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Monday question: Advice for baby dining etiquette?

Posted by Robin Abrahams  November 12, 2012 06:32 AM

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Now that storms and elections are over, let's celebrate the return to normalcy with a Monday question. This new mother is looking for advice:

As a first time mom I am coming across a host of new issues and wanted to write to you to gain some baby insight. When dining at a restaurant with my baby who is actively eating dinner or lunch as well, how do I handle the mess that she makes? I travel with surface wipes and always try to clean the table off before and afterwards but there is inevitably a pile of food that lands on the floor beneath the high chair. Should I crawl under the table to clean it up or is it understood that babies simply miss their mouths while learning to eat? We avoid going out during peak dining times (typically around 5:30 or 6pm) and frequent restaurants that we deem more "baby friendly" yet always feel a little badly leaving a mess for the waiter. There is also the logistical challenge at times of holding a squirming baby while trying to clean up.

What have you got, dear commenters? Advice from parents, waitstaff, and restaurant managers is especially welcome. I'll summarize your advice on Friday. 

(If you have questions of your own about ethics, etiquette, or esthetics, send them in! And join me on Facebook, my virtual water-cooler of choice.)

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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