View Full Version : Taking a new-born to a wedding

04-22-2003, 11:33 PM
Hi everyone,

My due date is in June and we have a wedding in the family approx three weeks later. MIL is assuming the baby will come to the wedding and all events (it's her daughter that's getting married) but I'm not sure that's the best thing. There will be several days of wedding events (it's a large Greek wedding) and the wedding itself will have around 700 people! DH has talked to her a bit (while I'm there) about how the baby's probably not going to be "attending" all events but her response is that the baby will need to get used to being around people because of our culture. My mom & dad, on the other hand, are against having baby come out with so many people so early. I think I'll eventually do what I think is best but just wanted to see if anyone out there had any opinion/suggestions on this matter. The baby's not even born yet and I already feel like MIL is trying to make important decisions without my input at all? It's hard because it's somewhat of a cultural thing - but I still don't want to put baby at risk for germs from 700 people at 3 weeks of age!

Thanks in advance for you advice

04-23-2003, 05:13 AM
Yikes. Cultural differences are hard--we're dealing with them here on many fronts.

We moved to Europe when DS was 6 weeks old, but that was out of necessity not choice. I would say three weeks--particularly since you don't know 1)exactly WHEN the baby will arrive 2) your condition at the time--might be pushing things a little. Also, the stimulation for both of you of days worth of events might be overkill. Perhaps you (or DH) can explain to your MIL that while the baby WILL of course get used to multitudes of people that it should come gradually? And amortized over a lifetime, that would work out at three weeks to exposure to about 6 people (just kidding!). So much of it will depend on both your and your baby's comfort level (from a purely physical standpoint), something you have no way of knowing before hand. I would suggest making no committments you have to live up to.

Then, of course, I was in a baby store the other day and saw a mom with a little one. When I asked how old the babe was, the mom said 12 HOURS. At 12 hours I don't think I had even crawled out of bed to go to the bathroom, never mind gone stroller shopping.

All depends on the person!

Paula, Mama to Dante 8/1/02

04-23-2003, 06:31 AM
This is a personal decision on your part, but if you wanted to take the baby, I wouldn't have any qualms doing so. If you are concerned about her being touched, wear your baby in a sling. It is much harder for people to be touchy feely with a baby in a sling.

We took Sarah to a wedding when she was about 8 weeks old (also my SILs wedding). I felt obligated since they had postponed the wedding a few weeks to accommodate my due date! But we had a great time. Now there is a great deal of difference between an 8 week old and a 3 week old. But I have to say, based on my personal experiences with a HIGHLY opinionated MIL, if she has her heart set on you and the baby being at that wedding, your DH talking to her isn't going to do a lot of good.

In the interests of family tranquility, I would plan to go. If you don't feel up to it at the time, then you can always beg off or only attend a couple events. And I would have NO qualms giving my MIL a huge list of things you NEED to have available to you at the wedding.

Good luck!

04-23-2003, 07:37 AM
My Dr. says not to have the baby out too much before six weeks old. So you can always use that as an excuse! She went out of her way to point out to absolutely stay clear of airports (for picking up and dropping off my mom) b/c of all of the people and variety of illnesses/germs that are there that the baby wouldn't normally be exposed to. It makes sense to me. At three weeks old your baby isn't going to have the strongest immune system yet and 700 people, yikes! As a sidenote, I have no idea what all the activities and events are, but I can't imagine that YOU will feel up to attending all of them b/w your own recovery and feeding a baby every 2-3 hours. I think it's very unrealistic for your MIL to expect you and your baby to be at everything. My advice is to blow her off and to do what you feel comfortable w/. I think most people at the events will understand why you aren't there or why you are only there for part of the time. Good luck!


Andrea S
04-23-2003, 08:03 AM
If the reception is at a hotel you could have someone babysit in the hotel room so you can go up and nurse and have somewhere to take the baby. A friend of mine did this when her baby was a few days olds.

I was in the group that did not take their babies in large crowds unitl after a month. If you do take the baby Beth's suggestion of using the sling sounds perfect.

mom to Andrew 8/14/02

04-23-2003, 09:51 AM
We took Colin to a big family reunion/wedding anniversary party when he was 6 weeks old. There were probably 300-400 people at the event and he did fine. So, it is possible to take a baby out around that many people and not have it get sick. This event was in the middle of July, so it was not cold season and that helped me feel comfortable about taking him to such a big event. But, I think the more important thing is your comfort level (not your MIL's :) ). Before he was born, I really wasn't sure how comfortable I would be taking him to the reunion, so we didn't commit to much of anything until it got closer to the event. All along my husband told people, "Well, we're hoping to come, but we'll see how things are going with the new baby." If you can, I'd try to wait to commit to anything until after the baby's born and you've had at least a week or two to get used to things. Hopefully by that time, MIL will be so swept up in the wedding, that she won't have time to worry about whether or not you're able to attend with the baby!

