Post # 1
I will try to keep this brief. We have been invited to a kid free destination wedding and need some advice on child care.
Wedding is in another European capital city about 2 -3 hour flight from London. It is there because it is the groom’s home town and the bride is half that nationality too.
Wedding is scheduled to be at 4pm and is on my brother’s 39th birthday. It is the day before my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary.
It is kid free and by the time we go we will have a 2.5 year old and a about 6 month old who will likely still be EBF. No exceptions being made for breastfed babies. There will be another baby there of around 3 months old. In the culture of this country likely to be breastfed too. Parents are relations of the groom so speak the local language as well as English.
Neither of us speak the local language.
So we are trying to work out what do with the kids and looking for some ideas. Options we have are;
Leave oldest at home wtih a set of grandparents, bring youngest and get a local baby sitter shared with the other couple. The bride has offered to help us find someone and I trust she will find someone trustworthy and known to her FI’s family. The babysitter might not speak English.
Take both and take a set a grandparents with us. My mum gets very worried about my dad flying (anxiety not based on any real risk, but he had a heart bypass a few years ago so she thinks he will get a thromobosis) if they come with we have offered to pay for a nice anniversary meal / hotel for them, but mum is worried about not seeing brother on his birthday (neither of us live at home so she doesn’t usually see us on the day but this one is a weekend…) Husband’s parents would be well up for the trip, but they have a VERY elderly dog who they cannot leave any more. It is possible that the dog will not be with us by next summer.
Take both kids and leave both with a local baby sitter. I am not too worried about leaving the baby with a sitter that doesn’t speak English, but the toddler I don’t think would like it and as they would have to do bath and bed time might be hard if he doesn’t understand what they are saying.
Leave oldest at home with grandparents and take a set of grandparents to watch the baby.
Don’t go – not an option.
So which would you do?
Post # 2
Honestly, I’d go with not going. Which you say isn’t an option. It just sounds like too much hassle to attend this wedding. However, if you’re insistent on going, bring both kids and leave with local babysitter or leave at home with grandparents with dog. As long as they’re ok with it. If not, go with local babysitter.bDon’t insist that either set of grandparents travel with you, especially the ones whose anniversary it will be. Nobody wants to babysit on their anniversary . You being hellbent to attend an inconvenient wedding should only inconvenience yourself. Don’t pass that on to other people.
Post # 3
Does you eldest child have experience of staying with grandparents? When I was young I loved staying with my grandparents for the occasional weekend so I’d probably have I’m stay with grandparents and a local sitter for the baby. But if he’s never stayed with them before, maybe have him stay for a night sometime between now and then so it’s not completely new.
Post # 4
<u>sensoda :</u> He hasn’t stayed overnight on his own with them yet, but the ones with the dog look after his twice a week while I am at work so he knows them super well. He will be having a sleepover at theirs soon as a trial run for if I have baby 2 at night again.
oceangirl40 : We’re def going. The bride is a really good friend and although she lives in London her family are in North America and due to finances aren’t likely to attend. I feel as we are close by we should make the effort. Plus I LOVE weddings, I have never been to this city or country and love to see wedding traditions from other cultures.
My preferred option is to leave oldest here and use the local baby sitter. Hubby doesn’t like it though as he doesn’t want oldest to miss out on a trip.
Post # 5
we also had a kid free wedding. i had 2 nursing mamas. one was local, one from out of town. they both used the out of town’s girls hotel room to pump when needed.
if it is not too much hassle, i would make a little vacation out of it, take both kids. if you don’t want to leave your toddler with a local babysitter, do you have a neice or cousin you could take with you to be the babysitter?
it is also not difficult to fly with breast milk. i’m in a spectra support fb group and a local breast feeding mamas fb group. lots of discusions on traveling while pumping and bringing milk through security.
Post # 6
What is your relationship to the bride and groom?
Honestly, I would skip it. Not going is always an option…You just don’t like that option. I’m not a big “celebrate on the day” person, but unless the bride and groom are one of your siblings, parents, or BFF who is also your blood type and willing to give you a kidney if needed…then to me sibling birthday plus parents 40th anniversary (which if they have no plans I would probably be in the midst of planning a party for them) trumps hassle of a destination wedding where my two young children are unwelcome.
You are always free to vacation in said country at any time of your choosing that is far more convenient. The same is true for visiting your friend and celebrating her wedding, such as taking them out to dinner when you are able to visit under far more convenient circumstances.
Post # 7
I think I would also skip.
Maybe I’m overprotective, but I wouldn’t leave my 6 month old with someone Ive never met, especially if I didn’t feel that I could fully communicate with them.
I’m all for child free weddings (I had one!) but I would have made an exception for an EBF baby coming from another country.
