Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


A Guide to watching the Olympics with Baby

From 27 July – 12 August the UK will be hosting the 2012 Olympics and with July fast approaching it is a good idea to find out how you can join in the Olympic fever when you have a baby to consider.

My niece helping me research for the post
There are certainly a great many options right across the UK as large scale events have been planned to take place at 22 locations up and down the country, including Belfast, Edinburgh and Portsmouth, all for free. Huge screens will be set up to broadcast the Olympic events live and will feature a broad range of UK-wide as well as local content in partnership with community, arts and media organisations. Welcome news, as it means that many parents will be able to take their babe-in-arms somewhere close-by to share in this historic occasion.

Brighton will see continuous coverage of the games broadcast on a 100 square ft LED screen from the lower promenade next to the West Pier on a giant outdoor screen throughout the Olympic period from 27 July to 12 August 2012.  Organised by Murray Media the largest, free, outdoor cinema on the south coast will provide coverage of the Olympics’ main sporting events during the day and a selection of blockbuster movies, comedy and music events during the evening.  With capacity for 3,500 people and a fully licensed refreshment area this will be a popular event.

While in London itself there will be five free Live Sites set out in Hyde Park, Potters Fields, Victoria Park, Waltham Forest and Woolwich, specifically for the Olympic Games. BT London Live Hyde Park, one of the eight Royal Parks, will deliver viewing via a series of big screens, including the largest one in the UK. The live BBC coverage will include London 2012 medal events, with cultural entertainment and live music also on offer. There will be free access between 28 July and 11 August with only the Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert on July 27 and the Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert on August 12 ticketed.

The Potters Fields Live Site will also operate from 28 July to 12 August for the Olympic Games and offer a beautiful view of London’s iconic Tower Bridge. BT London Live Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets will provide a more intimate viewing experience with a 'sports cafĂ©' style to it and an emphasis on sports participation with a range of sessions at the Victoria Park sports courts. There will be a series of evening concerts, cultural entertainment and both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be broadcast live at BT London Live Victoria Park as well.

Once you have worked out where you will be heading and when, the next step is to work out how to make your day with baby run as smoothly as possible and the following useful tips might be worth checking out:

Support -

Find out if there are any other families you can go with, that way you can take it in turns to look after the little ones when anyone needs to go off to buy drinks or find a toilet, sharing the caring makes a big difference.

Carrying -

Invest in a BabaSling it means you can avoid having to hunt out lifts, struggle with pushchairs on flights of stairs or constantly find space to manoeuvre your Maclaren.

Baba Sling

The baby sling has the benefit of keeping your baby close to you and as a result increasing their feeling of content, while freeing up your hands to make your day that much easier.

Choosing a sling carrier as opposed to a seat carrier allows the baby’s back to be properly supported as well as providing support for your own back.

If you are new to baby carriers, the BabaSling website can show you how to use one with an easy to follow video and printable instructions to help. You can also check out the website Sling Meet, a support group for parents and carers where you can find out where your nearest group meets.

Packing -

Create a tick list to remember the essentials such as a couple of nappies, a small bag of wipes, a onesie (babygrow), your phone, bank card, a small snack and of course a bottle of water.

Slip a couple of muslin squares into your sling, they are light to carry, useful for discretion when breast-feeding, good at mopping up dribble and sick, as well as for drying damp benches.

Less essential but worth considering - take a handheld battery operated fan, not only will it help to keep your baby cool in a confined area, babies love the novelty of the light breeze.

Protection -

Consider taking a Littlelife sunshade, inexpensive and light to carry they allow you to put your baby down with peace of mind that they are out of direct sunlight. Make sure they have slept in it at home first so that they feel comfortable in this environment before you use it.

Clothing –

For you, consider a patterned top as it can be useful for hiding stains, for the baby make sure you pack a sunhat that is secured beneath the chin, to avoid losing it during the day.

If your little one is a toddler dress them in brightly coloured clothes and hats so that they are always easy to spot.

And that only leaves us with one more thing to add, GOOD LUCK TEAM GB!
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