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How to Handle a Baby's Tantrum in a Restaurant

by Cynthia Measom, studioD

Beginning around 18 months of age, babies tend to struggle with their independence. The consistent desires of babies to do something or have something, when paired with an inability to express themselves with words, can result in tantrums. Tantrums can rise to an especially disruptive level when you and your little one are surrounded by others in a restaurant. While you don't want to abandon your plans of dining out, it's unfair of you to subject everyone in the building to a screeching, red-faced, limb-flailing child.

Redirect your baby, if possible, to stop the tantrum. For example, if your child is reaching for something that's off-limits, quickly find a more appropriate alternative to offer him.

Calmly pick up your child and carry him to the restroom or your car until he can calm down, if redirection fails. Sometimes, a simple change of scenery can quash a tantrum, according to AskDrSears.com.

Pat your baby lightly on the back, gently stroke her hair and speak in reassuring tones to comfort her. Your calm presence can have a calming effect on your baby.


  • Head off tantrums by meeting your child's basic needs -- food, comfort, sleep -- at all times, according to Babycenter.com.
  • Choose restaurants that offer faster service to sidestep a circumstance that could result in a tantrum.
  • Keep off-limits items out of your baby's view to avoid a tantrum.


  • Don't worry about what other people think when dealing with your baby's tantrum. Giving in to your child to avoid public embarrassment reinforces the negative behavior, according to Babycenter.com.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images