The other weekend my family had the opportunity to attend MommyCon in Philadelphia. I was eagerly awaiting this event, and had purchased our tickets last April (when we were still living in the area). Despite moving 2 hours away, I was determined to make it — a natural parenting convention with lots of speaker on breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering and lots of natural parenting vendors — yes, please!
We arrived at the venue about an hour or so after the start time and were immediately overwhelmed. The check-in desk was a small desk, crammed with people, in a tiny area in the main lobby (I feel bad for the guests trying to check in/out or generally make their way in/out of the building). The cramped quarters were to be a precursor to the rest of the day. We made our way to the second floor where the convention was taking place.
|Excited kiddo at the beginning of the day|
I wish that I had photos to share of the vendors & surrounding rooms, but there was literally no way for me to take photos, as the area was unbelievably overcrowded. Unfortunately, I suffer from anxiety in crowds and in tight quarters, so I was unable to really move about the hallways and the area where the vendors were located. I ended-up spending the majority of my time in the main speaker room (which is what I was there for anyway), to avoid pushing through crowds. The only way to be able to ‘shop’ the vendors there would have been to go while discussions were taking place, but then you would end up missing the speaker.
Crowded areas aside, it was great to see some of the people behind the blogs that I’ve followed since my days anticipating getting pregnant:
|January, from Birth Without Fear|
Above is January, the mama behind Birth Without Fear. She inspires (and cheerleads) women to seek out the birth that they want, no matter the obstacles.
|Jessica from The Leaky Boob|
Jessica, from one of my favorite blogs and Facebook pages, The Leaky Boob, talked about normalizing breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.
Unfortunately, I have no photos from my favorite, and most educational session — Car Seat Safety with Alyssa from The Mommy Dialogues. Of all of the sessions, the car seat safety was the most beneficial for us, already having 13 months of parenting under our belts. We use Britax seats, and just assumed that weight was the gauge for D outgrowing his seats…but found out that D’s height will most likely be what outgrows the seat way before the weight limit!
|Baby Guy NYC|
Baby Guy NYC led the gear talk & giveaway. It was the end of the day, with lots of babies in full-on meltdown mode (my little man included), and Jamie made things quick and breezy, giving a couple of great tidbits about each piece of baby gear that was given away (and there was a lot of great gear given away – I just have NO luck!).
|End of the convention, people anxiously waited to hear if they had won in the 5pm prize re-draw|
In summary, as the mother of a 13 month old and active in the natural parenting community, there was not a great deal of information in the sessions that was new or overly beneficial for me. For seasoned parents, this convention is a good opportunity to network with like-minded parents. My suggestion, for future MommyCons, would be to add sessions for experienced parents, maybe on holistic/natural healing/remedies, parenting with patience, etc. For expecting parents who don’t do a lot of research beforehand, this convention is great and will inundate you with information! In the absence of accessible brick-and-mortar cloth diaper stores, you are able to check out each of the types of cloth diapers on the market and try out babywearing with carriers that aren’t crotch-danglers.
|Pooped kiddo after a long day! D was a champ – he cut 2 new teeth that weekend!|
I am really glad that there was such an astounding turnout for MommyCon in Philadelphia, it just wasn’t a large enough venue to be comfortable for my family. The fact that there is this much interest in a convention centered on natural parenting makes me hopeful, and I will enjoy watching the convention grow in leaps and bounds! My final thought? I have never seen so many babies being worn or boobies being proffered in one place…and it made me smile.