One of the things I promised myself when I was pregnant was that I was not going to stop doing the things I loved to do. I wasn’t going to lose my social life and going out with my girl friends just because Chandler came into my life. I read the book Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman (amazing book BTW) and she made a point that stated somewhere along the lines of your child came into your world, therefore they need to adapt to your lifestyle and realize your life does not revolve around them. As a new mom, especially, it’s hard not to drop everything and tend to their every need, trust me. But if you want to keep your social life and be able to bring your babe to girls’ brunches (because who wouldn’t?) you have to start by practicing at home! Here are some of the things I have enforced at home that I think have made my babe much more easy-going when were out.
1.) Playing Independently
Teaching independence at an early age is something we as mother’s are so afraid to do. It’s actually so sad when your baby starts to not need you as much. She learns to sit by herself, eat by herself, and play by herself. I give Chandler a few toys in a confined area (usually just a rug, I don’t put her in a cage or anything LOL) but she’s learned, over many tears and screams, that Mama’s busy and this is her time. I make sure I switch up the toys and I will occasionally go and play with her and encourage her that she’s being so good so that she continues to do this just like any behavior. I think this helps us when we are out because I don’t have to have my undivided attention on her at all times. I can turn to a friend and have a conversation, or eat my food in peace without having a crying impatient toddler at the table. I promise you, we have had those moments at nice restaurants when we are those people who won’t take our screaming baby out and it is NOT a good feeling.
Since Chandler is on a pretty set schedule, I do try my best to plan things in her happiest hours. I try not to mess with nap time EVER because that is just asking for it. I have always loved having a set schedule so it’s never bothered me knowing exactly what I am doing at 2PM three Sunday’s from now. Some people also call that being a control freak, I just call it being prepared. 😂
3.) Bring Ammo
And what I mean by that is bring toys from home that make them feel comfortable. Some tots get uncomfortable in new places and bringing something that reminds them of home can help to calm them down! Like I’ve said before, we always have our Jelly Cat ready for action. On the flip side, I usually bring handheld toys that Chandler doesn’t play with often out with us because it’s something new and exciting for her and she can keep herself occupied!
4.) The Menu
One of the mistakes I still make 80% of the time we go out to eat is I order something for Chandler off the kids menu and it seriously never fails that she wants whatever I’m having. Now, I am not saying this as a negative thing because there have been many times that I have ordered Chandler mac n cheese and she wants some of my salmon and asparagus! I consider that a win for sure! Plus, then I get an order of mac n cheese for dinner, hehe. But what I am trying to say is that your babe shouldn’t have to eat off the kids menu, if she wants what your having LET HER HAVE IT!! This will keep her interested and enjoy eating when you’re out. All in all, Chandler and I split meals now and it saves me bunches of money and bunches of patience as I am not cleaning up the restaurant floor with all the mac n cheese she’s thrown.
5.) It’s OK Mama
One thing’s for sure, you never know what you are going to get when you bring a toddler out. Whether it’s to the grocery store, lunch, or you could be taking them to the park for goodness sake! They are humans and they have their own mind and own feelings, and if they aren’t feeling it, they’ll let you know. That I can assure you. Just take a breath, remind yourself it’s going to be OK, and then whip out Peppa Pig on the iPad. Lol JK!! Kind of… I’m totally guilty of this too. But really, just because you have one or two or three bad experiences out with your toddler doesn’t mean you should stay cooped up at your house all the time! The only way they are going to learn is by doing, so you keep living your life Mama!
I hope I can encourage you Mamas to continue to do the things you love and maybe some of these tips will help you expand your tot’s horizons! Below are a couple things I always have with me when we take Chandler out to eat! What are some of your tips on eating out with your babe? Leave a comment below!
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