Eating Out Doesn’t Have to Be Horrible
Taking your toddler out in public is an epic feat, but if you combine that with a restaurant environment, it can be downright horrible… unless you plan well.
Be prepared. Stock your bag with snacks for your child to eat while you wait. Bring toys, a sippy cup, toddler-sized utensils, and a large plastic bib. Depending on your plans for the rest of the day, a change of clothes might be a great idea as well. Choose the least messy menu options available for your child, just in case she decides that today will be the day she throws food across the table.
Carefully select the time of day. Brunch or early evening tend to be good choices for children this age because the other patrons will likely be senior citizens or families with young children, rather than couples who are trying to enjoy date night.
Lower your expectations! Dining out with a child in tow is a completely different experience than going out with adults. Expect it to be difficult, so you can be pleasantly surprised if it’s easy. Sometimes kids are so engrossed in looking at their surroundings that they barely utter a peep in a restaurant!
Scary Mommy Tip: Bring along a gallon-sized plastic bag for you to store your child’s food-covered clothes and bib. This will prevent mashed potatoes from coating the interior of your diaper bag or purse!