Advice about going to church?

Courtney - posted on 05/13/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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My church doesn't have a quiet room, and i have a very loud and active 11 month old. He is also walking and screams if i keep him still...We were going to church every sunday morning when he was little and would just sleep on me but now we havent been in while. I really don't like missing church but what do I do about my little active one? I want him there so that he gets use to going every week. Can some one please give me some advice?

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Julie - posted on 05/13/2010

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I always brought quiet toys or books that would interest my children. Maybe a box of crayons that he can pull them out of the box and put back in. How about a cup of cheerios to munch on and some juice? Some books that he doesn't get to see at home -- flap books are good. Save the most interesting ones for church. Same thing with the toy -- something he doesn't get anywhere else. I know he's pretty young. When mine was that young, I tried, and each week I walked out in the middle of church. But "eventually", he learned to sit quietly and he's been doing it ever since. I still bring him book and pens and paper, he's 5. Yours will too -- don't give up. It's still fun to go to church even if you don't get to stay in there the whole time. You are seeing people, and hearing some of it, and atleast getting out.

Heather - posted on 05/13/2010

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My suggestion would to be to practice having quiet time at home. Do family worship and teach him how to sit quietly in your home, and then he will be more likely to carry it over at church. Make sure to call it worship, or something and then when you are at church use the same word to let him know it's quiet time.

Shirley - posted on 05/19/2010

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I agree that being loud and active is natural for a child this age. It's a sign that he's normal, mom! :)
I also agree that this should NOT be a reason not to go or to not bring him to church.
Both our girls (7 and 9) were each a challenge in their own right, and we were in churches that we loved that did not have nurseries at that time. What we did: Yes, we brought a quiet toy or two. We'd sit them on a blanket at our feet or next to us, or take turns holding them. If the baby got too loud, one of us would take the baby out of the sanctuary. We would hold them until they had calmed down. Then we'd return to the sanctuary. Sometimes, I felt embarrassed to have to exit the sanctuary a good three times during one message, and sometimes I felt like packing up and going home, and sometimes, I felt like crying, but I'm NOT regretful now of those hard months. (The youngest required months, the oldest did not. Probably b/c Dad deployed when the youngest was going through her loudest stage.) Now, I have young ladies who are wonderful examples and enjoy going to church because they know what is expected of them. They aren't fearful of any disciplining and aren't uncomfortable at all - and I'd like to think this is largely in part to those early hard months.

Oh, and we didn't bring them out to play. When we brought them out, we just held them. We talked to them while we held them. Told them where we were and why they shouldn't be acting that way at this time. Like I said, our church did not have a nursery, and I didn't want to encourage screaming by the reward of playtime with Mommy. :)

Hope this helps! It could be hard going, Mom, but like everything else with our darlings, it's worth it.

I encourage you to continue to worship with the Body of Christ.

Melinda - posted on 05/19/2010

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You should go to church and not let that be a reason not to go. Your child is an infant and this is normal for infants at this age. If it becomes too much than pray on it speak to your pastor and let the Holy Spirit lead you on what to do.

Cheryl - posted on 05/15/2010

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Definately bring a bag of surprises- some new toys, some favorites. This is a church only bag- not to be played with at any other times!!



You don't have a nursery or no one staffs it? Our nursery is not always staffed but there's a speaker so if I have to leave and go there, i can turn it on and hear the sermon still.



And with the age of the internet- there are tons of great churches that have internet broadcasts. If you choose to still stay home, try to find one you like!

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Cyndel - posted on 06/15/2010

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Can you walk at the back of the church with your son? perhaps bring soft quiet toys and books for him to look at and play with. And if not perhaps you and your husband can take turns with him out of the sanctuary.

Stephanie Jo - posted on 06/14/2010

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My pastor says he doesnt mind when children are loud. Children have to learn.Have you thought about asking about setting up a nursery or childrens church w/ vol.? Hope this helps.Oh, a few weeks ago, our pastor seen one of the young ones, he just turned 1.He says amen;same little boy told his papa that he do prayers over lunch, his papa was so proud and thankful to the good Lord. It moved us at church. Children are the next preachers, missionaries. Take him, he will be fine.

Mary - posted on 06/13/2010

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Maybe you need to find a church that does provide nursery services. If your church doesn't have one then maybe you need to switch churches.

Courtney - posted on 06/12/2010

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I just changed churches last year and am still learning a lot about it. THanks for all your help!! I will be trying many of the suggestions and maybe I can be the one to make the change! The church world is still very new to me. Growing up my family didn't take me to church. When I got married I wanted it to be in the church so I went to all the classes to get my communion and was going to church regularly. Then my schedule began to change at work and I was going any chance I could. When we had our son I switched to a church near by and was going until he became more active. His is awesome about bed time and going in his crib to go to sleep but when it comes to sleeping any where else for get it. he wont lay still and fall asleep in my arms, I tried that so I can go to the service that fell in his nap time. I will keep going and keep trying!!!

