Baby Bar

Me (L) and Baby (R)

I’ll tell you one thing that’ll make you look at pubs and bars very differently, bringing a baby into them.

Now I can boast a wee nipper of my very own (very wee infact, he’s about the same size as my pint glass in the picture over there on the left) I’m not giving up on trips to the pub, or sampling new beers, or just enjoying the convivial atmosphere you go into a good bar.

In England it seems to be considered a bit odd to carry your baby with you to the pub, but pop into any bar in mainland Europe and no-one would turn their head at all.

Thankfully, some bars round these parts like to take a good European attitude about these things. Way back when my new local Alfred opened I contacted the owners (this was when my little one was still safely in the womb) and asked if they would be accepting babies. I was delighted to discover that they would be very welcoming indeed – even having a changing table (albeit in the ladies’ loos only).

Within the first week of having the little ‘un home, I was wrapping him up in our special baby sling (take a look at the photo) and popping out to Alfred for a quick pint. Obviously, you don’t want to be getting drunk while holding the baby, that’s both reckless and irresponsible, but I can see no harm in having a drink or two with baby attached.

On the other end of the scale to Alfred, I was surprised to learn that the neighbouring East of Arcadia would only allow kids in during the day, and only if you were eating. But they do let dogs in at all times. I’m not sure what that says about the relative noise and smells of dogs and babies.

Now, I know that for someone heading out for a quiet drink, the idea of a screaming baby at the next table is pretty horrific and, I can see the point. Bringing a little child with no self-control into an adult environment needs to be done with sensitivity to the other people you’re sharing a room with.

Our personal plan is to make sure the little ‘un is settled before leaving the house, fed, changed and happy. As long as you’re not out for more than a few hours, he’s not going to start kicking up a fuss. And, if he does, then you need to react to his needs quickly. If for some reason he won’t settle or quiet (which hasn’t happened yet) it’d be a case of quickly finishing up and heading home. Simple.

So what do you think? Is it ok to bring a baby into a bar? Comment and let me know.

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6 Responses

  1. As long as they do as you do. As soon as the howling starts it is time to leave.

  2. The same rules shoud apply to children and dogs – as long as they’re well behaved and not upsetting anyone, then fine.

  3. It’s not always the venue’s decision – I’ve worked in places which wanted to allow children but were refused licenses.

  4. I agree with Tandleman and Zak. So long as they’re quiet then it’s all good, but like you said Tom, having a baby screaming away on the next table is not cool at all!

  5. Completely agree, if they’re not crying or running around and annoying other customers there’s no harm in allowing babies/children. As a local Meanwood resident I campaigned to the council to get East of Arcadia and Alfred open. I’m pregnant so am still looking forward to my first pint in each of them after the baby arrives. If bars don’t admit me with the baby, my friends and I will go elsewhere and never return.

  6. I almost took Lauren in on Saturday, but the weather and the walk up the hill in the rain meant we stayed in the car and got a lift home.

    As i pick her up and walk past at 5 most nights, it is always empty enough that i am tempted for one – in the knowledge i can take her in. The only thing that puts me off is the collapsing of the pram, the moving of chairs to get settled, and fear she’ll not be in the mood after a long day in the nursery. Maybe a sunday afternoon is best option for a family day out – of respectable, moderate drinking

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