Since Noah’s started Baby Led Weaning I’ve become disgusted by the state of high chairs in restaurants and cafes. I can’t put it any more simply than that. I have yet to go to one establishment who feels it necessary to wipe down a highchair as they would do a table, even when the rest of the place is spotless.
Every time I put Noah in a high chair, from Mothercare (who you think WOULD care!) to John Lewis, I’ve always had to use half a pack of baby wipes to clean it down.
If I don’t he’s likely to sit in half a cheese sandwich or a splat of tomato puree. Restaurants wouldn’t sit you down at a dirty table, so why bring over a filthy high chair without so much of an acknowledgement that they might as well be handing you used toilet roll.
This happens EVERYWHERE!
And I’m lucky if these high chairs have any type of ‘table’ to them. This means I’ve got to hope that he’s somewhat parallel to our own table and let him eat directly off it (after baby wiping it to death!). That’s when you realise how dirty the table actually is.
There’s usually a safety issue to boot. I went to Café M in Harrogate on Saturday where their high chair displayed a clear sign saying ‘STRAP YOUR CHILD IN’. Except there were no straps. All the manager had to say is ‘it’s not my fault’. Thanks dick head.
In Mothercare in Leeds they have overflow high chairs which look like some sort of torture structure (I still can’t work out how to strap him in).
In a Costa in Hull I had to leave because there wasn’t any working clips.
Now, I KNOW that I could feel him in his pram, but why should I? For a baby that’s starting out weaning it’s hardly the safest approach and I don’t really want to spend the evening washing butter off of it!
I also KNOW that it’s often disgusting parents (yes, parents) who leave the highchair in such a state that it’s hard for the staff to keep up.
All I can say to these parents is that you need to sort yourselves out. It’s one thing to be one of ‘those mums’ who leaves 17 half eaten fish fingers on the floor as you walk out merrily, but it’s another not have any consideration for the next user.
Even with a screaming, flailing baby it takes 20 seconds to brush down the crumbs and wipe off whatever snotty leftovers are there.
Parents should expect more and stand up for their rights to a clean, safe environment for their littles ones to eat. Whilst doing their bit to help too.
I can see no mention of clean high chairs in the training from the Food Standards Agency which is pathetic.
Don’t even get me started on the rankness of baby change stations. I’ll save that for another day.
I will now be making a point to mention to restaurants if I think their high chairs are unacceptable and writing to the head office’s if they don’t acknowledge this point. Yes, I might be the most embarrassing mum/wife in the room but I’m bloody sick of it.
If you’d like to discuss this you’ll find me on the floor of Morrisons café picking up peas.