Hopefully by now, you’ve already had plenty of adventures with your baby outside the home. Not only because it is healthy for you both to get some fresh air (and to have an excuse to shower) but also because… Mama needs a life! And sometimes, going out in public with your baby is the only way to make that happen.
Still, there is a difference between going to the park with your little one, and going out to eat. And so it’s fair if you haven’t yet taken your baby on an epic shopping trip, or out to your favorite restaurant.
Fair, but… it’s also time to branch out.
Look, for the record, no one should ever do anything with their baby that they aren’t totally comfortable with. If the idea of eating out with your little one sounds miserable, don’t do it! But just remember that babies have to learn how to behave in these situations at some point, and sometimes, exposing your little one to some of your favorite activities early on can pave the way for them to be great little sidekicks in the future.
Obviously, though, there are a few ground rules. Hitting up your favorite store or restaurant is one thing, but paying attention to ambiance and child-friendliness is also important. You probably don’t want to take your baby (who is known to spit up from time to time) to a high-end boutique, and busy bars or upscale restaurants should probably be off limits as well.
If you’re feeling nervous, start somewhere simple—a local chain restaurant, for instance, that is known for being child-friendly. Your little one should be big enough to sit in a high chair now, and if they have crayons and coloring books to provide, even better! (Of course, you could always keep a few entertainment items on hand for your baby as well—just in case.)
If your little one needs to be changed, nearly all women’s public restrooms have changing tables these days (just make sure you’re stocked up on wipes, diapers, and a change of clothes before you leave the house). And if your baby needs to be fed, you can either share some small bites from your plate, prepare a bottle, or breastfeed right where you are.
Because that is your legal right—no matter where you are!
The point is, you and your baby both deserve to get out. And you may find that your little one actually behaves quite well in public. Sometimes all the new sights and sounds can keep a baby pretty occupied and happy—at least for as long as it takes for you to finish your meal or swipe your credit card for that new purse you’ve had your eye on!
Just make sure it’s big enough to fit diapers in… you’re not quite out of the woods there yet!
Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.