Going out to dinner takes on an entirely new meaning once you have babies or toddlers. What was once a relaxing and enjoyable experience may now be a source of dread or stress–simply because of the chaos kids tend to create when they are out (and really excited about it!). Here are a few tips that will help you (and your entire family) survive a night out with small children.
1. Call in advance. While most restaurants who cater to families are able to provide high chairs or kid-friendly menu items…it is always helpful to call in advance to let them know how young your children will be so that they can prepare if necessary. Ask if you can reserve a table in a private room, or at the corner of the restaurant….and while not all restaurants are able to grant requests like this, it never hurts to ask.
2. Bring a carrier or stroller. If you will be out during hours that coincide with your child’s bedtime, bring a stroller or a carrier for where they will be able to sleep comfortably. You don’t want to be carrying your child the entire time….how will you be able to enjoy your meal and your company?
3. Bring a changing mat. In addition to the essentials we assume you already have in your bag, bring a changing mat that you can set on top of the rest room’s sink counter. This will make changing your child stress free, and super sanitary!
4. Bring a distraction. Small toys, books, or (yikes) the ever controversial iPad are a few ways to keep your child entertained at a restaurant. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
5. Let go. Mindset is everything. Having kids is life changing and at the end of the day (or night) we need to be willing to let go of what life was like before, and embrace the changes of having children…and all of the chaos that comes with them.