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Tips on getting toddlers to behave in Restaurants

Tuesday, 25 October 2016  | 

My family lives in a different town to me so we try to meet up every week or two for dinner, we don't go anywhere fancy just family friendly restaurants or cafe's but it is getting harder and harder to get Sophia to behave. Now that she is 2.5 she is getting a bit too big for a high chair (she recently got stuck in one lol) and she can un-clip it herself and then decides to stand up in it which is dangerous. So I've started sitting her on a normal chair the problem is keeping her on it as she would rather run around like a loon. It's embarrassing not being able to control your toddler out in public and I can feel the judgemental eyes on me. So I've decided to put together some distraction tips -

  • Does the restaurant have free WiFi? take a tablet out with you. My daughter likes to watch the kids YouTube channel.
  • Take out a magazine/sticker book or colouring book.
  • Have a couple of special toys that you always keep in your bag. Hopefully they won't get bored with them as quick if they don't play with them that often.
  • Pack some snacks for emergency bribery situations.
  • Take a lucky bag or surprise egg.
  • Put together a personalised restaurant survival kit featuring all of the above and more.
  • Look into dedicated toys, 'farm in a tin' is top of my to buy list. They also do 'zoo in a tin' and lots more. it's basically a whole wooden play set in a small tin perfect for popping in your changing bag.
  • Look for a restaurant that has a soft play area.
  • Eat out with someone else who has a child of a similar age, hopefully they will keep each other entertained.
Anyone else find eating out a nightmare? If you have any tips please share them with me as I'm struggling with it at the moment. I hate how all restaurants now have surprise egg machines everywhere, it ends up costing a small fortune before we even order food. The one good thing about still breastfeeding into toddler-hood is that I know she will always sit quiet and still on my knee so I always have that as a back up plan if she is kicking off. www.wiganmum.com