[Ansteorra] Babies in the SCA

Jennifer Smith jds at randomgang.com
Tue Jul 10 09:01:11 PDT 2007

Ah, babies. :)

My youngest was 7 months, and my next youngest a year (we rather cheated a
bit on the itty-bitty-baby time), but both went to events with us from day

It just *is* much easier to daytrip (ie, not camp) with the younger ones.
Especially if they're in a Routine, they may not like to sleep anywhere
other than their familiar crib and all; if that's the case, there's not much
you can do about it until they get a bit older. 

I never bothered bringing a stroller along, because most sites just aren't
stroller friendly, and most on the market just stand out like a huge garish
modern monstrosity. The baby was either held the entire time (oh my aching
back), or set down on a blanket. I strongly advise the use of a baby sling
or something along those lines; save your back, and they're period, too!

At some point we got a wagon, and that proved doubly useful as a kid-carrier
and a general stuff-hauler. The oldest kid, in fact, would sleep *anywhere*,
so I could just make her a little bed in it and tell her "naptime!" and
after a minimal amount of fussing (2 minutes?) she'd be out cold. At the
side of the list, during court, whenever. The younger kid won't nap at all
at an event, alas...

I have seen the little portable playpens used at the list field, and don't
find them too obtrusive. Just be sure to set them in the shade, maybe behind
the front row of chairs or off to the side if the sight of it really bothers
you, and don't worry about it. They're low enough that most people just look
right over them and never really notice, and a happy baby is more important.
Do be aware that the mesh screens on them do block some of the wind, so
especially when it's hot, watch for overheating babies.

I never worry about what garishly-colored modern stuff I have hidden in our
tent (like our brightly colored portable playpen... What was I thinking?)
The playpens do make good beds, and they're up off the floor in case of

Toys -- I never let the kids bring anything electronic along to an event.
Never mind that it probably makes cheery beeping noises and isn't even
REMOTELY period-looking, what if something gets spilled on it, or it's left
behind, becomes the source of a fight, etc? Nope, those stay at home.
Instead, the kids have a small box or bag that is their "own", that they can
load up with whatever they want to bring. Typically for my girls this means
a small favorite blanket and sleepy-time toy (a monkey and a sheep for my
two), then paper and colors, or a set of wooden blocks. The blocks,
especially, are great if you have a flat enough spot for them (the wagon if
nothing else), because they scale nicely from one kid to several.

Food -- always be sure to pack food and snacks to last the entire event; you
can't count on site food being something your baby might be interested in.
Even if they're still at the milk-only stage, be sure they're drinking
enough to stay hydrated, especially in our weather. Both of my kids turn
into massive grazers at events, never eating much at a meal, but eating
regularly the entire day. Neither of them were very regular in their diapers
at events. Oh yes, extra *extra* wipies... :)  

Those reusable/disposable sippy cups that First Years makes? They fit
exactly inside those popular metal tankards with the clear glass (plastic?)

I'm sure many more tips will get posted soon. My oldest is now 7, youngest
is 3, and already I know I'm forgetting some of the tricks I learned when
they were both younger!

-Emma de Fetherstan

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