I am one of a number of parents I saw with children in tow at this year's PAX. Part way through Saturday, I was told by an enforcer that they had set up room 302 as a "Baby Station" - a place for people with babies/toddlers to go and sit that had a door you could close. This was awesome! Thanks to whoever thought of this idea.
HOWEVER, it disappeared overnight on Saturday. I went back to room 302 on Sunday cuz i needed some peace & quiet, and a safe place for my baby to crawl around, and the room was completely cleared out. What happened?!?!
ALSO, here are some recommendations for making a great Baby Station at future PAXes:
- don't put the room right next to the Rock Band free play. It was loud.
- in one 15 minute period on Saturday, 3 people opened the labeled closed door unnecessarily. One was looking for the bathroom, the second was looking for a person that was hiding, and the third just opened the door, looked around, and left. This was very disruptive. I would have been extremely angry if my baby were asleep in this room.
- the room needs more Sumos. It could also do with a few "help yourself" craft materials (ie paper with a video game character printed on it and some felt pens).Basically, the Baby Station needs to be an on-site quiet room where parents can go to relax, where we can help our kids calm down, and where we can just escape the craziness for a few minutes, without being interrupted.
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Were you born a dickhead, or did you have to work on it?
Im not a parent, but Im all about the kids... Any parent that brings their kids to a place like PAX is a parent of the year. Introduce them to nerddom early, is my philosophy.
Maybe allow parents to leave their children in the care of some nice Enforcers for short whiles, and give the parents that do so a keycard to the door so no disruptive n00bs can barge in, or worse.
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I don't hate kids either, I'm a proud uncle. I love the idea of spawning little n00blets into the gaming community. But, at the convention, I saw parents carrying kids from the concert hall without earplugs and small children wandering around the crowds by themselves. The loud noises can damage their ears, and I'm no health expert, but I'd be pretty confident in saying that the flashing lights in the main exhibition area with all the booths, and the lights in the concert hall aren't too good for them either. At least wait until they're old enough to be somewhat self-sufficient (or at LEAST old enough to understand what they're even seeing) to bring them into such a large and potentially dangerous event.
You're a responsible parent, good choice I'd say :-) My ears are still ringing; that can't be good for a youngin. And hours of exposure to sound at the exhibition-hall level is dangerous even to developed ears; as damaging or even more so than going to the concerts with them briefly.
I agree that parents that brings their kids to things like this are basically amazing. But there should be a qualifier there. Kids that benefit from being brought to PAX. I'd say the cutoff is basically when you move up from the "special" Happy Meal toy to the full-fledged goodness, give or take :-)
Short version: Decent idea, but I'd hate to see a halfway-done Baby Station become a PAX-ending lawsuit. Each kid's parents know best how to deal with him; the responsibility should remain with them, or else make the Baby Station ironclad and liability-free (Difficulty: Moderate to High).
My husband and I took our nearly 7 mnth old son to PAX this year and he loved it.. while we were probably the parents at the concert you are complaining about.. before the concert if you looked in my right hand you would have seen the lovely Steelseries headband headphones we bought at PAX specifically for the concert. When bedtime rolled around we ended up watching 5th element instead while dad enjoyed the concert and popped up to report the playlist. :winky:
As for the baby station we are extremely grateful. We were approached by an enforcer when I was frantically looking for a location (other than a restroom) and he cleared out rm 302 for us. Later we learned that has made into a baby station... when I went back on Sunday they moved it to rm 416 which was by the PAX store.. it was quiet, had a comfy chair and a lock on the door. perfect for nursing or just resting while baby safely crawled around.
Thanks PAX enforcers you are the best!!
Mom, Dad, and Baby Isaiah
Isaiah and family at Saturday concert sporting new headphones
It would have been nice to know that they moved the baby station...
The point of the baby station was to have it on-site. If it was at the registration hotel (which was the Grand Hyatt), I would just go back to my hotel (the Sheraton), which is the same distance away. And obviously they found room for a baby station, so it wasn't too packed to make a room for it.
I think the issue is that parents don't want to be excluded from PAX because they have children too small to be left with a babysitter for three days. If the room was too far away, then they might as well stay in their hotel room instead of go to PAX. The room should be somewhere near the action so when kids or parents need a break they can dip in.
But really, sometimes doing the right thing for your kids means sacrificing what you want, even if that is endless hours of nerd heaven. But PAX concerts and show floor will probably never be infant-friendly. Probably best to stick to the quieter tabletop areas and handheld lounge or tough it out a few years until they're old enough for a babysitter.
if the baby station is set up properly, and watched over, i'm sure the baby's going to be a lot safer than in the rest of the con, with the thousands of people, inflatable swords, and large pointy displays
The baby station is NOT meant to be a place to LEAVE your children. It is a quiet place in the WSCTC that parents can go WITH their small children to relax and escape the noise for a few minutes.
Us nerds *are* getting older, and we're even finding members of the opposite sex that will totally do it with us. I haven't brought my daughter yet, but if we have a room or two set up next year for the same parent supervised kid R&R time, then that'd be great. I wouldn't want it to turn into a daycare though, just because then people would be too tempted to show up, drop their kid off, and then leave till 3am.
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Wow, this is the most naive thing i've ever heard of. With or without the room, inside it or outside of it, a parent totally has standing to sue the trade center, and PAX for injuries a child sustains at PAX.
Whether they *win* is another matter. You can't take away someone's right to sue with any kind of disclaimer.
It really should be though. Its a pretty awesome Idea.
I wasn't saying that it would take away their right to sue the convention center, I was merely stating they would have a much better basis to WIN. Miscommunication some where. But I am not a lawyer and I was just speaking on what seems like common sense.
It seems like there's some support here for having a baby station or some place to care for children (age depending). I understand that this might not apply to extremely young children but maybe all of the people who do have kids who have this concern could band together to find/hire a child care company in Seattle that's licensed etc to open up (nearby)/come in (room provided) for PAX to meet this need?
This might be naive, but I can see it being somewhat of a nightmare for the already taxed Khoo and Enforcers to tack this on to what they need to manage. If, however, the attendees could work something out with a child care company would it help everyone involved?