Back in July we took Allie to her first ever baseball game. The Red Sox were up in Anaheim so we decided to be spontaneous and make the two hour trip north to see them. Allie was 8 weeks old at the time and it was the furthest from home we’ve taken her. It was also the longest we’ve had her out of the house as well so the entire day was brand new to us. While Allie is a super great baby and typically loves being out, I just had no idea how she’d do on this trip. Thankfully it went super smoothly and we all had a blast!
We were all up by 8am and out the door and headed to Anaheim by 9:30. The drive up wasn’t too bad at all. We hit some traffic in a couple areas, but it was nothing out of the ordinary for I-5. We expected it. Allie slept for most of the drive, but we ended up having to stop once we were 30 minutes away from the stadium to change her diaper. Once I changed her, I ended up sitting in the back seat with her for the remainder of the drive so I could try to put her back to sleep.
Arriving at the stadium was a bit weird. We were at Angels Stadium and yet SO many people were wearing Red Sox gear. It was the strangest thing. Being so far from home, we really thought it would be a bit more challenging to find other Red Sox fans, but NOPE! Probably about half the stadium consisted of Red Sox fans. It then got even weirder as the game went on because people were cheering for the Red Sox as well. How horrible it is to be playing at your home stadium and to have everyone in the stands cheering for the opposing team?! It was a whole lot of weirdness, but we didn’t complain. It was nice to be surrounded by so many fans.
We also got very lucky with our seats. I wasn’t thinking too much when I picked our sears so when we arrived, we discovered they were right in the sun. At first, I wasn’t too worried about it, but the woman in charge of our section suggested we move to seats in the shade since we had Allie. This was very much appreciated! We sat a little further away from the field, but it was so nice to be able to keep her out of the sun. I didn’t have to spend my time worrying about her.
Allie slept for a good majority of the game and only woke in the 8th inning. This is when I fed her and changed her and got everything packed up to head home for the day. This is where I had my first mom fail of the day…I brought the wrong bottles. The ones I brought give her terrible gas. Terrible as in I have to burp her immediately after feeding her or she breaks down screaming and crying because it’s so built up (burping throughout the bottle doesn’t help either). Sometimes she won’t even make it through a full bottle because of it. And then on top of that I brought the medium flow nipples which were way too fast for her at 8 weeks old. So the poor girl was trying to drink it and the formula was literally pouring down her face. I honestly have no idea how much she actually got from that bottle which upset me a lot because I wanted to keep her as hydrated as I could while we were outdoors. I was literally crying as I was feeding her. #Failure.
As we were leaving, the parking lot was a complete mess so we spent some time in the car, relaxing and cooling off. I changed Allie’s diaper again and changed her into a clean onesie. This was when my second mom fail of the day occurred. I wasn’t paying attention when I was changing her diaper so I accidentally removed her dirty diaper before having her new one ready. She took that opportunity to pee…everywhere. A whole puddle on the backseat of my brand new 2017 Jeep Cherokee Sport. At first, I wanted to die, but thankfully I laughed it off! Mainly because she was smiling and laughing. Plus, there wasn’t exactly anything I could do at that point. I couldn’t rewind time or anything! But we keep shampoo in the car for when we have Jack in the car so I was able to get it cleaned up before hitting the road.
Aside from a couple mom fails, I’d say overall our first trip went super smoothly!
Since the first game went so smoothly, we decided to take her to a second baseball game over the weekend. This time, she was 14 weeks old. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a Red Sox game. It was a Dodgers vs. Padres game. But it was still just as fun. Zack actually got us free tickets from a guy he works with so it was a really nice treat to have something to do while Zack was home for the long weekend. We’ve been wanting to see a Padres game too so we were excited to have the tickets.
I was a little worried at first when Zack told me he had tickets to a Sunday game. Sunday games means a daytime game and we were going through a 100 degree heat wave. There were some parts of San Diego that were reaching 105 degrees so I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to attend a day game. Thankfully waking up on Sunday, the high temperature for the day was 79. Much better than the 100 degree average we had been having. AND it was cloudy rather than sunny. We even got a little rain in some areas. So it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly there. We even had a bit of a breeze at the ballpark.
