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This is at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, Canada:<br>
My friend and I were there today with her 3 kids and my dd. Her ds - 10 mos was on her back in meit tai and dd (8mos) was in a ring sling. The security guard (or you know, the people making sure you don't touch the paintings etc) came up to us and told us that his supervisor did not think the way we were carrying our babies was safe <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br>
My friend replied that she was experienced at wearing her ds on her back, and he was fine (in fact, he was beginning to fall asleep) but he would not go away, kept insisting it was better he go in the stroller (she had one with her, it was carrying all her stuff) and that the baby was going to fall out etc.<br>
We were getting quite frustrated explaining that, no, the babies were fine, we knew what we were doing etc. The guard came back 3 or 4 times, suggesting we leave and that the babies were reaching out of the carriers and grabbing other patrons/the art (this was NOT happening at all). He also kept saying that his supervisor was telling him to do this (there was another man there he kept consulting) and that people were complaining (? no one said anything to us, or even looked at us oddly!).<br>
Another woman over heard and went to speak to the supervisory guard because she was so incensed on our behalf.<br>
Finally, my friend put her ds in the stroller and the security guard said "that's much better, I like him in there" and left us alone.<br>
We were soooooooo angry! I could almost not believe it was happening. Am definitely going to write to someone. . . not sure who yet. Suggestions?
 

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Why is it their business how you carry your child?<br>
I'll email them if you know of an address.<br>
That's just absurd!
 

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Good grief.....SOMEONE was bored THAT day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/drool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="drool">
 

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I am amazed and speechless. How ridiculous!
 

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I'm shocked! But what do you do in the heat of the moment? Let us know when you write to someone regarding this.
 

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Not to defend their behavior - which was stupid - it 's probably a liability issue. If the baby fell and got hurt on their property, they could be sued. I'm sure that's what they were thinking about.
 

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I would call the museum but also your local news station.<br>
That is the craziest thing I've ever heard and I would be livid.
 

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I had a similar experience at the Indianapolis Museum of Art last year.<br><br>
It was our second visit. Both times we had our baby in the ergo, worn on our front.<br>
An employee stopped us and said "You can't carry him in that thing." I said "um, why not? We did last time and no one said a word."<br>
She thought for a minute, must have realized she was wrong, and said "Oh wait.. you're right, since he's on the front it's ok."<br><br>
So it seemed she was remembering a rule regarding backpacks. You can't wear a backpack on your back in the museum (in fact they are strict about large bags/purses too - we had an issue with our diaper bag). Apparently these are liability things, as they don't want people accidentally bumping the art. I definitely can understand that.<br><br>
So perhaps the employees you dealt with were trying to convey a similar rule, although if that's the case - they did so poorly. I think the best move would be to contact someone high-up at the museum to find out what "rule" they were trying to enforce, and if there is no rule then a complaint letter would definitey be in order. I would ask for an apology, stating that the comfort of your babies was compromised and you all had a negative experience at the museum because of it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amandaleigh37</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11667892"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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So it seemed she was remembering a rule regarding backpacks. You can't wear a backpack on your back in the museum (in fact they are strict about large bags/purses too - we had an issue with our diaper bag). Apparently these are liability things, as they don't want people accidentally bumping the art. I definitely can understand that.<br></div>
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I can appreciate the staff wanting to protect the art, but at that rate will they ban children and fat people too? what about people in wheelchairs? They could just roll into something important.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
If the liability is that big of a deal they should not invite the public.<br><br>
When you go into a museum you are reponsible for respecting and not touching the art and displays. The way you carry your baby has no bearing on that responsibilty. I would be really PO'ed if any staff tried to tell me how I may or may not carry my baby. (who has no intrest in the art anyway<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">When you go into a museum you are reponsible for respecting and not touching the art and displays. The way you carry your baby has no bearing on that responsibilty. I would be really PO'ed if any staff tried to tell me how I may or may not carry my baby. (who has no intrest in the art anyway )</td>
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I agree. But my point was that it may have less to do with the fact that it was a BABY, and more to do with a backpack-like thing strapped onto a person's back. At least that's what I gathered from my own experience at our museum. Their brochures even state in the guidelines "no backpacks".
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>DklovesMkandJK</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11668044"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...If the liability is that big of a deal they should not invite the public...</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I think they should grow a brain and open it up a little. I have run into many more things with a stroller than the baby on my back. I put the baby on my back in order to avoid her getting into mischief.<br><br>
I think the guards were on a power trip. We need someone to push around..oh look, a baby and a mommy doing something "different" let's get 'em.<br><br>
Make complaints. They didn't give you a reason other than..."they felt uncomfortable" and that just doesn't cut it.<br><br>
I can only imagine if it were me.<br><br>
(note to self..go to museum, wear baby)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"><br><br>
I think you should call the NINO group in your area...have them take a field trip to the museum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I have been to lots of museums where no backpacks are allowed- baby backpacks or otherwise.<br><br>
Most art is above the level of a baby in a stroller.<br><br><br>
I don't think this was agianst you or babies, I think it was just a strange situation that the guard felt was mostly against policy, but wasn't sure what to do about it. Especially since you had a stroller with you.<br><br>
I am sorry it was so upsetting.
 

