Debate over whether you should switch restaurant tables due to crying baby

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A fierce debate has broken out on social media about whether you should switch tables in a restaurant if you happen to be sat next to a crying baby. 

The conversation started after one Reddit user shared a story of a time she was out for dinner with her husband, only to be interrupted by a weeping newborn. 

“It was the first time by ourselves after our baby was born,” they wrote. “It’s my second child and the first for my husband, so it was kind of a big deal for us. We got a babysitter, and we went to a very nice, fancy restaurant.

“A few minutes after we ordered, another couple sat at the table next to us… with a small baby in a stroller. At first, it was fine, but after a few minutes, the baby started crying.

crying baby

The parents asked to move because of the crying baby (Credit: Alamy)

“They tried to comfort it, but every time it seemed they had managed to make it sleep, it woke up crying again.”

“By then, we just wanted to leave, but we had already ordered, so we decided to ask the waiter if we could change tables on the other side of the restaurant.”

The user went on to explain that the waiter “was super nice and quickly asked another waiter to help him set up the new table for us. Another couple that was in the same area also asked to be seated elsewhere”.

However, the mother of the crying child overheard part of the conversation and called the poster’s husband “an a**hole”.

“She went on and on, saying that I probably don’t have kids (I have two), and that babies are also people, and we should just accept that babies can be loud and cry, and there’s nothing she could do about it,” the user wrote.

“I didn’t want to start a fight or anything but I got really annoyed by her attitude, so I told her that she could actually do something about the crying.. she could take her baby home so it can properly sleep and then let everyone else there enjoy their meals.”

crying child singapore restaurant charge

Lots of people agreed they would move seats too (Credit: Alamy)

Reacting to the post, people on Reddit had a *lot* of feelings, and the jury was very much out. 

Defending the user, one person wrote: “You have kids and got a babysitter. In what universe do you want to go to a fancy restaurant ANY time and listen to somebody else’s crying baby at the next table. No way.”

Meanwhile, another agreed: “I would have asked to move too. Would never have let my child cry in a community space. I’d pop outside or ask for our meals to be boxed up. It’s never ok to disrupt a space. That goes for drunk adults and loud talkers too.”

“It’s the fancy restaurant part that got me,” said a third. “It’s one thing at an Applebees level place, but when at a nicer place there is an expectation to have a certain atmosphere, and that doesn’t include crying babies.”

Whilst a fourth joked: “I am the mother of a very loud child. I would not be at all offended if someone asked for a new table in this situation. In fact the only way I would be offended is if they didn’t invite me to go with them”.

crying child singapore restaurant charge

Would you put up with the tears? (Credit: Alamy)

However, others were more sympathetic of the angry parents. 

“[You’re the asshole],” wrote one. “I understand that u and ur partner wanted a child free night but when out in public common sense will tell u that u risk hearing noise that you really don’t [want] to hear (sic)”.

“I think you could have asked to be moved differently, she probably was already embarrassed enough without you trying to tell her how to parent because that’s how she probably took it,” said another.

Whilst a third wrote: “Some people aren’t lucky enough to have a trusted babysitter or family for help, and for sanity purposes want to go out and enjoy themselves doing what they used to do.

“So yes, this mom could’ve been struggling and wanted a nice meal and you could have been nicer or not engaged with her after requesting to move”.

“You said something to the mother?,” wrote a third. “That part doesn’t sit right with me. The whole restaurant is probably staring at her already and she has a new baby. You know how new mother hormones are? I would have just walked away and sat at my new table.”

The debate over whether noisy children should be allowed in restaurants is a long one, and it’s always caused a stir.

Not long ago, a restaurant in Singapore caused controversy by introducing a ‘screaming kid surcharge’ to try and deter the amount of noisy children in attendance.

The establishment, named Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill, told customers, “all children are welcome to dine at Angie’s. However, screaming/ uncontrolled children disturbing other guests will NOT be tolerated.”

Judging by the above debate, you can imagine how that went down…