This post is all about what you need to know when it comes to baby at wedding.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
TAKING YOUR BABY TO A WEDDING
So you’ve got invited to a wedding. Yay, let’s party! But wait…you’ve got a little, squishy baby that wants to come with you. Now you start questioning whether you should go at all or how you can best prepare to make it work. Well, doubt yourself no further, keep on reading for my top tips.
Ok, first things first. It all depends on what kind of wedding you’re going to.
What’s the venue like? How many guests will be there? Is there a church ceremony or are you going straight to the party? Oh, there is no party, but a more quiet dinner instead?
You gotta take all those factors into account before deciding if you want to take your baby with you. If so, how can you best prepare? What should you pack?
We took our 4-month-old son to an Albanian wedding… two Albanian weddings actually. I am specifically pointing out that it was an Albanian wedding because let me tell you, it’s a whole different world!
Not only were the traditions and venues different from anything I’ve seen before, but mainly because weddings over there tend to be loud. I mean super, extra, +100dB loud. I know, not ideal for a baby! Fortunately, we were well prepared and also knew when to leave.
If you’re curious about Albanian wedding traditions, check out Wedded Wonderlands post “9 ALBANIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS THAT’LL HAVE YOU PARTYING ALL WEEK”
Sneak Peek: ” Weddings Last A Whole Week
That’s right. This isn’t a one-day affair with the party ending at midnight. Nacional Albania tells us the traditional Albanian wedding starts seven days before the actual ceremony. Think guests singing and dancing along and a “party that involves the whole village.” The bride’s celebrations are usually held on Wednesday or Saturday, and the groom the day after. Alaturka Cultural and Travel Portal says the future bride receives a gold coin as a sign of the engagement. The bride will receive gifts and sweets from participating guests followed by a second celebration at the groom’s house where sugar-coated almonds are exchanged. The wedding gown, dowry and groom’s gifts are also shown at some point during the week! ” – Wedded Wonderlands
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND
BEFORE TAKING BABY TO A WEDDING
Talk to the bride and groom first baby at wedding
To avoid any unnecessary confusion and awkwardness check in with the bride and groom first. Make sure they remember that you have a baby in the first place…and double-check if your baby’s welcome to come. Although, I don’t think it happens that often, however, I do know that, to some weddings, kids are not invited.
Look up the venue as well as the weather forecast
Knowing where the wedding will be taking place will help you tremendously in deciding what to pack and how to best prepare.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is it indoors or outdoors?
- What will the weather be like?
- Do I need a bouncer/rocker or will baby be in the stroller most of the time?
- If it’s indoors, will the AC be on and how does that influence what baby should wear or how many blankets I’ll pack
- If it’s a sunny day: should I pack an extra umbrella or sun-shield to put on the stroller? Maybe a mosquito net? A little fan?
- If you’re arriving by car: how far is the parking from the actual wedding spot? Will you be able to go to the car frequently to get whatever you need or is it better to have everything you might need with you at all times?
Think about how and where you will feed your baby baby at wedding
We all look forward to the wedding food, but let’s not forget that baby wants to eat too.
I can only speak about breastfeeding, as that’s what I have experience with. Hence, if you are breastfeeding as well, I highly encourage you to:
- wear a breastfeeding-friendly dress. You don’t want to wear one where you have to undress completely to get to your breasts or have someone always help you with a zipper, buttons, or whatnot.
- use bra pads (just in case, even if you don’t usually need to use them)
Trust me! I put just one bra pad in for the car ride to the wedding. Don’t ask me why. Actually, I will tell you why. My milk supply was well regulated, I didn’t have random letdowns anymore. We were in a rush, so I ended up putting just one pad in, I took the other one with me, thinking “I’ll just put this one in once we’re there”. Well, guess what… we got there, I’m about to get out of the car, I look down at my dress and well, there it is. Milk, a giant milk stain. A big circle on my breast of course plus to make it look more dramatic a big line running all the way down to my knee. I don’t know why it happened right then and why I didn’t feel it coming. All I can say is have a spare dress with you!
- So yes, pack a spare dress
You might also like: Taking A Road Trip With Baby: Top Tips + Packing List
You will have to manage the noise level for baby’s safety
This might be one of the biggest concerns for parents taking their baby to a wedding party. Especially when they know there will be loud music and an actual party going on. My best advice is to:
- Pack special baby earmuffs that will protect your child’s hearing
We got the ones from Banz and our baby didn’t mind wearing them at all, so I assume they were comfortable. They definitely seem to be. They come in various colors, either solid ones or with patterns.
- Download an app that measures decibel levels
I know this might sound a little over the top but I love my decibel app!
For me, it’s similar to having a thermometer with you at all times. If it feels like it’s getting warm somewhere you can check the room’s and baby’s temperature and know exactly if it’s ok for your baby or not. No guessing or overthinking needed.
The same goes for the noise level. Does it seem too loud? Check with your app and you’ll know for sure.
It’s said to “keep sounds around your baby quieter than 60 decibels” [source]. Knowing that, plus checking with your app will give you a pretty good idea if it’s safe for baby’s hearing, if baby needs earmuffs or if you should…well, leave.
Be flexible, drop your expectations
You just gotta see how it goes. As with so many things when it comes to life with baby, you just don’t know how things will turn out to be. So if you will have to leave early, because baby’s just not a fan of weddings. Be fine with it. If baby decides to take long naps and a family member can keep an eye on them, take advantage of that and go dance.
It’s one of the hardest yet most beautiful parts of having a baby in my opinion- that you just can’t force or control things, ever. You have to constantly be present, you have to be flexible.
Moreover, you just have to let go of expectations and of obsessing over how things went versus how you wanted them to go.
Sometimes you’ll get disappointed, other times you’ll be positively surprised. Just roll with it.
SUMMARY OF WHAT TO PACK:
x obviously, a well-stocked diaper bag; saline solution + sterile gauze (which I recommend always having in the diaper bag anyway, just in case)
x spare clothes for baby
x pacifier and toys (you know your baby best, take something to make them have a good time is all I’m saying)
x infrared thermometer + paracetamol (better safe than sorry)
x stroller and maybe a sling/rocker
x depending on the weather and location: extra sun-shield/mosquito net/extra blankets
x earmuffs for baby
x an app for your phone that measures sound intensity
x an extra dress for you
x comfortable shoes, since you might end up carrying baby a lot
x if breastfeeding: breastfeeding friendly dress(es), bra pads
As always, remember to do whatever feels right to YOU. You know your baby best, you know yourself best. I’m just here sharing my experience like I would with a friend. Not here to preach or pretend I have it all figured out. You got this mama!
Let’s get the party started!