Need some advice on taking an infant to Crisler

Submitted by JHendo on December 27th, 2013 at 9:08 AM

***I'm sure this is something that gets asked on here every so often, so I sincerely apologize if it's been too soon since this topic last came up and/or this post irks anyone too much***

With most of the students out on break and a "less attractive" opponent coming into town, my wife and I figured if there was any time to take our infant girl to her first Michigan sporting event, tomorrow's game against Holy Cross would be the game.  Alas, as first time parents with very pretty much no Michigan fan friends with children, we have no idea of the logistics of bringing a 4 month old to a game and only recently found the balls to take her out to restaurants with us.  So, I turn to you MGoBlog.  Please give me advice on how to make this less painful for us, for her and for fans around us, or at the very least, talk me into saving this milestone for another time in the future.  Here a few concerns I definitely have:

  • says children of all ages need a ticket.  How strict are they on this?  I mean, a ticket for an infant, seriously?  Even airlines aren't that anal.
  • The bag policy at Crisler is simply "no oversized bags." Will we get hassled if we brought a regular sized diaper bag, and would they have to search it?  Would a prefilled bottle somehow violate the dreaded "no container" rule?
  • This one is a bit of a stretch, I know, but what about baby carriers?  Obviously trollers aren't allowed, yes, but nothing is said about carriers, and if we do have to pay for a seat for the baby, might as well get to use it.
  • How did you bring your infants to games?  Carrier, baby sling, just carried them, other...?

Lastly, we'll greatly accept any other tips or tricks you have, or any words of warning you'd like to give.  Thanks!


Edit - Thanks to everyone who commented with advice one way or the other!  Besides all the hassles of bringing the baby, since this is the first game (and possibly the only game) of the season my wife is able to attend without too much of a struggle, we're leaving the baby at home with her Aunt.  There will be a lifetime full of Michigan games for her to see when she can actually at least attempt to understand what is going on.  Thanks again, everyone!



December 27th, 2013 at 9:15 AM ^

I am not a doctor but ... do you really think it is a good idea to take an infant to a loud place for a long stretch of time?

Happy New Year!




December 27th, 2013 at 9:18 AM ^

4 month old?  Call a babysitter dude.


A child that young has no business being in a loud environment, whether it be a bar with loud music or Crisler Arena.   You can do irreparable damage, especially to the ear drums.

My biggest pet peeve ever is seeing infants at sporting events or in a bar playing loud music. 


December 27th, 2013 at 9:21 AM ^

Don't do it. Noise, hassle and setting the unfair expectation the baby "lets you" enjoy part of the game. Youngest my fanatic friend went was 14 months I believe.

And this is coming from a dad of a 6 month old


December 27th, 2013 at 9:26 AM ^

My wife and I did this last year and our son was 4.5 months at the time.

1.) Yes, you need a ticket. M claims it's Big Ten policy. I'm not sure if I buy that. This is the only reason my son who is now 17 months didn't go to a football game this year.

2.) Diaper bag was fine no issues they had me open the bag took one look and moved us along.

3.) we used an ergo carrier which is like a sling for getting from the lot to Crisler and walking around Crisler. I don't think they would let any kind of framed carrier through, it would need to be able to be stashed under a seat to be out of the way.

A few other points...

1.) the "investment" part is up to you. Before my son was 6 months he had been to Yost and Crisler. He didn't react much but he was kind of mesmerized by everything going on around him.

2.) Either Mom or Dad should be ready to hold him for an extended period of time. My son made it through the first period of a hockey game and the first half of a basketball game before passing out from sensory overload. Instead of risking waking him up in both cases I ended up holding him for the rest of the game.

Hopefully this helps and congrats on the new addition to your family.

Cali Wolverine

December 27th, 2013 at 1:53 PM ^

You probably will have a miserable time (your wife definitely will...blame you...and you will have a miserable rest of the week) aside from a few cute family pics and a lot of attention from people telling you how cute your little girl is decked out in her wolverine gear (while questioning your parenting skills once you are out of ear-shot) and your daughter will probably be terrified and scarred for the rest of her childhood (unless she is sleeping...which begs the question why you didn't just leave her at home with a family member), and you are probably unnecessarily exposing your 4 month old to a dozen different strands of the flu in an arena full of sick people during the middle of winter.

