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  • Advice on 'Festing with a baby

    Hello All!

    Well, I thought the birth of our first son and the overwhelming thought of traveling and Festing with an infant would keep me away this year, but between my husband's and my mutual love for Jazzfest, my 13 year stretch of going every year, and the itch I get for anything and everything New Orleans this time of year, we threw all caution to the wind and just booked our flights and reconfirmed our Hotwire room that we booked last June.

    I reviewed an older post from a while back about coming to Jazzfest with an infant, but thought maybe there might be some new thoughts, advice and suggestions out there.

    Our little guy will be ten weeks old and I am fully prepared to have a totally different experience with him, set no agenda (since he'll be setting it) including possibly shortened days, etc. We already have his Peltor noise reducing headphones and I'm gearing up with UV protective clothing and hats, a Bjorn and a stroller with a shade canopy for getting around, a fan and such to keep him cool.....but any other suggestions for traveling with an infant, getting to and from the Fairgrounds, places to eat that are baby friendly, and any other thoughts on the Festival grounds, etc would be greatly appreciated!

    Happy Fest all!

  • #2
    I'm sure Amy and others will be along shortly to give you first-hand advice, but I just wanted to say, "YAY YOU!"

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    • #3
      Awesome! Glad you and babe are going to make it

      Natalie was about 4 months old her first Jazz Fest, so your little one will be a little younger. The big thing is to make sure he stays cool. Little ones don't regulate their heat that well, so I'd say go into tents and/or the grandstand whenever you need to.

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      • #4
        I'd like advice on strollers and the racetrack. Is it tough to push them around out there? I can no longer tolerate putting my toddler in an Ergo (hurts my back) and he's too young to just walk the whole time.
        p.s. Congratulations on the new baby!!!!

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        • #5
          Here's a great link for sunscreen and sun protection info:
          http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/top-sunscreen-tips/

          It has sections regarding sun protection and has excellent rating info for sunscreens/blocks. Most commercial sun products are not very good for your skin. Babies deserve the best.

          Regarding baby strollers, I would imagine the bigger the wheel, the easier it is to push. I used an Italian baby buggy with my kids in the winters of the upper peninsula of Michigan. Kinda hard to get a pram on the plane, but I remember the large wheels made walking a breeze through the snow and rough terrain.

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          • #6
            In the past, we've used a stroller that was, aptly enough, called Zydeco, can't remember the brand, but it had big wheels (like a jog stroller or other all terrain stroller). We now have a Phil & Ted's double, haven't had it at Fest yet but we've had it in all sorts of terrain (mountain hikes, ski hill snow, etc.) and it has performed well. Strollers are pretty easy because you just roll through the airport with them then gate check them.

            The bjorn/carrier is good (our kids are too big for them now too), but we found a stroller that can recline to be really good for naps. Jordan swears by the kelty backpacks (I believe), bigger kids can be carted around in those, but I'm just not strong enough!

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            • #7
              Advice on Festing w/ a 10 wk old? Start asap to line up a baby sitter, if possible. If you're a 13 yr vet, you're well aware it can be blazing hot or pelting r**n. He's waay too young to enjoy the experience & a bit fragile to expose to such a huge crowd. He'll be much happier elsewhere & your Fest'll be SO much more wonderful. & congratulations ;^)
              Last edited by denbear; 03-27-2011, 09:33 PM. Reason: addition needed

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carolina Beadhead View Post
                I'm sure Amy and others will be along shortly to give you first-hand advice, but I just wanted to say, "YAY YOU!"
                seconded!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by denbear View Post
                  Advice on Festing w/ a 10 wk old? Start asap to line up a baby sitter, if possible. If you're a 13 yr vet, you're well aware it can be blazing hot or pelting r**n. He's waay too young to enjoy the experience & a bit fragile to expose to such a huge crowd. He'll be much happier elsewhere & your Fest'll be SO much more wonderful. & congratulations ;^)
                  No, not true. I've seen plenty of other babies at Fest and I've brought my own. Don't listen to this and don't let it freak you out or make you feel guilty. He's not too young to enjoy the experience. Babies love music. You can get out of the elements when it's too hot or raining too much.

                  Sorry Den, but it really pushes my buttons when someone tells someone else how to raise their kid. New moms especially have the weight of the world on their shoulders already without others telling them they're doing something wrong.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Amy Winette View Post
                    No, not true. I've seen plenty of other babies at Fest and I've brought my own. Don't listen to this and don't let it freak you out or make you feel guilty. He's not too young to enjoy the experience. Babies love music. You can get out of the elements when it's too hot or raining too much.

