Dining out with a babe
On our trip to Charleston and Savannah we successfully ate out every night. And the food in Charleston was AMAZING!!! Seriously, every place we stepped foot in had absolutely outstanding food. Some people are nervous about bringing babies to high-end restaurants (or any restaurant), so I thought I would share our strategy.
Poppy goes to sleep at 7:30pm, and can sleep in her carseat. I made most of our reservations about a month in advance, and booked everything for 8 or 8:30pm. Every day we came back to our hotel for the wine and cheese reception (how great is it that hotels are doing this now?!), and then went back to our room to get ready for the evening. We would prepare Poppy for bed as usual - which included a sink bath in our tub-less Savannah hotel. I'd nurse her and change her into her pj's, and then strap her into her carseat, which attaches to our stroller.
To make sure she was fully asleep we always gave ourselves at least half an hour to walk to the restaurant, and sometimes we'd purposely take an extra long route. She needed to have a blanket over the carseat to block out all of the sights and allow her to fall asleep. Once she was asleep we would go into the restaurant as other diners looked at us nervously. We'd leave the stroller base on the patio or at the hostess stand, and then carry the seat to our table and slide her underneath. And that was that. Most places were busy and loud, which tends to work as white noise for babies. On a couple occasions we would hear a little squeak, or see her feet kick through the blanket, and one of us would rock the carseat gently.
And it was as easy as that. We enjoyed lengthy multi-course meals where we could linger over dessert and really enjoy talking to each other, something that rarely happens at dinner at our house. It was always funny to watch other diners reactions when we got up to leave at the end of the night… by then it was usually a 'hipper' crowd and I'm sure no one expected to see a baby at that hour! We would walk back to our hotel and transition our sleeping babe to bed. Of course, Poppy missed the memo on our extended bedtimes, and was always up early in the morning:) But she is only six months old, after all.