Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Does Anyone Else Dread Going Out To Eat?

We never go out to eat anymore, which I guess is a good thing. But whenever people ask us, I'm so quick to say no because I don't want to deal with a screaming kid. I know it'd be good practice for him, but I can't remember the last time I actually ate a meal without getting up 49583 times.

My family will always say, don't worry if he cries or acts up, people understand. But I refuse to be that parent that just lets their kid scream and throw a fit. I know he's young and all he wants to do is walk around and explore. We've tried toys, movies, phones, crayons, etc. He just doesn't like to be confined.

Now that I'm done venting...anyone else stop going out to eat for awhile too? lol

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Re: Does Anyone Else Dread Going Out To Eat?

  • We arrive, and order. Then I get up and go outside with DD most of the time.  Then we come back when the food does, and eat.  Then we go outside while DH pays the bill.   I do not expect her to sit still at a table the whole time.  Now that she's 3, she can do it fairly often if it's not a slow restaurant, but certainly not before 2.

    But, that said, we don't go out often.  Once a month, on average.

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  • You need to arrive 45 minutes before your child wil be hungry. Breakast and lunch are usually better than dinner. I just are out with my kids everyday for 2 weeks while on vacation and I never had to take them outside. We allow coloring at the table but that's about it. No electronic devices, no big toys maybe a matchbox car or little people person. Taking toddlers out is challenging, but it always gets better.

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  • liz?!?! Haha it's Kelli Y and YES WE DREAD IT! the only meal that is halway decent is sunday breakfast, i pack him some cerealy in a cup to eat on the way and he man handles his pancakes but other than that, unless it's just the two of us he is also a mess- dum dum suckers usually help and fruit snacks, mother of the year over here but whatever works :) we go usually once a week with the in laws and i dread it every freakin week!
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  • You're just NOW realizing I'm on here?! I've commented on yours before, check your posts girl! We've had one good experience at B Dubbs and it was around 4 where no one was there and his cousin entertained him the whole time....obviously we can't always be that lucky so I just stay away from eating out lol. I should start the dum dum suckers lol

    Three more months!!! Do you guys have a name??? Does Jake even get that your pregnant? Mine still jumps all over my gut and pokes at my belly button lol. Come back to FL so we can get together

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  • I started bringing my DD out to eat from 5 days old. She was great! Until 11 months. Now, it's honestly a total waste of time and $$ for me. I love going out to eat, but now it's so much screaming, whining and stress I only go for occasions where it's a must. None of her favorite toys or foods work. She just wants to be out of the highchair. I spend the whole time outside or her on my lap while I am covered in food. Then I leave hungry cause I didn't get to eat. 

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  • DD's always been pretty good with going out. For the most part she's so distracted by the people that she occupies herself before the food gets to the table, and once the food is there, then she digs in. The only thing that's been happening lately is that she gets frustrated quicker with being in a high chair, so we've started switching to the booster and she likes it. As long as we're not in the restaurant for too long, then it's usually a good experience. Get there, order, eat, leave. lol
  • I'm fortunate that both of ours do well in restaurants.  I always make sure I have snacks, yogurt drops, dried fruit, something easy, to give them right away if needed.  I usually order a fruit cup of cooked veggies for them when I order drinks too.  As long as they have food in front of them, they're usually good.  

    One piece of advice I got from other moms of multiples that I think applies for all kids, especially toddlers, is to ask for to go boxes and then check when your food arrives.  Then you can leave as soon as needed if a meltdown starts.


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  • Lol nope just noticed... He totally has no clue, it's probably better that way , we got him a baby doll  to practice with and he threw him in the garbage...dum dums are a life saver I'm tellin ya- ill be back when it gets cold here again :)
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  • We have a few local restaurants we go to just the three of us.  We get there early, order an appetizer as soon as possible (and I bring a yogurt or banana to eat first). We usually hit the 5pm early bird so restaurants are quieter in general and one of us can wander with DD for a bit before we eat. She's usually good for about 40 min total.  We feel it is good to get out for a lunch or dinner but we don't go out with large parties and she just can be contained that long and it isn't worth it to me to be stressed.
  • Yes we stopped for awhile. Now when we do we eat fast and pay immediately before they see the mess under Los chair lol.
  • Before DS, DH and I used to love eating out.  Going out to eat with DS when he was much littler was also fun.

    Pretty much as soon as we hit about 9(ish) months old, it started to be not-so-fun.  By the time he was about 14-15 months old, I would categorize it as downright unenjoyable. 

    We will go out for breakfast and/or lunch.  I can't really remember the last time we took DS out for dinner.  He is in bed for the night at 7:00 pm, so dinner has to be at 5:30.  I don't really mind this, but honestly DH and I would rather cook at home and have a nice dinner after he's asleep. 

    We will typically either order his food immediately or have snacks (or both).  Also, we have to go around the time that he's hungry.  Our restaurant selection has changed.  We mostly go to fast casual places or places where you order at the counter and then they bring the food to your table.  True sit-down dining experiences are ruled out for a while.  When DH and I want to go out to a real dinner, we leave DS at my parent's house for the night.


    Also, in reference to a PP, I judge parents who make no attempt to clean up the disaster area under LO's chair...

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  • Yep!  My DD was great until she hit 11 months and was walking.  That was it for us.  My husband does the walk outside duty and I do the sit on my lap and try to feed her and eat duty.  Some days are better than others, but in general it's a nightmare. 

    DD#1 4/12/12 DD#2 8/7/14

  • don't feel bad totally normal for that age, I hear it gets better :)
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