, allowing their child to throw food all over the place whilst parents look on adoringly, then they probably shouldn't be taking their child out to cafes and restaurants. It might be what they have considered acceptable behaviour and mess, but that doesn't make it appropriate for cafes and restaurants.

fitzwilliamdarcy · 22/05/2023 14:35

GoodChat · 22/05/2023 14:19

Well then those parents shouldn't take their baby to a restaurant until they can reliably feed themselves.

How about adults who can't reliably feed themselves? People with disabilities, or who've had strokes etc? Should they just stay at home in case their presence makes you uncomfortable?

Oh for christ’s sake.

There is a world of difference between a parent deciding that their child will be doing baby led weaning and picking an entirely inappropriate food for the experience, with the end result being that it goes all over the place, and a person with a disability who has issues with dexterity.

The former should either pick a food or a method of assistance that is appropriate in the circumstances. And stop thinking that having a baby is in any way akin to having a disability.

GoodChat · 22/05/2023 14:38

@fitzwilliamdarcy I don't think that having a baby is in any way the same as having a disability but I don't think we can teach children how to behave in public places without introducing them to public places

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 14:41

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 14:15

That kids who can’t ‘reliably feed themselves’ shouldn’t be allowed to restaurants…

Why?

If they can be spoonfed by their parents then fine.

If their parents are ideologically wedded to "baby led weaning" to the point where they refuse to lift a spoon to their little darling's mouth, they need to wait until the food throwing phase is over before they inflict their offspring on the general public in restaurants.

LolaSmiles · 22/05/2023 14:43

GoodChat
I agree with you about introducing them to public spaces, but that requires common sense from the adults.

Most sensible parents, regardless of how they choose to wean, will pack their child some food and/or order something appropriate from the menu that is unlikely to be thrown all over the place. There's often crumbs under a high chair, spillages happen and I doubt anyone has a problem with that. Sensible parents do their best, mop up the juice that's got knocked accidentally and aim to reduce the amount of food that's scattered.

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 14:43

GoodChat · 22/05/2023 14:38

@fitzwilliamdarcy I don't think that having a baby is in any way the same as having a disability but I don't think we can teach children how to behave in public places without introducing them to public places

This may be true, but the parents proudly beaming whilst their 11 month old flings gravy everywhere and telling everyone it's because he's so advanced are teaching him literally the opposite of how to behave in a restaurant.

GoodChat · 22/05/2023 14:44

Oh absolutely @MargotBamborough and @LolaSmiles without a doubt the parents are the problem here

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 14:46

fitzwilliamdarcy · 22/05/2023 14:18

If their parent refuses to be involved in the process and wants them to eat mashed potato and gravy, then no, they shouldn’t. That’s not remotely “dumb” (an ableist slur, by the way).

It is a silly comment, my kids ate what we ate when they were in the process of learning how to eat. Why should they not be allowed to go to a restaurant? How does it impact you if the child creates a mess on themselves? When the child plays with their food they are clearly finished and they are cleaned and any food on the floor also cleaned up.

fitzwilliamdarcy · 22/05/2023 14:46

GoodChat · 22/05/2023 14:38

@fitzwilliamdarcy I don't think that having a baby is in any way the same as having a disability but I don't think we can teach children how to behave in public places without introducing them to public places

I agree. But that involves an element of teaching. As in, picking appropriate finger food if the parent prefers to be totally hands off or involving a spoon if the parent prefers there to be food available that isn't for eating with hands.

Giving them inappropriate food to eat with their hands so that they get it all over the place (and allowing them to pull up and throw soil) is not teaching them how to behave.

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 14:49

MargotBamborough · 22/05/2023 14:41

Why?

If they can be spoonfed by their parents then fine.

If their parents are ideologically wedded to "baby led weaning" to the point where they refuse to lift a spoon to their little darling's mouth, they need to wait until the food throwing phase is over before they inflict their offspring on the general public in restaurants.

Throwing the food means the child isn’t interested so the food should be removed.

my child wouldn’t be fed but fed themselves from 6 months to varying degrees of success. When they lost interest In the food it was removed, and they and the area were cleaned when they were finished.

fitzwilliamdarcy · 22/05/2023 14:49

Bewilderedbothredbemused · 22/05/2023 14:46

It is a silly comment, my kids ate what we ate when they were in the process of learning how to eat. Why should they not be allowed to go to a restaurant? How does it impact you if the child creates a mess on themselves? When the child plays with their food they are clearly finished and they are cleaned and any food on the floor also cleaned up.

They should be allowed to go to a restaurant. Their parent should choose appropriate food for them so that it's not going all over the plane (not just on themselves - other people, the floor, etc.). And yes, they should clean up afterwards.

None of this is what happened in the OP. Hence why people are saying that that child, in those circumstances, should not have been in the restaurant. Because the parents are useless.

Dangeliss · 22/05/2023 14:51

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.

Entitled?

Were the parents entitled to bring a young baby - that they knew would scream and get food everywhere - to an adult space which was full of people who'd payed for an enjoyable evening?

The whole world isn't one big mommy and baby playpark.

And nobody is "entitled" to be in a restaurant - they are not public spaces, they are private businesses that members of the public pay to enjoy. There are certain expectations of decency there.

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