                    Sorry Den, but it really pushes my buttons when someone tells someone else how to raise their kid. New moms especially have the weight of the world on their shoulders already without others telling them they're doing something wrong.
                    I know that Dennis means well, but it's pretty laughable to expect a first-time mother, in a big city, over a thousand miles away from home, to leave her 10 week-old baby with a sitter, in a place she presumably doesn't know any such person, even if a sitter could somehow be talked into watching a newborn infant.

                    I guess she could check with the guys at the Huge Ass Beer stand on Bourbon St. to see how much they want to watch the baby for a few hours. Afterall, it's not like they're going anywhere.....

                    MegaJ---Amy is right on the money. Over the years I have seen some very happy-looking families enjoying Jazzfest with very small children in tow. I know it must be a bit daunting being a new parent, but I am sure that common sense & your own natural instincts will keep you and the little MegaFester in good stead. Plenty of cool shade when possible (the stage in the Grandstand area where they sell the fresh oysters may be a great homebase) and good hearing protection would seem to be two of the biggies to me.

                    Depending on the specific child, in some ways having a 10 week-old at Jazzfest might be a lot easier on the parents than having a 10 year-old to keep entertained......
                    Last edited by MormonMatthew; 03-27-2011, 11:22 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MormonMatthew View Post

                      I guess she could check with the guys at the Huge Ass Beer stand on Bourbon St. to see how much they want to watch the baby for a few hours. Afterall, it's not like they're going anywhere.....
                      I am still laughing at the thought of the Huge Ass Beer stand vendors babysitting.
                      Guess the Lucky Dog vendor, could pinch hit, you just have to make sure he is not going to move to a different corner.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by barry10016 View Post
                        seconded!
                        Triple good for you!!
                        BTW
                        These may help

                        Baby's Away - New Orleans
                        Serving - New Orleans Metropolitan Area
                        Phone: Toll free 800-692-5520 / local 504-952-4930
                        Web site: www.babysaway.com
                        Rockabye Baby Rentals
                        Serving - New Orleans, the French Quarter, Garden District, Metairie and Kenner
                        Phone: Toll Free 866-653-9555
                        Web site: www.RockabyeBabyRentals.com
                        We've got similar places like that up here on Long Beach Island for our summer renters, and they have speciality items like strollers with balloon tires for getting through the sand. They could work on the Fairgrounds as well. You might want to check them out.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Amy Winette View Post
                          Awesome! Glad you and babe are going to make it

                          Natalie was about 4 months old her first Jazz Fest, so your little one will be a little younger. The big thing is to make sure he stays cool. Little ones don't regulate their heat that well, so I'd say go into tents and/or the grandstand whenever you need to.
                          I really agree with Amy. Everyone thought that I had gone nuts because my baby was just three months old. I remember nancy was crying buckets and I couldn't keep her cool.

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                          • #14
                            It can be done, and it's not -that- hard. You just have to be super flexible. We spent time in the grandstand when it got really hot, walked through the mist tents, stayed in the shade, etc.

                            I found my ring sling to be better suited for the on/off and in/out of a newbie than the bjorn, but that's a matter of personal preference. Also, the ring sling could be nursed in- so that was easier for us.

                            We took my son at 6 weeks and my daughter did her first fest at 8 weeks. It's different. It's not that big of a deal. Keep 'em hydrated, keep 'em cool, watch the ears, watch the sun.
                            This year they'll be at their 3rd and 5th fests, respectively- they skipped last year. Have to say, the first year was the easiest- now they won't just take a nap (although they have, it's not that easy), they have way more opinions. And they're louder.
                            But it's still fun, and they're still great little travelers.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amy Winette View Post
                              No, not true. I've seen plenty of other babies at Fest and I've brought my own. Don't listen to this and don't let it freak you out or make you feel guilty. He's not too young to enjoy the experience. Babies love music. You can get out of the elements when it's too hot or raining too much.

                              Sorry Den, but it really pushes my buttons when someone tells someone else how to raise their kid. New moms especially have the weight of the world on their shoulders already without others telling them they're doing something wrong.
                              Amen Amy!!!!! Plus, I think when they are super little it is the best time to go to places such as fests, bars, etc. All they do is sleep then and their food is so easy (boob, bottle). It is much tougher when they need constant entertainment, eating is pickier, but too young to take care of themselves and hang out with friends.

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