Tips for Eating at a Restaurant with an Infant

Everyone has experienced the annoyance of going out to eat at a restaurant only to find that halfway through the meal an infant nearby starts to get fussy and then starts making enough noise to ruin the outing for you and your dinner companions. No one wants to be the people that are the source of that annoyance, it just seems to happen sometimes. There are things you can do to help avoid such a situation though, if you will be taking an infant to eat with you at a restaurant.

The first thing is to only do so when the little one is at the height of his or her happy time. That’s the time for infants after they have been awake long enough to be completely lucid and happy, but before they have started getting sleepy again as they approach their next nap. If you’re going to take an infant to a restaurant, always try to do it during that happy window, so that you, the infant, and everyone around you will be able to have the best experience possible.

Another thing to consider is the type of restaurant where you will be eating. Most people expect fussy children at McDonald’s or other fast food places, so they are not nearly as annoyed or upset if an infant gets a little loud. It’s when people are paying more for their food that they get more upset. In these cases, the people at the restaurant feel they are paying not just for the food, but for the whole experience as well; thus if something occurs to ruin that experience, they tend to get upset. This is why you should be wary of taking an infant to a more sophisticated restaurant, and should generally only do so if the infant you are bringing along has demonstrated an ability to eat rather quietly.

Something else you might consider is taking your infant out during times of the day when there won’t be as many other customers at the restaurant, and then when you arrive, ask if you can be seated as far from other people as possible so as to not disturb others.

And finally, if you are going to take an infant to a restaurant, you should be prepared to abort your meal if the infant you have brought along becomes unhappy and starts to make a lot of noise and you are unable to mollify him or her. As the person who has brought the child along, it is your responsibility to act as the mature adult. If your baby is crying or screaming, it’s up to you to accept defeat and head on out there because anything else is clearly rude and unacceptable.