Baby at funeral

(62 Posts)
nillynoon Thu 13-Dec-12 11:11:10

Not sure what to do. A close family relative passed away this week, and the funeral will be next week. I am ebf my 6 week old baby and haven't expressed or tried a bottle of ebm.

The funeral will be a couple of hours away, so a fair bit of travelling.

I want to go, but am worried about the logistics of it all, and whether taking such a young baby is correct etiquette. I could feasibly just attend the wake rather than the full church service and interment.

So not so much aibu, rather more looking for advice/other people's experiences of babies and funerals so I can plan what's going to be best for everyone involved

PessaryPam Thu 13-Dec-12 17:41:01

catgirl1976geesealaying YY I think babies make funerals less funereal if you get my drift. Less bleak.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 13-Dec-12 17:37:59

I'm another one that says, take your baby with you! I took DS when he was 6 months old to my father-in-law's funeral. He was a welcome distraction and of course lots of family members got to see him.

Take him and it will be fine!

HollyBerryBush Thu 13-Dec-12 17:32:53

People like babies - funerals are about the celebration of life - what better way then arminder that everyone lives on through the next generations genes?

Take the baby, everyone will want to see him/her and he/she will put a smile on everyones face.

WeWilsonAMerryChristmas Thu 13-Dec-12 16:54:15

In theory I think it's a lovely idea, but if you get upset it's likely the baby will get upset, and then you're going to have to get up and leave - while still being upset. I think that's very hard on you. Is your P going to be there with you? Maybe he could be in charge of baby-wrangling, or someone else has suggested a friend could step in.

Oh, and I cried a lot while at the funeral too. She was my gorgeous Nanna, and he is her first great-grandchild, and she never got to see him.

I recently took my baby (then 6 months old) to my Nanna's funeral. I sat at the back, so if I needed to escape quickly because of crying etc I could. One of the ladies showed me a room I could BF in if I wanted to.

I carried him in a sling, and retreated to the BF room a couple of times to feed. Then he fell asleep, and didn't wake up again until everyone was leaving. The service lasted about an hour. After that, we went to the wake, where he gobbled up most of the buffet. I did end up BF in the loo, and then in a quiet corner, because the pub where we were having the wake was full of blokes I didn't know, and he's not great at BF in public! Then he was passed around pretty much everyone in the pub till he fell asleep again!

nillynoon Thu 13-Dec-12 16:21:37

I'm likely to be quite tearful - haven't managed a conversation with my mum without tears since he was admitted to hospital last week.

drownangels Thu 13-Dec-12 16:12:28

How are you likely to be at the funeral though.
It's ok everyone saying sit at the back but it is a close relative. Are you likely to get upset and started crying a lot? I wouldn't want to be holding my baby if I was feeling too emotional and I wouldn't want to be sat at the back ready to leave at a close relatives funeral but with the rest of my family.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 13-Dec-12 16:11:27

I think it depends entirely on your relationship to the deceased and immediate family. My dad passed away a few months ago and someone brought a baby along and it screamed throughout my brother's eulogy. I couldn't hear what he was saying. I was so angry I wanted to stand up and tell them to get out. It was one of my dad's neighbours who was babysitting her grandkid. Totally not acceptable. On the other hand, my sister brought her 3 little ones because she needed them there to say goodbye to granddad (and so did my mum). They could have run riot if they wanted and it would have been fine. They were as good as gold though.

cowardlylionhere Thu 13-Dec-12 16:05:36

I can't see it being a problem. I took ds to my grandma's funeral when he was 9 weeks old and he was in a wrap sling and slept the whole time. A lot of people said it was nice to see a baby there. I think it'd be more difficult with toddlers or preschoolers, and I had to leave my older 2 dc with a friend to go to my grandad's funeral last year. Speaking of which, GordonsAlive, seeing your name on this thread did make me smile as my first thought was, err, no he's not...
Sorry for your loss OP. I sat right at the front with my family, but I made sure the funeral directors knew I had a pram with me too, they stashed it away at the back and just said to let myself out the side door if needs be.

dinkystinky Thu 13-Dec-12 16:00:14

FIL died when DS1 was 7 weeks old. DS1 was EBF. MIL wanted us all at the wedding for support - we stayed with her for a week while all was being organised, DS1 came to the service and the wake - he slept most of the time in his car seat and everyone was fine with him being there. If he got grotty, DH or I or MIL would take him for a walk/jiggle and I bf him as and when needed. We left the wake early as he was getting grizzly but DH stayed with MIL and SIL.

