How early is to early (newborns at parks)

Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:47 AM

Neuski said:
The difference is some people keep their kid at an amusement park all day... in August. I can't stand seeing babies out on a crazy hot day.

I suppose. Babies are just little people, you know.


Spinout said:
Taking care of a baby at an amusement park is going to be like taking care of a baby at home.

That's the funny thing about babies (and children in general) - they require care...

...all the time even. :)

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I dunno. I guess raising a child is another one of those things that I think people make too complicated most of the time. Two things really:

1. They're people, treat them as such.
2. They're little, help them.

That pretty much covers it. :)

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 11:28 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

I wonder what all of our 'enthusiast' kids will think of parks when they become adults? Will they continue to visit or be glad to be free of their coaster dork parents? What's it like to live in world where a trip to the amusement park is just another summer (or spring or winter or fall) day?


I think that all depends on the kid. I've loved amusement parks since I was 6 or 7, although I have to admit my trips were limited to 1-2 a year.

When my son was born in 1986, we pretty much avoided CP until he was tall enough for some of the larger rides (he reached the magical height of 48" at age 4) because we didn't have any friends or relatives who were willing to make the trip and do parent swap.

After that first trip and my son insisting on riding Magnum, we purchased our first season passes for the following year and every year thereafter. There was one year when I had some issues with him getting bored because we went several times a month, so we cut back the trips. But by the time he was teen and we began taking "coaster vacations", he was all for it, and except for the limitations of work and college, he still loves going to parks.

He's now engaged and one of their honeymoon options is Florida for WDW and IOA.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 6:19 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Neuski said:
The difference is some people keep their kid at an amusement park all day... in August. I can't stand seeing babies out on a crazy hot day.

I suppose. Babies are just little people, you know.

That's the funny thing about babies (and children in general) - they require care...

...all the time even. :)

---

I dunno. I guess raising a child is another one of those things that I think people make too complicated most of the time. Two things really:

1. They're people, treat them as such.
2. They're little, help them.

That pretty much covers it. :)


Unfortunately, it also takes some common sense. I'm with Neuski. I went to Kennywood two summers ago on what was reported to be the hottest day of the year. Even the adults needed to hydrate constantly all day.

And there was a couple with a newborn sitting along the midway and they were pouring bottled water on the baby's head to keep him/her cool. Come on! At that point is it necessary to keep the child out at the park?

Babies are people with baby needs. Forcing them to keep up with adult lifestyles is not the best care for them in all circumstances.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 6:28 PM
It is unfortunate that some parents take newborns to parks.... (or anywhere outside for that matter)... when it's that hot.

This is something I will not do to my son, or any children that follow.

To be honest I can't handle heat like that, and i'm an adult. I honestly don't even like going to parks in the dead of summer.

For me when it comes to heat issues, I think I am pretty confident in my own common sense... but I'm not everyone. *** Edited 3/2/2008 11:28:45 PM UTC by Donny***

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 7:10 PM
So what do babies in south Florida do? Or babies of equitorial origin?

I guess I just don't get the idea that it's a problem to be out on a hot day. When did we become such heat pansies?

Then again, I do understand that you guys are qualifying it by using "newborn" - and that makes a difference.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 8:28 PM
Well the thread specifies newborns. But beyond that, hot is hot. I can't speak to what folks in south Florida or near the equator do on a regular basis.

But if they are taking their babies out and sitting down on the asphalt in the heat for arbitrary reasons, then I have the same opinion about it. *** Edited 3/3/2008 1:28:49 AM UTC by Carrie M.***

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 8:41 PM
Gonch, yes I was thinking of it in the newborns sense.

I hope and kinda figured that parents in warmer climates take precautions.

As for me yeah I can sometimes be a heat panzy. LOL

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 9:26 PM
Ok, so a newborn (anyone care to define) should probably avoid extreme heat. I think that's pretty much common sense and perhaps I made a mistake in assuming that was understood.

You son is being born in a few weeks - I'd have no problem taking him to the parks this season. Your profile says you're in Indiana. Early and late season should pose absolutely no concern. Use common sense when it comes to those hot summer days. Basically if it sucks to be trudging around the park, your baby isn't going to do too well in it either.

Then again this is coming from the guy who (as I said above) had my one-month old out in the park in an Orlando October and then had him out again two months later in a Pennsylvania December.

He lived. :)

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 9:55 PM
Thanks again for the advice, from decisions made from earlier posts this is what I had planned to do.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 10:02 PM
This is one of those situations where what is considered "normal" or "safe" is largely based on culture.

