Taking Baby to Winery Tips
While it may not seem like an obvious choice for an outing with your baby, heading to a winery for drinks, food, and socializing may not be a terrible idea. Not only will it get you out of the house to spend time with friends, but it will also help you introduce baby to new sights, sounds, and people. Wineries tend to be more family-friendly than bars and pubs, even though they are based around alcohol. So just because you will be drinking a bit while there, does not mean taking baby to the winery is a no-go.
It’s important to keep in mind that winery visits with baby are not going to be the same as winery visits on your own. If you are used to visiting multiple wineries or tasting rooms in one day, you may want to cut back a bit. One or two places may be fine, but baby probably doesn’t want to visit a half dozen with you. You’ll also need to plan ahead so that you don’t leave the house unprepared. Pack everything you think you might need, check the weather so it won’t catch you unaware, and bring friends and/or family with you to help you out. It may seem like a lot of work for your visit, but it will be worth it in the end. For more tips on taking baby to the winery, read on!
1. Pack Appropriately
Before you leave the house for the winery, take the time to sit down and figure out exactly what you will need to manage the care of baby during your trip. This may be a bit easier to do if you have been to the winery before, as you’ll know what kind of environment you are headed into. If you haven’t been there in person, you can look them up online for pictures of the place so you are prepared. Is the tasting room small and usually crowded? If so a stroller might be more trouble than it is worth to bring along. Instead, a carrier would work best when taking baby to that winery.
You’ll need all of the usual items, of course. Diapers, wipes, extra clothing, bottles, pacifiers, a blanket, and small toys are all a good idea to have with you. If you don’t know what kind of restroom situation they have – with or without a changing table? – you should bring a mat that you can put down somewhere for diaper changes. If you are going to be taking baby to the winery through mealtimes, be sure you have formula with you or are good to breastfeed at the location.
2. Plan for Weather
Vineyards might be outside, but usually tasting rooms are inside. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for any kind of weather, however. Some tasting rooms are located in big open spaces alongside the vineyard. Others are in remote areas that can be hard to access in inclement weather. When you are taking baby to a winery you need to plan for just about anything. Keep in mind that a winery is not a controlled environment like your home would be, and you could find yourself dealing with just about anything.
If you are taking baby to a winery in the spring, make sure to carry an umbrella, towels, a change of clothing, and a blanket with you. It may be cold or rainy, depending on where the winery is located, and you want to make sure baby is protected from the elements. If you are taking baby to a winery in the summer, an umbrella can still come in handy, as well as sunscreen, hats, and summer clothing. While not all wineries are open year round, some are accessible in the fall and winter. These times of year can be cold and unpredictable with rain and snow, so be sure you have blankets, coats, warm clothing, and towels if necessary.
3. Prepare Someone Else to Help
Taking care of baby alone at home can be difficult. So you can probably imagine that taking care of baby when taking baby to a winery will be just as much so, if not more. You will be in an environment with strangers, possible loud noises, crowds, and strange sights and smells. You may have to carry baby a good portion of the time because they are fussy or the carrier is too difficult to maneuver around the space. It can all be a lot to handle by yourself, so it’s a good idea to have someone with you who is willing to help out with baby as needed.
Maybe baby is wet and needs to be changed, but you don’t want to carry all of your bags and things into the washroom to change them. Having someone who can watch your stuff so you only need the minimum of necessary items can be helpful. Maybe you need to use the restroom and you don’t want to juggle baby at the same time. If you have someone with you who can hold baby while you’re gone, it will make things easier. Sometimes you just need a few minutes break from holding and entertaining baby. If you have a friend to take baby off your hands, it can make a world of difference for your mood.
4. Have a Designated Driver
You may have no intention of drinking enough to impair your ability to drive, but since you are taking baby to the winery with you, you don’t want to take any chances. Baby is very precious cargo and their safety – as well as your own – is very important. Go to the winery with one or more friends to make sure you are not the only one responsible for transportation. Discuss beforehand who will be not drinking, or drinking only a small amount, so they will be able to drive at the end of the trip.
Having a baby does not mean you have to give up all of the fun things you like to do. But it does mean you will have to change the way you do those fun things. If you are taking baby to the winery with you, you won’t be able to let loose the way you may have in the past. You’ll be responsible for yourself and your young child and you’ll need to think about that before anything else. If your friends do not want to help take responsibility for you and baby while you are at the winery, you may need to consider finding other friends to go with, or wait until you can find childcare before attempting to go.
5. Be Prepared for Disapproval
Wineries are traditionally places for adults to gather and enjoy social time without children around. That means if you are taking baby to a winery you may be interrupting that special “adult” time of the other people there. Even if baby is quiet and perfectly well behaved the whole time, the other winery patrons may be annoyed with the fact they are there. Some people may also feel it is inappropriate to take a child to a place specifically designed for adults to drink alcohol. You wouldn’t take a baby into a bar, so why are you taking a baby to a winery?
Before you head out you need to decide how you will respond to people showing disapproval for your actions. Will it bother you if strangers are blatantly angry that you have brought baby with you to the winery? Will you be uncomfortable if you see them looking at you and then talking about you behind your back? Are you taking baby to the winery along with other people you know and trust that are okay with it? The more you mentally prepare yourself for whatever disapproval you might experience, the more likely you are to not let it ruin your enjoyment of the winery.
When you have a baby it can feel like your world has gotten much smaller. Many of the places you used to visit and activities you used to do can seem out of reach – at least while baby is new. But doing something like taking baby to a winery is not completely outside the realm of possibility. You will just need to put in more time and effort to prepare and plan your trip than in the past. If you pack everything you’ll need, bring responsible friends with you, and refuse to be cowed by other people’s disapproval of your actions, you will have a great time.