This past weekend I took Tate to his FIRST professional sporting event. If you know my family, then you know it was only right that baseball was it. And when I tell you he rocked it, he couldn’t have done a better job! Literally no crying, no tantrums and he stayed awake the entire time! Baby boy was a champ and this mama is proud.
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while then you know that Tate’s dad is a professional athlete. Once we got pregnant I knew that baby boy going to games was going to be a part of his culture. Home games, away games, scrimmages, practices, walk throughs; you talk about it I’ve lived it for 10 years +; the only difference this time around, was I was expected to have a baby in tow.
In the past 3 years I have traveled to plenty of different NFL stadiums. Some ultra nice ones have daycare or child care places in them our stadium for the last 3 years however, did not. So baby boy being amongst the sea of fans was something I was just going to have to get used to.
Keeping a baby entertained at home is no easy task, so imagine trying to entertain a baby in a cramped, over stimulated, loud space- yea pretty much impossible. But not quite. As all things in life, it’s all about finding the right tools for the trade.
Here’s how I kept baby boy entertained at his first professional sporting event:
1. Dancing. If you’re baby is anything like mine then music is his favorite past time. If you yourself have never been to a professional sports game, let me give you a little tid- bit on what it’s like. There’s lots of noise, booze, music; sounds like a high school party right ?! Trust me it’s better. They play music, tell a fun fact or play little field games every time out or dead moment of the game. For me this worked in my favor. Instead of having baby boy sit the entire time, when they played music I would stand and dance with him or let him stand and dance in between the seats. He had a blast and it helped keep him from feeling bored or stagnant.
2. Food. Tate would eat all day if you’d let him. A little snack here, meal there, and boom you have a full on baby gazelle just grazing along. One suggestion I’d have is pack the snacks! Crackers, yogurts, fruit everything. And of course you cannot go to a professional sports stadium and not have a hotdog! That’s literally my favorite thing on the menu. P.s. if you’re going in the hot summer months like we did yesterday stock up on water and fluids!
3. The game. I mean duhhh that’s what you’re there for! Now it depends how old your baby is, but for Tate he’s at the stage where he understands the look and point. Every time they threw the ball I would point in that direction so he could look. Anytime the fans cheered I’d pick him up and make him cheer too! It’s important to me that he not only attends the games but that he eventually gets into and understands the entire culture around the games.
4. Free play. Just like when we work a 9-5 we need a little break every now and then, they’re babies and they for sure need a break more than us. Taking them up with you while you go grab that food and letting them just run wild and free is always a good time. It’s exercise for you and them and helps them burn a little extra energy. Plus, after they get done they’ll be so tired they’ll sit still, at least for a few extra minutes anyways.
5. Backup plan. And just all things in life with a baby, you have to have a plan B. Now I know some mamas are going to cringe at this, but we are an iPad loving family. With the right shows and programs you can totally entertain and teach at the same time. Our back up plan is always a quick Netflix or youtube moment. Around about the 6th inning Tater tot started to get a little restless and started fussing. He asked for a show I whipped it out and he barely watched until the end of that inning then got right back into the game. It was just enough to distract him and give him time to enjoy something else for a little. If this is not for your family, try something else! Like coloring, physical toys or even a book to read! Check out my restaurant activity toolkit here and maybe even bring it along to your sporting events!
Though Tate will probably go to many of his dads professionally games without me now, he still has plenty of games to go to with mama and it is an experience I truly enjoyed experiencing together for the first time. It’s important to make memories with your kids and it’s important for our mama sanity that we both enjoy them. Because let’s be honest, once baby’s unhappy, nobody’s happy!
Take care of you too mama,