Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going out to eat - with a baby?

One of my favourite things to do is to go out for food - breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon drinks/snacks on a patio, dinner - it doesn't matter. I LOVE going out to eat! It's also something I am looking forward to doing with our baby girl... well, I thought it was something I was looking forward too.

I recently read an article in a local evening newspaper by Toronto radio host John Oakley. The post was about a mother who was refused entry to an upscale wine bar in Ottawa because she brought her 3 month old along with her. He states that when people are going out to dinner at a non-family restaurant (such as Chuck E. Cheese), that they have the right "to enjoy an evening away form the incessant mewling and puking of other people's children".

While I don't necessarily agree with some (ok most) of his comments - it did get me thinking about the concept a bit more seriously. I have never been bothered (even before getting pregnant) when seeing anyone with baby in a restaurant, regardless of how classy the restaurant was, so long as the child was quiet, and the mother took the baby out if they started to fuss too much. In fact, I've often admired these mothers! One of my favourite mommy bloggers who is an inspiration to me, Georgie Girl (if you don't follower her blog already, do! She really is amazing), often goes out to dinners with her husband and their beautiful daughter and the three of them enjoy wonderful evenings out in NYC - much like the ones I hope our family can enjoy. I asked her how she manages this, and she was kind enough to share:

"I tend to only go to restaurants that I have been to before. So I kind of know whether or not they will be receptive to a baby. At this young age we tend to go anywhere but we go much earlier than we used to. Last night we headed out for dinner at 6.30pm whereas we used to eat at 9pm."

I really appreciate her advice, and would love to know, whether you're a mother or not - what are your thoughts on babies in restaurants?


  1. I don't have kids, so in the US I can't get a little stressed if seated next to a group of kids with one or two parents. One baby? That's usually not a problem. In Honduras, where I live, I noticed the children bother me less. Maybe it's the culture, where children are welcome EVERYWHERE. The concept of a babysitter is almost unknown, except the very wealthy who have full-time nannies. However I appreciate moms here who take the time to instill a quiet and peaceful spirit in their children.

  2. I love the idea of dining out with the baby... Although I don't plan to take Renzo out anytime soon coz of the terrible Whooping Cough epidemic here in California. I would definitely bring him to restaurants where I always see other families with babies when the time comes as the hubby and I also loves to eat out. =)

  3. We eat out a lot and it's hard to contain our twelve month old. She is adventurous when it comes to tastes and despises high chairs (so that's an adventure in itself) but before she was mobile it was a breeze! (as long as you mastered one hand eating!)


  4. Thanks so much for your comment Lori! I can see how challenging it could be to have a 12 month old sit through dinner! I'm hoping to take advantage of that time when she mostly just sleeps to take her out and show her off to the world.