Since the game was here in San Diego, we didn’t have to plan quite as much as we did when we went to Anaheim. We also had planned to leave the game a little earlier anyways so we could get home to watch the Red Sox play. So we were a bit more laid back with this game. Unfortunately, we weren’t in the shade for the game, but the lack of sun helped a lot! I loved not having to sit in the direct sunlight and risk overheating or having Allie get too warm. It made everyone a lot more comfortable.
Allie didn’t nap as much this game as she did when we were in Anaheim but she was still very well behaved. I gave her larger bottles to keep her hydrated and continued to keep her sunhat and sunscreen on her as well. BUT I had a total mom fail this game too.
Of course being outside in the heat, we made sure to dress Allie appropriately so that she wouldn’t overheat. I packed extra formula to keep her hydrated as well. And then I put sunscreen on her to protect her skin from the sun and kept her sun hat on her to protect her face (I don’t put sunscreen on her face because the skin is just so sensitive sometimes and I don’t want to cause an allergic reaction). Sunscreen was reapplied every 1.5 hours even though it was cloudy and we kept her in the shade as much as possible. We took all the necessary precautions to have her outside safely.
Waking up Monday morning, I noticed that the poor girl’s cheeks were red. Not horrible, but they were puffy and red and I felt like the worst mom ever for letting her get a little sunburnt. The rest of her body (with the sunscreen) was still white as can be but her poor face was rosy. It made me feel so horrible. I take sun exposure so seriously which is why I always put sunscreen on her regardless of her not being 6 months old yet. It just isn’t doable to keep a 3 month old wrapped up and covered when you live in Southern California. The risk of a heat stroke is a way bigger issue to me than her possibly having an allergic reaction to a sunscreen (in which case I could stop using if needed). So I am SO thankful I put sunscreen on the rest of her body. Even I got a little burnt on my legs and shoulders because I didn’t think to put sunscreen on myself. So keep this in mind even if you’re going to a sporting event on a cloudy day. The sun CAN burn you from behind the clouds.
So enough about our trips! I’ve found that we’ve been pretty successful with taking our little one to baseball games so here are some of my top tips for surviving a sporting event with a baby!
- Plan out your seats. If you’re able to, then strategically plan out your seats! Aisle seats are ideal because it allows you to easily get your and down if your little one needs a diaper change or a bottle or even just a walk around the ballpark or stadium to calm a tantrum. I hate having to step over people a million times and it makes me feel bad too so aisle seats are amazing. Another thing you want to look for is your nearest bathroom or family room. We had a family room directly below where we were sitting at both games so if we ever had to get up to change her, we didn’t have to go far or waste time looking for it. And lastly you want to look for shade. Especially if you’re going to a day game. This may be more challenging to find and it may mean you have to sit further from the field. But it was SO nice at the Anaheim game to be able to keep Allie out of the sun. I could relax and enjoy the game rather than worrying if she was getting burnt or developing heat stroke or something. Everyone was much more comfortable!
- Plan out diapers and feedings (if possible). I know it can be next to impossible to put a baby on an actual schedule but if you’re able to then I highly suggest planning ahead with diapers and feedings. For example, I know that Allie typically eats every 2-3 hours or so. So I keep this schedule in mind when planning the day. For our trip to Anaheim, I fed and changed Allie before leaving the house that way she’d be all set for the two hour car ride. I then figured by the time we got to Anaheim and were parked and all that then she’d be at the 3 hour mark since her last bottle. So I fed and changed her again before going in. And then her last bottle before heading home occurred in the final inning. It worked beautifully! With our Padres game, I fed her before leaving the house and again when we arrived. She then had a bottle in the 6th inning before we headed home and another not too long after we got home. I made sure that we were always in a place where she could eat when she got hungry which made it so much less stressful and easier. Of course things happen, though so it’s good to be flexible.
- Bring a friend. The buddy system is always so helpful. I had Zack with me for both games so we didn’t have to bring additional people to help with her. But if you have multiple kids or you’re planning to take them by yourself then having a friend with you can be a lifesaver! Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands.
