Being a parent to a young child often means toting them along with you. It doesn’t make sense to hire a babysitter when you are just meeting a friend for coffee, but how do you help ensure the outing will go smoothly? These tips will help make your coffee dates with young children successful.
If you are going out for coffee and have toddlers in tow, there are a few thoughts you can consider when choosing where to go and what to bring. The first note to consider is that many of the coffee shop patrons will not be bringing children, so it is your responsibility to make sure that your children do not interfere with others experience.
Below are some tips that might be helpful when panning your coffee dates with young children, as well as picking a location to enjoy coffee time:
- Take into account the time of day and the moods of the children involved. Planning around naptime and meals is a good idea, as well as considering what type of clients are likely to be at the coffee shop at certain hours. Avoiding peak coffee house times will likely give you better success rates as well as making your experience that much more relaxing for everyone.
- When possible, try to take your coffee date outside. While sitting and talking in a coffee house might have been your favorite way to connect with friends pre-children, keep in mind that you can also take most drinks to go and sip them at a local park while the children expend their energy. Alternatively, most coffee shops do provide outdoor seating which can be nice for young children as well.
- Bring your own spill-proof cups from home for your little one to enjoy warm cocoa, juice, or milk safely. While most coffee shops provide disposable lids, these are notoriously easy to knock off or cause spills that take away from everyone’s enjoyment.
- Pack your own snacks if possible, or try and visit coffee shops that sell food or snacks so your little one can snack while you catch up.
- There are numerous Mommy-and-Me coffee shops popping up across the US that provide a safe place for children to play while grownups catch up and enjoy a cup of coffee. While these establishments cost more than a typical coffee house and typically charge by the hour for children, they are a great option for when taking your coffee outdoors is not possible.
While these tips won’t guarantee a melt-down free coffee date, they are certainly good thoughts to keep in mind when planning a date to catch up with friends. But, keep in mind that being a parent means being flexible and always be prepared to change your plans if need be and enjoy coffee dates at home on occasion.