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Bringing Up Babies In Bars

Bringing Up Babies In Bars

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?

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  • jemappel By jemappel
    03.16.10  

    I think, like anything, it's not whether you do it, it's how you do it. It would be terrible to have a kid running around a bar and it would be terrible if the noise and crowd were overwhelming for a baby. But when my baby was just a few weeks, I once took him to a bar - it was more like a tavern - across the street from my apt. It was 7pm, not crowded, no smoking, and I had one beer and dinner with a friend. My baby loved the low "din" and slept great! Obviously I thought that was OK. For parents who work during the day, going to parks and playdates is not always an option.

  • MaurChclt By MaurChclt
    03.16.10  

    Really? I mean there's restaurants and then there's BARS and children and babies do not belong in bars. No way!

  • smeador By smeador
    03.16.10  

    Many of the "bars" in our area which is a major city in the south will allow children up until 8 or 9 pm. We are a tourist city and the city relys on the money from those vacationing here for their income. I don't see a problem with taking your child into these establishments which are also great places to eat with the time limit. We also have smoking laws so any establishment that allows smoking must be for 21 and older only. I have a problem in ANY place I go where people do not know how to make their children behave. My children act in a proper manner whether it's shopping at Wal Mart or out at dinner. My youngest is 6 and she is offended by screaming children almost as much as we are.

  • Sparkleandshine By Sparkleandshine
    03.17.10  

    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.

  • kmac971 By kmac971
    03.18.10  

    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.

  • akvalues By akvalues
    03.18.10  

    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.

  • justpassingby By justpassingby
    03.18.10  

    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.

  • dtownraleighgirl By dtownraleighgirl
    03.21.10  

    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.

  • jojobear2007 By jojobear2007
    03.23.10  

    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!!!

  • QueenOfPlastic By QueenOfPlastic
    04.05.10  

    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?

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