I decided to do something a little different over Labor Day weekend and attended my very first “mom convention.” So I traded in my usual geek convention cosplay attire for comfy mom clothes, packed a sippy cup instead of a flask and attended panels on potty training and picky eaters. Instead of browsing racks of corsets and swords, I’d be checking out baby clothes and the latest in diaper bags and organic snacks. And you know what? I was looking forward to it!
MommyCon is a “nationwide convention series dedicated to creating and nurturing a community of parents and parents-to-be in celebration of natural parenting.” They have them in different cities throughout the year, so check their website to see if one is coming to a city near you!
We arrived in Orlando on Friday afternoon. I got to do VIP early check-in because of my media pass, but the full convention didn’t start until Saturday. I checked in and got the CUTEST swag bag ever. It was a Hello Kitty print Ju Ju Be bag stuffed with tons of goodies! If you go to MommyCon, get the ticket upgrade with the goodies, it’s worth it. After I got my badge and schedule, I headed back to my hotel to check everything out and plan my day. There were a few sessions that evening, but after being stuck in traffic for four hours (for a normally 2.5 hour trip) I was ready to just relax.
The programming offers a variety of sessions covering everything from babies to toddlers. I planned my day around “Why Toddlers Fear New Food, with Dawn Winkelmann” and “Potty Training Through Parenting with Laura Woj, the Scaredy Cat Potty Trainer.” I was able to get some good info from both sessions and even bought some SuperUndies that were recommended in the potty training class.
On the morning of the convention, I headed over alone while my husband and son enjoyed the pool. I thought I’d like some time to myself to check things out, but funny thing, I was surrounded by so many moms and babies, I wanted MY baby too! I texted them and asked if they could join me earlier than planned. I knew MommyCon would be family-friendly, but they made it so easy to have your kids with you that there was no reason not to bring them! There’s little kid play areas set up in the vendor hall, and in the back of each session room there’s toys and open space, and I saw at least two nice diapering stations set up by Huggies.
They also didn’t leave dads out! There was a Dad Lounge area and a big room for DaddyCon. I signed my husband up for the Dad Games and he ended up coming in 2nd in the diapering contest and won a really nice baby bag. First prize was a pretty neat Ergo 180 stroller.
Besides attending speaking sessions, I wandered the vendor hall, visited the Vagina Village (it’s ok to giggle), ran into Super Mom and met one of my Facebook friend blogging buddies in real life.
And since it is Orlando, we made a mini vacay out of the visit and spent our evening at Disney Springs, checking out The Edison and T-Rex cafe.
Overall it was a great trip. I really enjoyed MommyCon, but I did feel like I was already on the cusp of outgrowing it with a 3-year-old. It is heavily skewed toward pregnancy and babies. I was thrilled to see a mention on their Facebook page about adding KidCon next year for parents of older kids. I’m so there!
For more info and upcoming dates and locations, check out their website at MommyCon.com