Diana - posted on 06/05/2010

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My husband is a youth minister, so I know full well that if you need something in a ministry, you often have to buck up and step up. Others will usually follow.

If your church HAS a nursery that just isn't staffed (or a room that could be used for one), you may be better off getting together some other moms (and dads!) and trading off. Two adults and maybe a junior high-aged child would be enough to have a nursery-slash-children's church.

Our church has two nursery rooms, but only one is staffed and used by more than BF mothers. For Sunday school, the two ladies in there also take care of the wee ones while teaching the preschoolers. My husband teaches kid's church during service, but he uses older kids to help him.

See if you can get some people to help YOU and there will soon be a ministry to benefit everyone!

If not, I would seriously suggest finding another church. Right now, you are not getting fed, and as your son gets older, it sounds like he won't be either unless someone is able to change things.

Sarah - posted on 05/26/2010

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This happened to us. We couldn't hear a thing in the hallway, and our baby was sick too often to stay in nursery. We couldn't find a way to make that church work, so we moved to another church (that was very similar) so that we could actually learn.

Evelyn - posted on 05/26/2010

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I am surprised that few people seem to have mentioned the possibility of finding another church. The bible says, "Let the little children come unto me, and hinder them not." Why should a child have to go against his nature to worship God? My church has two traditional services, with nursery and children's church, and one contemporary service. Most of the youth and many children attend this "louder" service. They can eat, drink, dance, sing, do whatever and be children without disturbing other churchgoers who prefer a quieter worship time. Our church also has children's folders at all three services, with coloring and activity pages relating to the current Sunday School curriculum, and crayons. If I was attending a non-child-friendly church, no matter how much I liked the minister or people there, I would change churches to find somewhere that my whole family was accepted, just as if I had a child with disabilities, I would change churches if mine wasn't wheelchair accessible. If you want your family to worship together, find a place that allows that. Hope that helps.

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

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Encourage him to be as noisy and disruptive as possible so your church will see the need for a creche ;o)

Jennifer - posted on 05/25/2010

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They just started a ministry for babies. There are only 3 babies so far, and it's working out well.

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I hope this helps If you have family worship everyday in your home he will be trained to sit for short times. Don't give up coming together for worship. Every week is portant He will learn from the routine. Quiet toys are good too. give him one at a time. stricker are fun, etc Jesus is coming soon so pray that God will help you or send someone to help you .. Jesus love you and your little boy God bless you both..EDA

Gina - posted on 05/22/2010

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I agree with Heather Hart; she has given a very good suggestion. I would also suggest bringing quiet type activities to church with you, such as coloring books and crayons, or any age appropriate quiet time toys or distraction devices.

Jan - posted on 05/21/2010

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Have you thought about volunteering to start a nursery? THere may be other moms that would be willing to help and even if you only had one other to rotate with you your child would have a play date on Sunday mornings and you would have every other Sunday to have a relaxed worship experience.
I see the suggestions for ways to keep a child in the service and these are good but I somethimes think it is important for them to be with children there age with are approptiate music and simple 2 to 3 word verses like God made me. God loves me. Etc and a 3 or 4 sentence story than trying to make them be quite in church service.

Yes, I teach children in my church.

Betsy - posted on 05/21/2010

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I attend a church that doesn't allow children under the age of 12 into the sanctuary. We have a nursery, sunday school and "overflow" room.

The reason they do not allow children under 12 is because the preaching is important learning that the adults must receive each week. It is a waste of time if everyone is distracted....and God WANTS us to hear His Word so that we can "teach the little ones" during the week.
I believe thats the way it should be, and I would go to another church or start a coop of moms for a nursery in your church.

Katie - posted on 05/21/2010

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Do they have a nursery where there are people to watch and play with little ones?

JaNae - posted on 05/20/2010

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I would talk to your Pastor about your issue. Tell him/her what's going on and see if they have any suggestions. Just because you may feel like he's an interruption doesn't always mean he/she is.

