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Toddlers & Preschoolers Toddlers & Preschoolers

How to take a toddler to a restaurant 101.

Posted by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM
  • 12 Replies
1 mom liked this

Last night we took the kids out to dinner with a group of friends, most of whom don't have kids. 

There were 12 adults, our three toddlers and one other family with their almost 3 year old. 

Our kids were fantastic!    They dropped some food, they were a little loud, we did spill a little bit of one of the drinks but overall for 2 and 3 year olds they were awesome. 

I did not think a whole lot of it, but afterwards our friend (whos 2 year old was not as awesome) asked us how we kept THREE kids so well behaved during dinner.   We talked for a minute and she asked me to send her my "technique" so she could share it with her play group moms LMFAO!!! 

I thought this would be a good place to get feedback/more ideas to share with her.

How to take your toddlers to a dinner party: 

NAPS!   We left our afternoon activity early so they could get a good long nap in before we left for dinner. 

Snack: We were going to a steak house, so we fed the kids a high protein snack before we left, knowing that they would fill up on roles while we waited for dinner. 

Cups: we brought our own cups because they are just not quite ready to do the big cups at the restaurant. With 16 people at the table, this also ment we did not have to wait for drinks.  

Toys: We brought two small, QUIET, simple toys for each kid.  (in our case a miniture magnadoodle and an old cell phone with no power, just buttons). 

Babywipes:  We are almost to the point where we don't have to travel with wipes anymore, but I always keep a pack in my bag for at the table... anything they spilled, wiped in their hair, or any other mess got cleaned up immideatly, so even though we probably had 40 "messes" that needed to be wiped up over the evening, it never got piled up and looked like a disaster at our end of the table. 

Quiet time:  When one kid got frustrated and started getting loud we went to the bathroom... not like "proverbial 'go to the bathroom to get a spanking', just got up, changed the scenery for a minute, and went back to our seats and he was good for the rest of dinner. 


Anything else you more experianced moms want to add?

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
RobynS
by Robyn on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:41 PM

That's great advice! Our kids are pretty good at restaurants, too. But I never thought we had a 'technique'--I guess I just thought we were lucky! LOL

3mommyandwifey
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:46 PM
Lol I didn't know it was a technique I thought I have good kids lol 9,5,2
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JoanahLee
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM


Quoting 3mommyandwifey:

Lol I didn't know it was a technique I thought I have good kids lol 9,5,2

LOL, right!  Thats what I said too... we joked all the way home about getting a copyright for our 'technique', but I don't think you can copyright basic common sense... I just did not realize it was in high demand lol!  


I really thought this woman was joking about 'sending her the technique', but she was dead serious.   

Necie72
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM

LOL  I just thought it came with good home training.  DD has never given me problems.  I've been taking her to restaurants since she was an infant.  The one and only time I ever had a problem was when we went with a friend who has 4 kids.  Her oldest was the WORST...  Slinking under the table when she got upset, making faces at her mother, not wanting to listen...  DD was observing it ALL...  I told her IMMEDIATELY that if she wanted to act like her and misbehave like her, she would get a spanking.  So, she knew that behavior was wrong...  She has done it at home to test me I guess, but when I tell her to get down and go to her room she stops.

jlbelknap35
by Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Lol sometimes it is just the kid though. I have 2 boys, one who is AWESOME ANYWHERE you take him and the other who is the pits anywhere you take him lol. We raised them the same and do practically the same things you do but my one son has a mind of his own and when he makes up his mind on something he will not EVER change it. These 2 boys have been like this sense they were born. You are right, a nap and snacks can be a god sin for going out, if they are tired and hungry there is no "technique" that will make things go smooth.
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CelestialSong
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 3:05 PM
My 18 month old gets very bored at restaurants once she's full. It's hard to keep her sitting quietly when she wants to run around and see everything. We went out to lunch a couple days ago and I caught some woman giving me the stink eye when I let the kid stand up on the seat (in a booth) and was pointing at everything she could see wanting me to name it all (an endless litany of "That's a hat. Yes, like Daddy's hat. That's a window. Those are cars. That's still a hat." lol) so I'm guessing Old Lady Stink Eye thought that was unacceptable behavior.
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2-point-doe
by Silver Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:03 PM

 Playdoh and pipe cleaners are tow of our restaurant favorites. My DD is 5 now (and we eat out a lot and lawyas have) but i still keep a bag of art stuff, work books etc in the car.

collinsmommy0
by Silver Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM
We always bring stuff for DS to do. He's 21 months & we've never had a problem. We bring stickers, crayons, small toys, and books.

My friend has a 2.5 & 5 year old & they are wild. She doesn't bring anything for them & they walk around the restaurant, scream, throw food, etc. I won't go to a restaurant with her anymore.
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We12
by New Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:11 PM
We always try to make sure she's had a good nap, bring her snacks and sippy cups. Play doh is a good idea!
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We12
by New Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM
We always try to make sure she's had a good nap, bring her snacks and sippy cups. Play doh is a good idea! I will have to try that.
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