04-23-2003, 10:36 AM
I don't think the baby is going to be a problem as much as you are. My newborn would have been happy anywhere as long as I had him in a sling and nursed him when he wanted. However, three weeks and you might be up to it. I was getting faint around that time, called my OB and found out I had lost 40% of my blood volume during delivery, so they weren't suprised I was getting faint as I was doing more. I felt fine otherwise and was trying to do too much. My grandfather died the week after my son was born, I was going to travel for the funeral and my family freaked out on me and forbid my to travel. In retrospect I'm glad they did, it would have taken way too much out of me. I'd like to think my grandfather timed it so he knew his first great-grandchild was fine and then let go so I wouldn't be tempted to stress myself out. Breast feeding can be difficult still at that point, I don't know if you want to be doing it in front of 700 people. Then there is the unkown variables: baby overdue, c-section, high bilirubin. I don't think you MIL should expect you to be able to firmly commit ahead of time. Just my two cents.

Mother to Harvey

04-23-2003, 12:46 PM
Is this your first baby? First babies are notoriously late, so you could be looking at a less than 2 week old baby by wedding time.

You probably won't be up and around by then. How far do you have to travel to get to the wedding?

Jake age 12
Logan Elizabeth 3/25/03

04-23-2003, 12:56 PM
When we brought up the subject of when the baby would be ok in a crowd, our Doctor didn't set a specific time, but gave us this warning:

"If the baby get a fever over 100.5 before 2 months of age, it becomes a mandtory 48 hospital stay hooked up to IVs and running various test (including testing for menenjitus)."

You should check with your Doctor and then use the "The Doctor said..." excuse. Based on what our Doctor told us, we wouldn't take the baby to the wedding unless you can shelter him from the germs of the crowd.

04-23-2003, 01:00 PM
Wow - you might talk to your pediatrician after the baby is born and see what they say. If they believe it is a bad idea, then you can always to your MIL that the baby won't be attending all the events on the doctor's orders. Also, you might be too tired to attend all of the events.

04-23-2003, 04:01 PM
it sounds like the main issue here is a bullying MIL. you can be polite AND stand firm with a "we'd love to attend and are planning to. However, it will depend entirely on the health and well-being of how the mother and child are recuperating." don't let it stress you out -- you need to focus on YOU right now and not let this be a shadow hanging over what should be YOUR happy birth experience! it amazes me how otherwise normal people can become such a-holes when an "event" is involved. and how mothers a generation back were somehow ALL superhero martyrs in the tale-telling. :)

04-23-2003, 09:56 PM
Thanks to all of you veteran moms (in comparison to me, a first time to-be mom!) for your wonderful advice. I really appreciate everyone sharing their personal stories and opinions on the matter - it really helps esp. since I don't feel like I'm the only one who's faced this situation. I think that not committing to everything to advance is what I'll do. I didn't even think about my own recovery or if the baby would be late, etc. (naive first-time mom, I guess!). Also, the suggestion of getting a hotel room is a great one, too. Luckily, we don't have to travel to get to the wedding but we'll most likely be staying with my in-laws that week (which will make things a bit hairy for sure). Also, my mom does live near by so I guess that's always a safe escape if needed.

Well, thanks soooo much to everyone who replied - I feel much better and am much less stressed about it.

By the way - how long did it take you all to feel somewhat back to normal physically after delivery?

Thanks :)

04-24-2003, 02:37 AM
I can't even remember how long, maybe a week or two? I definitely don't think you would feel like having your newborn in such a huge and loving (read: wanting to hold/touch baby) environment that early. It's good for newborns to be out in fresh air, but not indoors with lots of people. Their immune systems can be very weak at first.

Is there anyway your Dh could go to 'represent' your family? We missed an important family event with our newborn, too. They get over it, it's not about you, it's about the newleyweds!

04-24-2003, 09:15 AM
This does'nt sound like its about the newlyweds, it sound like it about the MIL.

I also have a MIL who thinks its all about her. It is actually her motto, and I have heard her say, "I'm 53 and it all about me" I almost choked.

04-24-2003, 12:25 PM
It took awhile to settle into a routine here at home, I can't imagine being at someone else's house that early.

