When my daughter was 5 months old, she attended her first Kentucky State Fair. As a new mom, I was just starting to get the hang of things but taking on 4 days in a show barn with a baby was going to be whole a new experience.
Luckily, I had my own mom to help and some fantastic advice from veteran show moms on facebook and twitter.
Fast forward 4 years – I’m packing for baby #2’s first state fair and ended up in a facebook conversation with a friend swapping tips on avoiding the “Louisville crud” head cold we all know and dread each year.
I’ve learned a lot over the last four years and I was eager to help her just like so many other show moms had once helped me. That’s when I realized I haven’t shared any of these show mom-ing tips on my blog. (Sorry y’all!)
So here’s the run down on our absolute favorite things for stock shows with a baby.
*** This post contains affiliate links. ***
Clorox wipes are the duct tape of cleaning supplies, they can be used in pretty much any situation. Which is why they’re just a show staple for us, baby or not.
When we do have a baby, we know that everything is going to end up in their mouth. This makes the Clorox wipes that much more valuable, even if it seems like we’re constantly wiping things down.
Toys that are easily sterilized
Our barn toys are almost all hard plastic so that they can easily be wiped down with Clorox wipes. When we get home from the show, I put them all on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a sterilizing cycle.
We especially love these plastic rings. Babies love to chew on them, plus they can be used to attach toys to a stroller, high chair or baby carrier. (Which keeps them from getting thrown into a hog pen!)
If your little one has reached the finger foods stage, these Munchkin snack cups are a must! They can reach in and get their snacks but when the cup inevitably gets knocked down it doesn’t spill. There are few things as frustrating as when a whole cup of Puffs ends up dumping in the barn!
Bonus points – these cups have handles you can attach to those rings I love so much!
Baby wipes with a flip top
You guys know I’m all about saving money, but this is one time I pass up the best deal.
Obviously we use wipes for diaper changes but also anything else that I don’t want to clean with a Clorox wipe. (Wiping off baby’s hands/face, wiping my hands, etc…)
The little travel cases of wipes don’t hold nearly enough for a long show day and you don’t want to fool with a big bulky box. The flip top packs are the perfect middle ground.
Blankets, bibs and burp cloths
Showing in Louisville means that even in August, we have to make sure to keep our baby warm. We always bring one warm fleece blanket into the barn for just that reason.
I also bring a bib and burp cloth for each day of the show. Drooling babies in dusty barns are a recipe for nastiness. Having a fresh bib and burp cloth each day helps keep that under control. I also keep a spare of each in the diaper bag, just in case of a major spit up.
Our Barn Baby Boutique blankets, bibs and burp cloths work wonderfully for this!
Basic medicines and a thermometer
My daughter decided the NAILE would be the perfect place to cut her first tooth. So at 10 p.m. we were leaving the show barn with a sobbing, feverish baby, driving around Louisville looking for an open drugstore to buy her some Tylenol. NEVER AGAIN!
We’ve found saline spray to work wonderfully when our kids are too young to take any cold medicines. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician before trying it though.
I also bring my thermometer with us on every trip. I LOVE this Braun no-touch because I can check their temp without disturbing them while they’re sleeping. (I’ve heard it also works pretty good on sleeping husbands who don’t like to admit they’re sick).
Menthol baby bath
This tip comes straight from my mom, which makes it a tried and true one! She discovered Johnson’s Baby Soothing Vapor Bath when I was a kid and we’ve been using it ever since. Adults, kids, everybody!
Its basically baby soap plus menthol, so we bathe with it when we shower at night after being in the barn all day. The menthol helps clean out your sinuses and we’ve found that really helps to fight off the “Louisville crud.”
We’ve been using a travel humidifier in our hotel room for about 2 years now and I really think it helps us fight off the sinus colds.
The air in the show barn is so dry and then we go back to a hotel with dry air and its just miserable on your nose and throat. The humidifier adds a little moisture back to the air.
We use this travel version but you can bring a full sized one if you’d like. We prefer the compact version and have found that since we usually go to bed late and wake up early at shows that its able to run the whole time we’re sleeping.
I listed this one last because it is by far the biggest investment but I also feel like its a game changer. When my daughter was a baby, someone always had to hold her while she was napping. Which meant if you wanted to watch the show you were completely worn out by the time she woke up.
Sometime in between babies I made friends who were into baby wearing and introduced me to Tula baby carriers, which completely changed my life as a mom. I wear my son almost daily! Its so much easier to keep up with my 4 year old when I have both hands free. I could go on and on about how much we love it.
For the sake of this post, let’s focus on baby wearing at stock shows.
Its so helpful for my son to be able to nap at shows in the Tula. I don’t miss a single class and since his weight is distributed evenly I don’t wear out my back/arms either. Next year when he’s running around, the carrier will also be perfect for keeping him out of harms way!
You should never do anything while wearing a baby that you wouldn’t do while holding baby in your arms. So I don’t recommend showing in a boar class or anything crazy like that! But I am able to do basic tasks like carrying water buckets and walking pigs while baby wearing.
Did I miss anything? Is there a show baby secret we show moms need to know?
Feel free to share your advice in the comments, I know there’s always more to learn from the show moms who have been at this longer than I have!
They say “it takes a village,” you know. I definitely can’t think of a better one to raise my babies in than the show barn!