If youíve got a favourite sporting team and a baby, chances are the two worlds are going to collide at some stage. Whether you want to introduce your little sports fan to the team early on, find it too difficult to leave your baby with other people, or simply canít find a babysitter, taking your baby to the AFL, NRL, basketball, cricket or A-League isnít as hard as it sounds.
With so many female spectators now attending Australiaís top sporting events, mums and babies are a common sight among the crowds. Here are some handy hints for introducing your baby to your favourite team.
Headed to the game and have a baby? Take them along!
Check the stadium website before you go
The stadium website should have a seating plan, including change facilities around your seat or location. It should also be able to tell you what is and isnít allowed into the stadium, such as prams and strollers, although most large stadiums will have a designated place for you to park the pram. If itís not clear from the website, contact the stadium beforehand if you have any concerns.
Be prepared when it comes to feeding
If youíre breastfeeding, you wonít need any equipment apart from something to keep you and baby warm during the cooler sporting seasons. Although the crowd should be watching the game and not you feeding your baby, if you do prefer discreet nursing, invest in a sling or wrap which will keep you and baby covered during the game.
If youíre bottle-feeding, be sure to take enough bottles, milk or formula and boiled water (you should be able to take a flask of water into the stadium) to last the game, plus any travel time.
Remember to dress you and baby appropriately.
Invest in a sling, wrap or other baby-wearer
Given that most stadiums donít allow strollers and prams in the seated area, a good quality baby-wearer, sling or wrap is a great way to get around with your baby. A sling is also handy for feeding.
Dress you and baby appropriately
While the AFL and NRL predominately fall in Australiaís autumn and winter months, the cricket and basketball season run through THE summer, while the A-League runs during the summer and autumn. Given this, itís important to dress appropriately and be prepared with a change of clothing or two. The last thing you want to do is be caught in the middle of a winter chill at the MCG with your little one with nothing but short-sleeved clothing following a monster poop explosion.
Invest in some good baby earmuffs
Big crowds and sudden cheers can be scary for little children, so earmuffs are a good investment. Baby Banz are a great brand, otherwise your local baby shop should stock them.
Invest in some earmuffs.
Donít be upset if you need to leave early
At the end of the day, babies are unpredictable. You may find your little one getting too distressed for you to enjoy the game, so be prepared for your plans to change or leave the game early. You can always watch a replay of the game online!