We are well into October. One of the greatest sports months in the calendar year. It’s the only month where we get to experience – football, baseball, and basketball at the same time!
Fortunately for us ATLiens, our baseball team, the Atlanta Braves are first in the NLEast and very well could be on there way to a national league championship and then the World Series! The city of Atlanta could use the love, because unfortunately our football team is having a tough time.
Even so, we as season ticket holders are at every home game and manage to catch a few away games for the dirty birds. Yes, we fly with an infant and a toddler to see the Atlanta Falcons play America’s favorite sport. If you need tips for traveling with an infant, click here.
So let’s talk football and attending games with your little ones!
As a season ticket holders I see this happen every game — parents, mostly moms being turned around at the entrance gate to the stadium (after hauling their children across parking lots, busy streets, and through large crowds). Even as a season ticket holder, who “knows the ropes”, even I was once turned around — and since it seems the ropes have become a little tighter I figured writing this blog would help parents who dare to tackle a sporting event at any NFL stadium.
Let’s start with tailgate!
If you’re like us we tailgate before the games. Tailgating with little ones doesn’t have to be a chore.
Here’s how we manage:
1. Our eldest, Ellis is two and extremely independent. She loves to feel like a big girl. We purchased Ellis a NFL Falcon Toddler Chair. The chair is absolutely adorable, and helps to keep Ellis in her space and out of the busyness of fans and cars in the tailgate lot.
2. Snacks! Snacks! Snacks! Tailgate food isn’t always kid friendly. We pack a small cooler for our little ones, with things like their favorite fruit, Once Upon a Farm Cold-Pressed Pouches, Sippy Cup with Water, and Goldfish and/or Crackers!
3. Activities! If you’re going to go screen time, I’d use my cellphone over an iPad/tablet just because you don’t want to “have” to bring those inside the game. Another alternative, Melissa and Doug, make these really great activity booklets that my daughter loves a lot. The color on the go workbooks (with an invisible ink marker) are perfect time passers! You can shop those workbooks here!
Now for the BIG GAME!
I’ve seen far too many parents turned around for this one rule, the clear bag rule.
You can find the specifics for this policy, which is a standard at all stadiums in the National Football League, click here and read before going to the game.
The simplest way to put this policy a clear bag is the best option, even if you consider your cross-body or fanny pack to be small enough to fall with in regulations. I’ve seen the rules vary depending on the gate attendant and stadium. While this might not be fair, it happens. I’d much rather you be safe and able to enter the stadium rather than have to go back to your vehicle. I’ve linked some really cute clear bag options below.
As a parent these cute little bags definitely won’t cut it, but you don’t want to go to big. The standard measurements are 12 inches x 12 inches. However, do not bring a clear book bag, I tried to bring a book bag and was sent back to the car (after using it at two games prior too). You can shop most athleisure sites for a clear NFL bag.
Since you’re using the standard size bag – you can’t over pack, bring only essentials. The game is only a few hours, so here’s what I would suggest for a baby:
1. 4 Diapers: Enough to get you through a 3 to 4 hour game, so a diaper per hour; 2-3 Pull-Ups for a toddler
2. 1 Pack of Travel Size Wipes: You can shop for the travel size wipes on the baby aisle or in the travel area of your local Target.
3. 1 Bottle of breastmilk or formula: It may not seem like enough, but just consider what you little one might eat within four hours. I like to feed my little one about an hour to an hour and a half before game time. This helps to assure you that hunger isn’t an issue.
4. Non-Perishable Snack: Consider bringing some type of cookies or crackers for toddlers and Gerber Yogurt Melts or Happy Baby Organic for sitters.
5. 1 Complete Outfit and 1 Onesie: There is a chance for an accident or spills, so just one outfit should get you through plus a onesie for back up. I’d suggest a romper as a backup outfit
6. 2 Extra Bibs: Depending on your kids drool number, my son is a 10 on a scale of 1 – 10.
7. Noise Cancelling Headphones: We purchased the Baby Banz Sound Blocking Earmuffs from Amazon, to keep it short my son slept through the last home games with these on.
8. Your personal baby carrier: We use the Tula Baby carrier above. It was perfect when Duke was smaller and wanted to feel close and “safe” in the large crowds and noisy environment. If you have a sitter/walker who might enjoy seeing what’s going on I’d suggest a forward facing carrier.
I hope this information helps for moms traveling to games! If you have anymore tips, drop them below. I’d love to chat with you!
Enjoy these photos of us at home and away games, Falcon fan events, and a classic of Ellis giving Arthur Blank a high-five.