Celebrating With Baby While Traveling – Don’t Skip Your Special Occasion

January 15, 2018 23 comments

One of my favorite types of trips to plan is a special occasion getaway. Valentines… birthdays… anniversaries… I love them all! And, the meal is one of the things on that trip that I look forward to most. But, now that we have a little one, celebrating with baby while traveling for those special occasions have become a little bit more tricky – we don’t have a babysitter on the road.

And while I don’t mind Cracker Barrel every once in a while, it is not where I want to celebrate my special occasion. For that, I want to go somewhere nice – you know… splurge a little!

Thankfully I’ve found that even with a baby, you can still indulge and eat somewhere nice. Here are a couple tips to help make sure your celebration dinner isn’t stressful.

Celebrating with baby while traveling family picture

1. Skip peak hours (6-9 on weekends)

  • I know when you’re at home, the time to celebrate is Saturday night. But, when you’re celebrating with baby while traveling, you’re not limited by work or other obligations, so try a weeknight. If you are only able to take a weekend getaway, then try a late lunch/early dinner instead.
  • We usually choose to go around 5pm. We have found that most restaurants aren’t horribly busy but you still feel like you are in the social world. I also don’t feel like I have to hide my little one from a judging crowd.mom and babe - celebrating with baby while traveling

2. Feed your baby before you go

  • If a baby is hungry he/she is going to cry. As they rightly should… they deserve to be fed too. So try and feed baby before you go so that they get the bulk of their calories beforehand. A HANGRY baby is not a fun baby.
  •  My little one makes a complete mess when eating. Giving her, her dinner at a nice restaurant is out of the cards for us. If your baby is the best eater ever and doesn’t fling or drop food everywhere then you’re lucky and go right ahead and skip this advise, but I don’t think this applies to many babies.
  • I want to be clear – I don’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t give baby anything when you’re at dinner. If my husband and I are eating, our baby wants to eat too. It causes much less of a scene to give the baby that piece of bread from the bread basket then to tell them no.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, I still recommend nursing before you get to the restaurant. Most restaurants don’t come equipped with a nursing lounge, and you don’t want to be stuck nursing in a bathroom. Plus, it’s a special occasion dinner, so you should take some time for yourself, not feed your baby though your meal. (Note: I’m all for breastfeeding in public, so if you choose to do it at the table you won’t get any shame for me. However, others in the restaurant might shame you. Prepare yourself).Special occasion dinner - celebrating with baby while traveling

3. Change baby’s diaper before you get to the restaurant

  • A lot of times, upscale restaurants do not have a changing table in the bathroom, which means you will have to change your baby’s diaper on the floor of the handicap stall. While this is doable, it’s not my preferred place to change my baby’s diaper.
  • That being said, there are emergencies. Once, my baby worked something out (if you know what I mean) while we were eating our salad. By all means, change that poor baby’s diaper.Dinner Plate to Celebrating Special Occasion with baby while traveling

4. Keep them entertained

  • If you’re celebrating with baby while traveling, you want to try to actually celebrate your occasion, not play with baby the whole meal. But, you can’t expect a baby to just sit there and be quiet while you enjoy your meal. So, find something to keep them occupied that will not make a mess, or be thrown across the restaurant.
  • If your baby is still young enough to be in their pumpkin seat, maybe you’ll get lucky and they will sleep through the whole meal. If not, I have found that a cross bar toy has worked well. For babies in a highchair, a toy clipped to the bar works well. This way, baby can play with the toy, and you won’t spend time constantly picking it up.
  • There are times when my baby just doesn’t want to sit by herself or play with the toy I gave her. So to keep the peace, I let her sit on my lap and maybe have a couple bites of my mashed potatoes. You don’t have to ignore your baby!celebrating with baby while traveling - mom and baby

5. If baby has a meltdown, take him/her outside

  • Be courteous to those celebrating around you, and take crying baby away from the table. Other patrons are also paying a lot of money to have a nice, quiet, uninterrupted meal. Not only does a walk keep others from getting irritated, but sometimes a change of scenery is all baby needs to calm down.celebrating with baby while traveling special occasion dessert

General considerations for celebrating with baby while traveling:

Remember that while nice restaurants may be okay with you having a baby there, they are not necessarily baby friendly. You are going to be dining with business people and socialites. They are probably going to immediately look down on you when they see your baby. If you are worried about it, you may be better off somewhere a little bit more family friendly.

Even though an upscale restaurant is not a typical place for a baby, no one has the right to baby shame you or make you feel bad about bringing your baby – You are paying for your meal too!

If you liked this post, and it has eased your anxiety about celebrating with baby while traveling, be sure to subscribe below so that you don’t miss any other tips or tricks! If you are ready to look for dining inspiration, here is a roundup of the most romantic restaurants in the world. Need help planning your special occasion getaway? Try this post!

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23 Comments on “Celebrating With Baby While Traveling – Don’t Skip Your Special Occasion

  1. I never even thought of this since we don’t have kids yet but that is tricky since you don’t have a trusted babysitter when you travel! You seem to have found a way to make it work though so you don’t miss out on those special occasions!

    1. I never thought about the logistics of it until I had kids either. It always seemed so simple in my mind… but apparently not, lol. It took a little bit, but yes, we have figured it out!

  2. I don’t have kids yet, but your tips sound super helpful. I also love the way you balanced baby’s needs with being considerate of others.

  3. That’s definitely great advices for handling this situation! I don’t have a baby yet, but it sounds very reasonable and helpful! I hope you had a great time 😉

  4. Good piece of advice. I tend to travel often with kids and actually celebrating their birthday with trip used to be tradition till they got two. You know to use most of the travelling wity baby price deal. 😉

  5. Lovely tips! These are not only great for parents but also it’s good for us dining without babies to know that you care. I wish everyone would take those melting down babies out for a little time out / calming. You seem to be a super good parent, and it’s lovely that you guys can also enjoy eating out with the little one.

  6. Those food shots are on point. Great tips for all parents out there with regards to getting prepared before going out for a meal with your babies.

  7. First of all, major kudos to you for doing what you love with a baby. And while I don’t have a baby, I am a nanny and love all these tips. I especially like the entertaining them one because I think so many people expect their baby to just sit there and behave but they get bored!! Great tips!!

    1. Thanks! Life is too short to be a shut in! I know nannying can be a tough job sometimes so props to you for staying sane 🙂 They definitely do get bored, they are little humans after all.

  8. If I was eating next to you guys I would feel happy that you know how to at least handle your child and make them as comfortable as possible to hopefully avoid a crying baby. I do t have any children but your tips seen amazing and it’s always good to be prepared! 🙂

  9. Very informative! I don’t have kids at the moment, but in the future I’d love to take them travelling and see the world. I think my boyfriend and I have some adventures to do on our own before kids come into play though!

    1. I would definitely say to have all the adventures you want before you have kids! It is still totally possible to travel with kids, but the logistics and planning do get a little more complicated 🙂 I have such fond memories of backpacking with my husband before our baby was born.

  10. You seem so relaxed about it – I assume your baby is, too?! Because I was a very nervous mother and my daughter was a cry baby – it was a big mess. I wish I had read your tips then. Today it’s too late: she’s an adult and the best girl under the sun! All the best to you and your lovely little family!

    1. I wish my little one was a little more relaxed, but she is a very curious girl that wants what she wants! She can definitely be a handful. I’m sorry to hear that your little one wasn’t the most cooperative, but I’m sure you still love her anyway 🙂 Thanks for the kind wishes!

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