If you have ever gone out to eat with a baby or toddler, you know that it can be a well-choreographed dance of distraction and engagement, and it is often anything but relaxing. But with the following items under your belt, you’ll be as prepared as you can ever be to tackle the perils of dining out.
Stay-Put Suction Toddler Bowl by Munchkin
. . . unless you want your child’s food to become a flying saucer. These also come in smaller, one-compartment bowls as well.
Available at Target for $6.99 in a set with utensils
Disposable bibs like the Pampers Bibsters
These make clean up a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about putting a messy bib back into your diaper bag. They are expensive enough that I wouldn’t use them everyday, but they’re good for eating out.
Pampers Pocket Bibsters, Box of 32 for $9.99
If your child is teething, then a teething toy is a must when you go out. We never leave home without Sophie. We actually left her at a restaurant once and I called in a panic the next day, hoping they had her- they did and the world was peaceful again. Now, this particular toy is expensive, so I am in no way saying you have to run out and get a Sophie for your little one (ours was a gift), but always have your child’s favorite teether on hand.
Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether, $22.99
Munchkin Snack Catcher
Anything that allows my daughter to get food out while still being spill-proof is a winner in my book. These little snack cups are perfect for restaurants, the car, the stroller, anywhere really. And we all know that anything in their little hands is going to end up on the floor (or across the room in some cases), so spill-proof=good.
Available in a pack of 2 at Babies “R” Us, $7.49
One of my child’s favorite things to do is to throw her sippy cup on the floor, wait for me to pick it up, and then promptly shove it off the side of her high chair again like some little game. Well no more! With this little sippy cup tether, you can attach your baby’s cup to their high chair so you don’t spend most of your time at dinner under the table.
$5.99 at Babies “R” Us
I can’t promise you that these things will keep your child from shoving peas up his nose or from throwing her head back in the middle of the restaurant and letting out an animal yell you didn’t even know she could do. . . but at least they’ll give you a fighting chance. And, of course, don’t forget the toys! Good luck!