I’m here to solicit the wisdom of my readers. How do you/did you handle Sundays with your baby?
I’ve known lots of moms so the whole “Sunday totally throws the baby out of whack” thing hasn’t surprised me. I knew it was coming. But now we are trying to decide how to deal with it.
Yesterday we went to the morning service but didn’t stay for our Flock group because we knew we were coming back for the evening service and a congregational meeting. We left before the meeting was over because I was trying to avoid a Caroline meltdown before we got home. But I’m guessing all told she missed three or four naps yesterday. (She tends to catnap although she does surprise me and sleep for one to three hours from time to time.)
Anyway, today has been challenging. She is so tired, but only sleeps for five minutes and then wakes up. She has rarely cried from being overtired because we’ve been able to keep a pretty good routine around here. But today she has definitely not been herself and she just will not/cannot go to sleep.
My inclination is to only go to the morning service and skip everything else for awhile. I don’t want to miss everything else, but I’m a big proponent of Sunday being a day of rest and there is nothing restful for the three of us if we are on the go all day. It is especially not restful for Caroline if she doesn’t get the naps she needs. But perhaps someone has a solution we haven’t thought of. So I’m all ears to see if anyone has a suggestion that will ring true for our situation.
Sallie, we have faced the very same issue with our church attendance and participation. As our girl was very young we decided that only one of us would go to meetings and activities at a time. The only exception to this rule is the church service where we can now put our girl in the nursery. Before that time we would keep her in the “cry room” set up for nursing mothers.
Even now we usually keep our Sunday assignments to a minimum. We also take separate cars to church so one of us can go earlier, or leave late and the other spouse can transport our girl home. Thankfully now that she is a year old she only naps once a day and that makes church activities easier on Sundays.
For me Sundays were simply hard days for both of my children until they were about 18 months old. I just endured them until they were old enough for just one nap in the afternoon it goes by so quick. I know I missed out on lunches after church and a few other activities to try and get my sweet babies to their nap but try as I may the over stimulation of the church nursery and the change in nap time always made for a difficult day. But even though I knew our day would be off. I always kept in mind that it was best for mommy to be in fellowship; worship with others and this one day wouldn’t ruin my baby’s routine. My little ones are 4 ½ and 2 ½ – seems like yesterday when they were your little one’s age. God bless!
Sundays were hard for both my Ben (who’s now 4 1/2) and my Becca (18 months). Because they would be held (by either us or someone else) I found that on Monday they felt that it needed to continue. When they reached the 6 – 8 month stage that was harder because my kids were at two naps and they would get poor morning naps and would struggle in the afternoon. We didn’t really adjust our Sunday schedule, we just knew what to expect and dealt with that. Now that they kids don’t take morning naps everything is fine. What really worked for us was knowing what to expect and dealing with that. There were some Mondays that I thought – never again will I let them be held all through church and Sunday School. But this time in their lives goes by so fast that whatever choice you make will be ok.
My first response is to use a sling……she can sleep in there if you need to be in service durning a nap time.
My secound thought is, this is a time, it will be short, if you need to stay home……stay home…..God won’t be mad 🙂
First off, let me agree with Annie about God not being “mad” if you aren’t in church.
Hrm. I also agree about the sling. My wife and I have used various types of slings – we have each preferred different types, and the kids seem to like different ones better as well. Our kids sleep during church a fair bit, though Jonathan (3 years) is starting to pay more attention.
We don’t really tolerate any whining, which unless our kids aren’t the “type” to whine, that works pretty well. We bring them everywhere, and they learn how to deal with it.
My wife would say that she has a harder time keeping them quiet in different meetings, and has wondered along similar lines as you about staying home, not from church, I don’t think, but from care group, when it is more necessary to be quieter, since we are all in the same room for the most part.
My theory is that she is more lenient with them, so they try to get away with more, but I can’t be sure about that. This Friday, I am going to make more of an effort to be with them (I lead worship during the meeting, and so lots of times end up not sitting with my family for most of the night).
