Babies make a lot of mess whenever they are out to eat in a restaurant with their parents, toddlers are notorious for not letting their parents eat or enjoy their meal in peace. It is extremely important to keep the babies engaged so that you can have a good time in the restaurant.
Babies and restaurants are two things that are not very compatible with each other. If you have more than one kid or twins in a restaurant, then you have to rely upon some hacks in case your baby throws a tantrum in the restaurant. Following are some hacks suggested for you to have a good time with your baby at the restaurant:
Pick a noisy restaurant
If you have a hyperactive baby, then coming out of the house and planning to eat out is going to take a lot of courage because you know the inevitable will be waiting for you – you will be running after your baby who is either hiding under the table or insisting to sit on the top of the table.
For such babies, about whom you already know that they can’t sit quietly for even half an hour, you should pick a noisy restaurant. Your kid is going to cry, chat, fuss, growl and screech. It will let you manage your kid with a little lesser stress when you can know that the little noisemaker of yours will blend in with the background noise. The noises may also serve as a distraction for the baby.
Some of the noisiest restaurants include buffets where there are a lot of people such as Golden Corral, Chuck E. Cheese’s, and CiCi’s Pizza. If your baby decides to throw a tantrum and cry its little heart out, most people will not notice it in these restaurants.
Bring along a toy or something to keep your baby entertained
To keep your little one occupied, you need to bring along something that your baby likes – it could be a toy or something as simple as straw from the restaurant table. When you eat, you can keep the kid busy with the stuff or with the small snacks as well so that you can also get to enjoy some quality time with your company at the restaurant.
If your child is big enough to sit in a high chair, then perhaps consider laying out various toys and baby-safe objects on the table so your baby can play with it. Babies also love to keep hitting the table with their hands so make sure you wipe and disinfect the table prior to allowing your child to do this.
Get the baby’s tummy full
You should feed the baby right after you order your food so that when your meal arrives you can get to eat in peace. If you have a weaning toddler, feed them something before your food arrives. Later when your main course arrives, you can feed them that as well if they eat solids.
For example, you can order a combo appetizer for your kids for relatively low prices at a steakhouse restaurant like Texas Roadhouse (according to price-tracking website Pricelisto); the sooner the better because once they sit in a high chair, they expect some food right away. You can tell the person who is taking your order to bring the fries with ketchup earlier. Once their tummy is full, hand them over a toy.
If your baby is too young to eat fries, you can consider ordering something softer like mashed potatoes.
Ask for a bigger table
You can ask to be seated at a bigger table so that your child can have his or her own space; this way you can clear the area for your baby’s little hands so that they don’t grab hot food dishes. If you have a tiny table for two then you will have to spend most of the time trying to block your baby from grabbing stuff from the table. On a smaller table, your baby will be throwing away things on the table and you won’t be able to distract him or her as easily.
Make advance reservations/queries:
Letting the restaurant know in advance that you are bringing a baby with you is also a big hack because there is always a chance that the restaurant does not have a high chair or stroller.
If you eat at a restaurant where there is no such arrangement for babies, it means that your baby will be out on his own and everything will be within his reach and you will spend your time running after him all the time. In this case, it is usually better to find an alternative restaurant or bring a high chair with you.
Dine out during off-time
You will definitely feel yourself to be the odd-one-out if you eat dinner at 4:00 pm but the benefit in it is that the restaurant will be comparatively less crowded than the normal dinner time. So even if your baby is noisy, you can handle him or her easily without bothering that every pair of eyes is judging you for how you deal with your child.
If you want to dine out during the peak hours then there are chances that the restaurant is packed as well as noisy; in that instance, your screaming kid wouldn’t be as embarrassing except to the tables nearby.
Let your babies try new food
Don’t be afraid to order something new for your baby. Order a variety of food in smaller quantities and let your toddler try it so that instead of yelling and making your time at the restaurant restless they also try something new. Tempting presentation of foods in the restaurant will make them eager to try new food; who knows which flavor appeals to their taste buds.
Little kids are adorable, but the whole story changes when they throw a tantrum, and everyone starts looking at you. If you are not in the mood of cooking, home delivery is not your only option – you can go to the restaurant as well; just be prepared in advance to tackle things if the situation goes out-of-control.