(Closed) Breast-Feeding Babies and Weddings …. Personal Vent

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 32
1511 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

I’m not saying that mothers feel comfortable leaving their babies to go back to work after 6 weeks or 3 months or whatever. I’m saying that some mothers don’t have the option to stay home and have to leave their newborns. Not everyone has the luxury to be a permanent stay at home mom.

At any rate, it kind of feels like we got sidetracked. The point of my original comment was just that I know a lot of mothers with young babies and have never, ever heard of anyone having a problem with going out for a few hours. And that this whole controversy was new to me when I joined the ‘bee.

Post # 33
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@danadelphia- yeah, but I think it takes time for the baby to get used to taking a bottle… and for the mother to be comfortable separating from the child.  I don’t have kids, but this is what I gather.

At the time of my wedding, my good friend will have a six month old that she will probably still be nursing.  She is from out of town, but she is going to pump and her father is going to get a hotel room with the baby.  Usually babies at this age will be eating some regular food too.

I just think that a nursing newborn (which implies a baby that is 1-2 months old) is in a different class/presents a different situation.

Post # 34
1751 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Hehe, yeah, the argument FOR newborns at weddings can be used in exactly the opposite way.

Newborns sleep all the time and don’t make a PEEP! at weddings.

If newborns sleep all the time, wouldn’t it be even EASIER for a babysitter to provide adequate care for a baby for the 4 hours the mom will be at a wedding? Come on now.

Post # 35
1139 posts
Bumble bee

Aren’t the people you invite to your wedding supposed to be close to the bride or groom?  Unless you are having a huge wedding with hundreds of people I doubt there are too many “acquaintances” there.  There wasn’t a single person at my wedding who I would have preferred that they stay home rather than bring their nursing baby (and I did have a no kids wedding and my MOH’s sister who is a good friend of mine brought her nursing baby and she didn’t make a peep all night).  In fact, my husband’s cousin’s wife decided last minute not to attend because she wasn’t ready to leave her baby.  I would have MUCH preferred her to bring the baby with her than to stay home.  I understand it’s your wedding day but I don’t  think that gives you a pass to have no compassion for other people’s situations.. especially when they are your friends and family.

Post # 36
1958 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

@southerntulip…don’t worry, I don’t hate you 🙂  and I totally understand the whole point in having an adults only wedding.  I think it’s just idea of not allowing a nursing baby.  I mean, not only does that suck for the baby (not all babies take to formula or a bottle, so therefore, the baby would be going hungry) but it is literally painful for mothers when they can’t nurse. 

Post # 37
128 posts
Blushing bee

My son is getting married next month and for the most part, we are having an adult wedding and reception. However, my other son and daughter in law who are both in the wedding, have a one month old baby who will abolutely NOT take a bottle at this point.  We are inviting the other set of grandparents to help out with the baby and his 3 year old brother (ring bearer). My DIL will nurse the baby just before the ceremony and if he fusses, the other grandparents will take him out.  Another of the guests has responded that she is bringing her newborn also.  Not a problem.  We couldn’t care less if they come to the reception either.  They don’t need a seat and we don’t have to pay to feed them!

Post # 38
767 posts
Busy bee

Lots of people don’t mind nursing babies for all sorts of good reasons.  Lots of mothers don’t mind leaving nursing babies for hours at a time.  However some people don’t want babies and some mothers aren’t comfortable leaving the baby and it’s when these two come into conflict that there’s a problem – for which I’ll continue to insist that attending a wedding is a privilege not a right, yes even for family members.

Post # 39
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

A wedding is absolutely no place for a newborn. It has nothing to do with them crying or possibly causing a disturbance and everything to do with not exposing your child to germs and disease during their most important stage of infant development (0-3 months). A 3+ month old baby should be able to bottle feed, but if you have a good kid (quiet, not too fussy) then there shouldn’t be any problems if it is a kid friendly wedding. If I had a newborn I wouldn’t hesitate to stay home from a wedding, even if it was a close relative because my child is more important to me than putting them in harm’s way.

Personally, I would hate to see a newborn at my wedding for the germ reasons (really, I am very against exposing a newborn to mass groups of people), but our wedding is very kid friendly and I know of one person that will have a one-month-old at the time. She hasn’t RSVPed yet, but if they come I plan on letting her use the bridal suite to nurse if she needs to.

Post # 40
946 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Lots of nursing babies have trouble taking bottles, especially if they are very young.  This makes it virtually impossible for a new mom to “just pump” and take off to go to a party.  In most of the cases where this has been brought up as a concern, it seems to me that the mother in question is either close family, like a sister or SIL, or a Bridesmaid or Best Man, which to me leaves out the option that they can “just not attend.”  Most brides would probably want their close friend or sister at their wedding.  Anyone else, I would probably say it was up to them to figure out their situation or just not come, but for a bridesmaid or my sister/SIL I would make an exception.

You have to also keep in mind that someone who is traveling from out of town probably does not have the option of just hiring a sitter to watch their infant.  I don’t blame them for not wanting a stranger to watch my infant. My SIL is coming across the country and doesn’t want to leave her baby with a stranger and I totally understand. 

