Bringing Up Babies In Bars

   By drodriguez  Mar 13, 2010

A growing trend gaining popularity among parents in metropolitan areas like New York and San Francisco is bringing babies into bars.  Walking into a bar in the middle of the day in a family-heavy neighborhood like Park Slope Brooklyn, you are very likely to see a handful of babies and toddlers teetering around while their parents talk over beer and wine.  For a lot of parents, they think of this as a great way to socialize with other adults and get out of their small apartments for a while, but for others (especially the young and single) seeing babies at bars can be annoying.

A recent article from CNN talks about this growing trend of parents taking their babies into bars as well as those who want babies to be banned from their favorite drinking holes.  One opponent of babies in bars is 26-year-old Brooklynite, Julieanne Smolinski .  She tells CNN why she is against sharing a bar with babies, "I will get up on the subway for kids.  I will be tolerant of them kicking the back of my seat while seeing a G-rated movie.  But let me have my bars."

Parents defending the practice of bringing their little ones into the local pub blame the high cost of babysitters in cities and small living quarters for their need to get out with their child every once in a while.  Most will contest that as long as they are responsible about it and keep their kids well behaved then there is nothing wrong with having them in the more family friendly bars.

Matt Gross, freelance editor for the blog Dadwagon and stay-at-home father, says that there is nothing wrong with taking his 14-month-old into his local bars every now and again.  Gross says, "As a stay-at-home dad, it can be kind of isolating.  Bars, as much as they are places to drink, they are places to socialize and meet people.  I long for adult contact...I don't want to be excluded from the adult world."  Thoug some bars welcome parents and babies for a quick drink, others have taken the hint from their regulars who don't want to see babies in their bars and banned strollers from the premises while others have instituted a "no kids after 5pm rule."

What do you think of the growing trend of city-dwellers bringing their babies into bars?

Do you think babies should be banned from bars or should parents be allowed to socialize with their babies in tow?

Make a Comment

Ellayem by Ellayem | Cincinnati, OH
Jun 05, 2010

If you still want to go out to bars and don't want to hire a babysitter, then don't have children. It's not fair to the child nor to the other patrons of the bar. I don't want to listen to a crying baby as I'm trying to enjoy an adult night out at an adult establishment.

brimcgrail by brimcgrail | Clinton Twp, MI
May 26, 2010

I understand that wanting to socialize with our peers is important. I also realize as parents we sometimes need time out of the house. I believe their are plenty of places to go, visit with friends, and NOT have the children in a bar...I patronize bars as my children are older, and I would not ever have taking my kids into a bar when they were younger. There are people there that you cannot language, behavior etc... I would never have exposed my children to behavior that I sometimes find to be obnoxious. It doesn't matter what time you go, sometimes there are people there that have sat at the bar all day. NOT a good idea. I would like to know why anyone would go anyplace with their kids, have a drink or two and then drive home....I believe all bars should be 21 and older...

mommaduck by mommaduck | SAINT CHARLES, MO
May 21, 2010

this disgusts me. no babies should not be in bars. i hate my girls around people that are smoking. and when they get older and if they still go to bars with their parents and see everyone drink, they will probably be alcoholics. bars are 21 and older no exception

Ambiguoussage by Ambiguoussage | Brooklyn, NY
May 21, 2010

Ummm what about the fact that the parent is drinking while caring for their child. If you have a drink or two you aren't supposed to operate a vehicle, but you can push a stroller? It doesn't sit right with me. Be sides, there's a 21 and over rule in most bars. How old can the kid get away with entering the bar?

Leggbeer by Leggbeer | Waltham, MA
Apr 18, 2010

I'm an elementary school teacher and have had parents that do this with their children. I see two sides to it. If it's a Friday night and the child can sleep in late the next morning, ok. If it's a school night and you have your child out until 11pm, it's not ok. Parents are also setting an example for their children at any age. If the message that drinking in controls amounts is expressed and taught then the situation becomes a little bit more tolerable. If children see their parents getting drunk and falling on the floor drunk, then the situation is different.

babyface239 by babyface239 | harker heights, TX
Apr 16, 2010

I do not agree with having kids in bars as bars are loud, full of smoke and cursing, and it teaches them wrong values, as far as that goes there are a lot of fights in bars and what if your child was there they could get hurt

Marylandgurl2002 by Marylandgurl2002 | Fayetteville, NC
Apr 13, 2010

I don't have any kids but i don't see the problem of taking a baby to a bar as long as it's a safe one and the parents wait till all alcohol is out of their system to drive. On the other hand if i go to the bar tochill out i don't want to hear a screaming/crying baby. I'm married but for most people bars are to hook up, relax, chill out, hang out and etc. Baby's should be kept out.

basilandcatnip by basilandcatnip | GARLAND, TX
Apr 07, 2010

It is a tough call. Depends on the location, time of day, just how family friendly the place is, the ratio of food served to bar, is it smoke free, ar you inside or out on a patio, who owns the location, age and behavior of child, what are parents and people around them drinking (non alcoholic or shots).

QueenOfPlastic by QueenOfPlastic | Pipersville, PA
Apr 05, 2010

Wrong in everyway. If someone must go to a bar to enjoy a night out, then they're only looking to consume alcohol as there are plently of socializing places that don't supply booze. Brining a child with them to a bar is a recipe for disaster. Why even consider the option?

jojobear2007 by jojobear2007 | Jenks, OK
Mar 23, 2010

That is absolutely ridiculous!! I don't think people have any place drinking because it messes up their lives, yet alone take their children!! What is happening to this world??? It is very unsafe to take a child into a place like that. This is a messed up thing!!!

dtownraleighgirl by dtownraleighgirl | unsubscribe, NC
Mar 21, 2010

This discussion has gone in a weird direction. I guess most of you think that bars are only for "partying" and getting wasted? Have you never been out for a casual drink or two? I'm pretty sure that's what the parents in this story are talking about, not going out and drinking heavily until they obliterated. Obviously taking your kid along when you do that is a bad idea, but that's not the discussion here. Also 39 of 50 of states have public smoking bans in place, with more to follow soon, so again, I think the smokiness argument is irrelevant - particularly since the prompt was discussing parents in Brooklyn, where there has been a smoking ban for years. I really don't think any of these parents are advocating bringing there kids into smoky establishments.

justpassingby by justpassingby | THOUSAND OAKS, CA
Mar 18, 2010

Whether the bar is family friendly or not, babies should not be in bars, and it is not due to the high cost of babysitters. It is due to parents that do not want to pay for a babysitter while they are out partying.

akvalues by akvalues | ANCHORAGE, AK
Mar 18, 2010

I have an 8 mo. old son, and I would NEVER take him into a bar. You never know what to expect in that type of environment.

kmac971 by kmac971 | Lawrenceville, GA
Mar 18, 2010

I don't think children should be in bars. I understand the parent wanting to get out and sosocialize with other adults but there are other establishments that they can meet friends or family members at besides a bar. I just don't think kids should be in bars.

Sparkleandshine by Sparkleandshine | Chandler, AZ
Mar 17, 2010

I don't see a problem with taking your baby to a bar/grill or a tavern that sells beer. What I do have a problem with is people taking a baby to a place that is mainly serving alcohol. That seems a bit strange. Where I live you can't smoke so that doesn't bother me but I just don' think it's appropriate to take a baby to a place that is mainly used for drinking as they aren't of age (obviously). Most taverns where I live let children in but only until 9 after that everyone has to be 21.