As the parent of an infant, the days of impulsive eating out have been left in the dust of our rear view mirror (for now). Heading to one of our favorite restaurants for a quick dinner is kinda like packing for a week-long camping trip, forging for a high chair that isn’t broken, and bringing along the Dust Buster to clean up the inevitable forest of debris that surrounds our table.
That being said, living in Portland, Oregon with an amazing food scene, we love to venture out to our favorite places every once in a while.
These are the 3 essentials we’ve learned to help us enjoy a dinner out with Baby.
Know before we go – We pick restaurants we know we’ll be comfortable in. Dim lighting and whisper voices are probably a no-go. We have several locally owned restaurants in our neighborhood that are extremely family friendly. They’re spacious, comfortable, and have staff that enjoy the kids. It makes a difference! Also, many of them have clean and ample changing stations in the restrooms. We’ve learned knowing the environment before you get there can help you enjoy the evening that much more. We also often ask fellow parents about places if we’ve never been before.
Bring backup – When we head out, we always prep his bib, spoon, and food to bring along. We also try to include a few snacks to keep him busy in case there’s a wait and things go a bit longer than planned. Cheerios are great to keep him entertained and focused on something other than time or being uncomfortable in the high chair. Picking up small items from the table continue to help him work on his pincer grasp and make for fun games at the table.
Don’t be afraid – As a new parent (especially the first time) it’s easy to feel scared or decide it’s just easier to stay home. We’ve been there. We’ve found getting out of the house is important for us and for our little guy. He’s so interested in just about everything he sees, and he loves taking it all in. Getting out gives us a little reprieve from the day to day routine, while giving him a new experience.
Dinner out is a fun experience for our family — it just takes a
bit lot more planning and preparation than before. Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear them. Please share below!