Rebecca Cox shares her tips around taking your baby to a wedding (because some people judge you when you say you’d rather leave your 3-month old at home so you can get drunk)
You’ve RSVP’d yes and your salmon en croute has been ordered, so backing out now would be really bad form; but your baby has just decided she’ll only sleep when swayed vigorously from side to side while you sing ‘Row Your Boat’ at full volume and feeds for roughly half an hour, every hour. So this should be fun.
Follow these tips and make it through the day alive…
A couple of days before, have a really good think about what you’ll need to have with you to cope with your little one. If they’ll only nap on the move in a pram, take the pram. If they’re happiest in a cosy sling, pack that cosy sling. If they’re sick every time they feed and fill nappies faster than you can say ‘not on the carpet’, pack dozens of nappies and millions of muslins, and several changes of clothes for you both. Pack up everything you’ll need the day before so you don’t have a last minute panic and forget something vital. Like, erm, the baby.
If there’s the option of staying overnight at the venue, consider treating yourself to a room on site. You’ll have a base where you can leave the millions of essentials you’ve packed, and somewhere comfortable to change, feed, put them down for a nap and, of course, slink off to bed at 8pm yourself. If it’s not realistic to stay over, see if anyone who is would be willing to let you use their room while they are not using it in the day. It’s a wedding – everyone’s feeling generous (/drunk).
Plan an escape route for each part of the day. Sit at the end of a pew in the church so you can leg it if baby starts wailing. Head to your table early and make sure your seat is at the edge of the room where there’s room for your pram and an easy route out. A little seat switching won’t hurt… When you arrive ask a member of staff straight away about changing facilities, ideal places to feed and any quiet rooms you might be able to make use of if baby isn’t playing ball – having a back-up plan will make you feel calmer and help the day run smoothly.
Whenever someone offers to help, say yes. This is pretty much one of the fundamental rules of surviving parenthood, and it’s no different at a wedding. Your baby will enjoy being passed round the table while you are able to eat your dinner with cutlery in both hands (heaven). Just take the little one back when you notice your fellow guests have emptied every bottle of table wine and demolished the bar tab…