Here’s a question you might not find in your new parent handbook: Is it OK to take your baby to a bar with you? If your initial reaction is to recoil in horror at the thought of such terrible parenting, that’s perfectly normal — but hear me out. Taking a baby to a bar as a new parent is a great idea. It gives you the chance to go out in public to reclaim your sanity, without having to pay for a babysitter.
Quite frankly, bars and babies are a match made in heaven. I took my oldest son to a bar with my husband when he was just 2 weeks old. We were new parents who were entirely overwhelmed and also going stir-crazy from being cooped up in the house for weeks — months when you include pregnancy. We just wanted to go out in public and be normal again.
I pumped some breast milk, packed the diaper bag for the first time and planned a few hours when my son would be fairly content between feeding and sleeping. We went to one of our favorite neighborhood breweries in the daytime to have a quick drink and an appetizer to relax. It went off without a hitch. I even posted a few pictures of the scandalous idea to Facebook. Hey, here’s my baby in a bar! He’s hitting the bottle already! Yuk yuk yuk.
In truth, non-smoking bars are excellent places to take a baby. Taylor Tepper describes in Time one of the great benefits of taking your infant to the bar with you, “You are better off eating at home and then going out for a pint or two. Bars are louder than restaurants, and the ambient noise will muffle your baby’s sobs. Also, beer is less expensive than dinner, which means you’ll minimize your sunk costs if you have to leave in a hurry.”
This is it in a nutshell, folks. You may think that you can brave a public outing with your tiny baby to a local restaurant, but you would be wrong. Most times, diners will glare at you when your baby fusses before you pop a bottle in his mouth. Don’t even get me started on what might happen if you whip out your boob to breastfeed at the table.
A bar in the daytime is relaxed and inviting. A bar during happy hour is full of cheerful patrons who might just buy your tired, stressed new parent self a drink. Save your babysitting money for another round.