This weekend, we took the plunge and attended my brother’s wedding with our three week old baby. A lot of people have anxieties over the thought of taking a newborn baby to a wedding and I had previously read a lot of scaremongering on forums and blogs in the build-up, with the predictable horror stories people love to recount.
We ended up having a fantastic day and although our little one made planning and logistics a little tricky at times, having her there made the day even more special! So, here are our tips for taking a newborn to a wedding:
- Pre-load your little one, if you can, with milk! I knew that the afternoon was the most important part of the day – with speeches and the ceremony and dinner – so tried to do an extra feed in the morning to keep her appetite at bay to an extent. If you can try to identify in advance moments in the day where your presence isn’t really needed (perhaps the post-ceremony drinks and canapes) that’ll be even better in terms of trying to fit in feeds when it’s convenient for you.
- At the ceremony, try to stick near the back in case you need to make a quick exit! Our little one slept through most of the ceremony in her car seat, but you just don’t know when a screaming session might begin!
- You might find that the evening disco isn’t as unachievable as you fear! Our little one fell asleep in the midst of the loud disco music and didn’t mind ‘dancing’ with us in our arms. In fact, as soon as we stepped outside for some fresh air, she woke up and started crying.
- Let others help you out. If your little one is happy being held by other people, let them have a cuddle for ten minutes whilst you hit the dance floor.
- Think carefully about taking your pram. A lot of wedding venues, especially traditional venues like castles, are not pram friendly. There might also be limited space in certain rooms e.g. the room where you’ll be eating dinner, to take a full pram, so think about – if you have this option – just using the car seat attachment on the pram rather than the full carry cot attachment.
- If the wedding venue offers accommodation, take advantage of this. Having a private base to retreat to for a feed, or a quiet five minutes with the little one, or to change a nappy without queueing for the baby change facilities, is priceless during a long wedding day.
- If things go wrong, don’t worry! If your feeding itinerary doesn’t go to plan, or you miss certain parts of the day that are important, it’ll be annoying but nobody will judge you; everyone understands the challenges you’re facing and will be supportive rather than resentful!