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Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Guide to Eating Out with Three Kids Under Three

You'll probably think I'm crazy when I tell you that we went out to dinner tonight with just Greg and myself plus all three kids. I don't know what got in to me when I suggested that we walk in to town to have dinner then ice cream. It actually went very well although there are a few things I would have done differently. Emily sleeping for most of the time was a big help! So, I thought I would put together my thoughts and recommendations for anyone crazy enough to try it as well!

  • Pick a casual restaurant where it won't be a problem if you bring in your stroller or car seats and they won't mind the mess your toddler makes.

  • Believe it or not, a noisy restaurant is also better in case your babies start crying. If the restaurant is noisy no one will notice.

  • Bring things for your toddler to do like blank paper and crayons (I didn't do this but wish I had although Lizzie was very good anyway).

  • Pick a time where one or more of your infants might be sleeping but not too late or your toddler will be melting down.

  • Don't try to be too strict about your toddler's manners. If you can get them to eat without trashing the restaurant or making a scene that should be good enough. Hence the need for a casual place.

  • Order items that will come quickly or at least make sure part of your order comes out immediately and is something your toddler will eat.

  • Order something that can be eaten with one hand in case you have to hold a fussy infant while eating.

  • Eat fast.

  • Make sure you end the meal with a good dessert because you made need to bribe your toddler at some point.

    Lara said...

    We've done it too, but at lunchtime. I think the loud restaurant creates white noise that helps the babies sleep. Juliette slept through the entire time each time we've gone so it's really more like taking one baby and a 3 year old out ;) Good for you - I'm sure it was nice to get out!

    Jamie said...

    Love it! I'm afraid we'll never go out to eat again. Thanks for reminding me that it won't be the same but it is possible!

    Carrie27 said...

    Kudos to you, again! We have actually found it easier to go out to eat now that the kids are older and able to sit in chairs and eat table food.

    Another suggestion is to order the kids' meals first. I always do a quick glance, order their food, let it cool down and let them eat.