We love football. I went to every game I possibly could last year, right up until I was 39 weeks pregnant and we took Lucy to her first game when she was 5 weeks old.
When she was newborn, it was quite easy. It was easy to breastfeed her inconspicuously under a muslin wrap, she was small enough to fit on the change table in the ladies’ toilet (there is one on ground level at gate 19 / bottom of the three tiered stand), and quite often she’d fall asleep or be rocked to sleep and stay asleep in our arms for the entirety of a game. We went to each game with the attitude, “even if we have to go home at quarter time, we’ve seen a bit of football!” and when we got through each whole game it was a bonus :)
Now that Lucy is mobile, and much more interactive, we were a bit worried about how she’d go this season. We took her to the NAB cup games last weekend as a bit of a trial….she was fine! Making eyes at everyone around her kept her quite entertained, as did the corporate logos on our t-shirts and the toys we brought for her. When she got fussy I took her for a walk and the concrete wall was extremely fascinating, especially with the little holes from air bubbles o_O We just made sure we brought everything we might need in her nappy bag and toy bag.
We started the game in the Bill Walker room, which was air conditioned, and the carpet looked recently cleaned so we were happy to let her have a crawl on the floor. She was happy for the space. One of the catering managers said she’d gladly heat up Lucy’s dinner for her :) The only (MAJOR) problem was, there was no change table in the toilets near the Bill Walker room. Nor was there any parents’ facilities nearby. I had to hike up to the second level (carrying baby + my changing supplies) and find the disabled toilet (which was stinky) and use the fold down change table in there. PROBLEM: It was too small for Lucy….she’s an average length for her age…it was quite disappointing. I was incredibly tempted to change her nappy on the floor in the Bill Walker room (or even ask to do it behind a partition near one of the bars in the corner of the room).
I think there is a need for a parents room – even just a small room with a change table, microwave & sofa seat for feeding – at least one at each end. It really wouldn’t take much to provide such facilities especially when the football really is a family outing.
At least at gate 8 there is the cloak rook which allows parents to leave their prams there.