My confidence in the matter wasn't helped by the fact that the first time I took Sprout shopping at about six weeks old, he had a complete screaming meltdown in the middle of Target and I had to drop the clothes I was going to buy and high-tail it out of there. Thankfully the "Parent Rooms" at Mount Ommaney centre are very comfortable so I was able to regroup after a big feed and settling him down to sleep.
Last weekend was my mother's birthday so my dad arranged a surprise dinner for her at a local restaurant (Turkish, mmmmm). Mr Ang and I decided we'd go along with Sproutling. Although he's been to plenty of noisy places before and also out at night-time, he'd never been to a restaurant so we weren't really sure how he would deal with it. Also he has been going to bed between 7 and 8 lately so this would be past his bedtime.
The restaurant was quite noisy inside. At first, Sprout was okay with cuddles with his Yiayia, but after a while he started to get a little restless. We were sitting in a corner so I tried to discreetly feed him, hoping he'd drop off to sleep, but it was too noisy and I ended up having to go outside and sit in the doorway of a neighbouring shop where it was quiet. I'm sure it won't be my last breastfeeding hobo experience.
He did actually go to sleep for a little while after that and only had one other major crying episode the rest of the night, but it was so noisy in there that no-one really noticed. When we got home it was only about 9:30 but it took me at least an hour of sitting in a quiet, dark room before he calmed down and went to sleep. After that he slept for about six hours in one go!
So I guess we now know that going out in the evening is possible, as long as there's somewhere quiet to calm him down if he gets upset and that we should expect overtiredness afterwards. We don't go out for dinner that often but it's good to know that we can.