Eating out with a baby isn’t an easy task but having a meal with a weaning baby has its own set of rules and challenges. To make it easier for you- I have come up with some tips for when you’re dining out with your little one.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Call ahead of your visit: If you have never been to this eatery before, it’s worth finding out if they provide highchairs or not. If they don’t then you can pack your own booster or choose somewhere else. Sometimes it’s better to go with somewhere that you’ve tried and tested so it’s one less thing to worry about.

Go prepared: If you want to let your baby sample something new and order them a meal from the menu- go ahead- but don’t be surprised if they turn it down. Always have a back-up in your baby bag of snacks and meals for if they don’t like what you put in front of them. They may kick up a fuss otherwise and ruin the meal experience for you and whoever you are with. If they are in a new place- giving them food they know how to pick up and eat can put them at ease.

Remember the baby wipes: Weaning babies are notoriously messy- don’t be the couple who simply walks away and leaves the aftermath for someone else. This isn’t fair. Clean up after your baby- which includes getting everything up from the floor!

Bring your own cutlery: Most places don’t have plastic cutlery for little ones and the metal ones in the hands of an untrained eater can be dangerous, so pack some soft, plastic cutlery so they have a sense of familiarity while they are eating.

Bring your own bowl too: Chances are if you do order a child’s meal- it will come on a plate that will break if tossed on the floor. If you give them their usual plastic dish or plate- and they do drop it- you only have the mess to contend with- not an extra charge for crockery on your bill.

Remember the bib: Again- weaning is a messy business- so try and protect their clothes as much as you can with a bib. All mums know how hard it is to get stains out of clothes- especially from foods like beans and tomatoes.

Keep an eye on them at all times: I know it’s tempting to focus on your own meal and hope that your child will do the same, but this won’t happen. If you are dining out with your partner- take it in turns to eat your meal. Not ideal- I know- but at least one of you will be prepared for food throwing, plate tossing and misplaced mucky fingers. And on a more serious note- if they are eating something new- it could be a potential choking hazard if they don't yet know how to chew it properly. 

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