Opinion Brief

Should babies be allowed in bars?

A brawl is brewing over parents who tote their toddlers to bars. Rude or a basic parental right?

Spurred by a much-read CNN article, bloggers are debating whether it's acceptable for parents to bring their babies into bars. While childless patrons want to drink and socialize in peace "without watching their language" or "feeling pressure to play peek-a-boo," many new parents crave a sophisticated place to relax without shelling out for a sitter. Do babies ever belong in bars?

NO
Grow up, breeders: It's a bit pathetic to be hitting bars when "your wingman is eating crayons and defecating them directly into his pants?" says Dan Brooks at the blog Combat! You're trying too hard to hold onto your youth. Let it go.
"Why do babies make us all so angry? Because they remind us of us."

Just because it's convenient doesn't mean it's right: Bringing a baby to a bar "is like bringing a child to a rated 'R' movie," says Heather McLane at the Fresno Beehive. The day I "crack open a bottle of Jack Daniel's at Gymboree is the day you should feel free to start bringing your screaming, drooling spawn to the bar."
"Babies in bars: No. Hell no."

Adults are the only ones who should cry in their beers: "No matter what breeders might think, bars are not family-friendly," says Risa Chubinsky in The New York Times. Not only are "alcohol, blaring punk rock, and drunken partiers....not pediatrician-approved," but kids are a drag. Nobody who's "drinking and sobbing about a bad breakup" want to compete against a sobbing baby.
"Complain box: Baby barflies"

YES
BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby) just makes sense: "Binkies and booze" may sound like a bad mix, says Vicky Nguyen at NBC Bay Area. But at least in the San Francisco Bay area, bars that cater to family-friendly tippling are rewarded with grateful hordes of "stroller-pushing moms." And with sitters going to $10-15 an hour, you can see why they're grateful.
"Baby barflies"

Bars are places to eat, not just drink: I have a pretty simple formula: "kids + bar=no," says Vivian Manning-Schaffel in Mom Logic. But "kids + bar/restaurants = yes, at least until 7 or 8 PM." Rule of thumb: If at least half an establishment's business comes from food, let the "breeders in."
"Are bars banning babies?!"

Ban the whining hipsters, not the babies: I get why "twentysomething, hipster bar dwellers" want to ban babies, says Tom Henderson in AOL's ParentDish. Who wants to drink around "a bunch of crying, whining, sniveling, tantrum-throwing brats?" That's why I say throw out the hipsters. "Babies are probably the least objectionable characters you're going to encounter in a bar."
"Smackdown: Should parents bring babies into a bar?"

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