Krista - posted on 05/20/2010

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I have three girls 9,7, and 4. When they were little they hardly went to the nursery. I brought our worship bag of "goodies." Like other moms suggested things that they didn't normally see. Also I talked about what was going on in the worship service. If we were praying I would say let's pray. I would help them put their hands together. They wouldn't stay like that all the time but I was helping them participate in the service. If everyone stood up, they stood up (even if I was holding them). If it was time to sing..I would say we are going to sing to God now. With my youngest I tell her to sing "Jesus love me" if we are singing a song that she doesn't know. (which is usually most of the time.) If it is a time when scripture is being read..I would say let's listen to a bible story. If it is communion time..I would point to the bread when the pastor held up the bread..tell them that is Jesus' body. I would do the same thing with the wine. Jesus' blood. Afterwards I would say Jesus died on the cross for you. As they got older we would add people who Jesus died for. I involved them in the service ever possible moment. Yes even at 11 months. Hang in there. Sometimes I would get discouraged and think yea it would be just easier to stay home. But hang in there. You are doing a great job trying to pass on your faith to your son. The more your son is in worship the more he will get. Another thing we would do is say we are going to "worship" on Sunday, not we are going to church. As far as a nursery goes..our last church was small. We had volunteers for the nursery. If we had someone to volunteer then we had a nursery. If no one volunteered then there was no nursery. The pastor asked right after the children's sermon if there was a nursery. That is when someone would say I'll do it. I even prayed during worship, for help when we were having a hard day. Thank you for passing on your faith to your child. Faith is caught more than it is taught.

Jodie - posted on 05/20/2010

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I have attended the same church for just over 6 years and have a nearly 8yr old boy and a 4 1/2 yr old girl. My church does have a quiet room but they don't mind little ones crawling or running around during the service and are very understanding. I suggest you try and find another church that at least has a quiet or play room for little ones because alot of churches, in my opinion, aren't really suitable for little ones because they believe children should be seen and not heard which is wrong because God welcomes all children. I understand that during some services that there are lively times and quiet times but if a church has nowhere you can take your little boy then I suggest finding somewhere else, somewhere more welcoming to children. I live in Poole Dorset (UK) so if you live nearby then try our church. Hope my advice has been helpful and good luck.

Regenia - posted on 05/18/2010

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I believe in praying oil. I annoint my children before we go to church and ask God that when it's time to hear the word to calm my children down for me. It works everytime. My 6yr old falls asleep and my 3yr old colors,write, or look at a book. My 6yr old wakes up and tells me about the whole sermon. So just bc a child is sleep doesn't make them deaf to the word.

Julie - posted on 05/18/2010

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Feed him WELL before going to church and he'll probably have a hard time NOT sleeping during church -
Pracitce sitting still at home - possibly by reading to him or having him watch a video ...
YOU CAN DO IT! I was widowed with 3 little ones and taught them to sit; I didn't believe in sending them to the Nursery - they would sit and draw and eat Cheerios out of a little plastic up or lay their head on my lap...
DO NOT FEED him any sugar type cerals... Sundays OR any day - they merely hype a kid up!

Julie - posted on 05/18/2010

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Most (OK, many) churches have anursery for little ones specifically in the 1-4 year-old range--those children who aren't developmentally ready to sit still and be quiet for an hour while the adults worship. Some churches even have a "Children's Church" or Sunday School hour during adult worship hour. A simple call to your church's office to inquire about either of these possibilities would be a place to start. Or, if you don't get a call made during the week, when you go to church, simply find an usher--their job is to help parents like you find the resources you need! :-)



If nothing else, just go to church and do your best--our pastors would rather that you come as you are able than stay at home out of fear that others will judge you. Finally, just call the church and ask if there's a "quiet room" and if your church doesn't have one, start the conversation about getting one--maybe YOU can be the one who fills the need of many other parents fo young kids!!



But I encourage you to go to church--that's where I was able to find another support circle of parents whose kids were the same age as mine. In our isolated world, we need more communities of caring people in our lives!!! And honestly, I think that most people in church would be glad to have you & your toddler! :-) Good luck!

Tanya - posted on 05/18/2010

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There is no way I could keep my 15mo. old son in church for the whole service. I can't even imagine trying to teach him about quiet time at this age.
Fortunately my church has really loud worship at the beginning and we meet in a community centre so nobody cares if he is all over the place or making lots of noise. Then he goes out for nursery during the message. It works well. He has a bunch of little friends in the nursery and knows the people who take turns in there so he feels safe.

Jodie - posted on 05/17/2010

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Do you have a friend who doesnt go to church who could babysit for you? How sad that your church doesnt have a childrens program Hopefully they will eventually start one Or maybe you could help to!

Have you considered looking into other churches? You may be really connected there, but there are a lot of good churches out there Maybe a temporary change would be good until your son gets old enough to sit in church with you?

Denise - posted on 05/16/2010

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Keep him with you till he starts to be active, loud. If you have a nursery, take advantage of it and give him the opportunity to be with others his own age.

Does he have things he enjoys (ie,,,,tinky cars, paper and pen) allow him to have these things as long as he is quiet during the service. I believe children should be a part of the service as long as possible. It teaches them about Jesus and disappline. Where there is a will there is a way. Occupy his mind and you will be surprised what he will learn and you will injest.

