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You just got your passes to your local (or maybe not so local) Comic Con! Score!!
You’ve got your cosplay outfit already laid out in your head. And you know the perfect onesie to get for the baby to wear… the baby! How am I gonna manage Comic Con with a baby?!?!
Like a boss… that’s how!
This weekend the husband, baby and I attended Emerald City Comic Con. It was our first and definitely the baby’s first… given she’s only six months old.
And it was an adventure for us all. One I learned from for sure.
There were quite a few people there with small children and babies, so I was in good company amongst my brethren of geeks. So if you’re considering taking your munchkin to their first Comic Con during the baby years, you totally should.
To help with that endeavor, here are a few surviva tips to consider for smooth sailing at the con!
1. Wear The Baby
Skip the stroller and strap the little one on you in one of the many available fancy baby wearing contraptions.
The crowds can be a bit overwhelming at these events and having to maneuver a stroller around is just going to be a pain. Sure, it may be tempting to stash your loot in the handy area under the seat, but it will be more trouble than it’s worth.
I put my little one in the structured Tula carrier and had her in front. My husband could have worn her on his back, but I didn’t trust that she’d get knocked around. At least with her in front of me, I could push any wayward object out of the way before it hit her.
I know, totally a bit mama bear, but that’s how I roll. Don’t mess with my munchkin!
You’d also be surprised how many people get out of your way when you have a baby strapped to you.
I found maneuvering through crowds to be quicker when I led. When my husband led or when we had the day to ourselves (thank you Grandma!), I noticed a huge difference.
The baby commands respect!
And if you’re lucky, the baby will fall asleep on you. Nap time accomplished while you’ve browse… another score!
Also, you can do some awesome cosplay things with carriers… just check out Pinterest!
2. Utilize the Family Rooms and Quiet Areas
Conventions are super stimulating!! Even for adults!! There is so much to see, people to watch and an insane amount of merchandise to ogle.
And it’s loud. The hum of talking people combined with the hollers of crowds during panels can be too much for baby.
Our Comic Con had a family room, although I didn’t learn this until well into the second day. It was a great place to hang out, change and feed the baby in an environment that allowed for a little peace from the chaos.
I also sought out a few random corners for feedings. Quiet hallways, stairway landings, or un-utilized rooms are great to grab a quick break.
We stayed the weekend downtown so had the luxury of walking back to the hotel room for naps. If you can do this, it truly helps baby out a bunch!
3. Pack Light and Wear a Backpack
Diaper bags are cumbersome. And chances are you probably won’t use most of what you would normally pack. And if you wear your baby, a shoulder diaper bag probably won’t work well.
As the weekend progressed, our bag got lighter each day as I started figuring out what was needed and what wasn’t.
I wound up with diapers, wipes and disposable bags inside the amazing folding changing mat that is my all time favorite diaper bag necessity. I also had a pack of spare clothes and large ziplock bags… just in case of a blowout situation.
I personally only kept a cell phone, ID and debit card on me. I didn’t want to bother with my purse, and it was easy enough to grab out of my pocket when needed.
And pack a water bottle! There are bound to be fountains somewhere to fill it up throughout the day. Or good old tap water in a pinch. But it’s warm inside, with overpriced concessions… which is a bad combination for a nursing mama like me.
Use your backpack to carry your loot… there’s bound to be loot.
If you’re going with your hubby, I recommend promoting him to pack mule for the day. It’s easier to grab things from another person’s backpack rather than working around a squirmy baby to fish things out of your own bag.
4. Dress in layers… especially baby
Holy fluctuating temperatures Batman!!
Combine the crowds with various degrees of working air conditioning and potential to walk outside (particularly when cold). You have a recipe for a too hot or too cold baby.
I utilized a zip up hoody for the munchkin, which was perfect to put on and off when venturing into the great outdoors, especially, when you have to take baby out of the carrier to do so. You don’t want to deal with complicated clothing.
With baby in the carrier and all that extra body heat, we figured out lighter clothing was better. It’s important after all to keep baby comfortable.
Same goes for you mama. That baby will heat you up in no time. A front open sweater or hoody is perfect to throw over the carrier straps. And even better if it’s light enough to throw in the backpack.
5. Limit Your Days
Babies like routine. When you start deviating from their routine for multiple days in a row, they get less and less tolerant.
The first day we attended the baby adapted like a champ! She even slept in the carrier for one of her naps. She wasn’t fussy and even took to the foreign hotel room.
The second day she did fairly well but had more noticeable fussy times when she was tired. She was getting very over being carried all day and would tell me so… loudly… very loudly. She likes to scream and push off me. She’s getting quite good at communicating her needs effectively.
The third day she was over it. I wound up taking her to Grandma earlier than I initially wanted to because she wasn’t a happy camper. She was just fussy and didn’t want to be worn for more than 20 minutes at a time.
So I would advise limiting baby’s time to maybe one or two days. Of course, babies vary in their temperament, but they generally do thrive on routine. So deviating in such a way that not only are they not napping at their usual time, but they are also overstimulated… it’s all bound to make for an unhappy munchkin at some point.
6. Take all the pictures!!
Seriously, your little one will only be that small once, take as many photos as possible.
Take photos with cosplayers, celebrities (although now those cost a pretty penny), with authors of that cool new children’s book you got signed for the little one… and definitely… definitely… take photos of your entire family enjoying the day.
Your child will hopefully appreciate the fact that they started out their cosplay days quite young due to the influence of their very geeky parents.
So those are a few of the survival tips I found the most useful during our Comic Con adventure. Have fun at your Comic Con and let that geek flag fly high!!
May the force be with you… and live long and prosper.