- Don’t forget sun protection. Not all seats in a ballpark are covered (depending on the ballpark) so be sure to bring sun protection for the whole family: a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are always with me for when I take Allie outdoors (yes, I’m that mom that puts sunscreen on a child under 6 months old. To me, the risk for sun burns and skin cancer is much higher than the risk of an allergic reaction). The sunscreen I use for Allie is by The Honest Company. It’s the Honest Mineral Sunscreen. I don’t remember what brand mine is but all that matters is that you’re protected! Allie also loves her sun hat and sunglasses (thank God) so I keep those on her as much as I can. Thankfully we were in a shady area in Anaheim so I stuck with just a thin layer of sunscreen on her.
- Wear sneakers. I failed here both times. Totally wore sandals because it was so warm out. Normally it’s totally fine but I felt super uncomfortable holding her on my chest with sandals on. Especially walking up and down the stairs to our seat. They’re just so steep so I was terrified of tripping with her in my arms. So I would have felt safer in sneakers.
- Bring a good carrier. A sporting event is not typically stroller-friendly so it’s important to have a good carrier. It’s great to be hands free! We use an Infantino carrier when we’re out and I couldn’t recommend it more. It’s super comfortable and easy to put her in and take her out. There’s also a lot of back support with it so I’m not left with a sore and achy back afterwards either. This is really important to me given that I have scoliosis. I have to keep my back strong and protected. So test out a few carriers and find a good one that works for you!
- Don’t be afraid to “overpack”. In my opinion, it’s much better to pack too much than to not have enough. Being outside I wanted to have extra bottles with me to keep her hydrated so I literally packed enough formula for 6 bottles when we drove up to Anaheim. Did we need 6? No, we didn’t. We used 3 of them. But I had them if she needed them and I know they would have been used if the game had gone into overtime. I also packed close to 10 diapers for that trip as well. Again, you never know. And I had 3 extra outfits. She went though 2 of them. I didn’t pack as much for our Padres game since we were so close to home and weren’t going to be gone as long but it’s just so much less stressful when you’re prepared for those inconeveient moments and emergencies.
- Pack the right items. I did an excellent job with my packing…except for her bottles. Like I mentioned earlier, for our trip to Anaheim I packed the wrong bottles and nipples and man was that a mistake. I honestly felt like a failure as a mom. So think ahead!! Bring exactly what your child needs and what works best for them. With our Padres game, I made sure to pack the right bottles and the right nipples and it made feedings so much less stressful.
- Give yourself extra time. I find this to be a super important one! Anaheim was only an hour and a half to two hours away and we left three hours early just in case. I’m glad we did because we had to make a quick stop to change her on the drive up and it also gave us time when we parked to change and feed her in the car before going in. When we saw the Padres, we left an hour and a half early and again, it gave me time to change her in the car and get her settled into her carrier. This was so much less stressful because no one was in a hurry. We had plenty of time and still had 30 minutes before game time by the time we walked in and got to our seats.
- Be flexible. Another crucial one! Things happen. Babies spit up, they have blowout diapers at inconvenient times, they get hungry, they break down in tears when you least expect it. It happens. I might make it sound like Allie’s an excellent baby (which she is) but I promise you, she has her moments just like any other child. Bringing a baby out can be unpredictable sometimes so set realistic expectations and learn to go with the flow of the day.
- Relax. Lastly, stay calm. Seriously. I know that’s easier said than done sometimes but the more relaxed you are, the smoother the day will go. Allie literally peed in the backseat of my brand new 2017 Jeep Cherokee Sport when we drove to Anaheim. Like a whole puddle collected on the back seat…I laughed. Totally my fault. I was going with the motions and wasn’t thinking so I had removed her dirty diaper before having her new one ready. Thankfully I have shampoo in the car for the seats due to having a German Shepard who rides in the backseat so I didn’t panic too much. But laughing about it made that moment so much less stressful and frustrating. It happens. No biggie!
Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to sit at home all day, every day, scared to leave the home with them. Bringing a baby out to a public place can be nerve racking, but it gets so much easier the more you do it. Your child gets more used to it and it allows you to get to know your child more so that you know how to prepare for longer outings. So if you want to be daring and get out of the house to attend a sporting event then my advice to you is to just do it!
What are your top tips for bringing a baby to a sporting event? How old was your little one when they attended their first game?