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How To Survive at a Restaurant

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Affiliate Disclaimer: Your clicks and purchases may earn me a small commission, without any additional cost to you, to support this blog. It's Friday afternoon, your week at work drudged along and on top of that, you still need to go pick up the kids from daycare. You know it's slim pickings at home to whip something up for dinner and the wife isn't going to be home until late. As much as you want to just grab a pizza and call it a night, you know that your kids should probably eat more vegetables than the tomato sauce and a couple of peppers from Dominoes.

So you bite the bullet, you decide you're going to treat yourself and your daughter to a nice meal out at (insert local generic kid-friendly chain restaurant) and you get her, the diaper bag, and finally yourself together. So what do you need to get through this meal in one piece, while hopefully managing to eat your own food while it's hot?

The diaper bag that I use is the Beis diaper bag in grey that I bought for my wife as a push present, it has a ton of pockets, useful accessories, and isn't entirely emasculating the moment you put it on.

The essential items I carry in the bag are:

  1. Snacks - and lots of them. After having a total tantrum melt down (Esmée not me), because we received some subpar service and our food took over an hour to get to the table - we learnt to bring our own snacks. This way even if the food takes forever, your baby will still be fed. *Pro tip: order a side of steamed vegetables or French fries for the table shortly after seating, this way your child will get something to eat while the adults decide on their appetizers.

  2. Toys - make sure they're loud and easy to clean. The restaurant will be playing sports, top 50 radio, or a combination of the two, so make sure to bring some toys that talk or light up to distract from everything else going on around you. Forget the plushies at home and bring something that you can wipe off when it inevitably falls on the ground.

  3. Bibs - silicone or plastic bibs, are great if you also have the messiest eater you've ever seen like me. Another winner is these cloth bibs. They absorb water as well as all the mess and keeps your kiddo's outfit as clean as can be. The best part about them is you can see the same bib to wipe off their grubby face and hands!

  4. Everyday essentials - these are what I carry in any diaper bag at all times: an extra outfit for the messy one, our favorite easy-to-clean water bottle, diaper cream, emergency snacks, a changing pad, and finally diapers and wipes.

  5. Wipes, wipes, and more wipes - for the aforementioned toys that will be falling on the ground, wiping off the table and your messy baby. Become the dad stereotype you always wanted to be - and get the Costco membership. For the wipes, and the hotdogs of course.

  • These wipes are for soothers and any toys that are going in their mouth.

  • These are the baby wipes that I use because they are accepted and approved by the National Eczema association.

I don't usually bring these with me, but if you want to go the extra mile - here are the wipes we use to disinfect the changing table, and dining table. It's able to clean it properly without leaving any harmful residue or chemicals on the table.

The only other thing that you need to survive at the restaurant is - a great attitude. Maybe it'll go great, and maybe everyone will cry and throw food all over the place, but at least you'll be spending quality time with your family. Don't forget to live in the moment and remember, try to enjoy yourself as much as possible because they won't be this small forever.

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