Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mealtime at Baby Corner

Baby Corner is a section in each of the two restaurants, Hispaniola and Samana, for GMs (guests) with young children. In addition to regular table seating, a number of high chairs are readily available, and parents have access right there to a small refrigerator filled with a variety of jarred baby foods and milk; a blender; a microwave; a bottle warmer; and plastic bowls and plates, as well as standard utensils and lots of napkins. Note that GMs with children are by no means required to sit in Baby Corner; rather, the Baby Corner sections are provided as a convenience for families, and also as a courtesy to other diners if your little one is really fussy. High chairs are boosters are also available for other parts of the restaurants if you choose not to sit in the Baby Corner section.

A GO is often present in the Baby Corner - he/she can answer questions you may have about the facilities, generally assist or find things you need, and they can help watch and/or distract your child if necessary. (Rose was a wonderful Baby Corner 'animateur' in '08 -- it's great when someone else can bring out a smile in your child!)

We ate some meals in the Baby Corner in the Samana restaurant when our child was 15 months. We found it a relaxing option, and would definitely recommend, particularly if you know your child is tired, or going through a messy eating stage.

Assuming our 15 month old was up to it, we did try to eat at least one meal a day in the main parts of Hispaniola - she enjoyed meeting other GMs as well, and frankly did a better job eating when others were present. Amazingly, other GMs actually did come and sit with us even though we had a small child!

Things you may want to bring if your child is still in the high chair stage:
__Disposable bibs or a plastic/rubber bib that rinses easily (avoid work on vacation washing bibs - and you won't want a regular bib with food particles on it in your room, as it may attract bugs)
__Child-size utensils for baby/toddler (did not find these in '08 or '09)
__1-2 small, child-size plastic bowls (the plastic bowls provided are more like adult size cereal bowls)
__Handiwipes
__Disinfectant wipes for high chairs (the high chairs were often sticky)

3 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I am wondering about the baby food that is provided, I have an 8 month old who will need jarred baby food. Is the food there safe and good for them to eat, or shuld I pack a bunch of baby food from home?? Thanks!

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  2. I think the jarred baby food should be safe - it's a local brand, but I don't think that should be a problem. They also provide a blender so you can puree adult entrees (or fruit), and a microwave to help further break things down or warm them up. You might want to bring a bit of baby food from home anyway for the plane and a bit to have "in a pinch", or bring something special that's a real "hit" with your baby now, but I would personally not pack for the whole week. They also offer loose and boxed cereals in the morning. I didn't know what to expect the 1st time, so I brought *lots* of Cheerios in large ziplocs just to be safe, and we did use some of them. Also brought instant oatmeal packets. Be sure to bring a few of the tiny utensils you/your child are most comfortable with; I don't recall seeing those. We also requested (to be sure we'd have it) a high chair for our room - didn't use it much in the end, but they did oblige, and you might find it helpful. Enjoy your trip!!!

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  3. My only other thought is this: be flexible with feeding, and don't worry if your child's diet is not totally by the book the whole time, as it's just a short trip. Even your baby will know you are in a new place, and might have a different appetite or food interests (possibly becoming less venturesome) as a result. I'm not sure if I answered your question completely - yes, I do think the food is safe. You'll find plenty of baby appropriate foods in addition to baby food, including things like individual serve yogurts.

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