That said u are a sports fan, and every proud Dad wants to take their kid to their first sporting event, and in 5 years from now you will have a great pic and fond memory no matter if it was actually a disaster of a time (which it will be)...the benefit of the male brain...which is the same reason you will agree to have another child. That only live once, and you should make great memories with your family...also you won't have to pay for a ticket for your girl for quite some there is that too!

Good luck and go blue...and bring an I-Pad if you are crazy enough to cary out this plan!

EDIT: Downvote? Really? This must be from a new parent, person without children or that person that always brings their sick kid with the running nose everywhere and tells people it is just allergies.


December 27th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

The folks who are telling you not to do this are just worriers. I brought both of my daughters from a VERY young age and found there to be no age at which it was a bad idea to bring them. However, that was back when they didn't really enforce the "everyone has to have a ticket" rule, so it was cheaper. Have fun! she will be happy to learn that she went to a game this young. I am still PO'd at my parents who brought me to Ann Arbor for the UM-MSU football game when I was 2 weeks old and DIDN'T take me to the game.


December 27th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

than a 4-month old infant screaming her lungs out because she's got a diaper filled with 6.5 pounds of incredibly odiferous poop. The people seated next to you will be ecstatic at all this.


December 27th, 2013 at 9:43 AM ^

Father of four here... pushing aside the issues others have brought up, I thought I'd simplify it: it's just not worth the hassle.  Bringing the baby will detract from your enjoyment of the game, and the baby will get zero out of the experience.  Get a baby sitter and cherish the opportunity to get out alone with your significant other as the chances to do so are only going to decrease as the baby gets older and/or you have more children.

snarling wolverine

December 27th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

In general, I don't see the point of taking a child to a Michigan game before he/she can appreciate it.  Think about how long a game is to a baby - 2 hours in a loud environment.  I would save the hassle and get a babysitter.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:00 AM ^

Yes they require a ticket for everyone. Frankly my advice is not to go. I don't think you'll have as much fun as you'd think you would. I'm nervous about taking my six year old to Saturdays game and he likes basketball.

Everyone Murders

December 27th, 2013 at 10:09 AM ^

I agree with the bulk of the responses saying that this probably won't be as enjoyable for your daughter as you might hope.  However, if your heart is set on doing it, remember that it's just the Holy Cross game (although this advice would apply to any game).  Be prepared to take her out on the concourses and walk her around, and miss substantial parts of the game.  Be prepared to hand her off to your wife for other portions of the game, while she walks the concourses.  And be prepared to leave early (even early in the 1st half if necessary).  If it's too loud, too stimulating, or otherwise uncomfortable for her simply consider it a box checked and get out of Dodge.

Put short, go ahead and give it a try so long as it's fun (or neutral) for her.  But go into this with the mindset that if the experience is upsetting to her then call it a failed experiment and wait until she's a bit older.  Some infants groove on a bunch of stimulation, but most of them are overwhelmed.  So know that you're going in with the odds stacked against you.

With all of that (which you may well have already known), have fun.  It's a cliche, but they grow up terribly fast and I think it's fine to expose her to different experiences.  You just have to be prepared to pull the ripcord quickly when they're so young.

Team 101

December 27th, 2013 at 10:04 AM ^

It's hard to know how the kid is going to react.  She may get scared by the noise and start crying like crazy in which case you (or your wife) are going to have to take her into the concourse and someone is not going to have fun.  She could fall asleep.  She could sit there quiety and enjoy the stimulus (like watching Baby Bach on TV).

When I lived in Chicago, I took my infant kids to a basketball game at Northwestern when they were about that age and to a hockey game at UIC Pavilion when they used to have a team.  I had a little bit of all of those experiences.  I can't remember if we had to pay but I know U-M has always been more insistent about charging.

A suggestion would to be to experiment with a non-revenue sport like women's basketball, gymnastic or wrestling where the crowd is smaller and the noise won't be quite as loud.

We didn't do football until they were older.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:18 AM ^

It's fine, bring your kid.  My baby has been to the Big House, Yost and Crisler this year.  My advice. (for yost and crisler):

1.  You don't absolutely need a ticket..  If you have a whole family, just stack all your tickets together, hand them to the usher or fan them out to have them scan successively.  Let your whole family through.  Never tried that for football though.

