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Going Out to Eat With A Newborn

Going Out to Eat With A Newborn

Allison December 14, 2017
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One of the things my husband and I loved to do when we were dating and first married was going out to eat. We didn’t do it all the time, but we really enjoyed a nice meal out. After our baby, Adeline was born, the thought of taking her out into the unknown was so terrifying we just assumed we couldn’t do it anymore. However, we slowly gained the confidence to take our little one out of the house, and even learned to enjoy it!

Our Mariachi Adventure

When Adeline was 3 weeks old, my parents invited us out to dinner at their favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle going out to eat when I had a newborn who lived on her own schedule!  I was especially worried about the noise level in the restaurant. I knew that Adeline slept a lot, but I also knew that if she woke up she would cry, and I would have to abandon my meal to find a place where I could feed and comfort her. What was the fun in that?

When we arrived, I was shocked at how crowded this local spot had become. They sat us down at a table that seemed to be completely surrounded by loud groups, yelling and munching their chips and salsa. I spent the whole dinner shushing my family and making sure none of the waiters walked too closely to my sleeping child. I scarfed down my enchiladas and made sure everyone else ate as quickly as possible.

Finally, we were waiting for the check (which seemed to be taking an absurdly long time to come). Much to my horror, the resident mariachi band started playing. My mom took out her wallet and started to waive the band down to play her favorite “El Rancho Grande”. I was dying! I thought, “Yeah we had been lucky that she slept through most of the dinner, but why we’re going to test our luck and invite a whole Mariachi band over to our table?!?!” The next thing I know, the trumpets are blaring, and the singer is singing at the top of his lungs, and… my baby is still fast asleep in her comfy car seat.

I realized then that newborns sleep A LOT, and they can also sleep THROUGH a lot. Watching her snooze soundly while my teeth chattered from the blaring noise, I felt empowered to take her out more, and not be so afraid to test our limits. So the next time you realize you don’t have anything to make for dinner, feel free to bundle your precious baby in their car seat and bring them along to your favorite neighborhood spot!

Tips & Tricks for Eating Out with a Newborn-

  • Feed baby as close to your dinner time as possible, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with a feeding while you are out, or having baby waking up hungry in the middle of your meal.
  • Keep baby in their car seat, and try to avoid taking them out for other people to hold. They can ogle her from afar, your goal is to keep baby asleep while you are out to eat.
  • The more noise the better. Don’t worry about a little noise, background noise is likely to keep baby asleep longer than a super quiet restaurant. If you are going to a quiet restaurant, download a white noise app on your phone and place it in the car seat with the baby.
  • If there is room, keep baby’s car seat in a stroller so that they can be at a height that is comfortable for you to peek in at them. Some family-friendly restaurants have car seat hammocks (similar to a luggage stand) that you can put your car seat on, so you don’t have to worry about lugging the stroller around. Call and ask ahead of time.
  • If there isn’t room for a stroller or car seat hammock, just put baby on the floor next to you or under the table. Avoid putting baby’s car seat on a chair or balanced on an upside-down high chair. The car seat can fall off of those very easily as they are not designed to hold those up. (A story for another time, but this happened to us!)
  • Finally, keep baby strapped in properly at all times in the car seat. Your baby doesn’t mind, and it will keep them safe if somehow the car seat was to fall over.
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