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Taking two-year-old to football match

(21 Posts)
Jackz123 Tue 23-Feb-16 22:33:59

My son turns two in April and I would love to take him to a football match with me (QPR at Loftus Road, attendance around 15,000 or so).

My girlfriend and I can tell he likes football but have disagreed about whether he is too young at the moment. I think it would be a good experience, father/son bonding and he'd like it. I've seen newborns at football stadiums this size and bigger before.

I've checked with the team and they let babies & toddlers (even newborns) in. He'd get in free and I would be ok with him on my knee in the family stand.

My son is still of course in nappies. The lad on the phone said "he thinks" there are baby changing facilities there but, IMO even if there aren't, I'd be happy finding somewhere quiet in the concourse/refreshment area and lie a mat down to change him. I've changed plenty of nappies in stranger places lol.

If it was clear the noise and atmosphere was upsetting him, I would leave. I'm not selfish and, though others may think 'course a dad wouldn't leave the football cuz he's LO is crying', I genuinely would and admit defeat. But obviously I don't want to upset him in the first place.

What do others think?

cornishglos Tue 23-Feb-16 23:23:37

Why not?

Writerwannabe83 Wed 24-Feb-16 04:58:20

My DH has been taking our son since he was about 15 months and he loves going grin

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Wed 24-Feb-16 05:41:56

You might need to buy him a ticket even if he's on your knee for the match, just for safety reasons that they need to know how many people are in the stadium in the event of an unlikely emergency.

But tbh I've seen younger children at the football. If he enjoys it and your in the family stand i really don't see a problem.

wannabestressfree Wed 24-Feb-16 06:24:59

I have taken my boys since new born smile go for it.

Jackz123 Wed 24-Feb-16 08:01:39

Thanks for your feedback. It is great to hear of other good experiences. So for those that have, what was the biggest concern/problem? Just so I can reassure my girlfriend.

How did you manage with nappy changing? Were there baby changing facilities?

What about leaving and arriving to avoid big crowds?

Are there any other tips for an enjoyable experience we'd want to repeat afterwards?

wannabestressfree Wed 24-Feb-16 10:50:21

We go to lots of games as my boys all support different clubs and I have found facilities OK on the whole.
Just try and avoid the crowds, sit in the family section etc. Arrive early and watch all the bits going on before hand smile
There should be a disabled loo/ changing area .
Everytime we go there loads of other children...

imwithspud Wed 24-Feb-16 11:04:57

I don't see why not. Like you said if he doesn't like it you can always leave.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 24-Feb-16 11:27:43

So long as you will have space, I know at my team's ground the seating in the older stands (where the family area is) is really cramped and tight, in the modern stand I go in if I'm in my own there is much more legroom (but a lot more bad language).

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 24-Feb-16 11:29:19

I'd also advise thinking whether the sun might be in your face, at this time of year if you're facing into it it's really low and dazzling, had this problem the first time I took my DS.

OldestStory Wed 24-Feb-16 11:33:03

Absolutely fine, nice day out.

angemorange Wed 24-Feb-16 11:46:52

We waited until my DS was about 5 before taking him to our local matches - started in very low leagues with smaller crowds and worked up to Internationals!!

Any earlier than that and he would have been intimidated by the crowds/noise etc and wouldn't really have understood any of it.

I might be alone but I hate to see newborns/babies at matches - their wee ears are quite sensitive and I think it's all a bit much.

Hope your DS has a great time when you do take him!

caitlinohara Wed 24-Feb-16 11:56:59

It's worth a try, if he doesn't like it then as you say you can leave and try again in the future. I have three boys and they were all taken to football matches when they were quite little - not by me though! I think it's quite a long time to expect them to sit still at that age and you should probably be prepared to not be able to concentrate much on the game yourself. As with anything, how much he enjoys it will be largely down to your approach and how much effort you put into making it fun for him. Explaining what's happening, providing plenty of snacks and making sure he's wrapped up warm if you're going any time soon is all essential. Good luck!

MagpieCursedTea Wed 24-Feb-16 12:08:26

I'm a massive football fan and can't wait to take DS to his first match. He's also 2 but I'm hanging on until he's a bit older so he'll remember it and be able to take it in a bit more. I'm also worried my team's ground might be a bit overwhelming for him (50,000ish attendance).
I did see someone with a newborn in a sling at a match earlier in the season, I was quite impressed with that!
I've noticed over the years that evening cup matches seem popular with families. Lower attendance and cheaper ticket prices. It's usually a great family atmosphere so I might wait for one of those.
I've heard from others that our ground only has one toilet with changing facilities and I reckon other grounds would probably be similar but it sounds like you've thought that through.
Hope you both enjoy his first match!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 24-Feb-16 12:15:24

As with taking a child anywhere, I'd make sure you take some toys and snacks for him.

ZanyMobster Wed 24-Feb-16 15:53:19

I took DS from 3 weeks in a sling (18000-20000 people) but when he was about 2 1/2 he started to get bored and asked not to go anymore. I waited till he was about 4 to take him again and now he rarely misses a match. You may find he gets bored but I can't think of any reason not to take him. I always took snacks and drinks.

uhoh2016 Wed 24-Feb-16 18:19:50

I think you need to be realistic that you might not get to see the full game, he might not want to sit on your knee for 90+ mins not being able to run around etc

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 24-Feb-16 18:22:05

Go for it, QPR is a fantastic family friendly club.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 24-Feb-16 18:23:39

Lots of snacks and a couple of new small cheap toys for when he gets bored. And just be prepared to leave early if he can't handle the whole match.

Jackz1234 Sat 27-Feb-16 23:26:29

*Had to change my username as had trouble logging in

I went to the game in the end with my son so I thought I would feedback.

I feel it went fairly well and was a good experience. It was enjoyable so I'm glad we went. We stayed to the end.

There was some crying and whinging, at different points as expected of course. But I brought plenty of snacks and some toys to keep him busy and I made sure we sat at the end of the row so at times, I popped out with him to the concourse to sooth him.

So, as I expected, I didn't see all the game but it was the experience really and it was good. A bit of father and son bonding, I could tell he liked it even if he may not take any 'benefits' from it as previously suggested.

But there was a pretty bad stench shortly before half-time and, as feared, my son had done a poo.

Stewards told me there were no baby-changing facilities, contrary to what I was told on the phone. And as suggested on here the concourse was busy even during the game, full of lads drinking and watching screens, so I wasn't keen on changing there.

I must say though credit to QPR — a young male steward suggested I used their matchday activity centre, a room in the family zone with games consoles and activities for kids before the game and at halftime.

It was quiet in there so that was decent of them. I was still changing him when the half-time whistle went and, unfortunately, a group of lads in their late teens then came in to play on a games console and were quite rude and inconsiderate (mouthed off 'you can't do that here, mate... 'that's disgusting, it really stinks') But I guess that's just immature youths.

And sadly I missed our penalty and second goal during that too...

But all in all, it was alright and I may repeat it. Thanks for your help guys.

wannabestressfree Sun 28-Feb-16 07:47:35

Glad it went well Jack smile

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