For the first full year of our twins’ lives, we did not go out to restaurants. At all. Covid-19 made it impossible for us to risk exposure since babies can’t wear masks and there’s not yet a vaccine for them.
But, as more and more people are getting vaccinated and the norm is now to keep a safe distance from one another, we’ve gotten more comfortable with the idea of dining out. On top of Covid concerns, two toddlers under 2 years old makes the dining out experience a little more on the stressful side than relaxing.
Without a few key must-have items, our experiences with restaurants would, I believe, be overwhelming.
1. Busy Baby Silicone Placemat – Built-in Suction Cups
At every restaurant we go to, we place these silicone mats in front of each baby. The attachments create loops that we can put around the handles of sippy cups, toys, and bowls so we’re not constantly picking up stuff they want to throw on the floor. These are the lifesavers of all lifesavers and at the top of my must-have list for eating out with a baby.
2. Munchkin Snack Catcher
From the time we are seated at the restaurant to the time we actually get any food in front of us, our kids want to be munching on something. So that they don’t spoil their meals completely, we bring small snacks in these little bowls. Using the mats mentioned above, we loop the attachment around the handle so the kids can’t throw the bowls on the floor and can have a little something to nibble on before we get our food.
3. Any Angle Click Lock Weighted Straw Trainer Cup
Admittedly, we do get a little embarrassed if our twins make giant messes at the restaurants we eat at. They’ll drink out of open cups, but not without spilling the liquid everywhere. That’s why we prefer to bring our own trainer cups with us. The girls still haven’t quite figured out that they don’t have to tip cups up if they have straws. That’s why these weighted straw cups are perfect for dining out. They have the suck motion figured out, but since they still tip the cup up, the lid prevents spilling and they still get liquid since the straw moves with the angle of the cup.
4. SuperBib Baby Bib, Waterproof, Washable Fabric
Part of the fun of having twins is seeing the joy on the faces of others when they ask about them. “They’re SO cute! Are they twins?” “You guys have your hands full, huh?” Because twins garner so much attention, we try to keep their carefully chosen clothes clean while they eat. These bibs are perfect because they are waterproof and wipe clean so easily. Also, double bonus with the pocket that catches crumbs so we don’t make a mess on the floor (or at least, not as big of a mess.)
5. Push Bubble Pop Fidget Toys
Because we don’t get out very often, our twins behave pretty well when we go out to dine. They are usually kept entertained by all the people and sounds going on around them. However, there are times when the service is slow and if we have to wait for a long time, we have to find something to distract them. These silicone fidget toys are the perfect distraction for bored toddlers. For ours, we cut out one of the holes so that we can attach it to the silicone mats mentioned above so that the babies can’t toss them on the floor. These things are also great to use as teethers.
If you have a must-have for dining out with kids that didn’t make it on my list, let me know! I’m always on the hunt for ways to make life with twins easier!
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