Taking toddler to football match

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    • #19033
      Jack J


      *Admin, please change this to a new location if its in the wrong section. Thanks

      I am new on here, nice to meet you all. I am a young dad, and would like to see what you guys think or better still have any experiences on taking your children to sports events, particularly pro football matches?

      I’m a big Crawley Town FC supporter. My son Isaac (17 months, 18 later in October) likes kicking footballs in garden, stops and looks at TV when games are on and points and appears to like football. I’d love to take him to a Crawley game but mum not so sure.

      She’s worried about the noise (it aint the most noisy of stadiums, quiet fans – 6,000 capacity) and him just being uninterested.

      I want to give it a try. I know theres a family stand and a little kids’ zone/room with entertainment before the game (he may be too young for that) but shows its geared to families.

      Have you or your other half taken your kids to football? What ages and what sort of experience did you have? How did you persuade the missus? Thanks

    • #19360
      Darryl Hood

      I took my son to his first game, during pre-season.

      Firstly,I wanted to make sure he saw a nailed on win! Which, somehow, the mighty Ipswich managed to achieve…

      Secondly, after the game, one of the players, Andre Dozzell came over, signed my boy’s shirt and posed for a picture with him – shock of shocks, Andre’s old man and Ipswich legend Jason appears next to me and posed with us as well – best day ever!

      Anyway, to answer your point, I would say 17 months is waaaaaaaaaaay too young. My lad was 4 going on 5 and keeping him on focus was borderline. With the weather as what it is now, I’d deffo hold fire for the time being. You don’t need to rush this and it’ll be a natural thing. Let it take it’s own sweet time!

    • #19420
      Jack J

      Thanks Darryl

      I actually took him a couple of weeks ago after my OP. There was only about 2,000 there, which helped somewhat as it wasn’t particularly noisy. We sat in the ‘family stand’, though this wasn’t just reserved for adults with kids as I know it is elsewhere but the people around us were pleasant enough and weren’t rowdy. An aisle seat is very important, we had this and a godsend.

      He was fascinated from the moment we walked in, up and down by the pitch and everything. We met the mascot (a big red Devil), and he liked that. The kids zone I mentioned, Devils Den, was busy with older children playing computer games and table football but nothing suitable for kids Isaac’s age.

      I sat with him on my lap, which was cool. The game started, he was quite curious and apprehensive I think to start with but he joined in with clapping after a short while. We took plenty of snacks, which we a great distraction for the few times he became restless (we had two snacks in the first half!) but once restless, it was quickly managed – we took a few walks down by pitchside etc.

      We were surprised with how engaged (relatively) Isaac was and he wasn’t particularly fidgety etc on my lap, until probably 75 minutes (so 1 hr and a half with half time in the seat, two hours at stadium in total with wandering about etc before it started). He became tired and was beginning to cry so we left early, within minutes after getting back in the car he was asleep.

      My missus was pleasantly surprised and reassured. We had a good time, particularly me and Isaac I think (my missus just left us to it to observe – let me engage him) and I think we’ll go again infrequently. Snacks and toys are important and I’ll happily leave early again but he enjoyed it, especially the start.

      It meant we missed the second goal in our 2-0 win though…

      I hope this is useful guys, your help certainly was.

      *Oh, after spending the morning praying he’d do a poo, he finally did a whopper with about 10 mins of our journey to the stadium left so I changed his bum in the boot of the car at the stadium – despite a few odd looks from a group of teenage lads who’d arrived in the car next to us but hey it got it out of the way. Again I changed him when we got back to the car before he slept.

      But I checked and there were no baby changing facilities at the ground. I think I’d be cool using a table or the floor in that Devils Den area though if necessary as it’s quite secluded. I wouldn’t be allowed to leave the stadium and come back in to use the car to change so I’d have to make do.

    • #19837
      LJ Greer

      I took my boys to their first game this year there 4 & 7. It was due mainly to busy schedules that I hadn’t before. They both enjoyed it. Furthermore the wife wanted to stay at home so was great time just the boys and me.
      Good fun, gets them used to crowds.
      Enjoy it!!

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