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Looking for advice from parents: Gaming with baby

mcrow

Explorer
The last group I played in the GM (who hosted the game his house) and his wife had a baby. It was no big deal to us because he slept through the whole session most of the time. When the baby got a little upset his wife would take a break and we woul play her character for her while she was gone and sometimes we would just take a break for 15-20 min and get back to it. I guess as long as all the players are ok with it go for it.
 

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Klaus

First Post
My son is 8 months old now, and we haven't gamed since my wife was about 6 months pregnant (so there go 14 months of no gaming). He doesn't sleep during the day at all, and once he sleeps (at around 7 PM), both my wife and I are too tired to stay up for long (she crashes at 9 PM at most, I sometimes - when Lost is on, for instance - stay up until 10 PM). Of course, the three of us get up around 5-6 AM.

So until my wife's mother recovers from a recent surgery, no gaming for us. Once she's better, we'll schedule for her to come babysit during one Sunday afternoon per month, so we can game.
 

squat45

First Post
Our gaming group has 6 people, 2 sets of couples and then 2 guys... betweeen us, 7 kids. Aged 8 to 2.5. One guys lives 40 min away and his wife takes care of the kids. The others all live within 4 houses of each other and we roate houses. As DM, our girls (4.5 and 2.5) usually either have a babysitter or go down to my dad's... babysitting is expensive, but we only play once a month or so...

When little, the girls were a blast to play with... I could give them dice or paper 'minatures' (laminated cardboard cutouts, near indestructable) to play with all day long...
 

Andre

First Post
jtone said:
Our group is quite tolerant of these interruptions, but they would probably drive someone without kids nuts.

I have to admit, this is what happened with me. I don't have children, but at one point was gaming with two couples who both had young children. A 4-hour game session would consist of maybe 20 minutes of gameplay with everyone involved - the rest of the time was one interruption after another. About the time I noticed that it was common for 3 of the 4 players to be absent from the table at the same time, I knew we had a problem.

We agreed to essentially ban kids from game night. Now we only game twice a month (and sometimes miss a session) rather than weekly, as babysitting costs add up quickly. And sessions still start late, as it's sometimes hard for parents to get away on time. But it's a big improvement all around. Everyone can focus on the game. The kids don't feel left out, ignored, or in trouble for just being kids. And they can always come over when we're not roleplaying.

Not necessarily a solution for everyone, but it works for us.
 


TheGM

First Post
While all three of my kids were adopted at older ages (4,6,9), I have two couples in games that have children, and we work it out okay.

A baby at the table can be a serious distraction, but if you're all laid back it's not too bad.

The baby in the crib idea works once they're a little older, another option is to ask them to come to your house for the first few months and you'll go to theirs for the second few months.

It's going to change things, no question there, but that's true for your entire life, not just your gaming :D.

We (my wife) also buys the pillow D20s (the little dog-toy sized plush dice) for the babies, and we let them play with them. Have to start those gamers out early.
 

Micah

First Post
We have three children (currently 5, 4 & 2) and my husband and I "co-DM" a game and participte in another as players.

We are very lucky. We play with parents who have children in the same age range and some very very patient players who don't have children. We also play once a month - so sometimes we are able to spring for a sitter.

Many times infants are fine - some babies cry a lot though unless mom or dad walks with them, or if their routine is different, etc. You never can tell what to expect until they come.

A lot depends on your baby, your group's tolerance and flexibility, how often you play, and whether grandma and grandpa are close.
 

Glyfair

Explorer
Mythmere1 said:
Chiming in with consensus, but yes, babies are easy - toddlers make you have to game after bedtime only.

Not in my experience. I'm sure this is a "it depends on the toddler."

The couple whose house we play in have a soon to be 4 year old. He's been at the gaming table since he was born.

He's usually at the gaming table, although he'll often wander off. He can be a distraction, but usually for one player or the other. Initially, he would spend most of the game on my lap. He needed his own dice and would ask when it was "his turn" to roll the dice. As long as we gave him a turn periodically (which had no connection to the game) he was fine.

Now, there are a few players that tend to deal with him. Everyone likes playing with him, and he'll wander off and play on his own some nights.

The biggest issue is usually bedtime, since we'll get together at 6pm and usually game until 11pm-1am. With that many "friends" visiting, getting him to go to bed is occasionally an issue.

It's not that there are disadvantages to this. However, the option would be to lose this couple and we don't to do that. Their house is, by far, the best place to play (they even have a second family room downstairs with an attached kitchen).
 

JamesDJarvis

First Post
Mapleaxe said:
Parents out there, particularly those in gaming households, how have you you dealt with managing baby and gaming?


Expose a baby to a moderate leevel of noise and activity and they will get used to it and not be a big pain in the butt durign gaming sessions.
My kids were never any gaming related trouble to speak of. The only reason two year olds are ever a problem is because parents are weak and infrim on discipline and attention. Give them lots of attention (hwne not gaming) and maintain discipline and they will let you game without being a pain in the butt. Kids (unless they have serious problems) only act out of line to get attention even if they don't realize they are doing it. A child will do whatever it can to get the amount of attention it thinks it deserves, give them the chance to get that attention and they aren't gonna be breaking your miniautres or swallowing dice.
 


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