Breastfeeding Mom Wasn't Allowed to Bring Her 14-Week-Old into a Stadium -- Unless She Paid for His 'Seat'

Sarah Zadoyko-Bartee with her baby at the Giants game
Sarah Zadoyko-Bartee/Facebook

On Saturday, August 17, Sarah Zadoyko-Bartee and her family were looking forward to a fun-filled day of football. In fact, she was so excited, she put on her team's colors and even decked her 14-week-old baby boy out in some matching fan gear. It was a gorgeous summer day, and they were headed to watch the New York Giants play the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. But when Zadoyko-Bartee went to have her ticket checked at the gate, there was just one problem: She was told she needed one for the baby, too. 

  • Zadoyko-Bartee was confused, then stunned, by the request. After all, the baby who was nestled in her arms couldn't even sit in a seat.

    As the mom later explained, the Giants apparently don't have a "lap seat ticket" option, which is commonly available for parents with small children who will likely ride shotgun in Mom or Dad's lap during the game. The team also doesn't offer a "kids under 2 are free" rule. In fact, anyone who wants to go to a NY Giants game, regardless of age, has to have a ticket. (For the record, this isn't a MetLife Stadium thing, but a rule the NY Giants apparently have across the board.) 

    And so, the parents were left with two options: Pay full price for a ticket, or leave their kiddo outside. 

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  • Obviously, leaving her baby elsewhere at the last minute wasn't an option. Especially since Zadoyko-Bartee is breastfeeding.

    "I am a breastfeeding mother and live about an hour and a half from the stadium," the mother wrote on Facebook. "On an average game day I am away from home for 8 hours not including any pregame or postgame activities. Which means if I want to be a Giants fan this season I have to sacrifice time away from my infant and deal with the logistics of having to pump at the game."

    Zadoyko-Bartee slammed the policy as "discriminatory against mothers with babies that are exclusively breastfed and dependent on them for nourishment," adding that a football game should be family-friendly, and that she "should not have to choose between being a fan or caring for my infant."

  • Zadoyko-Bartee said she has no problem with paying full price on seats for her other two kids, ages 4 and 6.

    But when it comes to an infant, who literally can't even use the seat, she says gimme a break. And apparently, so do a lot of other people, too.

    "Crazy rule," wrote one person. "I hope the backlash costs them a lot more than that seat."

    "I'm actually shocked this is a policy," wrote another. "It’s a simple policy change on their part and doesn’t hurt them financially. Plus it would go a long way with albeit a small demographic, but probably would get people to support them on social media and make them money in this day and age."

    "Good for you bringing attention to this weird policy," added another woman. "Perhaps any child under 1-year-old should not have to purchase a seat or even 2 years old. That's how the airlines work."

  • Not everyone was on board with what Zadoyko-Bartee was saying, though.

    Most of them had VERY strong opinions on the matter -- and with bringing babies to sporting games in general.

    "Babies don’t belong at loud, crowded sporting events I feel like that’s the reality here," wrote one (clearly opinionated) person.

    "Unless you have the perfect baby, no one wants to sit near a screaming infant at a sporting event," another added. "Breastfeeding, no breastfeeding, ticket, no ticket. Bottom line no one wants to be near a baby. **This is an opinion not a fact, (however leaning to more fact lol)** am I alone in this opinion??"

    Oof.

    Quite a few people seemed to miss the point entirely, and were annoyed that this mama was even speaking up to begin with.

    "Clearly this chick likes attention," another person wrote. "The bottom line is you have two very clear choices .. so pay attention. Stay at home with your child and watch on TV, OR buy your 14 week old kid a ticket, hold him the entire game, breastfeed him all you want but PLEASE move on."

    "Who brings infants to football games?" added another. "Breastfeeding or not, 14 weeks old is way too young. Put your boob back in your shirt and move on. This post is a joke and so are infants at football stadiums."

    (Jeez -- tell me what you really think.)

  • Zadoyko-Bartee later updated the post to inform her critics that it was not intended to be an exclusive breastfeeding post.

    Instead, the mom of three feels the issue is simple: "NO ONE regardless of how they feed their baby should have to pay double the price to bring an infant to the game," she writes. End. Of. Story.

    It just so happens that the policy does affect moms who breastfeed exclusively a little more than others, simply because of the nature of it.

    She also points out that the rule isn't a standard policy across the NFL, or even the stadium itself. In fact, the NY Jets play in the same stadium. And guess what? According to Zadoyko-Bartee, they have a 34-inches-and-under rule that ensures babies are always free. 

    So what gives, NY Giants? Honestly, now that Zadoyko-Bartee has raised the issue, more than a few people want to know. And her hope is that in response to her post going viral, the Giants might actually make a change. At the end of the day, the mom of three says all she wants is for parents to enjoy games without having to leave their babies behind. And that doesn't seem like such a tall order, does it?