My days in the first 4 weeks consisted of sitting in the recliner, feeding the baby, holding her while she napped, changing her diaper and starting the cycle with feeding her again. Dad would change the diaper so I could go to the bathroom, and sometimes she would nap on him. As time went on, she would nap in the bassinette for a little while. Now, at 4.5 weeks, I can get an hour or two to do things while she naps some days.

I sure would not have wanted to be in an unfamiliar place during the early weeks. Also consider that your baby won't like her routine interrupted. My mother came to visit and we had the baby out shopping one day, and the next day all she wanted to do was nurse and sleep on me, I couldn't put her down for even a minute.

You will have to deal with a sore bottom, changing maxipads, worrying about bleeding on the chair you are sitting on (I used disposable waterproof pads under me for 2 weeks), incontinence (by the time I felt like I had to pee, it was too late), and generally being tired all the time. Not to mention that you might not have time to shower. I sure didn't want to be around people.

Jake age 12
Logan Elizabeth 3/25/03

04-25-2003, 10:14 AM
Wow - I am in a similar situation. My baby is due in mid-June and my closest friend's wedding is in mid-July, a little less than 4 weeks from my due date. I am a bridesmaid in her wedding, so will have lots of functions to attend. This is what we are doing:

I plan on starting to try to pump the week before (if breastfeeding is going well) so my parents (who are also attending the wedding) can take care of him while I'm at the rehearsal, the dinner, and the salon, etc.

We are staying at the hotel where the reception will take place. We plan on keeping him in the hotel room at all times with someone (alternating between me, DH, and my parents) and I will go up frequently to nurse. I don't want to bring him to a loud reception.

I plan on nursing him prior to the ceremony and afterward. DH will be taking care of him during the ceremony.

Of course, this assumes I deliver early or on-time and don't have any complications. My friend is well aware that I might not make it to the wedding at all if we have some bad circumstances. I am throwing her a shower this weekend so I can at least do something special for her in case things don't work out at the wedding.

Good luck!

04-25-2003, 03:49 PM
>I sure would not have wanted to be in an unfamiliar place
>during the early weeks. Also consider that your baby won't
>like her routine interrupted. My mother came to visit and
>we had the baby out shopping one day, and the next day all
>she wanted to do was nurse and sleep on me, I couldn't put
>her down for even a minute.

I don't know if that is necessarily true. I don't think babies even get into routines at that age. At 3-weeks-old, Nate was fine as long as he was with me -- and I was going stir-crazy at home, so I took him out a fair amount.

I think it really depends on your comfort level as a new mommy.

04-25-2003, 05:49 PM
Every baby is different and every mommy is different :)

She won't know how things are for her until her baby is here. All we can do is share our varied experiences.

Jake age 12
Logan Elizabeth 3/25/03

04-25-2003, 11:17 PM
Ihave not read all fo the posts but if it helps matters we took Tristan to a wedding when he was 4 weeks old ...and it involved a four hour drive up to VA and back another 4 in the same day and he did GREAT. You are at a disadvantage to that in that you really are not certain when the baby is coming so I suspect it could be even younger than 3 weeks. Tristan spent 3 of his first 5 week-ends traveling...twice to the DC area and once to the coast here in NC. He has had many people touch him (not reallys trangers) but friends...and this past week Steve and I have both batteled colds and to date (knock on wood) we have had no sign of any illness from Tristan. It's a hard decision I know...and your gut will tell you know matter what advice you get...you'll know!!!
Good luck and keep us posted!!! We look forward to you announcing the arrival of your baby!!!

05-01-2003, 11:05 AM
I feel your pain! I am due 5/25 in Chicago, and my only brother is getting married 6/14 in Buffalo, NY. We plan on attending the wedding. The plan right now, unless the Dr instructs differently (my OB says unless something is very wrong she doubts my ped will say I can not attend my only brother's wedding), is to drive (no germy planes) and attend the events without the baby. My in-laws are wonderful and will be helping with the baby. When needed (feedings, etc) they will be close by with the baby, but the baby will not be attending the events. My Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, BEST friend, closest family friends.... all live at least 8 hours away from us, so this will be their opportunity to see the baby since we are normally lucky to see them all 1-2 times a year. The rule is people can come to the baby, but the baby is not coming to the events. Maybe the baby will come to the church after the ceremony for pictures, but that is still up in the air. I don't want to take any fame away from my sister-in-law to be at the events, plus it has been firmly expressed that children are NOT invited to the reception (which is fine.) Do you have someone that could help you with the baby so you could attend the highly attended functions without the baby in tow?

