Dining Disaster: Guests or staff make you feel unwelcome
Supper Success: This won't happen if you stick to family-friendly restaurants: People expect children at these places. And there's less pressure on you -- and your child -- to behave perfectly because if your toddler does act up, he'll be surrounded by other families and probably won't be the only noisy child.
Take time to do a little research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of places where they feel comfortable eating with kids. You can even call ahead or check out the place on your own to find out about the restaurant's atmosphere. Does it offer a kids' menu? Are there booths, or is the seating limited to tables close together? Sara Wutzke, a Massachusetts mom of two, uses her own high-chair test. "I ask if they have one available for my child before we sit down," she says. "If they don't, we leave. No high chairs is usually a sign that it's not a kid-friendly place."