BRINGING YOUR BABY TO A BLOGGING CONFERENCE

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When I first started blogging a whole new world opened up. As much as most bloggers write for themselves, for the love of the creative freedom it brings and to have a space of their own online, we all like it when others take an interest and read our work. And work is exactly what this has become for many, including myself, and like with any other industry you’ll find conferences well worth attending spread out over the year. They provide opportunities to better yourself as a blogger, meet your peers, mentors and blogging heroes in the flesh and network with brands.

Since starting scandimummy.com I’ve attended two of probably the biggest and best on the scene for parent and lifestyle bloggers. Firstly, BritMums Live in June (now known as BML16) and secondly Mumsnet’s Blogfest yesterday. For both you can find lots of posts about the events if you take to the good old Google search engine; on how to best prepare for them and what to bring to get the most out of your day. But as I have had Caspian with me for both, I thought I would do a post on what it’s like to have a little one with you and how to still actually learn something.

When we went to BritMums Live I was privileged to have Daddy Long Legs with me for support. Caspian had just turned four months, and was still breastfed, so we decided to make a weekend of it and stayed at a hotel overnight. This meant that I didn’t have to carry around all the things you eventually need as a mum from changing bag to change of clothes. And I was more or less free to attend the many inspiring sessions on my own (including the fantastic awards party in the evening), so I could fully focus and learn as much as possible. You can read about the experience here.

But for Saturday’s Blogfest event I was on my own. Well, I had Caspian with me, who is now a curious, active 9-month-old, so to say I had my hands full would be an understatement.

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Caspian trying to enjoy a sponsored drink during one of the sessions at Blogfest15

Would I recommend bringing your baby to a blogging conference? No! Then why should you read on, you might be thinking now? Because like me you might not have an option to go without and as I proved yesterday, it can be done, but it takes a bit of both mental and physical preparation.

I would definitely say that it is easier to bring a baby under six months than over. They are more likely to sleep during the day and as long as they are fed and cuddled (and not going though a grow spurt, teething or have just had their jabs) they seem to stay content. Whether you as a new mum is ready for it is a different matter, but I do believe that getting out and about and socialising is a good thing.

For both conferences I found that it was no problem to bring a buggy. And it was only for one session Saturday that I had to leave ours by the cloak room, as there simply wasn’t space in the hall. But even so I would recommend bringing a sling as well. You’ll have your hands free to take notes, tweet, or participate in the more hands-on-type workshops like this one, I did with Capture by Lucy for BritMums Live even when your baby wants to be close to you.

What to bring when you have your baby in tow:

  • Buggy (also fab for storing that amazing – and heavy – goody bag you receive at the end!)
  • Sling
  • Changing bag (nappies, wet wipes, muslins, etc.)
  • Spare clothes (for you and baby)
  • Plenty of food (if baby is eating) and milk – a hungry baby means a loud baby!
  • Toys or remote controls or whatever helps entertains your little one
  • Water for yourself (though at both there were plenty of food and drinks provided throughout the day)

Things to think about in advance:

  • Planing your journey to the venue
  • Which sessions you will attend
  • Whether it’s best to chat with brands when your baby is awake or sleeping

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Caspian charming the lovely ladies on the Munchkin stand at BritMums Live in June this year

What not to worry about:

  • Attending every single session! For Saturday’s event we arrived late due to a long journey meaning getting there for the 9 am start would have been close to impossible when travelling by public transport. And during the day make sure you put your baby first, if he or she needs break from all the people and some peace and quiet, go find a separate place and have a rest.
  • Your baby making noise during a session. It’s naturally to cringe or even apologise if your baby starts squealing with delight when he finds a programme on the floor and discovers the fun of waving it around when someone is giving a speech and the room is completely silent. These events welcome babes in arms, so you have just as much right to be there as the next person. And generally people are really helpful and understanding, after all most are parent bloggers, so have children themselves (which I’m sure they at that point are happy they left at home!). If your baby goes into completely meltdown and starts kicking off, it’s probably better for everyone involved to just leave the room and go somewhere to calm down. Β But remember this is not school and you have paid (unless you are sponsored) to be there.
  • Okay, so you might not be able to take it all in and make as many notes as you would if you didn’t have a baby crawling between your legs. Relax – that way your brain will be much better at taking in the information and storing it for later use. If you stress, you might as well forget it.