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I don't see any backpack rule. <a href="http://www.gallery.ca/english/460.htm" target="_blank">http://www.gallery.ca/english/460.htm</a>
 

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This sort of thing is always more aggravating in publicly accessible, state-owned places. I tend to think that people should be allowed to do as they please and exclude whom they like on their own land, but c'mon, you have as much ownership of a state-run museum as anybody else... why shouldn't you be freely allowed on the property? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I don't see any backpack rule. <a href="http://www.gallery.ca/english/460.htm" target="_blank">http://www.gallery.ca/english/460.htm</a></td>
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Actually, it says backpacks must be checked in the coat room:<br><br>
"CAN I BRING THIS?<br>
All bags are subject to being searched upon entering or leaving the building. Bags larger than 30 X 40 cm (16’’ X 12’’), <b>backpacks</b> and umbrellas <b>must be checked in the cloakroom</b> (free of charge). We also recommend that you check your coat. Balloons, flags, banners, and animals are not permitted inside the building."
 

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So if an art gallery says you can't backpack your baby because they might reach out and grab the art, does that mean you're not allowed to pick them up and hold them either?!?<br><br>
I imagine the reasoning behind the 'no backpack' policy is that they want to prevent someone from stealing art and hiding it in their bag; or because someone with a large pack could be careless and smack into something behind themselves. Neither situation is going to happen when it's a baby on your back.<br><br>
I don't think they should be allowed to apply their no backpack policy to baby carriers.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">So if an art gallery says you can't backpack your baby because they might reach out and grab the art, does that mean you're not allowed to pick them up and hold them either?!?</td>
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Having a baby in your arms, or even worn on your front is a lot different than on your back. For one - you can't see them. And if they do grab ahold of something (although unlikely)- it's going to be more difficult to get them to let go than if you had your arms around them. I also can understand the risk of someone with a backpack/child on their back bumping into something. At the museum here I was told I couldn't carry my diaper bag - until I pointed out that it was full of baby stuff, then they said that was ok. I was told the reason was because large bags may cause people to bump into things.<br><br>
The museum has the right to make rules that they believe will protect the art, and I believe that a baby worn on the back would fall under the "backpack" rule. If this was targeted only at babies, and say, backpacks were fine, I'd agree it was ridiculous. But that's not the case.<br><br>
I do think the OP was treated rudely, and a letter is probably in order. If I were the OP, I would let the museum know that their employees did not explain their reason for the request - and they in the future it would be handled better if the guards politely explained their rule and gave other options - like wearing the baby on the front or using a stroller.
 

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This problem has been reported at the St. Louis art museum as well. I bet there is some kind of Museum Director continuuing education program that advises them to have policies against slings or backpacks or something. It's just too widespread and it's ONLY art museums. This is not a problem at the zoo, the history museum or the science center. Personally I think it's ridiculous and they need hold people responsible for their own behavior. Then again I don't find the St. Louis art museum particulary child-friendly for other reasons. I'm not in any hurry to go back.
 
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