Remember the days when eating out was an every day occurrence without any second thoughts?
After having kids, date night became something that happened once in a blue moon.
And that was when I finally understood why some parents made a big deal about bringing their babies/toddlers to dine-in at restaurants. Before that, I just couldn't understand why some moms had anxiety when it came to dining out with their young children. I was convinced that if I had any of my own, I would bring them along with me everywhere I went! But somehow, worries and all sorts of thoughts crept in when I did have children of my own, and dining-in at restaurants became a luxury.
Here’s the truth though, when you’re a mom of multiple children, the thought of having a nice family dinner at a restaurant doesn’t sound the least bit fun.
If you have babies or toddlers that cannot sit still throughout a meal, dining in would be an uphill battle. My husband and I once tried our luck with our 3 kids. After that incident, we both agreed it felt like we'd just ridden one of them high-thrill roller coasters.
Other than the fact that you can never sit down and properly enjoy your meal (not to say the least "piping hot") without being interrupted up-teen times by your mini-mes, you would also need to be looking out for your kids, (force) feeding them their dinner (making sure they take their vegetables), before finally getting to taste yours. And after your kids are done with their meal (remember, you fed them before getting to yours), they are now restless and looking for something to do. "Let's see who can make the loudest sounds by banging our utensils on the table!" Or "How high do you think the table is from the ground? Let me see how long it takes for my plate to reach the floor!" "Lemme out of my highchair! I wanna explore the restaurant!"
Undaunted though, I went back home and did an On-The-Go checklist for our next dine-in outing. It was always better to be prepared. Once I did that, it gave me less anxiety and made the prospect of dining-in less overwhelming.
Here are some of the essential items that I bring along when dining out with my kids. It is always better to be over prepared than under prepared with multiple children, even if it’s just a meal out! (That's my personal mantra). But I do hope my list makes things a little bit easier for you and your little ones.
1. Diaper Backpack
My KeaBabies Original Diaper Backpack is big enough to carry anything from bottles, toys, spare outfits, wipes, diapers, snacks and more! And the best part is it has multiple compartments for organisation and storage. For a mom like me who likes everything to be as neat and organised as possible, this is a great product! I can reach in and grab whatever I need in a jiffy! No frustration in digging around and searching for stuff at the bottom of the bag, especially when you have a wailing baby!
I can’t tell you how much I love my KeaBabies Silicone Bibs! Babies and mealtimes spell disaster; making less mess especially when you're outside would mean fewer eyes on you, and less of a hassle! (Think change of clothes, and scrubbing the stained clothing later on at home) These silicone bibs have one of the widest pockets that help to catch the bits of food that drop out, keeping my kids' clothes stain-free! They also have reinforced button holes for durability and roll up nicely for storing in my diaper bag!
Sometimes, if we're going out for a nearby quick lunch, I would choose to use my KeaBabies Baby Wrap Carrier instead of taking the stroller. If the timing clashes with baby's nap time, or if baby is cranky halfway through the meal, the Keababies Baby Wrap Carrier is a total live saver. Soft, easy-to-use and breathable, my baby loves falling asleep in this wrap as it is so comfortable and he can be close to me. On a side note, I have also mastered the art of eating with baby in the wrap. (Just need to dust some food crumbs from his hair after the meal).
My Ezee Diaper Mat is my newest addition! Some places do not have baby changing stations in bathrooms. Also, with the ongoing pandemic, you never know how dirty the changing room, much less any surface can be. The Ezee Diaper Mat is stylish and functional, and if you're grabbing a quick bite somewhere near, this is the perfect accessory to bring! It packs a few diapers, some baby essentials, and can even store my personal stuff like wallet, keys and mobile.
Also, one other essential to bring along would be entertainment for the kids. I usually throw in a book, activity, or a toy. If you have the time (with 3 kids, who am i kidding, right?) you can DIY some activity packs for your children, maybe a coloring kit, drawing kit, etc and put it in a small handy pouch to grab out.
Eating out with your little ones can be challenging, but what’s parenthood without any challenges? You'll eventually figure it out along the way, and in the meantime, try to enjoy the process!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Valerie Tan
|As a freelance writer, Valerie puts in her all in writing. She is a mother of three and is passionate in everything she does. During her free time, she tries to spend her time with her children and her family.|