I totallly plan on overpacking for the trip. The Pack N Play will be used, and I'll bring everything but the kitchen sink including a TON of hand sanitizer. Plenty of nurses and Dr's will be around if needed at the events, which is also a comfort. We'll be in a suite at a hotel, so if anyone things of things I should not forget please let me know.

I really stressed about this. The same week we found out we were expecting they after 2 years of being engaged announced a June wedding date. We did not share our news until we were 15 or so weeks pregnant, so I could not ask them to change a thing. We did gracefully remove ourselves from the wedding party and accepted another way of honoring them (reading the petitions.) Everyone has been so understanding which I needed in my emotional state.

I am confident that it will work out just fine for both of us. We have enough other things to worry about right now!

05-06-2003, 10:25 PM
You can always use the GREEK cultural excuse, the baby hasn't been home for 40 days and blessed by your priest. Greek weddings as you know are Kaotic, subjecting a poor infant to all the pinching and cooing by every grandmother and small child is cruel and unusual punishment. I agree with you. We are with you my dear!!STand your ground .
Peters mom

05-08-2003, 03:23 AM
this is such a GRRR i can't stand it. i want to call your MIL and give her a tongue lashing on your behalf.

my ped just said this -- for 8 weeks, nobody touches baby, except grandparents with washed hands, and AVOID at all costs, malls, airplanes, contained spaces with lots of people. ok, i think, yeah, i get it, but this i did not know -- he said if an infant that young gets a fever, it's an automatic several day stay in the hospital with a spinal tap -- which is avoidable trauma for baby and parents.

if she wants to make it a power struggle, you can just outflank her and appeal to that she would not want to endanger her dear grandchild (and remember, if the baby does get sick after going to the wedding, guess who she'll find a way to blame? you!) hearing that about the spinal tap had the obvious 'it's not worth the risk' effect on me, and hopefully it will have the same effect on her.

if you do feel up to attending (let's not forget about YOUR recovery!), the post about having people come to look but not touch the baby without having to take the baby to events makes the best sense.

best wishes. we are all thinking of you!

05-08-2003, 01:07 PM
Thanks again everyone - I definitely feel like I'm 'normal' for feeling this way. I was wondering if I was being an overly cautious first timer! I'm just going to stand my ground on what I feel is right at the time :)

Thank you all soooo much!!

05-17-2003, 02:20 AM
If you HAVE to go, first thing...don't stay at you MIL's house! The place is going to be a ZOO! Forget the hotel and stay at your mom's house! You will probably get in some good quality time with your mom and probably be pampered too! I wouldn't take the baby to the wedding, but I would consider some of the smaller events like the rehearsal, brides luncheon (if they even do that type of thing anymore), or even a special welcome baby event limited to immediate family only. Keep the appearances to a maximum of one hour and then blame it on fatigue! Yours, of course, dear baby is perfect! :)

My DD was born on 12/02/00 and though she was my first and born in the middle of cold and flu symptoms, we played pass the baby with her at her first Christmas. In our house, the rules for pass the baby include: Everyone washes their hands before getting the baby. No one with any cold symptoms gets within five feet of the baby! All kids only get to touch the baby's feet! (Make sure the feet are covered! Little kids don't know the difference and you never know where their hands have been!)

Good luck and when all else fails and his family drives you nuts, hang out with MOM!

mom to Katie (12/02/00)
and Jack (04/16/02)

Caitlins Mommy
05-17-2003, 07:16 AM
I really don't any new advice to offer you except to just follow your heart,and do what you think is best.I really am not sure if I'd actualy take the baby to the wedding with 700 people, becasue I'd be scared the baby would be exposed to germs and get a cold or something worse.I probably would take the baby to the rehersal dinner so close relatives could see the baby.And I'd definatly make sure that anyone that held the baby washed their hands first.

And I totaly agree with Rose.I would not stay at MILS house.See if you can't stay at your moms,or at some other relatives house that you know will pamper you and not try to presure you into taking the baby everywhere.

And if push comes to shove I'd just tell your MIL that this is your child,you know what is best,and to bad if she doesn't like it.Or if you are a person that doesn't like confrentation,and likes to keep the peace, you could have your pediatrition write a note saying that its not good for the baby to be exposed to so many people due to the fact the baby could catch someting and get really sick.

Good luck to you and hope you have a wonderfull time

Jennifer mommy to Caitlin Hope 9/28/96
Trying to give Caitlin a brother or sister