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Tips for Managing Your Baby and/or Children in Public Places

I can remember sitting in church with a little bag of Cheerios when I was a little girl.  I still see moms using this same tactic today when out in public with their children, and I plan to do the same when my daughter is old enough to have big kid cereal.  Little bags of raisins, fruit snacks, and other treats can work wonders in getting a child to behave when you are out and about.  Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy.

Different things will obviously work for different children, but it pays to have a good list of techniques in mind and ready to use on the fly.  Consider these tips and tricks to keep your little ones happy when you are away from home:

  Bring a toy or two for your child, or let your little one pick a toy to bring along.

  Play a game like “I Spy” or “Simon Says” and teach your kids to play that together.

  Offer a reward for good behavior, like a new book.

  Speaking of, bring a few books to keep your children occupied.

  Hold your little one’s hand or keep some kind of contact to encourage good behavior.

  Maintain eye contact with your kids whenever possible.

  Give them details on the kind of behavior you hope to get from them during the car ride.

  Offer updates and warnings as you are able; for example, “We are going to leave in five minutes” or “We’ll leave for the playground soon – mommy just needs a few more minutes.”

  Make up a little bag of your own kid-friendly trail mix to take with you. Cheerios, chocolate chips, Goldfish, and raisins would be a good start.

Babies may be a bit of a different story.  So far we have been very lucky with taking my daughter out in public, whether for lunch or dinner, shopping, or just running errands.  She is six months old now and very aware of the world around her.  She loves to look and experience new things on a daily basis. I just try to ensure she is fed, changed, burped, and not overtired when we go out.  Sometimes she sleeps in her car seat or in the stroller, but in general, playing my schedule off of hers seems to work wonders.

Good luck with your little ones!  Please share your own tips and suggestions in our comments below.

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