Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

Nursing-friendly Ballparks

Friday, May 29th, 2015

IMG_0250Most of us breastfeeding moms have been there. For me, this is a yearly event. I’m married to a baseball fanatic who loves to travel to different stadiums around the country. We have traveled to seven different stadiums since we got married, and that was almost eight years ago. Breastfeeding has been my way of nourishing my babies, so naturally, I have had to nurse at a couple of stadiums. Here are some of the best stadiums to nurse at.

Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio:

Wow. Have you seen the new nursing suite the Reds fans have been blessed with? It’s amazing. I have been to a Reds game with a baby and had a less than pleasant nursing experience. It was either the family restroom, which was gross, or in your seat. My baby girl was in a carrier so I had some freedom, but it wasn’t easy or pleasant. This nursing suite is complete with rocking chairs, a refrigerator, changing station, activities for older children, and a flat-screen TV. I really want to go back to this stadium now and sit in one of the amazing chairs. Nursing and taking care of your baby at the Reds game is now easy and something that moms can do while enjoying the game. So amazing.

Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri:

I’ll admit I have never nursed at this ballpark, but it is my favorite team–the Cardinals. I have several friends who I talked to who have nursed comfortably at Busch Stadium. Most of them did nurse their babies in their seats, but they didn’t run into any problems or uncomfortable situations. According to the A-Z guide on their website, moms can nurse anywhere- in public, in a first-aid station, or in a family restroom. Busch Stadium has a family pavilion, also, where older siblings can play and be entertained.

Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington:

I used to live near Seattle and I have been to a Mariner’s game, although I didn’t have children at the time.  I was pleased to see that this ballpark has a Nursing Mother’s lounge! Chairs and comfortable resources are available for moms and babies. You can change baby’s diaper in a clean restroom and not have to worry about nursing in a crowded corner, your car, or in the family restroom.

Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland:

I have never been to a baseball game on the East Coast. It is something I would like to do someday. This ballpark does get a lot of praise for its resources for moms online, however. The ballpark has a nursing/privacy room for moms to use. Dempsey’s restaurant in the stadium has highchairs and tvs where you can sit and feed baby while watching the game. The ballpark will even give out fun goodies for baby’s first ballgame. How cute!

So mom, you can nurse at a MLB game. Just be prepared and do some research beforehand if you want to find those fancy nursing areas. Remember, the availability of a nursing suite never means you are required to nurse only there. It’s a great perk, but in every state except West Virginia and Idaho, nursing moms have the right to nurse anywhere they are legally allowed to be. Baby wearing always makes it easier, too. If you’re a pro, nurse in your carrier and save yourself the trip!

We are planning a trip to see the Cardinals and Indians play in Cleveland. Looks like I will be nursing there. Guess I better get busy researching!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. She loves her family, her cat, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Baby’s First Baseball Game

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Baby's First Baseball GameIf your family is like mine, then March through October is an exciting time: Baseball season! My husband and I are St. Louis Cardinals fans and we plan on passing this trait down to our children. My husband has a dream of visiting each baseball stadium in the country, so naturally we ended up taking our 10-month-old daughter to a Cardinals-Reds game last summer. Here are some tips on how to survive baby’s first baseball game.

Study the Stadium

Are you familiar with the stadium where the game will take place? If not, get familiar! Check out a map of the stadium on your favorite team’s homepage. Most stadiums have family restrooms or nursing stations for moms who prefer privacy while nursing. The Cincinnati stadium I traveled to only had a family restroom, and it was not a place where I could sit and relax with my daughter while nursing. Buy tickets for seats that are easy to get in and out of so you can feel free to come and go. We opted for seats at the top of the section and on the end. Find out if your stadium offers a play area for little ones. Minor league teams often have kids’ days and family seating in the open grass.

Skip the Stroller

Let’s be honest. I love my strollers, but most of them are bulky and hard to maneuver in a crowd of large people. Instead of using a stroller, wear baby in your favorite carrier. My daughter spent the majority of the game in my Boba 3G carrier. I was comfortable, and so was she. With a little one, be prepared to spend a lot of the game walking around. Use a carrier that is comfortable on your back and easily taken on and off. My daughter ended up sleeping through a lot of the game in the carrier because she was so close to her momma. (It was also past her bedtime.) Some parents do prefer to have the stroller in case baby wants to people watch, but they will most likely have to be checked at gates and entrances in the stadium.

Plan for the Unexpected

Of course, it’s not a good idea to attend a super-late night game or a day game during your little one’s naptime, but be prepared for the unexpected. A rain delay could cause the baseball game to go on into later hours. The game we attended was supposed to be an afternoon game, but ended up getting rescheduled for a night game. I was nervous about my daughter being out past her bedtime. I packed comfy pajamas, her lovey Teddy bear, and extra things to soothe her. Bring snacks for baby in your bag. Many stadiums do not allow large bags, so carry a smaller bag with just the essentials.

Taking a baby to a baseball game is a fun, memorable experience. Just remember to plan ahead and you will have a great time! We are thinking about trying a Milwaukee Brewers game this summer. I will let you know how a pregnant momma with a toddler do at games then.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way.  She loves her family and the St. Louis Cardinals, too!