Make way for the littlest 12th Man!
Ryder was with me for every single game last season while I was pregnant, so it seemed only fitting to have him accompany us to at least one home game this year. We chose yesterday for his rookie experience, and the day couldn't have gone better (except if the Hawks had won, but let's not focus on the negative, shall we?)
Is there anything cuter than a Baby Seahawk?!
Initially, when Stew told me that he wanted to take Ryder to a game this year, I was pretty skeptical. However, I subsequently reminded myself of our vow to not let having a family change our lifestyle, so I began getting myself mentally and logistically prepared to take our five-month-old to an NFL game.
We chose October for our trial run because we figured the weather would probably be more cooperative early in the season. We headed out around nine o'clock, which is Ryder's typical morning nap time, and he slept in the car all the way into the city, staying asleep in his stroller for the first part of the tailgate. Once he woke up, I
|We loved having our baby boy with us for one of our very favorite activities.|
|He's learning young that anything in a Solo cup tastes delicious.|
|Baby-wearing while checking Fantasy Football scores.|
|When you bring your baby to a tailgate, he's like a mini mascot and everyone wants to borrow him.|
Diaper bags are not allowed in CenturyLink stadium, but bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12” are permitted, so I ordered an official Seahawks NFL clear plastic tote bag online a couple weeks before the game. It was plenty big enough for all of Ryder's essential items (changing pad, diapers, wipes, extra clothes, bottle, etc), and getting through security was a breeze. A Family Restroom with a baby changing station is located conveniently right outside our section, so we stopped there shortly before kickoff to change and nurse Ryder, which worked out great.
|Ryder's very first NFL experience!|
Prior to the game, I did research on baby headphones and ordered Ryder some hearing protection earmuffs to keep his little eardrums safe from the 12th Man's roar. He didn't seem to mind wearing them one bit, and having all the noise reduced to almost nothing helped keep him super calm and happy, even allowing him to sleep for several hours during the second half!
We alternated between holding or wearing Ryder throughout the game. He was such an angel, and never cried the entire time we were there, just fussed a bit when he was hungry or tired and then ate and went right to sleep. At halftime we visited the Family Bathroom again and gave him a bottle in the stands before the third quarter, after which he passed out for the remainder of the game.
|Ryder Steven, the Seattle Seahawks newest fan!|
I know there are probable those out there who think that an NFL game is no place for children, but I have to respectfully disagree. I think being a football fan starts early in life, and it's something really special that you can do as a family. Sure, Ryder won't remember watching the Cowboys beat the Hawks (and maybe that's a good thing), but Sew and I have memories that will last a lifetime of this super fun day that we shared with our baby boy.