About Oxford Mommy’s Ratings System

I’m Oxford Mommy.  I moved to Oxford with my husband in October 2012 and we had our daughter in December. She was 6.5 months old when I started this blog in July 2013, and now she’s grown into a toddler.

Before becoming a parent I’d really never thought about how hard it is to get around with a baby carriage, on the street as well as on public transport, and find places to go and activities to do that will accommodate you and your baby.  So I’m writing this blog in order to help other first-time parents (not just mothers!) in and around the Oxford area with ratings of how baby-friendly our Oxford restaurants, cafés, sights, and leisure activities are.

My ratings system encompasses five criteria: menu (for restaurants/cafés only), space, ambiance, facilities, and feeding. Each one is worth two points, for a total score out of ten.  (For activities and attractions I cover space, ambiance, facilities, and feeding for a total score out of 8 points.) Here’s what I’ll be looking at for each one.

Menu: There are lots of other food blogs that go into detail about the quality of the food; I’m not here to do that. Of course, I’ll tell you whether it was good or not, but my main aim is to find out whether the menu has options that are easy to handle when you have a baby in tow. Basically, if a café or restaurant fulfills this criteria it means they have a few items that you can eat with one hand, while the other is holding a crying baby. I didn’t realize how important that was until I had a crying baby myself!

Space: Can you get through the door with a baby carriage? Is there enough room to park your carriage? Is there enough room to manoeuvre between tables/barriers? Or will the place make you feel like you’re navigating an obstacle course and blocking everyone’s way?

Ambiance: Will the music wake your baby up or lull him/her to sleep? Is it too dark/bright/hot/cold? And is it a nice and friendly place to go? Do the staff attend to parents with babies as readily as they attend to other patrons? Do they interact with the baby?

Facilities: What are the baby-changing facilities like? I’ll be taking photos, folks – be warned!

Feeding: Does the place accept and welcome you as a breastfeeding mother, if you breastfeed? Do they offer you hot water for your bottles? Is it comfortable and easy to feed your baby in the space? Do they have a baby-friendly menu, if your baby has started on solids? Do they have appealing food for toddlers? And what are the high chairs like?

I hope this blog is useful for parents in and around Oxford. Please let me know if you’ve got any tips for parents or if you’d like me to review a specific place by emailing oxfordmommy@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at @oxford_mommy.

13 thoughts on “About Oxford Mommy’s Ratings System

  1. Geraldine Arbach says:

    I’m not a parent in and around Oxford, but I think your blog is very helpful.

    Keep it up.


  2. Susie says:

    I second that! Please do keep going – I’ve moved here with an 8-week-old baby and it’s really helpful to have some sort of idea of what you’ll find out there, given how much effort and build-up there is to actually leave the house.

    • oxfordmommy says:

      Thanks so much, Susie! I’m glad it’s useful. I’ll be keeping on blogging until I exhaust all of Oxford’s things to do – or until my kid grows up, whichever comes first!

  3. Helen Wallis says:

    Hi, I love your blog and have discovered some great new places to take my little ones for a lovely lunch in Oxford – including Pitt Rivers yesterday – thank you!

  4. Jennie says:

    Hi, just found this blog – what a great resource! We also moved to Oxford in Nov 2012 two weeks before I gave birth in the Dec. Something like this would have been invaluable in those first few daunting months on mat leave in a new city. Keep up the good work!

    • oxfordmommy says:

      Hi Jennie, and thanks! Our babies are just about the same age! Those first few months were daunting for sure, especially living in a new city, but they’re pretty challenging anyway even when you know the place you live in. So many things are different when you suddenly have a stroller or need to look for a quiet place to feed your little one. I hope the blog will continue to be useful to you!

  5. Danny Yee says:

    We had our daughter in January, so she’s a bit younger than yours. We haven’t managed anything like your variety of eating places, though, as she’s now at nursery four days a week. I also don’t cover eating so much in my own blog at http://wanderingdanny.com/oxford/

  6. Charles Elworthy says:

    I am a new Oxford Daddy – our daughter was born in June 2013 and we moved here a fortnight later. Great idea and and excellent resource, especially to those of us new to the area. Many thanks and keep it up!

    • oxfordmommy says:

      How brave of you to do a move when your daughter was so young! I don’t know if I could have done it. Hope you’re enjoying Oxford so far and that the blog helps you find places to go.

  7. Charles Elworthy says:

    Not brave I’m afraid – this is our first child, and if we had fully appreciated the challenges we were to face in those first months then we would have stayed firmly ensconced. We are very much enjoying Oxford and learning where it is fun as a family to go, so for us the introductions to the museums etc. are as interesting as the details of the eateries.

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