Luckily for me Caspian is good with strangers, and there are enough women willing to take him off my hands – even just for a couple of minute – so this was a great help Saturday. I was also lucky that Caspian went down for a nap during the lunch break, so I could try out the many delicious food stalls in peace and catch up with blogging friends. I even managed to squeeze in a short session at the blog clinic with the lovely Kerry from Ohsoamelia.

Have you been to either of these two events? And did you bring your baby? What would be your top tip?

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15 thoughts on “BRINGING YOUR BABY TO A BLOGGING CONFERENCE

  1. He was such a cutie pie no wonder you got lots of offers for help and for holding him πŸ™‚ great that you were able to attend and yes, you’ve got every right to be there with or without a baby!

    I didn’t find baby noises bothered me the slightest, only if they were properly bawling did it get distracting and mostly their mums would then take them to calm down elsewhere.

  2. This is a great post Nadia because you are being honest and explaining the truth as how it is to go to a conference with a baby. I definitely agree that it will be much better to go child free as it is a day where there is too much to take in and you also want to do networking etc. With your baby it is not easy. You are not there 100%. Only half of you is there. I also agree that little babies (less than 6 months) are easier to manage than older ones as they are much active. I wouldn’t be able to go with Sienna as I wouldn’t be able to enjoy anything. Sienna is too hyper. Although, Caspian was very well behaved and he was really lovely all the time. So I think you are lucky to have a happy little boy. Definitely if I had the choice to bring my husband I will do it too so then you have an extra hand to help. You gave really good tips in case you have to go with your baby. It was lovely to finally meet you! Thanks for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m very happy to have you again this week.

  3. That is a great post lovely, you see lots of round ups and ‘what I learnt’ but the whole taking your baby thing is never really mentioned! I am sure it will be a post that gets some views close to BML16 and so on. Deserved too! I was indecisive about Brit mums last year but I would have probably took Kinley, just to give the hubby more chance of surviving a weekend solo with three crazy boys! Next year, Kinley will be too old to attend and I have a ticket, so daddy has no choice but to deal with it! And I get a night off πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ xx

  4. Some great tips! I think it stressful taking babies to more ‘grown up’ events, but other people rarely mind and it’s good for them to be in lots of different environments. I have to take my daughter along to a lot of community meetings and things like that because of work, and even though I cringe every time she burbles through someone talking her presence does make it a lot more bearable. People seem less likely to lose their temper and start ranting when there’s a baby in the room! #KCACOLS

  5. You are my new mummy hero – a long journey with a baby would have finished me off, let alone attending an all day conference alone with a 9m boy. If you can do that you can to anything! Bravo. x
    #KCACOLS

  6. You are SO brave and my new mummy hero. A long journey would have been enough. But an all day conference alone with an active 9m boy …. you are WonderWoman. If you can do that you can do anything. Big up yoself! x Helen #KCACOLS

  7. Great post! I’d love to go to some blogging events next year but we don’t have any babysitters to hand so I probably would have to bring Taylor along! She is also pretty good with strangers, but does hate being ignored and restrained in any way! Your post has made me realise that it is possible though – well done you and well done Caspian for being such a trooper πŸ™‚ x #coolmumclub

  8. Wow! It sounds like you aced it. Tin Box Baby was just over a month old when Britmums happened this year so there was not way I was going to go with or without her. In hindsight she would have probably just slept through it all but it was the getting to London that put me off. I missed Blogfest because of a diary clash but I’ll be at BML16…without my babe. She’ll be running about all over the place by then πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

  9. Good tips! I’m wondering how I didn’t see you both…I think I was focused on going up and down the wrong stairs and making it look deliberate most of the time. I can imagine a younger baby being easier as you say, sounds like you both did well though! #coolmumclub

  10. I went to Brit Mums and didn’t take my boy (he’s too big), it was lovely to have a weekend to myself but I did miss him. Luckily there were a few babies to have a cuddle with.

  11. I didn’t realise they welcomed babies in arms but now I think about it, of course they do. I bet he got masses of attention. Still, I think you’re very brave! Well done! #justanotherlinky

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