Bringing Up Babies In Bars

SS Member Image By drodriguez 03.13.10
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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  • smeador By smeador

    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.

  • MaurChclt By MaurChclt

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

  • jemappel By jemappel

    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.

  • Lusadi By Lusadi

    I think it's terrible. If you need to go out with other parents, hire a sitter and go out. Children do not belong in a bar environment.

  • BlondieKAA By BlondieKAA

    I don't think that a bar is an appropriate place for a baby. I can't imagine it would be enjoyable for a baby/child either. I think a better way is to get kids together for a play date so moms can socialize then. Sometimes our family will get together with another family at one of our houses so the kids can play together and as adults, we get a chance to sit and talk. It's definitely possible to find other means of socialization without having to go to a bar.

  • mardel By mardel

    There is always places that you cold take your children and spend quality time with them besides a bar!! Our society is ruining our children our future! Why would bars tolerate this?

  • justducky21 By justducky21

    I do not head to the bars myself until about 9 p.m. I would not be happy to see someone with a baby at the bar at that hour of the night. It is bad enough when there are teenagers at the bar at that time. If you feel the need to be out and socialize with your friends and your kids, and you say your apt/home is to small for socializing, find another venue that has a room off to the side so you can socialize and your kids play, but noth under the feet of adults who are out and do not want children around. I raised my kids, I don't want to feel obligated to watch someone else's kids when I am out at the bar.

  • gypsy4360 By gypsy4360

    I have been a stay at home mom for six years now. Not once, have I ever thought, hmmm, think I'll take my kids to the bar with me. Should "bar" and family friendly really be used in the same sentence? How safe is it to have a drinking parent with a child alone all day anyway? Here is a tip, go to the mall, go to the park, even go to the grocery store, but be very ashamed if you take your kid into the bars with you. Would it be alright it I took a tween in with me? A kid is a kid after all, right?

  • jseaman By jseaman

    Children do not belong in bars. Even if you can drink and watch your child responsibly can you drink, watch your child AND control the other bar patrons?? If you MUST drink and bring your kids along then a Bar & Grill should be sufficient for you! I just blogged about this same story!

  • girl17 By girl17

    As a parent of 2 young kids I also feel a little isolated but I won't take my kids to a bar. I can't control the other peoples behavior and they might get out of control, putting my kids in danger. We stick to the bar & grill settings like Buffalo Wild Wings. It's much more kid/family friendly and still a great way to socialize with other adults.

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57

    I also don't agree with babies being in bars. Why can't the parents socialize at the park, the library, the museum or other such chlid friendly places and leave the bar scene for those 21 and over? Children are exposed to more than enough well before their time and this is one of them in my opinion.

  • nosey1 By nosey1

    I do not think that bars are the place for babies. It is too loud and the smoke is always a hazzard. I think it would be too much stimlation. I am also too tired to go to the bar after work or during the week, so I would not be taking my baby with. If you are going to the bar on the weekend the baby should not be with as that should be time alone/with friends.

  • dtownraleighgirl By dtownraleighgirl

    This is a tough one. On one hand I think that parents should be able to get out and socialize with their children in tow. On the other hand though, I find myself very annoyed when there are kids screaming or running around/getting in my way. I think a no kids after 5 policy is a good balance. As long as the parents watch the kids and make them behave properly it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise, just stick to Applebee's.

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