Post # 8
ajillity81 : No issue with flying and breastfeeding – I breastfed my son and flew with him at the time too. I won’t do much in the way of expressing but as it will be only 3 feeds I will miss I can live with formula feeds for that (as long as this one doesn’t have CMPA like my son) and as baby will be around 6 months I won’t need to express all those feeds.
annabananabee : I am not hugely close to my brother so beyond a card and gift I have no other plans for his birthday. In our family as well we don’t celebrate our parent’s anniversary. When we were younger we would have our family summer holiday around then and do something for both events on the same day. My parents wouldn’t want a party its not their style. Now a days they usually go away for their anniversary (theyby also missing brother’s birthday) Like I said, if they came with us we would pay for a really nice meal and hotel stay for them (away from the kids) and it is a country I know my Dad would like to see.
But yeah – we are going to the wedding. I have only declined 2 weddings in my life (one was on the same day as my cousins and the other was in Australia just after I had given birth and I would not have had time to sort a passport and visa for the baby)
Post # 9
lynniestar : I had slightly expected that there would be an exception for a baby but when speaking to my friend she said that in this country weddings are usually adult only affairs and that the cousin with the 3 month old was already making plans to not have them there.
With my first I would have been HELL NO with leaving the baby with a local baby sitter I didn’t know…. but this time I am thinking that if my friend and her FIs family recommend someone then sure it will be OK. Especially as we will share them with the other baby and their parents speak the language.
Post # 10
Twizbe : not to sound shocked, but one babysitter will have a six month old baby AND a three month old baby in their care?
ETA:I’m sure there are a lot of people who can handle that. It just makes me nervous, I had a very traumatic experience with a babysitter as a child, so I’m probably not a good judge.
Post # 11
Honestly if I was a parent in your situation I wouldn’t go. I know people have child free weddings and that’s a thing, put people who do that have to accept some parents can’t attend it’s too complicated. Especially if it means travelling, If she really wanted you there I think she should be the ones making concessions to make it less complicated for you to attend to be honest. It’s not your fault her family can’t go, and that doesn’t make you obligated to go.
Personally, I’m adapting my wedding so that my best friends with children can attend. Because having my loved ones there is more important to me than a quiet ceremony. I’ve even told one of my bridesmaids whose youngest will be a toddler by the time we get married, if he needs to be with his mom for whatever reason, she’s can bring him down the aisle with us, or go to him half way through the ceremony. Whatever helps her out.
However if you really must go, I definitely would not be leaving a baby with a foreign babysitter in a foreign country who doesn’t speak English. I think if a set of grandparents are happy to go, take them and both children they can look after both children while you are at the wedding.
Post # 12
lynniestar : That isn’t too crazy – at my son’s nursery the baby room ratio is 1:2 Plus by that point baby will be going to bed at 7pm so they will only have to deal with an awake baby between 4 and 7.
michelleh0686 : I am 100% OK with kid free weddings and I have to say as a parent I prefer them. Next summer we are also going to my cousin’s wedding and both kids are invited to that. Which is lovely of her, but it will mean we have to leave about 6pm and won’t get to fully enjoy the day. I am slightly hoping my other cousins are bringing all their kids not least because the oldest is a real little mum and would love to play with an entertain our toddler.
It would be nice if some grandparents came then we would make it a bit more of a holiday and spend a week exploring the whole region. If we leave oldest at home we would only go Fri to Sun.
Post # 13
Twizbe : When my daughter was 4 months old we traveled to a kid-free wedding that also didn’t make exceptions for breastfed babies. I brought my mom along to babysit at the hotel and hand pumped in the bathroom at the reception. It’s a good thing I didn’t leave her longer – that weekend she decided she no longer would accept a bottle and went on a 7 hour hunger struck for my mom. I got back to the hotel and my mom jumped up and said “take your shirt off now this kid hasn’t eaten and is a nightmare!”.
ETA: you said it would be 3 feeds at first, but now you said Friday-Sunday. 6 month old babies still nurse or take a bottle anywhere from 4-8 times a day (and I know some kids that were still at 12 and overnight. Poor mommas).
Post # 14
We had a kid free wedding- no exceptions. Several of our very close out of town friends had children ranging from 3-6 mos- 2 years who came to town. We set them up with a team of sitters, and the moms who were EBF just went back and forth as they needed (it was a short streetcar ride from the hotels to the reception site). No one seemed to be really worked up about it, and I think everyone actually enjoyed a little “kid free” time.
So, I’d say if you’re comfortable with your friend finding a babysitter for you, either bring both or bring the youngest and leave the oldest behind.
Sounds like fun! Enjoy.
Post # 15
Wow, this would be a pain in the neck, and very costly. I don’t understand why you are so adamant about going – people decline weddings all the time for various reasons and there is nothing wrong with that.
I wouldn’t go, bee.
But if I did go, I would also make a family trip out of it. Pay for a family friend to come and watch the children in the hotel while you are at the wedding.