Where are baby-friendly places in Delhi? New mom Bushra Bhushan raises the question & makes some valid points in a guest post on the blog.
Restaurants equipped with high chairs, pram-friendly ramps, preferential parking… If you want all these and more to enjoy a weekend out with your little one, then maybe you just need to fly out of the country! Sad. This society is alien to many such necessities.
Either the best of the places won’t have a high chair, or, if they do, they won’t be worthy of seating your little angels in. I have a few specifics.
My husband and I love the Chettinad cuisine at Swagath Restaurants. A typical Andhra-spiced recipe, not available in many eateries. Recently, we called them to check for a high chair. “Yes Ma’am’ came the prompt reply. We were delighted, well, only till we got there. The high chair was low-grade, wobbly, partly broken and, for the lack of a better word – dirty. Needless to say, Swagath has not heard from us since.
Radisson Blu is well frequented ever since Kyra’s birth and also during my pregnancy. Unfortunately, out of the three restaurants in this plush five-star in Noida (perhaps the only) only one has a high chair. Call them up for a booking and the managers make no qualms in sheepishly admitting that “Madam, high chair is available only in Made in India restaurant”. So we end up eating North Indian cuisine always. No regrets there since the food is fabulous, staff is courteous and they have a neat, well-kept high chair. I wonder if they have more than one. If they did, they might be wise to share it with their sister restaurants.
Mainland China in Sector 18 has become a hot favourite as it has a superb weekend buffet and not just a high chair, but a damn good one. And not just one, but at least three! All American Diners at India Habitat Centre also has one, but not very comfortable for infants.
The idea here is not list down the places that have baby chairs and that don’t. We as a society are not evolved to be aware of these requirements of new parents and the need to make their little ones comfortable. I don’t blame the restaurants alone. Perhaps they never saw enough demand for those little beasts.
Places that are frequented by foreigners like Khan Market have baby chairs. Big Chill and Smokehouse Deli have these options, but then they have staircases too. So not only do you need to take the baby in your arms, you will have lug around the folded stroller too! That definitely is not fun.
Visiting malls in Delhi is a tough task too. Baby rooms are a far cry, so we end up in Select City Walk every other weekend. Thanks to the fabulous baby care room that is not just a dedicated corner in the woman’s loo, it is the most baby-friendly mall in Delhi.
It’s well lit, furnished for the mother to comfortably nurse the baby and also a changing area with wash basins and Chicco products available for use. I just wonder why is it such a big task convincing the lady guard on duty with plain logic that fathers should be allowed in equal measure to use the services of the room. Is changing diapers only the job of the mother?
After Select City Walk, I strolled to DLF Mall next door to shop for some grocery from Foodhall but returned disappointed as there was no ramp for my baby’s stroller and I was disgusted with the disrespect for families with babies even in a plush mall like this one in “South Delhi”.
In India, most households believe that a new mother is not supposed to go out, and if at all she wants to, her mother or mother-in-law is meant to baby-sit. Not cool. Babies love outings as much as a new mother looks forward to them. Go girls, take your baby out!
Daddies parenthood is meant to be an equal responsibility. So if your wife has just fed the baby, will you please change the diaper, sir?
Restaurants, mall owners, entertainment hubs need to all make their offerings baby-friendly. Its not very tough, just taking a few tips from retail owners abroad will go a long way in developing the “baby-friendly outing” culture in India.
While global car makers are re-engineering the baby-seat designs for progressive luxury and emotional well being, I hope our restaurants and malls can graduate to at least a ramp and high chairs in all public places!
Bushra Bhushan is a media professional working for one of the largest media companies in India. Blue Sky Dreamers had a pleasure of interviewing her for the series “For the love of travel” where she shared her experiences of travelling with a kid.