I think of Inuit parents who regularly must take their infants out into temperatures much colder than I would subject my daughter to. In contrast, I just yesterday heard from a lady who, having been born and raised in Illinois, moved to L.A. Once when she had her baby out on a FIFTY degree day, people were giving her scornful looks, one person even telling her that she was a bad mother for not putting a towel over her child's head.

Go figure.

My wife and I first took our daughter to CP in May 2002, when she was five months old. We rode the CP & LE, the Skyride, Giant Wheel, Paddlewheel Excursion, Space Spiral, and the train at Peanuts Playground. She loved all of it. It was a great day for one and all, and not one roller coaster was ridden.

We saved those for 2003. ;) *** Edited 3/3/2008 3:02:59 AM UTC by Ensign Smith***

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Sunday, March 2, 2008 10:07 PM
I agree with Gonch on the "heat pansy" thing. Somehow we managed to raise generations of kids in this country without central air.

Taking a baby to a park for a few hours would be preferable to keeping them in a concrete filled heat sink. (Of course, people might consider some "parks" concrete filled heat sinks.) Protecting their sensitive skin from direct sunlight is more an issue than having them out in 90 degree heat.

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Monday, March 3, 2008 8:58 AM

CPLady said:


When my son was born in 1986, we pretty much avoided CP until he was tall enough for some of the larger rides (he reached the magical height of 48" at age 4) because we didn't have any friends or relatives who were willing to make the trip and do parent swap.


Wow, you lucky...mutter mutter mumble... My daughter is 7 1/2, she's my oldest, and she JUST NOW cracked 48". My son turns 5 in may and just now cracked 42". Yeah, neither one is headed for sports fame and glory but they LOVE amusement parks. Each year brings new rides and new experiences, and my kids have been going since they were little. My daughter first hit Memphis Kiddie Park at 1 1/2, and my son was less than 1 when we first went to CP with the kids. Heck, my son has been babbling off and on all winter about going on rides.

The switching off thing is fine if you can find someone, and it depends on when you go. My wife and I were able to ride MF 3 years ago because the line was short enough that we didn't feel too bad leaving my parents with the kids at Peanuts Playground for about 1 1/2 hours. Still haven't hit TTD though since the wait has always been over 2 hours, and last year Maverick was way too long a wait as well, but we did hit Magnum. It may be just me but I have a hard time justifying leaving my kids with someone else and they're stuck chasing them for a long period of time while I go off and have fun.

Tom

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Monday, March 3, 2008 9:38 AM
I have a 6 year old son and a 2.5 year old son. Here is what I've learned about them:

1. Up until a certain age (4 or 5?) they really don't know or care about the difference between a big amusement park and a church festival. In fact, until they were 3ish my kids had more fun at playgrounds. Occasionally my 6 year old still requests the playground over Kings Island. I would not spend the $$ to take them to Disney until my youngest is at least 7 or 8 (old enough to appreciate it).

2. We live 15 min from Kings Island, and have had passes for a few years, so this gives us lots of options. Our best visits are in the evening after dinner. The temp is cooler, crowds are lighter, and we have more energy and fun.

3. We've had several fun visits to KI, but even more fun at the smaller places like Stricker's Grove and Coney Island (Cincinnati). The kids can ride more and we are more relaxed.

4. One of my fondest memories is riding the Stricker's Grove Teddy Bear coaster with my oldest son, 3 at the time. The Teddy Bear is tame as can be, but it really looks and feels like a real wooden coaster. To a 2 or 3 year old it must seem huge compared to those tiny metal coasters that are everywhere. His smile and screams (yes they were happy screams) said it all.

5. My oldest son was coaster crazy from age 3 till 5. Then he lost interest and says he is scared of coasters we've ridden before. It's frustrating, but not a big deal. I'm sure he'll come around eventually!

6. To answer the original question, we took both of our sons to various places when they were around 2 months old. The biggest factor was working around naps, since our kids thrived on regular naps. Anyway, just use common sense . I don't recommend changing your life entirely, but all the feedings, poop, naps, and snuggle time demand your time one way or another. My wife and I were walking zombies for while (late night feedings) and we much preferred a quiet trip to the playground or park bench over the hassle of an amusement park.

*** Edited 3/3/2008 7:01:02 PM UTC by buckeye brad***

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Monday, March 3, 2008 10:01 AM
My son, who is now five, was born in April and I started taking him to Dorney in July when he was about three months old. As long as you prepare yourself for the fact that you may only be there an hour and the baby may start carrying on and you could have to leave or find a quiet place for awhile, you and the baby will be fine. The more prepared you are, the better your trips will be.

