Andrew: One of the tips that I read about the transition from being a married couple without kids to having kids is to try to get back to the activities you love to do together as soon as possible. The key is find ways to bring the baby along with you, so that he/she also becomes a part of what both of you enjoy doing as a couple (as far as is possible).
Jazzy and I both love eating out and exploring interesting food places, but bringing babyD out is a whole new ball game – but we’re getting the hang of it. Some of our new considerations when dining with Dylan…
1. Ensure that dining location has nursing facilities within the same building (if not, ensure we feed and change diapers before).
Yes, it’s always good to have a nursing room nearby or else baby will pull a face and not be cooperative in photos. (@Arteastiq)
Extended degustation menus, like Ja’an, no longer seem very feasible.
2. Roster eating ‘schedule’. With baby along with us, we now have to take turns to eat our food while the other takes care of baby.
Both of us taking turns to carry Dylan at House@Dempsey
Jasmine: We have been asked why we don’t just bring a stroller and “park” Dylan in there. Well, simply because there is no guarantee that he’d be happy to lie down and stare upwards while the rest of us feast. Nah, I’d rather include him in the meal even if it’s tougher on us. But of course, we’re always very grateful for relatives who offer to carry him or walk him around the restaurant even for just 5 or 10 minutes- that’s when we attack the food, knowing our time is limited. Haha!
Andrew: At a recent visit to my family doctor, he advised me too about not getting babies hooked onto technology devices and always getting them to be part of the ‘mingling’ in the family, or else the kids will grow up always excluding themselves from family conversations and hooked onto their technology devices.
3. Ordering food that can be easily eaten with a fork or spoon (not both)
Andrew: It’s always an added benefit if we order finger food or food that can be easily eaten with just one utensil, because that means we can also eat while holding baby. (Jasmine: Through trial and error, we’ve found out that fried rice, wanton, Swensen’s chips and dips are great for one-handed eating. Spaghetti- bad idea.)
Easy to eat food while carrying baby – shrimp with polenta and basalmic vinegar – yum! (@Otto Ristorante)
Not-so-easy to eat food while carrying baby
– Pork Belly Main course @ Saveur, Far East Plaza
Andrew: At times, we have even resorted to helping the other person cut up the food (especially if it’s Western), so that the other person can eat the food while holding baby. (Jasmine: I’m someone who enjoys admiring the presentation of the food so this is actually the part that I dislike most, the smashing up of food. Not exactly the dignified wine-and-dines I’d envisioned for my adult life, haha.)
4. Cushioned-bench seating is ideal!
Jasmine: Extra spot to stash baby carrier and bag? Check.
When Dylan was a newborn, we also got away several times with putting him to sleep on benches while we ate (with one hand on him, of course).
Now that he’s awake a lot more and loves to participate in family mealtimes (by which I mean, banging the table and grabbing our pasta), we need to keep him on our laps while we try to swivel a spoonful of food around his wriggling body and into our mouths.
Baby comfortably lying down at the swivel seat @TCC and the cushioned seats at Otto Ristorante (the waiter specially moved us there)
One good compromise is to go for high teas instead! The huge plush sofas and armchairs are alot wider than the typical bench. We like Sunday afternoon tea at Ritz-Carlton.
Andrew: Yes, we don’t deny that eating out is definitely more tedious than when it was just the 2 of us and there are places that we would be rather out of place now with baby – but we have definitely gotten better and meals are much more fun with our dearest BabyD around.