Getting to church can be kind of a mess with a baby. I was/am much more flexible on Sundays with Nova, but that's just because she's my second. I think it's hard to balance all of that with baby #1. I wanted to write out what we do with our kids when it comes to church. Maybe this will help some of you out there who feel like Sundays are just absolute chaos.
With Duke, we were back at church when he was 6 weeks old. I was nursing and he was still so young, so I obviously just kept him with me. He would fall asleep on the way to church, stay asleep in the service for a bit, and then wake to eat. With Nova, we brought her to church around 4 weeks and did the same thing.
This system worked for awhile, but then things got tricky. If the car ride didn't get them to sleep or if they couldn't stay asleep, that basically meant they'd miss an entire morning nap, which is rough on babies (especially Babywise babies who love their sleep)!
We needed a new plan. So, here's what worked for us from around 3-9 months of age:
7:30 a.m. Wake baby early and feed (8:00 a.m. is usually the start of our day)
9:00-9:15 a.m. Put baby down for nap (Obviously the waketime before this nap differs depending on age)
10:10 a.m. Wake baby (no feeding) and head to church (I always have everything in the car and ready to go)
10:25 a.m. Arrive at church
(Side note: Once you start taking advantage of the nursery, life gets a lot easier. Duke started going to the nursery at 6 months. I had a pumped bottle ready for them to feed and I knew that I'd miss that feeding every Sunday. I honestly can't remember pumping every Sunday to make up for that. I'm sure I did occasionally, but for the most part, I just skipped that feeding. Because I had to stop nursing/pumping with Nova at 2 months, we sent her to the nursery sooner - I think around 3-4 months. The first few weeks of dropping your baby off in the nursery can be hard, but it is so worth it.)
With this schedule, both of my babies took a bottle somewhere around 10:45-11:30 at church. (Obviously as they got older, the time got later.) There were a few occasions where they would fall asleep after the bottle, but mostly, they were up playing. After this, we head home, eat lunch, and do afternoon naps.
Eventually, with Duke, we let him wake at his normal time on Sunday and he'd do just fine to take a little nap in the nursery cribs during church. Nova is almost 9 months now and we have yet to try that out, but I have a feeling the day is coming soon where the timing of the cat nap at home just won't work before church.
In summary, don't skip out on church (or anything really important to you, for that matter) just because it may interrupt your daily routine. I am firm believer that keeping things scheduled and predicable is the best way to go, but allow yourself a little grace every once and a while. Kids will get used to the way you do things, and if Sundays are a bit different, they will get the hang of it!
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