Fine Dining Out With Babies

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Eating out with kids. Some people do it from the start, others never do, but it’s a topic that ranks up there with crying babies on a plane. Should they be allowed? I’m not talking about should they be allowed at the family diner, I’m talking should they be allowed at fine-dining restaurants.

When our child was a baby, we went out to eat. I needed the socialization, the break from the same ‘ole, and the outlet from baby time … seeing some other adults who weren’t living in diaper and bottle land. We went to some nice restaurants, but not the finest in town as I’m not sure they even have high chairs, and the reality is I’m not sure I could have enjoyed a fine-dining experience with a baby beside me. I’m the type of person who is aware of my surroundings and tries to be sure my child is content, not throwing peas across the room and simply minding his space around others.

All that said, you can make the argument that babies should be allowed in fine-dining establishments without restaurant owners and other patrons turning up their nose. After all, just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you still don’t love good food, and we all need to recharge somehow. Also by introducing children to fine dining, and manners early on, hopefully a love for different foods and proper table manners will follow.

But before you go to the five-star restaurant with your baby, be prepared. I recommend going early, like so early very few people are in the restaurant. Come equipped with a favorite toy and diaper changes, and last, but not least, be prepared to leave if things just get out of hand. If you succeed at a meal without a diaper blow-out or other baby uproar, awesome! You’ve now made it easier for the rest of parents with babies who are considering braving the fine dining experience with said baby. If it all falls apart, no biggie. You’ve now earned another stripe for parenting. It’s about trying, learning, experiencing, enduring and flexing. You tried, and next time you may opt for the babysitter, and that’s just fine too.