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Dining Out With Baby

diningoutwithbaby.jpgMy husband and I are foodies. We love to eat, taste different cuisines, and love to dine out. We have several favorite restaurants. When I first had my little girl, our first dining out experience was a milestone. I was thrilled that I was out of the house, with friends, at a favorite restaurant at that. The more I ate out, towing Mina in her infant carseat, the easier it got. Hubby and I were able to perfect the eat and switch technique (I eat first, then carry the baby while he finishes), the one-hand rocking technique (one of us rocks the baby while we eat with one hand). We even got so good, we could time her nursings so she would be full and fall blissfully asleep while we enjoyed our meal.

As she’s grown, this ease is slowly fading. She’s becoming more and more aware of her surroundings now, and isn’t as content to sit in her seat, doesn’t stay asleep for long when she does, and is a lot more vocal with her discontent. She’s graduated to the high chair, and she is intent on trying out everything we are trying. She reaches, and swipes now, and everything has got to be at a distance just in case she can give herself an extra push in her reach. In short, restaurant visits have become a nightmare.

Okay, so not exactly a nightmare, but our most recent dining out experiences have been a sprint to the last bite instead of the (relatively) leisurely meals we’ve become accustomed to. And we know this will only get more challenging as time goes.

Usually I would have a list of things we plan to do to make dining out easier on us, but I’m plagued by the questions: is it realistic to expect to dine out in peace with a baby? Should we just say sayonara to the whole thing except for very special occasions? Are we relegated to having to eat at places like Chuck-E-Cheese where the screeching of our child will be relatively tame compared to the regular noise?

Sigh. I’m not sure, but I’m thinking the answer to the above is yes.

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