When you’re a geek, there are some irrevocable truths.
It’s okay if you “ship it”!
You can never have too many fandoms.
Your cosplay will make you sweat buckets.
But every geek knows there is one truth to rule them all:
Comic Con is King.
Having a child can change things, though, and attending a con can seem stressful, scary, and exhausting. We decided to attend Animazement 2017 to answer the hard question: Can parents attend cons and still have a good time?
Tips & Tricks for Taking Your Little One to a Con
1. Start Small
Although the San Diego Comic Con is considered the Big Daddy of cons, there are a ton of great events and cons you can take your spawn to! For baby’s first con, it pays to start small. Overstimulation can happen quickly, triggering meltdowns and general overwhelmedness. We chose Animazement 2017 for our munchkin’s first event, and it worked out incredibly well. We have been to Animazement several years in a row, so we were familiar with the typical crowd. We knew where the elevators and closest restrooms were, which made things much easier. Animazement is an almost 4 day event, and to get our feet wet we went in the late afternoon on the first day, when the crowd had dispersed for dinner. The typically packed Dealer’s Room was easy to navigate, giving us ample time to scope out vendors we wanted to visit! Our son did great and didn’t have any existential crises!
2. Pack for Success
In my opinion, this was the key to success for having an enjoyable experience. Some things we brought:
- Comotomo bottles with dry formula in them for quick mixing
- Bottles of water, for drinking and for making bottles. We love this brand!
- Plenty of diapers, wipes, Butt Paste, and a portable changing pad
- Teethers (our little one loves the Baby Banana!)
- Change of clothes for baby and parents
- Snacks, like Annie’s Fruit Snacks, for a quick sugar boost
Your packing list for the day may be shorter or longer depending on the needs of your child, but whatever you do…pack wisely! It may take a little bit more time, but you don’t want to be in the thick of things and realize that a meltdown could have been avoided if you just packed the *one thing* you thought you’d be okay without for the day.
3. Bring a Good Stroller
I didn’t realize what a controversial topic this is in some con circles, but at the risk of drawing hate from those groups, I’m going to go ahead and say bring the damn stroller if it makes life easier for you! I don’t know what we would have done without our Goodbaby X1 Urban Jogger, because we hauled a ton of stuff. If you’ve ever been to a con, you know that you will leave with a ton of swag! It wouldn’t have made sense to use a diaper bag because it would have been hard to carry, not to mention babywearing can get very hot in a con environment. Our stroller was an impromptu changing table when we thought we had a blowout on our hands (it wasn’tfortunately!). All-in-all, it was a lifesaver.
If you do want to carry a diaper bag, I love Ju-Ju-Be’s Be Right Back Diaper Backpack—tons of storage space in a comfortable backpack that’s designed for long wear.
No one gave us any grief for our stroller, and even if they had I would bring the stroller again. #noshame
4. Get a Hotel Close to the Con & Take Breaks
We always have gotten a hotel within walking distance to Animazement, and it is always a great decision. It’s a little more expensive, but when we need to rest it is so nice to be able to take a short walk back to the hotel room. Depending on the type of napper your child is, this could make or break a pleasant con experience. Plus, it’s nice for the adults to kick back and relax, too!
Another perk to being in a hotel close to the con is that there tends to be restaurants and coffee shops with outdoor seating. It’s always advisable to eat a good breakfast before heading out for the day!
5. Relax and Have Fun!
Cons are great opportunities to meet fellow geeks, appreciate cosplays, and get loot from artists and vendors! Check out some of the cool people we met, not to mention some small businesses we love!
Be sure to check out these small businesses!
CalicoNorth Productions: They not only make scented plushies and beautiful watercolor art, but they have a YouTube channel where they discuss movies and pop culture!
Strawberry Quiche: Kishia has absolutely adorable OCs and cute spins on popular characters such as Sailor Moon and Steven Universe. Check out her Etsy for cute swag!
Bunnies and Cream: If you are looking for bath and body products that smell delicious but also have a geek twist, look no further! Bunnies and Cream is where it’s at!
Here’s a peek at what some of their swag looks like:
You Can Do It!
Taking children anywhere can make even fun activities seem like a chore, but it really is worth the effort. Enjoying activities you did before the baby can help you adjust to the new normal of parenthood. Besides, can you think of a better way to share the joys of geekdom with your family? With a little bit of preparation, you can have a great time. See you out there!
Do you take your children to cons? What tips do you have that helped you?
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