Of course, baby or child restrictions can be super inconvenient for people who do not have some type of child care. These restrictions are becoming more and more popular these days, and moms are honestly starting to hop on board. Sure it may be inconvenient to find a sitter to watch a child while mom goes to dinner or a concert or to even catch a spin class, but mom has a life and she needs to get out too! So if she can't find a babysitter, there are two options: stay home or bring the baby.
On the other hand, though, everyone (including parents) get a little tired of seeing children out in public, especially when parents aren't paying enough attention to discipline their children. Many places are adopting such policies because they are trying to protect their business, customers, and even the kids themselves. Previously the world has expected parents to have common sense about what is an appropriate place to have a baby, but it turns out that common sense is fleeting.
While there are few laws anywhere that determine where parents can and cannot bring their child, businesses do have the authority to create their own rules regarding this. Some places, like bars and restaurants, are beginning to have child-free hours or offer kid-friendly specials at specific times. Other places are completely banning children under ages 6, 12, 16, or 18. These places likely must take into consideration how such rules and bans will affect their clientele and profits.
While surely there are enough sassy tots out there to justify these rules, it can be a burden for many moms. We are faced with some sticky choices and sometimes basically feel the need to pick one child (or his/her activity) over another. Our own hobbies and activities suffer as well because now we need to find a babysitter and even face some extra mom guilt too likely.
19 No-Go: Certain Gym Facilities
There are a few gyms and fitness centers which provide childcare. If it doesn't, that is not an invitation to bring baby along for our workout anyways! Of course, it is great that mom wants to work on her post-baby body or set a good fitness example for her child, but that does not mean her baby needs to be present. Obviously, this is an issue for moms who cannot find a sitter or cannot afford the gyms that offer childcare.
On the flip side, the gym is just not a place for kids. Most have rules regarding a guest's minimum age being at least 12 years old. There's a good reason for it, actually a few. Gyms can be loud between the equipment and the music. That's not great for a tiny baby. It can really kill a person's mojo to be mid-workout and hear someone else's kid wailing because they're hungry or need a new diaper. The machines can pose a hazard to little ones.
18 No-Go: The Movie Theatre
While technically most movie theaters do not have an age limit, socially it is a well-known rule that babies and small children do not belong at the movies. Of course, animated children's movies do not apply to this rule. However, if we decide to go to a movie as a family or just do not want to have to worry about finding a sitter, we should not expect our babies to behave "properly" during a movie.
Just because our baby can sleep at home with a tv show or movie on does not mean he/she will handle the intensity of the big screen and sound that we experience at a theater. There is very little room for anyone to be understanding to the parents who decided to try their luck and bring a little one to the movie. Catching a flick surely is not a necessity. It isn't relaxing for anyone to hear the baby wail or for mom to pace the aisles with the child trying to keep him calm.
17 Allowed: The Local Bar
In many places, it is totally legal to bring a baby to a bar. For some, that sounds horrifying, but for other people, it is totally the norm. The crowd may be tame, but we should remember that a bar is where people go to let loose so it may not always be a place where good judgment is exercised. Most times the final say of whether the baby should be allowed is up to the parents (who would hopefully leave with their baby).
It can be difficult to get any grown-up time in when we have a little one. There are plenty of bars that are child appropriate and still allow parents to have a life outside of their house and the park. While the move has been called "selfish" or "controversial," it has been happening for generations. Our grandparents likely brought our parents down to the bar on occasion when they were babies. If they turned out OK and survived, our kids likely will too.
16 No-Go: Certain Salons And Spas
Salons and spas have always been a quiet zone. We all know that it is very little about a baby that is quiet. This is just a part of the reason why many salons and spas are opting to set policies that prevent clients from bringing babies and kids with them to appointments. They are also setting age minimums for services, usually 10-12 years old, because kids will be able to better behave.
Honestly, as a patron, there would be few things more annoying than a screaming kiddo while trying to relax. Sure we can all be understanding and empathetic because that mom likely needs to relax too. Many people there though are trying to do the same thing, and they had the foresight to leave their little ones at home. It is rather upsetting when our adult or me time is interrupted because people brought their kids to an environment where kids just do not belong.
15 No-Go: Religious Establishments
The old belief that children should be seen and not heard is still alive for some of the older generations today. It is most often seen shockingly in certain religious establishments. Those who follow this belief are often the people who scowl when a crying baby is in their church service. Some more old-fashioned establishments have policies and congregations that strongly encourage parents to use the nursery or Sunday school options for their little ones as to not disrupt the service.
This can be super inconvenient for moms with nursing babies because she will likely have to be back and forth a time or two and miss parts of the service as well. Some kids do not do well separated from their parents which leaves the family facing two choices: leave early or don't go. Some young families find themselves looking for a new church home when they have kids or due to how the congregation reacts to or treats theirs. How our kids are treated can really leave a bad taste in our mouths if it isn't what we expect.
