Eating out with babies. It's all well & good when they’re tiny. All you have to is whip out a bottle - or boob - give them a feed and, in most cases, they'll sleep while you eat. But once you hit the weaning stage it all changes, take it from a mum who’s living it, right here, right now. So I've used my experiences - good, bad and damn right ugly (think yoghurt covered highchair, floors and child and you get the picture) to help you eat out with a tot in tow in peace... well kinda.
Feast your eyes (er, sorry) on these…
Keep calm & carry on
So, as I’ve said, we’ve had a few hair raising moments when we’ve been dining out. As well as the yoghurt explosion, we’ve had times of epic screaming, which has turned the heads of many a diner 😨. After the third look, I was tempted to leave, but I couldn’t quite tear myself away from the chocolate brownie. So I developed a thick skin, made a few apologetic smiles & carried on, because, guess what? All babies cry…
Bring your own
If you're a mum of a weaning bubba, you'll be nodding when I say restaurant highchairs aren't all the same. Some have been more complicated than a Rubix cube & as useful as a toy that’s run out of batteries, which means we've been left holding the diva while trying to feed her & ourselves. Hello messy jeans & cold food. Our miracle? A portable booster seat. No more holding her & no more panicking about grubby highchairs. #OCD.
Cushion the blow
If portable chairs aren’t your thing then there’s other ways to get them comfy while they’re dining out. Before we invested in our portable miracle, we took our diva’s highchair insert out with us. It gave her support & helped her sit upright in bigger chairs. If you have a universal one then this is a great, lightweight way to keep them supported.
Stay one step ahead
We're baby-led weaning our diva (cue lots of heart in mouth moments) so we generally tend to order off the menu when we go out. But, this means that she's left waiting for grub & like me, the kid gets severe food rage. If we know where we’re going, we checkout the menu before so we can order her food as soon as we sit down. It comes quicker & we have time to sort her before our food turns up.
We've also found giving her a spoon to play with really helps keep her occupied. Because she associates it with food, she knows her munchies are on their way. Also great for babes who are waiting for their purée to warm up.
Although we're BLW this time around, we chose purees for the now 5 year old. I swore by pouches when we were on this journey. When I'd homemade a batch (he would have rather eaten Ella's Kitchen) I'd fill up a pouch, grab it from the freezer & defrost it in warm water at the restaurant. I love these reusable pouches, which can be used later on for arts and crafts too... double bubble.
Distraction, distraction, distraction
Sometimes nothing will settle them, not even a bit of chocolate brownie (ahem). But we have found a few things that have stopped the meltdown. We don’t leave the house without her fave baby toy. And, if all else fails we whip out the phone - when the desert is calling you do what you gotta do.
Like what you see? Here’s a few bits that may make your dining out easier. Chocolate brownies accepted as thanks 😂.