Remember last year when I posted about how to survive and enjoy a football season with a new baby? Well - let's just say this past season was a WHOLE NEW BALL GAME.
Now, as a new football season is upon us (Fall Camp started last week for us!), I thought I would share about our season last year with a 1 year old! Once your kiddo is on the move, going to sporting events (or anywhere, who am I kidding?!) is a tad bit more challenging, so here are a few tips I have based on my experience last year. This year is going to be even MORE interesting with two - but I'm definitely not qualified to give any kind of advice on that yet! Talk to me after season!
Keep in mind...every kid is different! Every stadium is different! Every season is different! So there is no one-size-fits all approach to managing a little one at a game, but hopefully this gives you some ideas and encouragement that it can be done!
For a little background, here's what last season looked like for us. I had a 14 month old who had just learned to walk at the beginning of the season. We play games at 7pm on Saturdays to try to avoid the high temps that plague South Texas all the way through the season. There was a pretty "open-gate" policy at football practices, so we got to go on the field a lot for that, but we stayed in the bleachers for games. My husband has an office near the field that we had access to, but couldn't see the game from it. I had family and friends in town for a few games and my trusty football bestie Michele at my side as well! Before the season began I considered skipping some games in favor of a regular bedtime, but I'm glad we stuck it out and made it to them all! This life is OUR LIFE and I want my kids to experience it from the beginning.
Here are my TOP 5 TIPS for going to games with a 1 year old!
1. Make little traditions - Even 1 year olds crave routine and catch on to traditions fast. We always tailgated with friends ahead of time with Miss Mak in the stroller, headed into the stadium early to give high 5's to the players as they walked in, she always got a a hug from daddy before the game and then we headed to the stands. And she always wore her team colors!
2. Be prepared to move - I know not every stadium allows for this, but let your kiddo move if you can! It's pretty improbable to assume they will sit still for the duration of a football game (or a quarter!). We would usually corral her into a row of seats and let her walk back and forth while playing with toys. I'd also have her go run around on the outskirts of the stadium.
3. Wear them! At that point, I was rarely using my Ergo wrap with Little M anymore, but it was perfect for the second half of night games! At halftime we'd go for a bathroom break and diaper change and I'd grab the Ergo and load her up. Then we'd walk around the stadium for a while or stand somewhere where I could watch out of the way. Sometimes she'd fall asleep, but she was always content to cuddle
4. Bring snacks! I think this is probably a reasonable tip for surviving any outing with a toddler. If you can't bring food into your stadium try to find something in concessions that will keep them happy for a while! I usually brought little crackers, an apple, cheerios and a water bottle.
5. Find a friend - This is honestly my #1 tip! I don't think the season would have gone NEARLY as smoothly without the 2 helping hands of my fellow coach's wife, Michele. If you haven't found YOUR football angel, I encourage you to keep trying! I was so much less stressed knowing that I had a friend waiting for me when I showed up at games. From blocking her in our row to helping with snacks and potty breaks, she was truly a blessing. A family member (or 5) is also great, or even think about bringing a babysitter with you!
One of the cool things about being in the football coaching community, is that you get to network with other football wives from all over the country. I reached out and asked THEM for their best tips and this is here is what they shared!
How about you?
Are you headed to football games this year with little ones?
Any tips for me on tackling the season with TWO?!
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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