K.W. asks from New York, NY on January 04, 2008
I use to always go out to eat. Now I feel like I can't go out to eat with a baby, because he may disrupt someone else's meal. And the baby is too young to leave with a sitter. So are all the NYC mom's staying in for meals until a certain age?
A.A. answers from New York on January 05, 2008
This is New York City - everyone takes their kids out to eat! As long as you are sensitive about choosing restaurants, there is no reason you can't go out to eat with your baby. There are many restaurants that are obviously child friendly (look in the window - lots of kids!). But there are also restaurants that you might not normally think of as "childrens" eateries, that can be very child friendly at earlier dinner hours before their "older" crowd comes in and they are less crowded. Go out to eat with friends or family. If your child does become fussy, you can take turns eating and walking around (inside or outside) with the baby. This is a time honored tradition when eating with babies! You'll also get to know your baby. She may be less fussy in a quieter smaller restaurant where there is less stimulation. Or if that doesn't seem to make a difference, choose larger less intimate places where the baby's noise won't be disruptive. As long as you use some judgment you'll have a great time and won't be a problem for anyone.
Also remember, children who go to restaurants regularly with their parents, also have the opportunity to learn to enjoy something you enjoy, learn to eat different foods (even if only through your modeling in the beginning) - and importantly, learn how to eat and behave in a restaurant, since hopefully you will be teaching and expecting age appropriate restaurant manners all along the way.
So go and enjoy!
B.V. answers from New York on January 05, 2008
GO OUT!!!! I have taken my three kids to just about every resturant in Manhattan! The key is not to go to late so your kids are not grouchy and cranky and to have some distractions on hand- crayons work so do simple question games- like Im thinking of a (insert whatever you like, such as number, color, animal etc.) questions about favorite things, and of course books. There are so many "nice" kid friendly resturants-that are not only for kids. Some of my kids favorites are Landmarc (they have an awesome kids menu) and Capsouto Ferres and Gigino all in Tribeca and they love Sammys on the lower east side and Max Brenners. There are alot of great choices and kids have every right to enjoy a meal out with there parents- the more you take them out, the better they learn to behave at a resturant. Good luck and go out!!
P.G. answers from New York on January 05, 2008
Perhaps I am a bad mom-- but we have always taken our daughter out to eat with us-- we do try to pick friendlier places for families.
On the plus side, I don't know a better five year old to take to a restaurant...
When I was nursing, I would just make sure we were sat in the back of the restaurant and I would have a drape thing, then just nurse her at the table.... I became the expert at changing diapers in a booth in a flash...
R.T. answers from New York on January 05, 2008
A suggestion is go early...especially in Manhattan, hardly anyone is eating before 8...take the baby, enjoy yourself, have a bottle ready for the little one & have a dinner out once in awhile...that's what my husband & I did right after we had out daughter, who is now 14 months & a bit more vocal when out at resturants. Good luck!
J.Z. answers from New York on January 05, 2008
We started bringing our daughter very early on. Both my husband and I were prepared to leave early if she cried too much and we went to places that were more casual, and places where they knew us or were family times. At first we would eat in shifts so that one of us would hold her while the other ate if she was awake and needed holding. Other times she was fine staying in the car seat stroller of we put her on the table in a bouncy/car seat. We also would go for an early dinner like 5:30 PM when the places are less crowded. I thought it was good for all three of us, but you can see what is right for your family. Some babies are fascinated by the noise and activity of a restaurant, other babies are over stimulated. Some recommendation of places are inexpensive Italian (neighborhood places), sushi or Japanese restaurants, low key restaurants, places that aren't a tight squeeze and you can spread out a little bit.
D.A. answers from New York on January 07, 2008
If your baby is still an infant - that is the BEST time! GO NOW before she starts to walk + talk. Going out to eat in Manhattan when our little girl was anywhere from 1 mth - 9 mths old was perfect - she'd practically sleep through every single meal that we ate out in her car seat / stroller.
It's when they become 2-5 yr's old that it becomes way more difficult to keep them not bothering anyone else in the restaurant....
A.H. answers from New York on January 07, 2008
how old is your baby? if she/he is under 6 months - go out as much as possible with him/her now!! i found that my child loved the noise of a restaurant when he was younger... he would just sleep in his car seat in a booth or on the floor (infant car seats are easier in restaurants, they take up much less space than a stroller). he went out to a neighborhood restaurant at 2 weeks! once he turned 6 months, he wouldn't fall asleep unless he was at home, in his crib. i would also recommend trying out a sitter early on... the sooner you do it, the sooner your baby will get used to having someone other than mommy or daddy putting them down. if your lucky, you'll find a sitter your child actually looks forward to seeing. now that my chind is 16mos, we can go out with him again but only to child-friendly restaurants and early (6pm so we can be home to put him down at 8pm).
C.M. answers from New York on January 06, 2008
I also took my son out to eat with my husband and I in his early months. He is now 18 months and does very well in a restaurant, although, I found it easier to take him when he was smaller. I was able to bring his infant seat in and he would play, nap or drink a bottle. Now that he is a bit older he needs a little more attention and when he is finished eating he is ready to go. It's not as relaxing as it used to be but how else is he going to learn how to behave in a restaurant if he is not exposed to the experience.