Here is a snapshot of some great places to go if you are feeding your little one
Feeding a baby milk is normal. It's normal on a bus, normal in your home and normal in a café. It is normal to feed a baby when they are hungry. Despite this it can still feel quite daunting for a mother (particularly a first time mum) to feed her baby while out and about or when meeting up with friends and family. Because I didn't drive I found myself hopping on the bus here there and everywhere when I had my son. I was initially apprehensive about feeding him in public for a number of reasons. Fear of the unknown first and foremost, fear of negative comments, and genuine fear of my baby crying hysterically and me panicking. These are all natural fears when you have a baby. I found myself having to “feel the fear and do it anyway” if I wanted to have some semblance of a social life outside of my home. So off I went to various Dublin cafés and eateries to spend time with the people who mean the most to me.
I found myself returning to some of the same spots over and over again. As a breastfeeding mum I found them to be super friendly to me. By “friendly” I mean that they were convenient and made life easier for me.
Here are some of my favourites and a little bit about why I highly recommend them.
- M&S Cafés (in general). I found the sofas a lovely option for seating. They are usually spacious and busy. You have your pick of places to sit and the sound of your baby is lost among the chatter, laughs and conversations of others. In particular, I like the one in the Jervis Centre in Dublin's City Centre.
- The Mayfield in Terenure. Apart from being super friendly in general this place has a warm and colourful décor which just makes you feel at home. But really this one is mostly due to the food. They seriously know how to brunch. And cake.
- The Lovely Food Company in Terenure. Not only is the food delicious but mid-week you are likely to be surrounded by several other mothers with small babies. You can take your pram around the back of the café to avoid any awkward manoeuvres through the restaurant. The staff are super friendly and the coffee (and food) is to die for. One of my all-time favourite Dublin eateries.
- Nandos. Now, this is an odd one. My reasons for choosing this one is due to the handiness of ordering and paying at the till before your food arrives. Usually, the time you arrive at a café or restaurant is the time that your baby is asleep and has been fed (well, that's how I plan these lunch dates anyway) but sod's law has it that the baby is guaranteed to wake up just as you begin to enjoy your food. Asking for a bill and trying to gather your money with a fussy baby in your arms is not ideal. It's just one less thing to think about. When the baby wakes or gets fussy I can feed them, stuff my own food down my throat and leave. Simples!
- Avoca Cafes. There is usually ample room for prams, the food is delicious and every time I have been there I have seen at least one mother breastfeeding. I really like it there.
And sure while we are here - there are some “feeding rooms” dotted around the place that I was unaware of for several months. Super handy when you are out and about and want somewhere comfortable to relax and feed your baby without having to purchase anything.
- Mothercare in Jervis Shopping Centre. They have a “Mummy Room” with drinking water, changing facilities and a comfortable reclining rocking chair. I have used this room many times regardless of whether I bought anything in the store or not.
- Brown Thomas. Handy if you are shopping on the South Side. They have a lovely feeding room downstairs.
- Boots in Liffey Valley. They have a gorgeous feeding/changing room. Any member of staff will give you the key.
- Stephens Green Shopping Centre. There is a feeding room upstairs beside the main toilets. I have used it several times and more often than not got chatting to another breastfeeding mum.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.