Post # 1
A friend of mine will have a 4 month old at the time of our wedding. She wrote to find out if she can bring the baby to the wedding and reception. My friend told me she’d make sure the baby didn’t cry during the wedding (and noted that was something that was important to her when she got married a few years ago). She gave me an out, saying they’d find childcare if necessary. The issue is the timing of the feedings, as she noted the baby isn’t using a bottle.
It was a really nice email and I’m trying to decide how I feel about this. The non-maternal side of me doesn’t want the baby at the wedding. I want the parents to be baby free at the wedding and I want them to just relax and enjoy themselves. There will be drinking and dancing and music on the ‘louder’ side.
Conversely – what’s the big deal? If they want to bring her, it’s not like she’s going to interrupt. The parents will have to take care of her during the wedding, but that’s their choice.
That said – I’m having a hard time writing the email to say “yes, of course, bring her”! because I honestly don’t want a baby to attend. (The only kids present will be our nephews and nieces and I got into serious issues with a cousin who I didn’t give an invite to his 8-year old daughter (and now he and other family members aren’t coming to the reception) – so I’m feeling a little more sensitive about this than normal, I think).
Post # 3
I would say make an exception for her. It sounds like she was really respectful in the way she asked. I know you would like the parent to be “carefee” but they will have more fun if the baby is with them. No breast feeding mother is going to be able to really let loose and enjoy themselves if they are far away from the baby. Especially if she has to be leaving to do feedings. I had a breastfeeding baby (about the same age) at my wedding and she never made a peep. She was so sweet and slept most of the time. I even got a good a snuggle in with her at the reception. Once the party really start getting loud (about an hour before it was over) her mom went ahead and left early with her. It worked out well for everyone. I really don’t think you’ll regret letting her bring the baby. It sounds like she is a responsible mom who will absolutely remove herself and the baby from the situation if the baby becomes disruptive.
Post # 4
I think a middle ground is in order, especially since the baby is breastfeeding. Perhaps hire a baby sitter to watch her close by so that her Mom can excuse herself, go feed her, and then come back. Is that possible?
Post # 5
I think you just need to go with what you want b/c I think you’re fine either way. If you say no she should understand b/c 1. there are no other kids, 2. this was something that was important to her as a bride and 3. she said she’s get childcare. Alternatively if you say yes than 1. she will be happy, 2. she will still be able to have a good time b/c she won’t be worrying about her baby and 3. it doesn’t seem like it really bothers you.
Post # 6
I think for a nursing baby, you really ought to allow her to come. A mother really cannot be separated from a nursing baby for extended periods very easily, especially if that baby isn’t taking to a bottle. Plus, the mother will be uncomfortable if she can’t nurse/pump.
As a side note, you say you want the parents to be able to “just relax and enjoy themselves” at the wedding/reception – but who says they have to be baby-free at the event to do that? I think people make assumptions that parents NEED an evening away from the kids to enjoy themselves and I don’t think that is a call that anyone but the individual parents can make.
Post # 7
It’s very hard for breastfeeding mothers to be away from their infants for a long time, and pumping at the wedding would be awful for her. So, yes, I think it goods to make exceptions for breastfeeders.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I pretty much think she’s going to leave early either way — if you say no, to go feed the baby; if you say yes, because the party gets loud/late. If this is pretty much an adults only thing, I would just ask if she minded getting a sitter.
Post # 9
I would also make an exception for her. I nursed my children and it was extremely difficult to be away from them for more than a couple of hours at a time. If they don’t feed, your breasts fill up and will leak and hurt.
Post # 10
I know this probably won’t be a popular answer, but I’d kindly decline. You wish to have a baby free wedding, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As another poster said she should understand because those were her wishes at her own wedding. Maybe you can tell her something along the lines of you were hoping her & hubby could come & have a night out alone? Is there another room or something where the baby & babysitter could hang out so the mom can go & do her thing when she needs to?
Post # 11
My only caution is that you might run up against other folks that wanted to bring kids (babies), but didn’t because they weren’t invited. I think it’s always best to be across-the-board fair to everyone.
We weren’t sure how we felt about kids at our wedding, so we spoke with the 2 members of the bridal party that have small children to see what would make them most comfortable. We were considering 3 options: 1- Kid free-for-all at the wedding and reception, 2-Childcare available in a nearby location, 3-no kids. We were pretty open to any ideas.
Ultimately, both people decided they would prefer to come sans kids so that they could have a fun night out. That made it easy for us.
Post # 12
If she honestly offered to leave the baby home I say let her! She can’t get mad because she offered and if a baby at the wedding would make you feel awkward you should say so. She sounds like a very nice person but at the end of the day it is your special event. Plus, it may help save her the (maybe)embarassment of having to breastfeed her child during the nuptuals
Post # 13
I’m the mom of a 3 month old who refuses a bottle too. It’s really hard. Really hard. I think your friend will relax and enjoy herself MUCH more if she has the little one with her. And 4 month olds aren’t a handful. They eat, sleep and coo a little bit. If you are attentive to their needs they don’t cry much, and it sounds like your friend is already mindful of that being an issue.
If I couldn’t bring my bottle refuser to a wedding, I wouldn’t be able to go because I’d be SOOO anxious about her screaming the whole time I was gone!
Post # 14
I know that the children at a wedding issue is fairly controversial. However, I do feel like exceptions should be made for nursing mothers. Sure, she offered to leave the baby, but I doubt she’s really going to be able to relax and enjoy herself if she has to worry about pumping, whether her baby is hungry at home, etc. Obviously, it’s your wedding and you need to decide what’s best for you and your Fiance, but I don’t think that leaving the baby at home will transform her into a carefree wedding guest.
Post # 15
Can you meet her halfway? Ask her if she would mind leaving the baby with her parents or something for the ceremony (or supply a babysitter) but then let her have the baby at the reception?
Post # 16
we’re very conflicted about this too–at least 6 of our close friends will have children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years at the time of our wedding. two of these friends are groomsmen, and both will have to travel a couple hours to get to the wedding. we’re waffling between saying no to kids all together (and maybe helping all the parents arrange joint childcare?), or just caving and letting them all bring them at their own discretion. i think it has to be all or none though–you know that once you make one exception, everyone else is going to want one too.