To The Mama With A Newborn In Church

July 5, 2017

You’re nervous, I know. Your baby is still unpredictable. Sometimes she sleeps for 2 hours, but sometimes it’s only 15 minutes and she wakes up screaming.

He went 3 hours without eating the other day, but other times, he’s hungry every 30 minutes. “I don’t want to feed him all during church,” you’ve said. You’re scared to feed with all those people around (“what if she pulls the blanket off?”), but you don’t want to be exiled to the nursery, either.

And on that note, there are so many people around. What if he gets sick? His immune system is still so new. Or what if her diaper leaks and I don’t realize it before it’s too late? Do I need to take a change of clothes for me, too?

What if he cries? What if she screams? Should I just leave him in the nursery? Will people judge me if I bring her into the sanctuary? How do I take care of a newborn in church?

Maybe we should just stay home.

To The Mama With A Newborn In Church

Whether it’s your first child or your eighth, you’re probably still nervous to take your newborn to church. There are so many unknowns. Trust me, I know.

We didn’t take Selah to church until she was 3 weeks old, and even then it was only because Caleb was showing his film and I needed to be there to support him. I was so nervous that she would wake up crying and everyone would turn and look at us, or that she would have a restless nursing session and I wouldn’t be able to hold her still.

But mama, trust me. Church is the safest place for you and your baby. Let me speak some encouragement to you.

Do what you need to do.

If you want to leave your baby in the nursery, do it. If you don’t feel comfortable with that and need to bring your baby into the sanctuary with you, do it. Do what you need to do.

This isn’t about the people next to you who have never put their child in the nursery, nor is about the ones who put their one-week old in there and never looked back. We liked having Selah with us in church, so she never went in the nursery, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Other babies have never been in “big church,” and there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you don’t get to decide what’s best for your family. Make the decision that works for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Unless I was feeding her, Caleb usually held Selah during church. Not only did he get extra baby cuddle time, but that gave me a little break (I love my Selah girl, but my arms get tired). Husbands are a great help during church.

If your husband isn’t available to help during church, I’d be willing to bet that there are lots of grandmas and moms of big kids that would be more than happy to hold your baby, even if it’s just for a few minutes before service so you can use the restroom.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need help, just ask. That’s what your church family is there for.

You are loved.

Your church family loves you. They loved you before baby, all throughout pregnancy, and they probably love you even more now. If your baby wakes up crying, they understand. Most of them have kids of their own, and they’ve been there. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t feel ashamed.

Babies are just that way, and nothing that your baby does is going to change how your church feels about you. If you feel better about getting up and leaving when she gets fussy, then do that, but just know that the people around you love you and support you no matter what.

Plus, little fusses don’t bother other people near as much as they bother mama. Keep that in mind. 😉

When did you first take your baby to church? Were you nervous? Do you have any tips for mamas who may be scared to take their newborn to church? Tell us in the comments!

More encouragement for mamas:

14 Verses To Overcome Mom Fear

A Daily Guide To Prayer For Moms

3 Life-Changing Books For The Christian Mom-To-Be


  • Katherine

    July 5, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for this great reminder. When my oldest was a baby I remember taking him out to the car to nurse and or being called to the nurse. I definitely appreciated my church family during those times!

  • Jordan

    July 5, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you for writing this!! I had such a hard time going back to church after my little girl was born and struggled with so much guilt. My husband was serving on a worship team and the church we were helping plant didn’t have a nursery. I’m so thankful for my husband’s mother and a few other ladies in the church who helped and supported me. Looking back, I wish I had talked to another mom about it so that I wouldn’t have felt so isolated.

  • Dani | Free Indeed

    July 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I struggled with being self conscious with my newborn at church at first – but I gradually learned how to nurse and care for her in that environment and recognized that it’s simply of a season of life. Love your encouragement – moms need to hear this!

  • LeNae

    July 5, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Great tips! It took us over 6 weeks to go back to church and it was hard. We hated missing, but we’re just too overwhelmed. Thanks for the tips I will use them with the next baby!

  • Elizabeth

    July 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Such good reminders and tips! Some churches have nursing rooms where you can listen to or watch the sermon, I always appreciate it when that’s an option! My son was a month or so old when we first took him to church, and I didn’t go for the first time until my husband was able to go too (he works a lot of Sundays). There were several Sundays after that where we just didn’t make it to church because my husband was working, we were still between churches, and I just couldn’t figure it all out. I imagine we might wait longer than a month with our next baby since they’re due during flu season, but I’ll definitely have some friends who can help with baby or my son if I need to use the bathroom. 😉

  • Halee Anthony

    July 5, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Great points! My husband is a pastor so he’s not able to help me during the sermon, but not matter what church we’ve been at we’ve had people who helped. They loved on me and my babies and watched my other kids when I had to take the baby out. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tiffany H.

    July 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Wow! I can’t tell you how thankful I am to find this. I really thought I might be the only one with this fear!

    I do have some bad experiences with my babies in church though. There are a handful who get very nervous and annoyed by baby noise, which I think you’ll always find no matter where you go, but there are several situations that really stick in my mind. With Baby Boy, when he was a little over a year and I was pregnant with his sister, him and I were at a church meeting regarding calling our new pastor. There was no nursery, they wanted all the members present and Daddy is a deacon, SS teacher/youth leader and head of the sound room so we’re always on our own. Baby Boy was tapping a pen on a coloring paper that was on a hymn book, while we sat farthest in the back and I was desperately trying to hear. Another, non-member, turned around from the front, scowled at me and hissed, “Would you stop that!?”. I was floored. He was making so little noise, there was no one to watch him or help me with him, and I needed to be informed to vote.

    After Baby Girl I waited 2-3 months before taking her (she was born in January), and first time back, during a transfer between me and Daddy she let out a few cries. Mind you we were in the FOYER, and Pastor was just going up to preach after a song. As we were moving away from the sanctuary and she had even stopped crying, said non-member was up out of her seat, slamming the doors to the sanctuary on us. If we were visitors, we never would’ve gone back.

    I’m going to write a post on it, but it never ceases to amaze me that it’s most always the older women WHO HAD BABIES OF THEIR OWN who freak out about little ones being little ones. Thankfully our Pastor is a young father himself and he always stresses how wonderful it is to have babies there.

    I’m so glad you have a church family to surround you with love like this! I hope it is true for many of the young mamas you’re going to reach with this post! <3

  • Kelly Daniel

    July 7, 2017 at 10:02 am

    What an awesome reminder to those struggling to get to church with a newborn or young child. Oftentimes people can feel rejected, even in church, because of the looks from other church-goers. These are great ideas and things to keep in mind!

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