It’s a great idea to take your baby to church. But understandably, it can seem a bit overwhelming to think about. All of the people, the singing, just the fact that you’re in a church with your baby. So, what is the best way to take your baby to church? We are here to help you out with some tips that we think will prepare you.
When should you bring your baby to church?
It is typically recommended that you avoid taking your baby to church until they are at least six weeks old. This will provide your baby with a better opportunity to improve their immune system before going to a crowded place like a church.
However, many people started taking their babies to church at a younger than six weeks old. Some people online have told stories about taking their baby to church anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks old. It is a personal decision and not one that is set in stone.
The most important thing is to be prepared whenever your baby does end up at church with you.
What if your baby cries at church?
This is a big fear for many people who are considering bringing their baby to church. I even had a nightmare about it at one point. I dreamed that everything was going great on Sunday. Finally, my husband, baby, and I walked into our church on Sunday morning. The choir started singing, and the sun was shining. It seemed like it would be a perfect outing.
And then. The crying. I was horrified! What made it even worse was that the pastor looked me in my eyes after my baby started wailing at the top of his lungs! So not only did the pastor hear the crying, but I was pretty sure God did too.
What to do when people stare at you, and you’re crying baby in church
If this happens to you, take a deep breath. Think of me! First things first – grab the pacifier. You will be relieved immediately! If your baby doesn’t take the pacifier, however, it’s still okay. Why? After church, the pastor came up to my family and me and told me that he saw I looked horrified when my baby started crying. And he told me not to worry at all. So, this is me trying to help you and finding relief in your baby cries and church.
Have an early bedtime the night before church
Many times, churches happen early in the morning. So you don’t want to keep your baby awake too late the night before. To help your baby sleep, play the baby sleep music from SleepBaby.org – or read the baby sleep tips there. That website is an excellent resource to help your baby sleep.
You must get your baby to sleep at a decent hour the night before church. Baby sleep music might be just what you need to have a thriving Church-going experience with your little one.
Don’t bring loud baby toys to church.
Indeed, be mindful of the noise level for the distractions you bring to church. I made the mistake of absent-mindedly packing a rattle in the diaper bag. When I laid a blanket down for my baby at church, everything was going great. That noise didn’t come from crying – instead, the noise came from my baby rattling her rattle right as the choir started.
Take turns stepping out of the church with whomever you go with.
Have a conversation with your husband, wife, or whoever you are planning to go to church with your baby. It can be overwhelming sometimes.. but not always, so don’t let that overwhelm you! But be prepared by bringing a rotation buddy, as my husband and I like to call it.
Sometimes all it takes is a few steps outside and a few bounces in a different scenery to get your baby calm and ready to enter Church again.
You may breastfeed at church.
It is okay to breastfeed at church. Just make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing and are doing so somewhere private.
You are so excited for the world to meet your newborn. Before you venture out into the world, maybe you have decided to start by taking your newborn to church. You have been at home for weeks making sure that your little one’s immune system can grow.
Now you are ready to get out of the house and feel like a real human again! Everyone at church has been texting and calling you wanting to know when they get to meet your precious new baby. Now you are preparing for your newborn’s first time at church.
The biggest concern for taking your newborn to church is going to be germs. Schools and daycares have strict policies for children who are sick. Churches often have policies in place to assure that sick child aren’t left in the nursery, but these policies are more lenient at church.
At church, everyone is family. You all know and love each other. No one wants to turn away a family with small children who might be sick. When taking your newborn to church for the first time, you need to be cautious of people who are sick. Sick babies don’t like to sleep. Adults go out in public all the time when they are sick. Protect your baby, but don’t be offensive to your church family.
Stroller or Baby Carrier
Let your newborn rest in a stroller or infant car seat while in church. Especially if your baby won’t sleep or has trouble sleeping, comfort is extra important.
