Geddes, N.Y. — Whether by boob or by bottle, feeding a baby in public is rarely an easy feat.
And while the original milk bar is definitely portable, most moms don’t feel comfortable having their babies drink from the tap in the middle of a crowd — particularly in a place as open and busy as the New York State Fair.
So where’s the best place to feed your baby at the lively Geddes fairgrounds? I perused the fair with Arlo, my milk-loving, 3-month-old sidekick, on Thursday to find out.
Baby Care Cottages
Where can you nurse or bottlefeed your baby at the state fair? The short answer: Anywhere you’d like.
But the most comfortable place to feed your babe is in one of the fair’s Baby Care Cottages — little air-conditioned, chaos-free cabins specifically created to serve as a space for parents to care for their kids.
There are four Baby Care Cottages on the fairgrounds: one by the Chevy Court Pavilion; one outside The Eatery building by the pond; one next to the bathrooms across from the Beef Barn; and one outside the Agriculture Museum.
All are divided into two sections. One side has walls lined with fold-down changing tables. The other has a space dedicated to nursing.
The baby-feeding side of the tan-colored cottages has frosted windows for privacy and enough room inside to wheel in a stroller. The thick walls soften even the loudest concerts — like The Prodigals, which were rocking Chevy Court when we were inside — to a quiet thump.
The L-shaped, cushioned bench along the wall provides excellent back support while you’re feeding your baby. There are plenty of plugs to charge your phone or plug in your pump. And the icy blast of the AC unit is a welcome respite from the late-summer heat.
Most of the cottages even had trash cans for tossing diapers and foot-pump sinks outside for parents to clean up.
Arlo left the cottage happy and well-fed.
If you want to feed your baby outside, there is no more peaceful place at the fair than the Indian Village.
Located near Gate 4, Indian Village is a slice of much-needed nature on the mostly blacktop-covered fairgrounds. Big trees shade the grassy landscape. No joke: I even found a wild strawberry growing near Turtle Mound.
There isn’t a traditionally private place to feed your baby. But even with fairgoers nearby, the fairly secluded bench I chose to feed Arlo on felt miles away from the bang and buzz of Restaurant Row and the Midway.
And when you’re done feeding your baby, the Indian Village is a great place to feed yourself — and snag a much-needed $1 bottle of water.
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