Some kids, when they go through a growth spurt, will not sleep as well as they did previously. That’s how our son always is. When his body is growing, a consistent sleep schedule goes out the door for a time being. Then, eventually, he gets himself back on a regular schedule until the next spurt.
If she is still acting “off” then it might just be a growth spurt, and not related to Sunday at all. If her “offness” only happens on Mondays, then I would say that a busy day on Sunday is the contributing factor, and it will be trial and error until you find something that works for you, David, and Caroline.
I take it one Sunday at a time.
If baby and I are too tired for church or other activities than just my husband goes.
I have also been utilizing the nursery a lot and I was determined that I never would!!! I was going to make them all sit through every service if it killed me. Taking my crying toddler in an out to spank him during church didn’t work and got old and was not worshipful. Now I just keep him until the sermon and put him in the nursrey. My little baby is really good and happy to sit on my lap so he hasn’t been much of a problem yet. All babies are different and so are the moms. Moms are able to handle/deal with their kids differently.
Just take it one Sunday at a time.
My youngest is 3 months…currently she naps on someone’s lap during part of the service. When we get home around noon, she’s ready to nurse, then take her longer nap of the day. Church really doesn’t affect her naps any, just makes the timing of nursing a little off compared to the rest of the week. We don’t have a regular Sunday night service, but when there is something, I try to nurse her just before and then she’ll usually have a catnap during it.
I hope you don’t mind but I emailed you yesterday. The comment got a bit large in the end 🙂
We have twin girls who are now 20 months. Sine we were allowed to take them out of the house we have always done all of the activities at church on Sunday. Also we firmly believe that they should always worship with us (no nursery for worship service). Now at 20 months they know to be quite and sit through church (this does require toys and crayons but they are there and they are learning). I can tell you that this is the quietest hour of their week and it is great to realize that they have learned to stay quiet. All we did was work them into OUR Sunday routine rather than change the routine to fit them. Children pick things up very quickly even at little ages so I would not begin to show her that Sunday’s are flexible. There will be a lot of difficult monday’s but I know it will be worth it in the end when dealing with our children’s salvation. I know my adivce differs from tohers but I hold it helps a little.
I do not go to a large church. There is no nursery or junior church. My husband and I wanted our son to know that attendance at the Lord’s house was a priority for us from the word go. We would always attend in the mornings and if he cried, I would sit in the back room and listen to the relay. When he was very small, if I had the energy in the evening we would all go out. Otherwise my husband would go. We would like to take turns more often but as he is a deacon he has to be there most times.
As for mid week meetings,many of my other times of involvement took a back seat. Again, when he was small we would take the baby. Most of the time now I stay home with him.
On a Sunday, we try and get him to sleep before we leave for church. Then he usually managed to sit in for 15 – 20 mins (he is 22 months) and then take him out to the back room. He has lunch late but does not seem to mind. I started teaching Sunday School again when he was about 6 months- he went to another church member for an hour. Then I stay home with him in the evening.
I do try to stick to his routines as much as I can but I have found that he did not mind slight alterations to his Sunday routine and I do believe that he is learning to sit quietly because he has never known different. Of course if we were ill or exhausted we would stay home. I do firmly believe though that attendance at the Lord’s house should not be neglected just becuase of ‘routine’ or what suits us best.
Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh….it is something I feel strongly about but I guess each mother has to decide for herself what she will do. 🙂
With all of our (five) children, I found that trying to stick to a flexible three-hour feeding routine helped give my day structure — and keep my sanity. (Feeding, Wake-time, sleep, repeat.)
But Sundays have always gotten us off our schedule. I think it’s important for a marriage for a husband and wife to have a little time alone together each week, and Sunday worship has always provided this for us. Although we’ve been through seasons where we’ve held our newborns in church, we’ve also been so blessed by the sweet nursery workers who rock our babies and allow us to worship quietly with other adults and our older children. (I can’t concentrate on a sermon fully if I’m worrying about my baby fussing or toddler staying busy…)
That’s my two cents … but every child is different, and every season is different. If your church has a baby room where you can rock Caroline and listen to the sermons with other moms, this is the best of both worlds!