2.  Brought a backpack sized diaper bag, with bottles.  No problem, can't remember if they searched it or not.

3.  We have a baby bjorn thing - allowed in no problem.

4.  Prepare to walk the concourse as needed.

5.  It's really not that loud of a place.  The crowd won't be nuts and there are no real loud intros or pyrotechnics or anything.

As long as you aren't planning on giving 100% focus to a basketball game for 40 minutes, and have no expectations of what you will actually see, it will be fun.  Take some pictures.  You'll remember the family event far longer than you will remember anything about the 2013 Holy Cross game (if you were to go without the kids)

Mabel Pines

December 27th, 2013 at 10:28 AM ^

I took all three of mine to the Big House the first fall that they were alive.  They love seeing photos of themselves at a game as a baby!  Babies are not scary and do not cry and poop all the time.  You will walk around a lot, but I think it will be a fun afternoon for the family.  I never got a babysitter until my kids were at least 1.  Have fun!!

Bando Calrissian

December 27th, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

My four month old niece barely wanted to sit on the couch with me while I watched the Wisconsin game on TV last winter. I can't imagine she would have much liked the real thing, either.

Everyone Murders

December 27th, 2013 at 10:33 AM ^

How much of her displeasure was because of watching that game, and how much of her displeasure was because her uncle was muttering, cussing, breaking things, and stifling angry exhortations during that tire fire of a game (especially the ending)?  Or is it possible that she knows what basketball should look like, even at a tender age, and was appalled by the spectacle that is Wisconsin basketball?

Correlation and causation, ... .


December 27th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

Ha!  You know, I don't know...

I saw the exact situation in a high school this year - gave up a half-courter at the buzzer to tie the game.

It briefly crossed my mind they should foul but with just 60 seconds to make that decision and convey it to your players and what everyone needs to do is tough.  Fouling puts so many other factors into play:

Do the refs call the first foul correctly? 

Do you foul too soon and risk a make at the line and then a foul or a put back on the ensuing miss?

Do the refs give continuation if the player gets a shot up during the foul?

Does the ref call an intentional foul if your players don't make it look "unintentional enough"?  (Obviously this is huge and something that is a little overlooked.  If an intentional is called, you're f---ed.)

A lot of things can go wrong.  Is the sum probability of those things happening greater than the probability of a contested half-courter going in?

I don't know.  What I decided afterwards was that I would foul only if we've had time in practice to go over it and discuss exactly how we'd ensure none of those occurances happen.  Problem is, it's such an unlikely scenario (for it to make sense there needs to be more than 1.5 seconds but less than 4ish seconds) that I don't want to waste practice time discussing it.

So, I'd let them have their contested 3-pter.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

My wife and I took our infant to a UM/OSU hockey game. We had to buy her a ticket; we were told that it is not a UM rule, but that it is an NCAA regulation. We did not have any trouble & we thoroughly enjoyed a UM win; I think a UM hockey game is safer for an infant's ears than for those of a 8 or 9 year old imo!

Our daughter is now 5, and she likes the fact that we took her to a UM hockey even though she does not remember it. Her older brother is still jealous that he did not get to go (he was old enough to leave).

Regarding the baby carrier... I don't know if that would fit in the seating area, so I would try to take turns holding the baby. Try to remember you are holding a fragile infant when you receive the urge to leap in the air and flash the "3 goggles" after each Stauskas 3.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

The folks that are saying you will be miserable have forgotten that the alternative is generally not "go without your baby" but "have your kid cry and cramp and harsh your vibe at home."

You will be less miserable than of you stayed home, and no one will her the kid holler anyway. It's loud.

However, I think you will definitely need a ticket, don't take a seat but a Bjorn, and be prepared to have parents trade off a orun around the concourse if necessary.

Also dont bring a full size diaper bag if you can help it. Last year hey were generally enforcing a "noting larger than a piece of paper" rule - I guess 8 by 11. You could bring stuff in a gallon ziplock I bet.

And post a pic and congrats on the baby anyway


December 27th, 2013 at 11:26 AM ^

and no one will her the kid holler anyway. It's loud.

Actually, just a few games ago (Coppin State, IIRC) someone did exactly what the OP is suggesting - bring an infant to the game. The kid cried up a storm and it was completely audible, and extremely annoying, to everyone within a 30-foot radius.  (The crowd is not going to be super-loud 100% of the time, especially for games like this.)  The parents spent most of the first half apologizing to everyone around them, repeatedly took the baby to the concourse to try to settle it down, and and then left at halftime.  They could not have possibly had a good experience, and it wasn't great fun for those of us seated near them, either.



