Dispatch from Camp MommyCon
Last weekend Remy and I met my mom in Winter Park for Camp MommyCon. First, I want to say how much a weekend away made me appreciate my amazing husband. We are an awesome team, and I really missed having his half. My mom did a great job, but it helps to have someone around who can read my mind.
That being said, I want to put out some some information that I wish I had access to before I bought my ticket. Tickets for the Denver Mommy Con were $40 and I was a bit on the fence about whether it would be worth the money for the ticket, plus the expense of getting to and staying in Winter Park. So, if you are thinking about going to one of the MommyCon events this year in Memphis, Philly, Boston, or Newport Beach, (or other events next year) this post is for you.
1. Bottom Line: Would I go again? Yes, I would go again. I met a lot of amazing guys and gals and did learn quite a bit. It was definitely worth the $40, even if you just consider this the cost of your raffle ticket into the Giveaway Extravaganza (see below). However, adding in lodging and gas the weekend was almost $300 for me and my mom. I’m not sure I would pay that much again, even though it was great to spend time with my mom and Remy in the mountains. If MommyCon returns to the Denver area, I would hope to see them in Denver proper, where lodging is a bit more reasonable and it would be feasible to drive in for the day and then come home. Also, like I said, this was Remy and my first time away from Tom, so you might want to consider brining your partner with you if you have to travel and you are still new to this parenting thing.
2. What did I get in the gift bag? I got a lot of loot. Like, a LOT. Many of the venders were also giving out things, so this list includes things that started in the bag and things that I collected. Here we go: G Diaper, disposable inserts, and gentle wipes, Siliskin Glass with Sippy Top, Babyganics spf 50 baby sunscreen (full retail size), Molly’s Suds Cloth Diaper Poweder and Laundry Powder, Moby Wrap cloth bag – blue and yellow with birds, Motherlove samples of green salve (for bug bites), thrush and diaper rash cream, and nipple cream, #lovemyclothdaipers baby tee, weleda nursing tea, birds & bees teas, sage spoonfulls babyhood container, blossom organics lubricant, zen rocks silicone teething necklace, MAM anti colic bottle, MAM newborn pacifier, Bamboobies washable nursing pads, resistance band, coupons and information.
3. What sessions were offered? The schedule for Denver didn’t post until just a few weeks before the event. So if you are considering going to a MommyCon, here are some of the sessions they offered in Denver: Babywearing Fitness, Sleep Consultation, Babywearing and Wrapping, Cloth Diapering, Pediactric Health, Talking about Sex with Your Children, Birth Choices, Toddler Cooking, Doula Support, Healing Properties of Amber, and more. There were no descriptions for sessions; only titles in the schedule. I found this to be very frustrating for a couple of sessions which were not at all what I was expecting, but there was so much to do that I didn’t feel bad about leaving a session to do something else.
4. What other learning opportunities did MommyCon Denver offer? One of the most valuable parts to me were the vender booths. There were a lot of them spread out over four levels (a weird quirk of the venue). There were many small Colorado businesses represented, and I would guess that every location has its own local businesses. There was also a “Babywearing Lounge” with every kind of carrier you can imagine to try on and try out, staffed with experts who could tell you about each type of carrier. I really wish I had had access to something like this when I was pregnant and trying to choose a carrier. I took advantage of the opportunity to learn all about woven wraps and tried out a couple different ties with help from one of the volunteers. It was awesome. I also spent a lot of time in the Car Seat Connection – Clek, Britax, and Diano all had booths with carseats and experts who patiently and wonderfully educated me about convertible car seats. I learned SO much from them. Finally, I spent a lot of time at the Cloth Diaper Resource Center. We were very fortunate to have many types of cloth diapers handed down to us, so the expert at this station really helped me understand how to use all the different kinds of diapers that we have.
5. What was the atmosphere like? There were A LOT of moms and babies (and some dads and grandparents.) The atmosphere was awesome! It always felt very chill and even though this was a “crunchy” (granola) event, there was never any pressure. I especially appreciated that there was a special nursing lounge tucked away that was private with bobbys and pillows and comfortable chairs and water, etc. But there were also a lot of moms nursing or bottle feeding their babies just in the middle of whatever was happening. So I thought that was awesome. Everyone was very friendly and with so many things being given away, no one felt greedy or like they were trying to game the system.
My mom and Remy showing off his new ride.
6. Did I win anything? I feel like the “giveaway extravaganza” was played down on the website and all the blogs I read about MommyCon. Look, they are not kidding about it being an EXTRAVAGANZA. I bet close to 200 gifts were given away, and with 400-500 attendees at Camp MommyCon, the odds of winning were pretty good. They gave away many things including Bouncers, Playpens, Strollers, Ergo Carriers, Moby Wraps, Cloth Diapers, and close to 20 Carseats including a Clek Foonf. My mom won this amazing Joovy Tricycoo and Remy is totally stoked. Most of the giveaways were given under a random-number-style raffle but some – like the twin strollers, were given in a way that made sure they would be used by someone who needed them – a mom with twins or with kids very close together.
So there you go. I’d love to answer any other questions you have if you are thinking of going to a MommyCon event.