Wedding season is upon us! You receive your first invitation to a wedding since your baby arrived and you realise that being a wedding guest with a baby in tow involves some more thought and planning than usual!
Attending a wedding can be a lovely experience for the whole family, but it can also pose some challenges when you have your baby with you. From managing nap times to keeping them entertained, there are a few key considerations to make the day enjoyable for both you and your little one.
These tips will guide you through what you need to think about when taking your baby to a wedding, and will help you have a (hopefully!) smooth and memorable day for everyone involved!
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Is it ok to take your baby to the wedding?
Before you start makings plans for taking your baby along to the wedding, it is always best to check with the couple that they are expecting babies to be bought along with guests. Unless your baby is included in the wedding invitation, it is better not to assume that all children are included in the wedding party.
Some couples may prefer for their wedding day to be a chance for adult friends and family to enjoy a child-free day, or the venue they have chosen may not be suitable for small children – checking beforehand can give you the opportunity to work out the details of the day.
If you aren’t able to bring your baby along as a guest, then there are some creative ways you can still make sure you can attend the wedding.
If you and your partner are invited as guests, then you might want to swap in and out of the festivities so one of you can be with your baby while the other one enjoys the ceremony and party.
Another option could be to have someone you feel comfortable with come along to stay near to the wedding venue and look after your baby – you could take some regular breaks from the celebrations to check in on your little one too.
If your baby is definitely ‘on the list’ and going to be attending the wedding with you, then these tips can help you plan your day…
1. Be prepared
Take the time to pre-pack all the necessary items your baby may need, such as nappies, wipes, extra clothes, bottles, and snacks. Think about the bag you are taking with you and if you can easily fit everything you need inside and feel comfortable carrying it with you on the day. Being well-prepared will save you from unnecessary stress on the day.
2. Dress for comfort
Choose a comfortable outfit for your baby, thinking about what the weather will be like on the day and how easy they are to take on and off during changes (that might be in church/venue toilets).
Opt for soft fabrics and clothing that allows ease of movement, ensuring they remain comfortable throughout the day – if its hot, don’t be afraid to remove their layers.
We know a wedding is a lovely opportunity for your little one to wear a special outfit, but we need to make sure it is something comfortable they can spend the day in (and still look dressed for the occasion!).
Choosing your own outfit for the day can be a big decision, it is also worth having a spare outfit for yourself, just in case of any accidents!
3. Think about nap timings
Try to time your naps, (if you can!). A nap before the ceremony is good – a well-rested and content baby will make the day more enjoyable for everyone. However, if the timings just don’t work for your baby, don’t worry and go with the flow. It doesn’t matter if they take short naps!
4. Pack entertainment
Bring a bag of age-appropriate toys or activities to keep your baby entertained during the wedding. Soft toys, rattles, or small books can be great distractions during quieter moments.
5. Secure seating
Check with the venue or couple if they can arrange a high chair or a designated space for your baby during mealtime. This will help keep them safe and give you a chance to eat more comfortably.
6. Consider a sling or baby carrier
Consider using a baby carrier or sling to keep your hands free while still keeping your baby close and comfortable. This allows you to mingle, dance, and participate in the celebrations more easily. It also means that if baby is unsettled and hasn’t napped, they might just drop off on you, with your hands free.
7. Find a quiet space
Locate a quiet area away from the main festivities where you can retreat with your baby if they become overwhelmed or need a break from the noise and stimulation. If you think your baby may be noisy during the ceremony, it might be worth sitting near to the back or an exit so you can step out if you need to. You might also want to consider baby ear defenders if there will be loud music during the celebrations.
8. Bring a buggy
This gives you a chance to put baby down safely and you can walk them around for a nap if they need it. It can be useful during the ceremony, during photos and throughout the day!
9. Think ahead about food
If your baby is eating solid meals, it is worth checking with the couple or venue what food choices are available for your baby. They might usually eat smaller portions of our food, but the wedding meal may be richer, more salty or less appropriate for your baby to share. You can always take along some prepared food/pouches with you as a back up plan.
10. Talk to your partner before the big day
If you are attending the wedding with your partner, talk to them beforehand about how you are going to share baby responsibilities on the day. This can help you both look forward to the celebrations and avoid any annoyance on the day.
For example, you might agree that during the ceremony one of you is going to take the baby for a stroll if they get restless and need a break. You might agree shifts for during the evening, so you both get a chance to enjoy catching up with family and friends.
11. Accept help if it's available
If there are family members or friends attending the wedding who are willing to help, don’t hesitate to accept their support. An extra set of hands can be a lifesaver when it comes to managing your baby’s needs, and having a good time!
12. Enjoy the Moment
Lastly, remember to take a deep breath and enjoy the wedding celebration. Babies can be unpredictable, and things might not always go as planned, but you deserve to have a good time and let go of things for the day. You can always return to your normal routine the next day.
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