He is now a parkaholic like me. I say break 'em in young. In fact, he was extremely tall for his age. He was dying to ride the Phoenix at Knoebels when he had just turned three. He was being terribly stubborn about potty training and thats what did it. Wear undies, ride Phoenix. Done deal! I felt like a bad Mom taking a three year old on Phoenix but he loved it and things have never been the same.

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Monday, March 3, 2008 11:31 AM
I'd like to add that I found the Zoo to be a good "test run" before an amusement park. They are less expensive so it's not as big a deal if you have to bail and you won't be disappointed at not seeing an animal as you might be not getting to ride something. There is also way less (if any) waiting in line.

We took our 1 year old to the Zoo to see how he would handle it. He feel asleep after an hour in the stroller. We tried again 3 months later and though he stayed awake the entire time he threw a major tantrum after about 2.5 hours and we called it a day. We went again when he was a year and a half and that was the magic time. He behaved, followed our instructions and seemed to enjoy everything. We took him to Holiday World a month later and things went well.

Just remember to keep your expectations in line. You are there to let the kid see the park. If you are are going to try to be there for yourself too, just get a babysitter and save the trouble. Trust me.

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Monday, March 3, 2008 11:39 AM
When they're a few months old, taking them to the GROCERY STORE for a half-hour is a challenge, much less an amusement park. It's like a moon launch trying to make sure you have all the right gear in place. And backup gear. And so on.

Once you're able to handle your usual day-by-day schedule with kid in tow without any major snafus, you might be ready to try a park. Just be ready for a rather short day that's much different than what you're accustomed to.

Just play it by ear, take your time and don't forget to bring your camera.

-'Playa

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Monday, March 3, 2008 11:46 AM
^Yup. Like 4 hours. ;)

I really like Legoland over here. Not only do they have rides we can do together, there is a nice large playground that you can just let them run wild in for an hour or so. Then again, the park down the street is free.

Still, my boy loves going on rides and he loves trains. Can't wait to do Disneyland and California Adventure this year.

By the way, see my profile picture for a good idea of the appropriate age to bring your kid to a park. ;)

*** Edited 3/3/2008 4:47:37 PM UTC by janfrederick***

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Monday, March 3, 2008 12:21 PM

CoastaPlaya said:
When they're a few months old, taking them to the GROCERY STORE for a half-hour is a challenge, much less an amusement park. It's like a moon launch trying to make sure you have all the right gear in place. And backup gear. And so on.

Once you're able to handle your usual day-by-day schedule with kid in tow without any major snafus, you might be ready to try a park. Just be ready for a rather short day that's much different than what you're accustomed to.

Just play it by ear, take your time and don't forget to bring your camera.

-'Playa


Preach on 'Playa! Truer words have never been posted. Grocery Stores truly are the proving grounds for parents!

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Monday, March 3, 2008 12:36 PM
It only gets better when those legs start working...and then those little MOUTHS.
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Monday, March 3, 2008 1:28 PM
My wife and I took our son to Idlewild last July--he was a few weeks shy of 1 year old. It was really for my indulgence, since we were headed to Pittsburgh and it was on the way, but we figured Idlewild was a good option since it has Story Book Land and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood that our son might enjoy. As it turns out, he was too young to really appreciate Story Book Land (basically sat in the stroller like a lump most of the time), and as such we didn't feel it was worth waiting in line for Mr. Rogers. We only stayed for a couple of hours, and before we left, proud daddy watched and took pictures while mommy took him on his first amusement ride, the carousel, during which he was completely oblivious of what was going on. We got more enjoyment out of it than our son did, obviously, but now we know it's not really worth it to bring him to any parks until he's old enough to appreciate and enjoy them.

We've visited vastly fewer parks over the last couple years, and I'm fine with that, as it has made ME appreciate them more. What Gonch pondered earlier is something that I often think about: my folks first took me to Kings Dominion when I was 5, and from then on we made one or two visits a year to both KD and Hersheypark, with a couple Magic Kingdom trips in between (rounding out two different week-long Florida vacations, once when I was 6 and the other when I was 14). I want to start visiting more parks when our son gets older, but at the same time I want him to think of these trips as special occasions, not 'just another day' during the summer months.

Right now, if the wife and I want to go to an amusement park, we deliver our son to either my folks or my in-laws for the day and we head out by ourselves. To us, a day at the park is a lot more enjoyable without our son. That sounds harsh, but to me it really isn't. This summer might be different, as he might be old enough to have fun on some of the kiddie rides. We'll see. I'm really looking forward to that, and of course when (if) he wants to ride his first coaster.

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