By Lisa Mantifel
Back in 2016 my husband and I were full of hope and naivety; we took our baby boy to a Senators game. No planning; we just winged it. Before we even got to the Canadian Tire Centre we had to stop at the Carling Sears to buy an outfit in order to do a much needed outfit change. At least it was a BOGO sale! We made it by mid-first period, and managed to enjoy some of the game.
Let’s just say, parents of a baby must travel prepared. Pack the extra outfit alongside your hope and faith for those trips outside of the house. Seriously, every time! We did venture to a game again that year, but we were much better prepared. Here’s what we did, and what you can do to make the experience a ton of fun for you and your baby!
- Pack a diaper bag including an extra outfit. Duh!
- Wear a lightly lined jacket or bunting bag on your child. The arena is cool but bulky clothes can get in the way in the seats. A light blanket can make baby feel cozy in the seat with you.
- Feed baby beforehand but if they enjoy pizza, share a slice while watching the game. Our son watched almost a whole period munching on a slice. Same for bottles (or breastfeeding!) if your child is not eating solids yet.
- If you can, wear your baby. A carrier makes it easy to sit and stand and walk with baby. Make sure to hold onto railings when climbing up and down the stands. My son would snuggle and chew a toy while watching the game in my ring sling.
- Go early enough so if your baby is walking you can take them for a stroll to wear off their energy before going to your seats.
- Also use the period breaks to wander around to get the “wigglies” out.
- An emergency stash of a small toy and a movie on a smart phone can eke out their patience so you can enjoy the last period of the game. Bonus if they fall asleep while watching the movie!
Lastly, on the way home congratulate yourself that you’ve ventured out. Go Sens go!
Lisa Mantifel is mom to a 2 month old girl and a 2 year old boy and lives in Ottawa.
You can get your free “Sensie” by registering online at nhl.com/senators/fans/baby-sensie, where you’ll receive a voucher, redeemable at one of 11 participating Canadian Tire stores in Ottawa and the surrounding area.