How to Survive Training Camp Practice with a One-Year Old

It’s only about day four of training camp, and we have attended the two practices that have been public so far. One practice went just fine with Carter; he sat well in his stroller, had a free ice cream treat, chewed on a teething toy, and all was well.  He was super excited to see Jeff afterwards so we got some cute pictures, and then headed home.  But the other practice which was held yesterday evening, I had a “Mr. Cranky Pants” on my hands and there wasn’t anything that could make Carter happy.  Even seeing Jeff after practice didn’t cheer him up, which was really hard because we literally get to see Jeff for like five minutes each day, and I obviously want Carter to be full of rainbows and sunshine during that five minutes at least!  I was definitely on the mom struggle bus… but I know all mom’s have those days and I’m not alone!  I thought I had came prepared but I suppose I could have used a few more tricks up my sleeve.  I am going to narrow it down to three main things for now, and will most likely be adding more to the list as Carter gets older!  I am hoping the list below helps fellow training camp mommies out there, or maybe gives you a good laugh!  We’re all in this together, right?

Snacks & Drinks

Always be prepared, with a few selections of snacks for your little ones.  Most practices let you bring in snacks and food, so take advantage of that!  Carter enjoys just about everything, but it depends on what he’s in the mood for that day. I think he gets that from his mother…  I thought I was prepared with some water for Carter and a little bag of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, since we had lunch before we left.  But clearly I should have brought more options, because he wasn’t having any of that.  I was trying to stay clear of the free ice cream treats, but maybe that would have helped in this case.  I never even thought about checking out the concession stand goodies because I assumed it was going to be all greasy and unhealthy.  I was also hoping that what I had brought was going to be just fine.  I smelled some kind of barbecue in the air, maybe Carter was seeking that out, I have no idea.  He definitely was not into what I had in our bag. Carter is also getting some molars right now, so I was seeking out a cold snack like some fruit instead at one point. That would have felt better on his teeth I’m sure.  I keep learning that being overly prepared is a good thing when it comes to being a mom!

Nap Plan

This is a huge one for us, and I think it could have helped Carter, and my own sanity, yesterday.  When Carter is awake, he will literally go non-stop until you lay him down in his crib.  The little man plays hard, and I love that about him!  He is also a great sleeper, and takes nice, long naps; we are very blessed!  He napped earlier than expected which was fine, but I didn’t take into consideration the fact that Carter would be up for the next seven hours before bed.   He definitely could have used a little more rest time, so there would have been less meltdowns at practice.  Every practice is in the late afternoon so I just need to be more mindful of that and make sure he gets a good rest in before we head to the facility.  The littlest things that you learn as a first time mom, right?


Move and Groove Room

Carter isn’t one to sit still, which helps me burn extra calories during the day so I don’t mind!  He has been walking for almost three months now, and running is now his favorite thing to do. He loves when the stroller is moving, but not sitting in it for a long period of time. Find a good place for some “move and groove room,” an area where it is safe to take your little one out of the stroller to let them stretch their “leggies” as we call them!  We had a few options thankfully yesterday that helped a little bit.  Carter was able to run back and forth in the family area, and when that got old after about ten minutes we went on a walk in the grassy area behind the bleachers.  We found some great rocks to pick up and throw against the fence!  There was also a kid zone for bigger kids to climb through an obstacle course, run a timed 40 yard dash, throw footballs around and more.  Even though Carter isn’t big enough to go do some of these activities, we actually watched the other kids run around for a little bit, and that helped too.  I was trying everything, just to make it to the end of practice to see Jeff, and I definitely did my best!  I’ve learned that some days toddlers are just moody, and from what I hear it is only the beginning with that…

Sometimes nothing really “works” and it’s just a process of redirecting the whole time. That’s totally okay!  They are only little once, and I’m already laughing, thinking about me riding the struggle bus yesterday.  Being a mom might not be easy, but I love it SO much.  I believe that there is no greater job in the world than being one.  It’s a job where each day is different, and you’re constantly learning, how can you not love that?  I strive to be a better mom each day, and I know with guidance from God I am able to achieve that the best I can.  Lastly, if you’re a mom and have some other suggestions for me, please leave a comment or send me a message!  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again for letting me share with you. Check back soon for the next play!

Lots of love,


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