Your baby is crying in church. You’re getting more than a few stares and whispers. Wow, that kid really has a set of lungs! Hard to believe someone so tiny and innocent could belt out something so offensive.
A crying baby in church can be trying for both parents and other parishioners. Sure, you could leave your child with a sitter, but it’s only an hour and hardly worth the trouble. What can you do?
Take care of all needs prior to church
Babies cry primarily because they need something. Sometimes figuring out what that something is comes from trial and error. Church is no place to deal with a fussy baby. Try to anticipate likely needs just before the start of mass. Feed, change and burp baby right before church. If you’re lucky the only sound you’ll hear from them is gentle snoring.
Be prepared for any issue
When you head for church, double check the diaper bag. Do you have everything you need to keep baby happy? Plenty of diapers and wipers? How about a pacifier? Quiet toys? Extra bottle? Change of clothes? Teething medication? Make the diaper bag a mini home away from home to help keep baby quiet in church.
Give your baby the keys to the car
What? Isn’t it a little too soon for that? I can’t count the number of times a set of car keys saved my kids from disturbing the general public. There’s just something about keys that put a smile on any baby’s face. Better yet, but them a colorful set of baby keys. Of course, they’ll probably prefer yours, but theirs will be more sanitary.
Play quiet games with baby
Nothing keeps a baby quieter than a little attention from Mom or Dad. How about a round of peek-a-boo or patty cakes? The worst that can happen is that your baby’s giggles draw attention away from the sermon. That’s alright. People go to church to put joy in their hearts. What could be more joyful than a laughing baby?
If all else fails, beat a hasty retreat
Fellow parishioners might tolerate a cute baby crying for a few minutes. If it goes on too long, you may be pushing the collection envelope. Some churches have a crying room for just this purpose. If not, one parent may have to sit things out in the car, where baby is free to wail to his hearts content.