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Out on the Town With a Baby or Two

Adding a baby (or two) to the family mix means having a strategy for dining out. These tips will help make things fun for everyone.

DO:

    Call ahead.

    This one step can make the difference between a fun night out and a “never again” experience. Make a reservation if possible, ask when the restaurant is least busy (breakfast and lunch are likely options), and make sure you can get a high chair. Are you getting a chilly response from the host? Don’t fight it — instead, find another spot where you’ll feel welcome.

    Be prepared.

    Don’t leave home without a fully stocked diaper bag! Bring a sufficient supply of Huggies Diapers and Huggies Wipes. Bring a bib or two or three, books and other quiet distractions, a sippy cup and snacks (just in case).

    Ask for an out-of-the-way table.

    A table that’s in a quiet corner gives you some privacy if you have to nurse and gives other guests a wide berth. That said, if you’re at a restaurant that features a show or kid-friendly entertainment, be sure to get a front row seat.

    Ask for baby’s food to be served immediately.

    Get your little one set up first to avoid fussiness. And don’t be shy about asking for baby-friendly foods that aren't on the menu, such as plain steamed veggies or a fruit plate.

    Clean up after your little one.

    If the area around where baby was stationed resembles a warzone, ask your waitperson for some napkins or a dustpan so that you can do some cleaning up. The waiter may demur, but your simple offer will make you a welcome return customer.

DON’T:

    Linger.

    Long, leisurely meals? Save those for date night when baby’s at home with a sitter. Don’t rush, but keep things moving. The less time you spend ordering, sipping your drink, and checking the bill, the better your chances of enjoying a meltdown-free experience.

    Forget your fellow diners.

    If your baby starts to fuss, take him out of the dining room until he calms down. Have your partner stroll with baby for a bit while you finish eating and then switch off. Or get your food to go and finish up at home (where you can still enjoy your meal and a clean kitchen!).

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