I’m with futuremominlaw… newborn babies sleep through most things, can be taken out of a ceremony if they start to fuss (and seriously, most babies don’t go from 0 to screaming immediately, you can kind of tell and if you were sitting by the door you could remove yourself without much interruption).  They don’t take up chairs, and they don’t eat. 

I just think that there is a big difference between a nursing infant and a two year old who is going to go running around. 


Post # 41
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Yeah I get what you are saying. I think if I were nursing a baby though, I would just RSVP no to the wedding unless it was a very close relative. I mean I would still send a card, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable being at a wedding and nursing at the same time anyway. That’s just me though.

Post # 42
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Arachna – you took the words out of my mouth…

personally i really dont think its anything but having people remember that a wedding is about inviting someone to come. bride and groom do not have to justify to anyone their “rules” for their wedding. if you dont like something no one is gonna drag you kicking and screaming there against your will.

if you have a child and dont want to leave them at home, simply decline. no harm no foul. no different from having a previous engagement or not being able to afford the trip.

and if someone declines because they have children they dont want to leave for whatever reason, brides and grooms dont have a right to be mad about that. just like they shouldnt be mad about anyone else’s declinations.

its an INVITATION people. its a free country and no one is forced to attend anything (guilting someone is a whole nother store though but thats for another post.)


edited to say: i also dont get why mothers want to bring such young children around large crowds anyway. all the germs and diseases that are out there! yuck. 🙁

Post # 43
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Okay, I’m giving my opinion as a mom-to-be. A relative of my husband, who we’re not close to, is getting married next weekend. My due date is this weekend, just so the entire situation is clear. We’ve declined for a variety of reasons, one being that I feel it would be too soon to leave a newborn, adding to that the fact that all relatives I would feel safe leaving my child with are attending the wedding. My other thought was that if I was still pregnant at that time, I would not be very happy to be sitting around for that long, or even worse, have to leave in the middle of the ceremony or reception and cause a disturbance.

Obviously, my situation is a little different than what you are talking about, since the events are extremely close together, but I declined for reasons that most have stated. I don’t know if the wedding is child-friendly or not, but neither am I offended at the thought of not going. It would obviously be different if it was a sibling getting married or if it was several states away, but in those situations, I would be more than willing to either compromise or just not attend if I thought it would be a problem.

Post # 44
377 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I definitely see both sides.  We had an adults only reception (with exception to immediate family) and one of my husband’s very distant cousins surprised me by telling me later that she and her family didn’t come becuase we didn’t invite their children and they *don’t ever* leave them alone – these kids are in the age range of 7 – 9.  My point is, people who have a problem just won’t come.  If it were me in the situation of not wanting to leave my nursing child, I just would decline the invitation. I understand people not wanting infants at their event – whether it is a wedding or something else.

Post # 45
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I want to chime in because I’ve got something to say that hasn’t been said yet.

In some cultures (Italian for example, but also Irish, French, Spanish and Greek), a wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without kids. In these countries, kids are expected to be kids, nobody scolds the mother or father if they act out and everybody plays with the kids. Even in formal weddings, there are a LOT of kids, and oftentimes they are very small.

In the US, kids are expected to be “young adults” and behave, even when they are taken to McDonald’s, or else the parents get icy stares.

I’ll give you an idea of how it is to live here… moms breastfed in public. Not only they aren’t looked badly but they are actually smiled at. As a matter of fact, I was in a *refined*, formal restaurant few days ago and there was a mom breastfeeding her baby in front of everybody.

Personally, I think that the US culture is way too stuck up… kids that aren’t left free to run around, roam and explore become more inhibited, self-conscious and insecure. It takes a while to get used at all these kids… but after a while you do, and you start picking them up when they cry and/or discipline them when they act out. I love the feeling of being one big family as opposed to the nuclear families in the US.

Post # 46
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I will start by saying that I do not see the issue with Kids at weddings. thats my personal choice. 

As for newborns, for me the issue isn’t just the effect on the child of being seperated from Mum, but also about Mum being unable to attend to her child.  I know from experience that while I was breast feeding  I had a routine that set up quite quickly, and if i didn’t stick to it I would leak milk everywhere. And Yes I would wear breast feeding pads, sometimes 2 or 3 and I would still leak through them if there was a reason I was unable to feed.  (and I had alot of trouble breast feeding, as my body wouldnt produce enough fatty hind milk, so I would of hate to think what it would of been like for me if my milk was truely free flowing)

And also if feeding was delayed my breasts would become rock hard, sore and very swollen.  It is quite uncomfortable.

I didnt have a wedding to go to while my daughter was Newborn, but I did have a high school reunion and my mother also took us to the Ballet when my daughter was 2 months old.  She slept most of the night in her capsule each time, and when required I would go and find a quiet place to feed her.

And to say that well you don’t have to come, fine you can think that, but many new mums (especially first time mums) already feel isolated and house bound.  So to me thats harsh.  I would of been devastated if someone thought of me enough to invite me and then had the opnion well too bad don’t come your a mum now.

Reminds me of Sex and the City where Sam bundled Miranda into a Cab as quick as she could so she didn’t have to deal with the young baby.  Miranda felt upset and no longer part of their lives.  This is a very real feeling for new mums!!

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