Should crying babies be banned from cafes?

Should crying babies be banned from cafes? [Photo: Getty]
Should crying babies be banned from cafes? [Photo: Getty]

A parenting debate is currently raging on social media about whether or not crying babies should be banned from cafes.

The row kicked off after a mum was asked to step outside a café to settle her baby after her newborn’s crying started annoying other customers.

After the incident at the Brick House Bakery in London, the unnamed mum’s friend, who was with her at the time, took to Instagram saying the café’s decision was unfair.

“It was three minutes of crying which the mother was trying to settle and she was stressed about it as it was,” the mum’s friend wrote, according to Mail Online.

“Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that a three-month-old baby cries, if this had been a first time mother she would have left in tears.”

“Totally on board with a crying baby being annoying but a friendly, ‘Would you mind popping outside to see if baby quietens, you can leave your just purchased food here’ would have sufficed. A little compassion goes a long way.”

Since then parents have been flocking to the café’s Instagram account to give their views on the thorny topic.

Some were upset on behalf of the mother who left.

“Absolutely shocking. Are babies no longer allowed to cry? Babies crying is a very normal thing and do you think that parents don’t already worry about disturbing other people when their child is crying? I find this kind of approach very isolating and hugely dated. What a shame as I used to love your café,” one user wrote.

“Aren’t the mum’s with the upset babies crying customers too?” asked another user. “It must have been so stressful for that mum. I understand when shop owners talk to parents of toddlers who are running around but to tell the mother of a crying baby to leave in the manner in which you did is very disappointing.”

“Now I have a four month old I totally feel for this mum,” another parent wrote. “Motherhood in the early days is so tough and even popping out for a coffee can feel like a big achievement/much needed break.”

But others agreed with the stance of the café

“I for one will be supporting @brickhousebread as now I know I can eat/drink/think in peace,” one user wrote. “The mothers will return, there are so many and other cafes just don’t have the space to accommodate all the buggys. People are going way over the top… But I will deffo be taking the opportunity to enjoy a baby free zone for a while.”

“I wish more establishments would protect their customers from having to endure the full-immersion crèche experience,” another commented.

“I love your stance!” agreed another. “There are few things worse than spending your hard earned money on a nice meal in a cafe/restaurant, only to have the experienced destroyed by screeching children and their ignorant parent(s) who ignore their child’s behaviour and let them scream and/or run riot.”

Social media is divided about whether crying babies should be banned from cafes [Photo: Getty]
Social media is divided about whether crying babies should be banned from cafes [Photo: Getty]

Following the backlash, owner of the café Fergus Jackson responded to the criticism telling Mail Online: “Parents have a responsibility to look after their children. We are a cafe, not a creche.”

“We don’t have a policy about crying children but as business owners we are responsible for the overall environment.

“She was very politely asked if she would step outside for a minute to settle the baby but she chose to leave.”

After the furore online the Brick House Bread cafe took to Instagram to announce that they are donating 10p from every coffee sold this week to the Anti Bullying Alliance.

“Having been on the receiving end of a fairly vicious bout of on-line bullying we are donating 10p from every coffee sold this week to the Anti Bullying Alliance as an attempt to take some kind of positive from this experience,” their post states.

“With adults setting this kind of example, the next generation are going to need all the help they can get. If you want to make a separate donation, you can do so by clicking the link our profile @antibullyingalliance.”

The debate follows a similar pattern to last year’s debate about whether noisy children should be banned from restaurants.

Presenter Katy Hill has sparked the parenting debate on Twitter in October after calling out a “negative and mean hearted” couple who disapproved of noisy children being in Pizza Express.

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