During your newborn’s first time at church, you want to control the environment as much as possible. The stroller or infant car seat will give your baby an extra layer of protection from germs. People are going to ask to hold your baby and it will be easier to say “no” if your baby is buckled in a stroller.
If your baby doesn’t care for the stroller, you might consider wearing your baby in a body carrier of your choosing. When taking your newborn to church, keep your baby snug in a safe place so that people can look, but have limited access to your baby. Looking from a slight distance is good enough for now. You’ll want to follow this rule when you take your baby to the movie theater or anywhere else in public.
Sign for Infant Car Seat
Attach a sign to your infant carrier that says “please do not touch” or something similar when taking your newborn to church. Church is a place where everyone is family and everyone seems safe. The fact is you don’t know who was sick yesterday or who might get sick tonight.
Protect your baby with a sign that reminds others that your baby is new and needs to be protected. Cute signs that say “please do not touch” are not offensive and can be purchased online.
Some people at church have never had a newborn and others may have forgotten the need to keep germs away or they may wake your sleeping baby. The sign is a visible reminder that your baby is new and not ready for all the world to touch him/her.
Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you everywhere and have it out for your newborn’s first time at church. If you decide it is okay for someone to hold your baby, ask them to sanitize their hands first. Ensure they know how to safely hold a baby. Keep your own hands sanitized as well.
Fellowship time at church is a sweet time to welcome everyone, shake hands and give hugs. Be careful that you don’t pass on germs to your baby from contact with someone else. Everyone will understand your request for them to sanitize before touching your baby. Hand-sanitizer is essential when taking your newborn to church.
Baby mittens can do more than just protect your newborn from his/her own sharp fingernails. Baby mittens will protect your newborn from all those hands during your newborn’s first time at church. When a sweet little grandmother sees a cute baby, her first reaction is to grab those little fingers.
The problem is those precious newborn fingers may go in your babies mouth a few minutes later. Baby mittens are cute and they will protect your baby from unwanted germs. Taking your newborn to church may mean you have to pack a few extra pairs of baby mittens, but keeping your baby healthy is the priority.
Just Say “No”
Don’t be afraid to ask people not to touch your baby yet. Taking your newborn to church does not mean you have to let everyone touch and hold your baby. Encourage your friends to touch your baby’s toes or just look for now. Your baby can’t reach his/her toes yet and socks or shoes offer a layer of protection for the feet.
People will ask if they can hold your baby and you do not have to feel bad about saying, “Not yet.” Your church friends should not be offended by these words. Assure them that eventually, your baby will be ready to be held by others. One day, you will feel comfortable leaving your baby in the nursery.
Right now, this is your newborn’s first time going to church and you just aren’t ready to part with your little one.
A Few Helpful Phrases
Here are a few phrases you might want to have ready when taking your newborn to church.
- ”Not yet.”
- ”We are only letting family hold the baby right now.”
- ”Please don’t touch the baby, he/she is new.”
- ”You can look, but please don’t touch.”
- “Not now, I’m trying to make my baby sleep.”
Going to a Restaurant After Church
Going to a restaurant is a common tradition for many families after church. It’s a great time to socialize, meet up with fellow church members, and is a lovely tradition. However, taking your baby to a restaurant comes with its own unique set of challenges.
Taking your newborn to church is exciting and does not have to be stressful. Follow these tips and relax knowing you have done your best to protect your baby during your newborn’s first time at church. Enjoy your time out of the house. Talk to your friends.
Find other moms and swap baby stories. You need the community of the church to get you through the next week. Taking your baby to church is safe and it is a good idea for your sanity. Now pick out a super cute outfit and show off that little one by taking your newborn to church.
Church May Impact Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule
Some parents have experienced baby sleep problems because of bringing their baby to church. The early rising and all the people can cause a complete energy shift in your baby. Just one outing to church has the possibility of really impacting your baby’s sleep schedule. Check out our helpful article about how to take your baby to church without it impacting sleep.