Should Restaurants Offer "Baby Seating"?



A writer for Serious Eats suggests that restaurants offer an early "baby seating." Similar to movie theaters that offer mommy and baby showings on weekday mornings, restaurants would advertise special baby-friendly dining hours as a way to attract parents who would otherwise choose to stay home with their babies.

What do you think of this idea? Would you take advantage of "baby-friendly" hours?

eating out, family meals, kid-friendly, suggestions, trends


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Fista... Fistandantalus

There already is a "baby seating" time at most chain restaurants, it's called "shift change".  I've taken advantage of restaurant shift change ever since I had kids.  Between 2 and 4 pm, you'll be treated like  royalthy at most places.

mrsgu... mrsgunsage

I'm not sure...

We expect our daughter to display proper behavior and table manners when we eat out.  She has alwyas been very good at restaurants.  We routinely have other patrons stop by our table to tell us they have never seen such a well behaved child.

If we were in a setting where there were other kids acting wild and not being corrected for it because it was a "family hour" it would set a bad example for how we want our kids to behave.

I would probably not take my children to a special seating time.  I've never had an issue taking my daughter to normal restaurants, even some that aren't as "child friendly".

I will add that I don't know how my baby son will react... so in 2 years I might change my mind about this.

Tracys2 Tracys2

They kind of do though-- 5 to 6pm are full of kids around here. But it's a good idea for when your kid is acting up. Keeping them home doesn't help them learn how to behave, taking them out of the restaurant doesn't teach them how to behave, and this way they can be taught without annoying others.

My kids are generally good and don't yell and do talk and draw quietly most of the time, but certainly they're not perfect (because clearly I am not either, though not from lack of trying) and they go through difficult patches when we take them at off hours for a couple weeks till they learn what not to do.

teena... teenagemama19

at what kind of restaurants ones like Denny's or like fancy ones? the way i see it, is if they have a kids menu all hours are kids' hours, but as mommy and daddy, do use manners and dont let your child scream for long.

yogap... yogapantz

I am all for it, if it means I can have a decent dinner out with my husband on our date night.  The last thing I want to do is listen to someone elses kid crying non-stop, especially the clueless ones who decide my one ight out in ages is the time to try CIO so they blithely ignore the wails while they cram cheddar biscuits in their pie holes and ignore the pointed looks from all other diners in the room. 

rkxs4 rkxs4

I have 4 children ranging in ages 3 - 12.  Absolutely I would love restaurants to have that availability for both reasons. When I take my amazing 3 year old who may or not be, hmm, well what others may enjoy for their entertainment giving, lets say on some said night.  Depending on my blessed child's disposition that is. Then on the other hand when I am granted a quited evening out without my children I may not want to be entertained by other children either, when all I want is that quiet adult conversation.

yogap... yogapantz

"Shouldn't all hours be child friendly hours?"

NO.  Believe it or not, the whole rest of the world is not in love with your children the way you & your family are. Be fair to everyone, especially if it's such a nice restaurant that they don't even have crayons & coloring pages for your kids.

Jason... JasonsMom2007

My son is very well behaved so I would not worry about taking him during those hours.  He will sit quietly and does not even make a mess when he eats his meal.

My friend has a little girl who is 3 months younger than my son and I do believe she would take advantage of it though since her LO is loud, messy, and does not want to stay in her seat!

Agent... AgentBrez

sounds like a good idea. i would definitely go out to eat a little more, as a treat, by myself with my toddler and baby if i knew it would be eaiser.

Agent... AgentBrez

hmm after reading all the responses im not sure i understand completely. i thought the idea was to have hours to make it easier for moms [or dads] to take their kids to a restaurant by themselves? my toddler and baby are usually pretty well behaved when we go out to eat but they are also at an age where they get antsy, especially if we have to wait for a table for a long time. we do the best we can with them, but if i am at a chain sit down place [like fridays, applebees etc] i don't worry too  much about bothering other people b/c it is the kind of placr you should expect families and kids. if i was at a fancy restaurant i would be more sensitive to the other diners and remove my child if they were throwing a fit or be prepared to leave or not go in the first place.

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