14 Allowed: Tattoo Parlors
A baby in a tattoo shop is something that seems to get a full on *GASP* for a response, but is it appropriate parenting? There are actually quite a few moms who have brought their bundles of joy with them while getting a tattoo. They usually bring someone else along as well to occupy baby, which means they likely would have had someone to watch the baby at home.
This concept has been pretty taboo because we just generally do not think of a tattoo parlor as a particularly baby friendly environment. Some shops do have their own policies banning any children at all, but there is no general restriction. Some parents even bring their babies to a tattoo shop to get their ears pierced! That's a whole other controversy. If we think about it tattoo parlors are usually (or at least supposed to be) sterile and clean. No mom in her right mind is letting baby play with needles or crawl on the floor and likely has him/her in a car seat or stroller for the time.
13 No-Go: The Pediatrics Unit
Unless the baby is a patient themselves, it is likely they will not be allowed in the pediatric ward of a hospital. There may be some areas that are restricted or simply the whole floor. It's for the best for both baby and the patients. Babies do not have a great immune system first of all.
Kids, in general, carry all kinds of germs which can be extremely harmful and even fatal for the patients in a pediatric unit. Many of these units restrict visitors that are under the age of 12 even if they are siblings of the patient. They do not want babies or kids bringing in any germs that can be harmful to patients so many parents do have to make some type of choice or sacrifice. It can be extremely difficult to not have all of our kids together, especially when one is in the hospital, but we have to the logical reasoning behind these usually unknown rules.
12 No-Go: Certain Yoga Studios
Unless we are going to some type of mommy and me yoga class, we should leave our bundles of joy at home. Most places offer classes targeted towards babies as well as kids of other ages as well. This is not an invitation to bring our little one with us to our adult yoga class.
A crying baby or rambling toddler can ruin anyone's concentration and meditation no matter how zen we may be. It isn't fair to the other yoga goers to basically waste their time and likely come out more stressed and frustrated that they were to begin with.
Some places provide child care during classes for this very reason. It gives mom the opportunity to attend class without having to worry about getting a sitter. Yoga simply is not a place for anyone under probably the age of 12 at least. It is relaxing and calming which babies just do not understand. (Duh they're babies!)
11 Allowed: Monster Truck Rallies
This definitely does not sound like a baby-friendly activity. We're pretty sure that the changing stations may be limited, but that hasn't stopped parents from bringing their itty bitty babies and tots to monster truck rallies. Most have the good sense to have baby wear some form of ear protection. That does not protect baby though from dust or other flying debris that can happen at such event.
It's great that new inventions like the baby carrier have allowed us to have our babies with us everywhere we go. It eliminates the need for a sitter at times, allows to get more things done, and have our hands free. But has it encouraged us to bring our baby to places we typically wouldn't? There truthfully is not a great place to set the baby down at this event so he/she is pretty much stuck in the carrier or on our lap the entire time. That can be difficult and boring for all involved. Sure no one will hear if baby fusses or really mind over the sounds of the trucks, but that doesn't mean that baby still won't be stressed.
10 No-Go: Hospital Nurseries
Some hospitals welcome their former patients back, but hospital nurseries are getting more strict when it comes to little ones visiting. There has been confusion between new babies who are patients or visitors. Of course today most have great security systems to ensure that baby stays with mom and no one else can take him/her out, but why risk it? Some hospitals would rather just avoid the switcheroo or kidnap risk. We cannot blame them. It just sounds like a bad movie that we all have seen already.
We would think that a place that focuses on mom and baby would welcome them with open arms. However little ones have developing immune systems and do not need the germs that can come with other tiny human visitors. During the peak of this nasty influenza season, some units even went as far as to restrict any visitors under 12 years of age.
9 No-Go: Weddings
The days of watching adorable tots and preschoolers dance at wedding receptions might shortly be behind us as many more wedding invitations are coming with a "no kids or babies please" clause. Brides-to-be have enough to worry about, and they just do not want to deal with the interruptions that can happen when babies or small children are at their wedding. No one wants to hear a fussy baby crying as they are trying to say "I do."
We are now in the society where Bride-zilla is in full form as weddings can cost more than a new vehicle so it is understandable that the bride to be wants everything to be perfect. At the same time, this definitely puts a strain on family members and guests. Often times it can really put parents in a bind who use other family members as sitters because who stays behind with the kiddos?
8 Allowed: College Classes
Babies in college have been taking over the internet with adorable posts of professors who encourage their students who just also happen to be parents. Of course, a crying baby could easily be a distraction to other students in a lecture, but we are seeing it to be a more common situation these days. Parents bring their itty bitty babies who barely make a peep and some even bring little ones who had off of school for the day to color while class goes on. More and more professors are encouraging their students to come to class, even if it means bringing a tiny tag along with. They are focused and care about their students. They would rather have them attend and learn than skip for such a silly reason.
Sure the typical college student may or may not be understanding. It's a good thing they are not the ones in charge. Tolerance is an important aspect of society, and this is surely a good lesson for college kids to learn. Whether they decide to be parents themselves one day or not, they will still have to interact with babies at some point.
