Checklist: Dining Out with Baby

If you do your homework, dining out with baby doesn't have to be a disaster.

___ Pick a noisy restaurant. That way if she fusses, who cares? Who even hears?

___ Go at a time when she's generally in a good mood and not yet super hungry or sleepy.

___ Go early -- you'll probably run into other babies there too (and fewer guests to annoy if she does get fussy).

___ Bring snacks and a bottle for your baby, in case the service is slow or she doesn't like her food.

___ Pack several diversions -- like a binkie, teething toy and finger puppets. You'll have something new and novel to distract her if she gets fidgety.

___ Ask your server to bring out baby's food as soon as it's ready. It'll take her longer to eat anyway, so she'll still be mid-meal by the time yours arrives.

___ Or, BYOB: Bring your own baby food and feed baby first.

___ Don't give up! If she's really wailing, get your food to go -- but don't shy away from trying again. You're not doing yourself or her any favors by never letting her learn how to eat out (and behave!).

___ Frequent the same spots often, so the staff gets to know and love your baby -- and maybe even takes her off your hands for five minutes.

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