Friday, 14 March 2014

How to Survive a Wedding with a Baby in Tow

A good friend is getting married today, and this will be the fourth wedding I’ve taken Ebony too. The other three weddings were held when Ebony was small, and by the final one, I felt I had learnt some valuable lessons about how to survive weddings with a baby. Now, of course, Ebony is a toddler and, as any parent of a toddler will tell you, toddlers are much harder work. For a start they can talk (loudly, about poo and periods), they can run really fast (in the opposite direction) and sometimes, they turn into crazed maniacs when things don’t go their way. So, it’s safe to say I am feeling a little apprehensive of what might happen tomorrow.




So, harking back to the glory days, here are some tips for surviving a wedding with a baby in tow:

  1. Take a sling - we took a pram to two weddings, thinking it would be less hassle than the sling. We were so wrong. Prams are the height of hassle. We ended up leaving it in the car at the first wedding, and at the second it was too cumbersome to get near the dancefloor. I also think it must have been a bit terrifying for my tiny baby, being stuck out of arm’s reach in a pram during noisy times. By the third wedding, we just took the sling and it made things much easier. It meant she stayed close to me while she napped, and felt involved in what was going on. A sling is without doubt the way to go for weddings.
  2. Breastfeed in church - I mean, you don’t have to, but you probably will, because Church makes babies hungry (this is not a scientific fact, it’s just anecdotal). There’s a lot of waiting around at weddings, and by the time the bride walks in, your baby will be hungry, so just resign yourself to the fact that you will have to breastfeed in church. And hey, don’t worry, the Pope thinks it’s awesome when mothers breastfeed in church, so no need to feel nervous. Your baby’s hunger isn’t going to disappear, and the longer you leave it, the more frustrated she’ll be, and the harder it will be to get her to latch on. Believe me, I know this.
  3. Take ear protectors - we have some ear protectors for our daughter. They don’t block the noise completely, but muffle it, so she was still able to hear things but without bursting her ear drums. The music at weddings can be pretty noisy, and babies can get overstimulated, so these are a must-have. Your only problem might be convincing your baby to wear them, but luckily our daughter seemed quite happy in hers. They were great for when she was napping in the sling too.
  4. Have a plan - the meal will be long, so have a plan of how you are going to entertain your baby. If it coincides with naptime, you win. If not, you’ll need to sit the baby next to your most entertaining dinner companion, and pull out a whole host of toys. If your baby is over six months, make sure you have appropriate finger foods for her to nibble on while you all eat.
  5. Seek out quiet time - avoid letting your baby get overstimulated by going somewhere quiet for some alone time. This could be a lengthy nappy change in the disabled toilet, a walk around the grounds, or some one-on-one time in a quiet room. This will allow your baby to avoid overstimulation, and will help her feel connected to you despite the hustle and bustle of the wedding. Take turns with your partner to have quiet time with the baby, that way you’ll both still get to enjoy the wedding too.

Maybe by this evening I’ll have some tips on how to attend weddings with toddlers, or perhaps how not to. Ahem. Oh, and the last tip is, don’t get too drunk. Parental hangovers are, like, two million times worse than normal hangovers. For each unit, you gain a whole extra day of hangover. I think that’s the equation, anyway.
Do you have any tips for attending weddings with a baby?



16 comments:

  1. don't have a baby myself, but these are good tips that i'll pass onto my sister if she ever happens to go to a wedding after she has her baby :)

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  2. great tips... I've taken all three of mine to many weddings over the years. I guess making sure you are prepared is my top tip - food, milk, clean clothes, etc... thankfully we've always had a great time and had no problems :) good luck for tomorrow!

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  3. Great tips and ear defenders come in handy for all sorts of occasions. well done you guys taking her out to three weddings! x

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  4. Super tips and I totally second the breastfeeding in church - from my experiences it does make them hungry :) I love the ear defenders - would never have thought of that

    laura x

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  5. We went to a wedding last Summer with a toddler and a baby, it was stressful!! A sling was an essential item though and luckily I got to sort out the baby while my OH had to chase me toddler around the whole time. She also shouted out 'give me my drink back' just as it went quiet in the actual ceremony so he had to take her out!! I'm kind of looking forward to when they are older and we can leave them with their nan!! x

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    1. Haha that's so funny! I can imagine it would be hard work with two. At least with one I could leave her with my husband while I drank some wine ;) x

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  6. Great tips. I've always had to breastfeed in church at weddings, the first time I can remember thinking, "Is this allowed?" lol. Now my kids are older I always bring things to keep them amused...kiddy camera, crayons, paper, stickers and books and spare clothes as they always need them at weddings lol x

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    1. Kiddy camera is such a good idea, I was planning to do that but left it at home because I was in a rush! x

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  7. Three weddings! She's been to more than me, and one of those was my own! Great tips though, I've only been to one with Theo and he was about 18months I think, so was quite entertaining for everyone else with his well timed outbursts (at the point where they ask if anyone has any objections!)

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    1. Haha :) she has been to almost as many weddings as me, all my friends have caught wedding fever apparently x

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  8. I've totally given up drinking since we had our two - at the ripe old age of 31, I simply cannot handle a hangover with two small children bellowing and screeching all day! Great tips though - I think any event with kiddos can be quite nerve wracking!

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    1. Toddlers and hangovers are the absolute worst mix, uch.

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  9. I've only been to one wedding with Wilf and the breastfeeding tip was a good 'un although I did have that moment like 'is it OK to bf in church??' he was pretty much on my boob the whole time and lots of people were saying afterwards 'wasn't he GOOD!' wouldn't quite work with W now though!

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    1. Haha same! I was always terrified to feed in Church, but it's really the only way to keep them quiet ;) x

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  10. I've spent so many of my friends weddings hanging about outside / in corridors / missing the good bits - but that was at toddler age i guess! Being prepared with a baby it totally the key isn't it :)

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    1. Yes definitely. Toddlers are definitely a bit trickier to entertain x

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