7 No-Go: School Performances
When we have multiple kids, we sometimes find ourselves having to actually choose between them. School performances have been limiting the amount of "guests" that each child can provide, usually due to a lack of space. This leaves parents unable to bring siblings along. Some schools also mandate a "no sibling rule" due to interruptions that can happen during holiday concerts and other performances from small kids and babies.
This issue seems to be newer, but it leaves parents in quite a bind. Depending on how young baby is, it isn't practical for mom to leave him/her with a sitter which means she ends up missing a school performance. If parents cannot find a sitter, they are forced to decide which parents get to go and who stays home. It cannot be a fun position to be in.
6 No-Go: Baby Showers
Why would anyone think that an event that has the word "baby" in it wouldn't allow babies? That seems absurd. This is becoming a new trend though among moms to be. They ask that guests leave their own bundles of joy at home to celebrate the one we are expecting. It's not exactly fair, but it's her day right? Some moms to want the attention to be just on them, not some guest's little one. Sure we can say it's selfish, but many of us have had the same thought ourselves.
Having a no babies policy allows us to have some quality adult time. That will surely be in low supply when mom has her baby so let her soak it up now while she still can. It also ensures that her guests are focused on her and her baby rather than tending to their own screaming kiddos. She also won't have to worry about someone stealing her baby's thunder.
5 Allowed: Concerts
Loud music and babies aren't a traditional combination, but we are finding more and more babies jamming out (or snoozing) through concerts. Thanks to baby carriers and the fact that we can wear our babies as an accessory, it seems that parents are bringing their little ones to concerts where we generally wouldn't expect them. Most of these little ones are protected from the crowd and safely tucked in a baby carrier on a parent's chest. They usually also have some type of ear protection as well as to not blast their little eardrums out with the loud music. Save that for the teenage years.
Quite a few parents have gotten some hate for this because the crowd is not always child-friendly or appropriate. Others think it is absolutely fantastic that parents are getting their child used to the environment. Some find it "cool" that parents are still finding ways to be involved with their children while attending adult functions.
4 No-Go: Work Office
Today two working parents in a household are rather common which leaves parents faced with a decision regarding who will watch the baby. They also have to decide who is going to stay home when the baby is sick, or a sitter is unavailable. This can be actually really hurt some people's careers, usually it is mom.
Many utilize some form of childcare while they are at work which can be costly. School, daycare, and work schedules often conflict leaving parents to need to seek out additional child care as a back up as well.
In a perfect world, our workplace would allow our little ones, especially new babies, to accompany us. It would be less distracting than mom spending her day worrying about her baby. It would surely make it easier for the many moms who have to return to work early for financial and career reasons to do so.
3 No-Go: Fine Dining
Fine dining and small children do not go well together. Many fancier restaurants are making "no baby" policies because a romantic dinner does not include a wailing baby. It's just the truth. We can pretend our baby is perfect and would never cry in public or a quiet setting. Too bad that simply is not true because babies are crazy unpredictable. They aren't in tune with social cues and manners because they're babies. They shouldn't be expected to know how to act in such an environment. We as parents should, however, exercise the proper common sense that such an environment probably isn't the best place for our little one and leave him/her at home, or don't go.
Sure there are a lot of restaurants that welcome little ones. They are not the type of places that we go for a quiet, romantic, candle-lit dinner though. That date night setting doesn't include children for good reason. It can be distracting to the parents and other customers. As parents we tend to get used to our children's constant nagging, acting out, and other behaviors that can be distracting and bothersome to a couple trying to enjoy a quiet dinner together.
2 No-Go: Certain Coffee Shops
While this does not apply to all cafes and coffee shops, the no kids restriction is getting more and more popular. Frankly, people just want some adult time without listening to someone else's child scream, cry, or throw a fit. It really isn't that much to ask, right?
Of course, it can feel isolating to be the mother of such children who cannot frequent certain businesses or get-togethers for lack of a babysitter or free time. Obviously our babies do not need an espresso or a cappuccino, but most of us are sleep deprived and definitely do. This forces us to either use a drive-thru or find another source of caffeine.
When it comes to a business's success, such policies can be a pretty make or break factor. If so many people are offended or stop coming because of a lack of sitter, it can really suffer. On the other hand, there are many adults (with and without kids) who would flock to such an establishment for the simple factor of peace and quiet.
1 No-Go: Antique Shops
Little hands and breakable objects are just not a good combination. Rather than risk trying to enforce a "you break it, you buy it" policy, many shops like these are just limiting little guests or setting age requirements. We cannot blame them because honestly our kids do break things quite often. Sure kids do not mean to. It's harmless, and they're just kids. But at the same time, that business is someone's property and livelihood. We can all understand how annoying it would be to have it constantly broken or have to follow shoppers and make sure their children are behaving and supervised.
Boutiques are starting to restrict parents from bringing their little ones in. It has something to do with the merchandise and not wanting it ruined. It might also have something to do with the atmosphere of the store. Wanting a cute shop where women can drink coffee or champagne while trying on dresses does not mix with crying babies or toddlers hiding in clothing racks.