Whither I goest, my baby will go
The brouhaha of this past week regarding a blogger junket planned by Johnson & Johnson got me thinking about where it’s appropriate to bring a baby, and where it’s not.
Last summer, when I was still pregnant, many of my fellow bloggers brought their babies to the BlogHer conference in Chicago. Some of them used the child care services provided by the conference organizers, but others carried their babies in slings throughout the days (and nights). I wasn’t disturbed by their presence at all, and even held one little guy on my lap while listening to Elizabeth Edwards’ keynote address.
Since Oliver’s birth, I’ve taken him out several times without incident. (Unless you count his bowel movement at Panera that literally echoed off the walls and ceiling.) We even dined with him at Jax Fish House in LoDo on my birthday. He nursed under a cover for most of the meal, then settled into his carseat next to my husband Kyle as I settled into a glass of port. Not a single peep out of him all evening.
And until J&J clarified that their plans for Camp Baby did not in fact include babies, I was planning for his first plane trip, hotel stay, and taxi ride at just over two months old.
But should I have been making those plans? Is it okay to take a relatively portable newborn places that I wouldn’t take a toddler? Or is it my responsibility to my fellow diners, travelers, and conference attendees to find care or else stay at home?
Personally, I think it depends entirely on the child and the circumstances. Some newborns eat and sleep peacefully; others spit up on the tablecloth and cry endlessly. Some toddlers sit still and don’t spill; others climb over the back of the booth or crawl under the table. Some parents recognize when a child ought to be removed from a situation (when that’s possible); others don’t.
Was I nervous about the prospect of taking Oliver across the country? Only because of the associated logistics and the fact that without Kyle present, I’d be fending for myself. I wasn’t concerned about his behavior or my ability to handle it. Frankly, I’d be more concerned about taking my daughter CJ on a plane trip by myself, and she can walk, talk, and use the bathroom.
Where do you willingly take your kids, and where don’t you dare go with them? Better yet, where do you wish OTHER people wouldn’t take their kids?