Jenny carrying baby Georgia outside a church

If you’re a new parent, taking your baby to church can be daunting. All the stuff you have to take with you. Not knowing how your baby will deal with a new environment. Now knowing how other people will react to a baby. What will you do if your baby screams for the whole service? Where can you feed your baby? Where can you change them?

I get it. I have a wonderful 4 1/2 month old daughter and we have been going to church together since she was 13 days old. So, I have some tips to share to help you with taking your baby to church!

These tips are purely based on my experience, so different things may work for you. But I hope these tips give you some encouragement, some confidence and some practical tips that might make taking your baby to church just a bit easier.

Why should you take your baby to church?

If taking your baby to church is so difficult, why do we even bother to do it? Why not just watch online church? Or just skip church altogether until your kids have grown up a bit?

But Christian community is so important. It’s a family of people who can encourage one another, teach and learn from one another, comfort one another, and point each other back to Jesus.

And especially when we are new parents. This family should be there to support you, both practically, emotionally and spiritually. Taking your baby to church, whilst challenging, will help you stay connected to this community. It will also get you into this habit early, to give your child the opportunity to be a part of this community too.

Tips for taking your baby to church

Get comfortable with the space

Feeling confident and comfortable in your church building or space, will really help you to feel prepared when taking your baby to church. Of course this is much easier if you have been attending the same church for a while. But if you are visiting a church for the first time, or are still quite new, do ask around to find out the information you need.

  • For me, for the churches I have attended, I have found it really useful to know:
  • Where I can change my baby? and are these facilities available during the service?
  • Where are the exits if I want to go outside for a little bit?
  • Are there any spaces where I can hear the service but can’t be heard if my baby is crying?
  • Where are the best places to feed my baby? (this one isn’t such an easy question – you may just need to try a few different places to work out what feels best and most comfortable to you).
  • Are there places in the church where I can have some space, but can still see and hear what is going on?

Obviously, different church buildings will differ massively as to the facilities and spaces that they provide. I have attended services in large cathedrals, a very small village church, a church held in a converted school building, and more. At each church the answers to the questions above have been different. I’ve also learnt my own preferences for where I like to sit, and how I like to feed my baby for example, over the past four months.

Recognise the good

It can be easy to focus on the negative changes associated with taking your baby to church. The bits of the service you miss. How distracted you are.

But what if we refocused our attention? Instead of thinking about all the hard things, what about the good? What about the things you are getting to do? What about the things you’re gaining from taking your baby to church?

Abbie, at @m.is.for.mama on Instagram has a saying: Hard is not the same as bad. And I think this is really true of taking your baby to church. Just because it’s harder, does not mean it’s worse. I have thoroughly enjoyed going to church with a baby, even if it’s a bit different.

So, try and recognise the good. The worship that you got to take part in. The people you got to spend time with. The parts of the sermon you got to hear (even if you missed other parts!). Even the time you spent walking around trying to get your baby to sleep.

Baby-wearing

Wearing baby Georgia in a wrap

Have you tried baby wearing? I love baby wearing pretty much anytime, but it has been especially useful for going to church. We first took baby Georgia to church aged 13 days old. We popped her in the wrap and she slept through the whole thing!

We have loved using wraps (particularly when she was first born) and our Ergo 360 carrier which is a more structured carrier and great for longer walks. We had the newborn insert for this so have been able to get lots of use out of it already. You can also get ring slings which I love the look of, but Georgia didn’t love them so much!

When taking your baby to church, baby-wearing can be so helpful. It helps to make sure you’re getting in those naps whilst you’re out and about. And saves your arms from having to hold a sleeping baby for the whole service! Of course, this won’t work for every baby but wraps were a great way to get Georgia to sleep when she was younger.

Utilise your community

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. When taking your baby to church, you are surrounded by a whole family of people. Hopefully, those are people that would be willing to help and support you and your baby. So use them!

For some weeks, when Georgia will younger, my husband had to work on Sundays and couldn’t come to church with us. On these weeks it was particularly important for us to lean on other people.

Use the people around you. Get them to hold your baby for a while to give you a break (it might be difficult to get them back again!). Ask someone to carry your bags for you if you need to move. Accept when someone offers to grab you a tea or coffee after the service.

Knowing that you can lean on other people can really help you to feel more confident about taking your baby to church.

Remember why you are there

Earlier in this blog, I mentioned the importance of church. But when you’re in the midst of a difficult morning, it can be easy to forget. Whether you’ve missed a big chunk of the service or are dealing with a very upset baby. It really helps to remember why you are doing any of this.

Remembering your why will remind you that it’s worth it.
Remembering your why will help you to keep going when it’s hard.
Remembering your why will keep you coming back next week.

Don’t expect the same every week

At this age, your baby is growing and developing every single week. It’s crazy just how much they change from one Sunday to the next. This can make taking your baby to church a wild game of trial and error every week (much like most of parenting a newborn!).

This can be really daunting, especially if you’ve had a really great week and think you’ve cracked it. Because if you do all the same things again next week, there’s no guarantee it’ll work again. In fact, next week is likely to be completely different.

But it can also be really reassuring. If you’ve had an awful week, you get to try again next week and it may well be 1000% better. So don’t let one bad week put you off!

If you’ve got this far, I just want to encourage you. You’re doing a great job! Taking your baby to church can be a daunting prospect but it is so worth it. I have loved taking my baby to church over the past 4 1/2 months. It has helped me to appreciate church is new ways. It’s helped me to grow in my relationships and my community. And I know it’s so good for Georgia to be a part of that church family and grow up surrounded by other Christians.

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