December 27th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

My parents took me to my first Michigan football game at the age of six months (UM beat Oregon 21-0) and I've been a raving mad Michigan football fan ever since.

Seriously though, not a good idea, I'm just lucky it wasn't a few years later when the student section would become a wild fire of weed.  


December 27th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

I wouldn't do it. Odds are that the loud noises and atmosphere would only upset her. Also, I don't mind sitting near kids but if I had to smell a diaper bag for two hours, I would hate that family forever and I wouldn't hold it against someone sitting around you if complained to someone.

If you really have to go, I would try a babysitter. Otherwise, I would just wait until they are old enough to walk and talk a bit and hopefully they can understand what is going on around them. It sucks, but that's parenthood.


December 27th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

I meant that as in "it sucks that you have to make those sacrifices, but that's what parenthood is about: making sacrifices for your kids."

And I know that you are supposed to throw it in a garbage can, but in my experience in sitting around parents with infants (which is admittedly not that much), most of those parents didn't bother to get up and walk away from the 'movie/sporting event/whatever-is-entertaining-them-at-the-moment and just stashed them in a bag.

Not saying this person is the type to do that, but I'm just going off of a few experiences of being stuck in close proximity of parents with infants.


December 27th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

Yeah, I have seen that at a few high school football/basketball games. And I know of one person whom I don't speak much to much anymore who has been asked to leave a few restauraunts becuase of it. Not sure if they do that anymore...

Oh well *shrug*

Either way, hopefully the OP has made up his mind and if not this year, then definitely next year when she can walk!. :D

And congratulations on the Day Girl, Future Champion of the Sun!


December 27th, 2013 at 12:21 PM ^

Feel free to disagree with my thoughts, but my mom has run an age 4month-8 year old daycare for the entirety of my 20+ years of living and I've had to spend much of my time before and after school helping her out for a bit.

I'm not a expert on baby studies, nor will I ever claim to be. I'm just saying to the OP that it's probably not worth the many potential hassles to bring an infant to a loud sporting event when she's not even able to comrehend what is going on around her and it seems like many other posters are in agreement.

If he really wants to bring her along, then he should, it's his kid. He asked for our thoughts and advice on the matter, so I gave mine.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


December 27th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

You have to buy ear plugs made for swimming--the ones that go over the ear canal instead of inside it. We also use children's ear muffs over top of those. But if you do that, it's fine. The kid might cry. She also might not cry--it'll be like 2 hours of her life spent doing anything else. We've taken our son, who's now 10 months old, to the Big House and to Crisler and I didn't regret either trip for a moment. 

Perkis-Size Me

December 27th, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

If you told me you were bringing your four month old to the MSU game and planned on sitting in Maize Rage, I might advise against that.

But it's Holy Cross, so this'll be a pretty lax environment, relatively speaking. I'd just go with the expectation of not being able to pay attention to the game 100% of the time. Other than that, have fun. The experience of bringing your child to the game will be more memorable than just the game itself.


December 27th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

I'm not trying to be an asshole, but why anyone takes infants to sporting events is beyond me. I think it's silly.

EDIT: I see someone sacrificed many points to down vote every post that says bringing an infant to a sporting even is a bad idea (and it is).


December 27th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

I'm only a new parent, so I don't know much, but the desire to have your kid always by your side and for them to start experiencing and enjoying the same things as you do is incredibly strong.  Strong enough to the point you blissfully ignore the fact they have no idea what's going on and probably could not care any less.

Edit: I didn't neg you, but as much as some people think bring kids is a bad idea, some here think it's a great idea, and I completely get both sides of it.

Cali Wolverine

December 27th, 2013 at 1:49 PM ^

...can or can't do with I say take her. Every kid is different, and this is the best game to temp fate. Personally I would never take a baby to a sporting event unless you can't find a babysitter and have cabin fever, and need to get out...but a basketball game is much better than a football game. I don't get people taking babies to a 3 1/2 hour football game in the cold...the kids look miserable, have runny noses and just dangle their in their baby bjourns...while most fans question their parenting skills. I started taking my daughter to football games when she was 3, and she goes to 5-6 games a year...and loves it. I am going to take my 2-year-old daughter to her first college basketball game in a few weeks and am nervous as I wish u the best of luck...and report back!