Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bringing Baby to Yankee Stadium

Opening Day is just around the corner.  You love going to Yankee Stadium for a few games a year, but now you have to decide whether to get a sitter or take the little one along.  You toil over the questions that run through your head.  Is it okay to bring a baby to a baseball game?  Am I going to be able to stay the whole time?  What can I bring with me into the stadium?  Is it even worth the trouble? 

Simply answered: YES, maybe, everything you need, and definitely.

I wanted my son to be able to say he had been watching the Yankees play since before he could walk, so bringing him along was the obvious choice when we got tickets for Old Timer’s day in 2011.  He watched his first game at Yankee Stadium when he was exactly 10 months old.  We went to a game at Yankee Stadium just nine days before the little guy was born.  He kicked and bounced around in my belly throughout the game – yes, he was born to be a Yankee fan.

Anyhow, I frantically searched the web looking for a guide of some sort to help me out with bringing the little man to Yankee Stadium for the first time.  I found little to no information that could help me out.  I scoured the Yankees website looking for all of the rules and regulations to plan out the day.  Could I bring the stroller?  Should I?  Are they going to give me a hard time with the diaper bag?  Finding all of the answers I needed took so much time.  Hadn’t some parent out there chronicled their trip to Yankee stadium with their little one?  Why wasn’t there a guide for this?  So, here it is. 





Bringing Baby to the Baseball Game
A Parent’s Guide for Yankee Stadium

Step 1: Be Mentally Prepared

You are a parent.  You know your baby better than anyone.  You also know that the unexpected can happen.  Be ready to have fun at the game, but also be ready to cater to your baby’s needs.  This might mean taking a walk around the stadium to calm down baby, even at a critical point in the game.  The better prepared you are, both physically and mentally, the more fun you will have. 

Step 2: Get Tickets

Maybe you already have tickets, but if not, please try not to sit someplace that the ball might end up flying at the baby’s face.  I suggest getting aisle seats, so you can make a quick exit if necessary.  Babies don’t need their own tickets, by the way.  Children under 3 do not need a ticket, but they must sit on an adults lap and not obstruct the view of other guests.  

Step 3: Pack What You Need

You should bring a stocked diaper bag for the game.  Try to pack everything in the smallest diaper bag you have.  You don’t want to be lugging around a huge bag all day.  Bag policy at the stadium is one bag per person; it must be soft-sided and be smaller than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches. They have bins at the gates to “test” whether your bag is too big.  No coolers are permitted.  That being said, no cans, thermoses, or glass or aluminum bottles are permitted.  BUT they do make exceptions for baby bottles.  So if you use glass bottles, they shouldn’t give you a hard time.  (For the game, I would suggest leaving the glass bottles at home though.) 

Diapers (at least 1 per hour that you expect to be there, and then 2 more just in case)
Wipes
Changing pad or blanket to cover changing table in restroom
Sunscreen (non-aerosol – learned this the hard way)
Hat for baby
Bottles/Formula (I suggest getting “on the go” premade bottles or packet mixes.)
Bottles of water (unopened. For you and for mixing formula)
Nursing cover (if necessary - nursing is permitted in all public areas, but the Guest Relations Booth in Section 128 is typically available for a more discreet location)
Baby Food and Snacks (The pouches of baby food that you can squirt into baby’s mouth are perfect for this!)
Baby spoon
Bib
Extra Clothes (two complete outfits, a spare for messes and one for weather changes)
Baby Carrier and/or Stroller (your preference – baby carrier is easier.  Depending on your seats the usher may make you check your stroller with guest services, even if it folds and fits under the seats)
Food/Snacks for YOU (yes, you can bring in sandwiches, snacks, etc…much easier than braving the concession lines with the baby, not to mention more cost efficient)

Step 4: Get infant fan gear to dress up your baby (you really should already have this)

Step 5: Don’t forget your camera

Dress up your baby in Yankee pinstripes and take tons of pictures.  Take them everywhere: before the game, on the way to the game, in and around the stadium, in the seats.  Guess what?  We forgot the digital camera for our little guy’s first game.  Had to make a stop at a drug store on the way and pick up a Kodak disposable camera.  Got some great shots, but really would have liked to get high quality photos.  Seriously, take a ton of pictures.  Your baby won’t be this little forever.  And he or she might grow up to be a Mets fan.  So enjoy it now. 

Step 6: Be ready the night before

You will be running late on game day.  You already know this.  So do yourself a favor and lay out your clothes, the baby’s clothes, and pack everything you need the night before.

Step 7: Get to the game and enjoy it!

Get to your seats and enjoy them for as long as you can.  Take walks around the stadium.  Visit the family bathrooms for diaper changes (locations below – take note!). 

Family restrooms are in the following locations:

Field Level: Sections 106, 124 and 130
Delta SKY360° Suite: Section 221B
Main Level: Sections 219, 227A and 234
Terrace/Grandstand Level: Sections 311, 316, 327 and 333
Bleachers: Section 201

Step 8: Don’t give up easily

Don’t leave early.  Stay as long as you can and enjoy the fun and chaos of bringing a baby to the game.  Don’t leave in the 5th inning saying “I think he’s had enough”.  Babies can adapt quite well – better than we can!  My son stayed up and watched the Old Timer’s game, then slept in the baby carrier on my chest for almost 7 innings of the regular game, sitting in our seats.  Let your baby surprise you. 

Of course, if your baby is an inconsolable crying wreck and you’re out of diapers and formula, it’s probably time to leave.  Don’t worry, that won’t happen. 

Step 9: Get a “first game” certificate at Guest Services

This is something I did not know about until my son’s 3rd game.  We went in to pick up the stroller, and a couple was getting their First Yankee Game certificate.  Wish we would have known about this…so do it!!

Step 10: Buy your baby a souvenir from their first game

We bought a pennant, and put the date of the game on the back.  Daddy bought the program and kept score during the game as a keepsake. 


I think that is it.  Below is the Yankee Stadium A-to-Z guide I got most of my specific information from.  They’re currently making changes/updates for the 2013 season, so if anything pertinent changes, I will be sure to update this guide!


Please feel free to share other tips for bringing baby to the stadium.  Comments, questions, etc. are welcome.    Planning to write a toddler tips guide after we bring the little guy to a game this year!!

8 comments:

  1. Great post!! We will be taking our 2yr old to his 1st "free from the womb" game in a few weeks, and I'm already starting to plan/prepare :)

    Love the idea of the 1st Yankee Game Certificate--where exactly is that located?

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    1. Thank you! If I remember correctly, and this seems to contradict what is listed in their guide, it was in the guest services office near section 127 was where we had to check our stroller. On the website, it states that stroller check is adjacent to Gate 6 in the Great Hall. But, if you ask any of the people holding the "How May I Help You?" signs they can tell you for sure. They are everywhere!

      Good luck at the game, I'm sure he'll do great!! :-)

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  2. What section did you sit in? Trying to pick the best section for my 1 year old - would love to have covered seats...

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    1. For his first game, we sat in section 420B. It's covered, and we like the view there. It wasn't difficult getting him up there, and it isn't as steep as Old Yankee Stadium was. Plus, we never have to worry about protecting him from a ball! We have also sat in section 127, the last few rows of that section (and nearby sections) are covered and are in the shade during day games.

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  4. Great post! Brought my 9 month old's daughter to her first Yankees game a couple of weeks ago. Had much use of your post! Has taken her to a couple of more games after that. Had a great time!

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  5. This is a lifesaver! I am taking my daughter (10 months old) to the old timers game and the game that follows and I literally had list with almost all of these questions on it. Thank you!!

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