Ruth - posted on 05/15/2010

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Well I think just keep going, the little one deffently needs too get used too it when Jack just turned two he would sing and dance during service, and you know it didnt really bug too many people.....Yes you might get some stares and looks from older members but they will get used too it, Also get the little one a Bible of there own, The Begginer Bible is a wonderful Bible....Ton's of colourful pictures....Also some times a crayon and scribble pad helps too ^__^

Nichica - posted on 05/15/2010

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I would start changing his naptime schedule to match the time that you go to church. That way he is sleeping during the service and starting to wake up during the time you are leaving. I don't know how your church is built, but you could also work with your Pastor about an infant ministry. As a pastor I look forward to people coming with suggestions because that provides me with someone to work it. :)

Tiffany - posted on 05/15/2010

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We're actually working on getting a "Family Nursery" set up at our church, to address those times when you just have to take a noisy squirmy one out. (They do have a nursery, but we choose not to put our Littles in there away from the family. Our older kids do go to their classes).

I've been blogging about this very thing: http://www.as-for-my-house.com/2009/09/c...

Mimi - posted on 05/15/2010

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Have you approached any other moms in your church in the same situation (if there are any)? Maybe you could ask them if they'd be willing to set up a rotation monthly where one or two of you take turns watching each other's kids so the other can attend church.
We had that issue in our very small church, and we (the other young moms) took it upon ourselves to redo the nursery (the one there was very old and sparsely equipped). That way, not only do you have a quiet room for your kids but for future families as well.
Also, my middle son would ALWAYS cry when we would first leave him, but usually after we left, he realizes that he was going to have fun!

Nicole - posted on 05/14/2010

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@ April
Glad to hear it. That sounds like such a wonderful environment for you and your children. I hope to find a church like that too. There's one that my husband and I really love, similar to what you described but it's a 45 minute drive but everyone is so sweet and lovely. Wish it were closer.

April - posted on 05/14/2010

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@ Nicole Kato That is one of the reason I felt right at home at this church! when someone goes out of their way to be nice to your child it is a hit right at your heart! :-)

Sheryl - posted on 05/14/2010

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i have the same issue with mine but mine has sensory processing dis. so it is really hard for him to set still at all. his always got to do something. if they have a nurser i would take them there if not maybe do lilke what i do is to where my husbend will watch him one time then the next time i watch him and he tills them that i am in the back and they well put it up over the income. and sometime some church family will come watch them for us. another idea is maybe have you go in the moring and him in the evening. there are ways around it. till they are old enough. have you try toys and coloring! i have but i have sat in the back just in case. best of luck!

Victoria - posted on 05/14/2010

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I have 3 daughters, we've been through this with all of them although we do have a nursery at our church for both infants and another for toddlers. We always used to take a few mess free snacks & a drink, a colouring book & crayons, a picture book and a couple of quiet toys with us to keep them occupied. They never used these during worship time, but once we went into the word we would let them be occupied with these things and try and keep them in the sanctuary until the older kids went to their classes. Now they are all in the classes, but keeping them in as long as possible proved beneficial for this transition.

Jennifer - posted on 05/14/2010

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I have a similar issue with mine, and we're expecting, so it's going to double for me soon, lol. I don't know if you are able to do this with your church, but for us, if we are unable to attend for some reason (out of town, sick, etc) we can attend service through interet. Our Rabbi (Messianic Rabbi) broadcastes on the internet, and that's how we found this congregation (www.BethGoyim.org for anyone interested). He also is very playful with the babies :o)

It is another option, if you can find a good service that is broadcasted. It's not the same as being there in person, but sometimes it's easier to get the message at home then in person with a very distracting blessing, lol. Maybe you can watch an online service with your child during the week as a teaching tool. Spiritual food for you, and good practice for the little one :o)

Nicole - posted on 05/13/2010

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@ April Antley
That sounds like a really sweet church. The preacher picks the child up, that is so sweet!

Donna - posted on 05/13/2010

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If your church has a nursery, that's always a great idea. I work in the one at my church and it's a great time for the children to play while their being taken care of and watched very carefully. It helps children to get into the routine of going to church, plus helps them learn that it is okay to be away from you for a little while. That will come in handy if you want to go out on a "date" with your husband or when he gets older and goes off to preschool.

Tammy - posted on 05/13/2010

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Practicing at home is a great idea. If the church has a nursery, it may take a couple weeks to get use to but they end up loving it, and if done well they will have song time and Bible time starting around 12 months. Also if there is not a nursery, getting to know other moms and taking turns with each others children help get you in to learn yourself.

April - posted on 05/13/2010

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The church I attend doesnt have a quiet room either, the babies can walk around if they like if they start crying women in the church will help or sometimes the preacher will come pick them up and hold them while he preaches. I go to a very small kid friendly church, we are now trying to start a nursery and a seperated childrens church for different ages, however, we are waiting on a building this may be something you can bring up in your church. Having a nursery at church would allow you to concentrate on the lords word.

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