I think its fine - but would suggest checking with the family members hosting the funeral if its ok.

Librarina Thu 13-Dec-12 15:57:42

My nephew was only a few weeks old at my FIL's funeral, it was lovely having a little baby there to remind us that amidst the sadness there was new life, and FIL loved being a Granddad even though it was only for a short time and we were glad to be reminded of that.

I think be prepared to unobtrusively leave the service at the gristles and grumbles and possibly be prepared for lots of passing around of your baby as newborn cuddles can be very comforting.

Slightly on an aside, I went to a lot of funerals as a child when I was quite aware of what was going on (Grandparents and beloved Aunts and Uncles) and I think it is good for children to both say goodbye to people they loved too, and to learn about death and its rituals. However I was also taken to church weekly so knew how to behave in quite a formal environment which is possibly a hard thing to learn as a one off. I do think that attending funerals as a child made coping with the myriad of funerals I was faced with in my early 20s much less daunting.

complexnumber Thu 13-Dec-12 15:54:39

I went to a funeral of a very much loved cousin last year.

The church backed onto the primary school she went to as a young girl in the 1950's, I found it really moving and reassuring to hear the children play as we were saying our last farewells.

Teafairy Thu 13-Dec-12 15:45:27

I took my 5 week old EBF baby to my best friends funeral, it was fine. She was asleep for a lot of it and then just sat and looked around for the rest (apart from the enormous burp she did, that echoed around the church!!). I purposely sat at the back, near the door so I could make an exit if needs be, but luckily it didn't come to that. Everyone was fine with her being there and both my best friends Mum and BF said the burp was brilliant and my best friend would have been proud (really, she would). I think it's important to go and say goodbye, just be prepared to leave if the baby isn't happy or settled.

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Dec-12 15:39:22

I really don't like babies and young children at funerals tbh.

Welovecouscous Thu 13-Dec-12 15:28:15

I generally wouldn't take a small baby in to the funeral but would take them into the wake.

I recently went to a funeral where a two month old became very unsettled - there was a lot of disruption as baby was carried out. For my great uncles funeral DH looked after DS and DS then came to the wake.

BUT for very close family as in this case and with a tiny ebf baby I would take baby to the funeral and just leave if necessary.

reastie Thu 13-Dec-12 15:22:57

I would take the baby, but, like others have said, sit somewhere with a quick get away if they wake up and cry. At a family funereal a couple of years ago I'll never forget a distant relative to the deceased turned up with a just crawling baby and let her moan and crawl all over the church the whole time - she was wailing so much we couldn't hear half of the eulogy angry . I don't think there's any problem with babies at funerals as long as they are taken out when appropriate. We've taken DD as a baby to 3 funerals but DH took her out of one when she made a little noise and we sat at the back. Most people didn't even realise until afterwards that she was there! I think other people like to have children/babies at these things in general, especially afterwards - it gives them something happy to look at and concentrate on.

Ds3 7 months came to ds4s funeral, obviously it was different as my baby so my choice. I know that other people were glad he was there though. As it gave them something to focus on.

nillynoon Thu 13-Dec-12 14:45:02

I can't believe people would let their babies cry during a funeral service, there's just no excuse for it.

BlingBubbles Thu 13-Dec-12 13:56:18

Someone brought their baby to my MIL's funeral last year and then let her scream through out the last bit, it was absolutely awful and I had to stop my very distraught Dh from making a scene.... So if you take baby please leave if they start kicking up a fuss!

My son behaved himself at my mums funeral, slept all the way through, woke up for the wake and got a lot of positive attention. He only let out a little wimper, and no one noticed/was too bothered about it.
My aunt on the otherhand forgot to turn her mobile phone off, and got a rather loud text message in the middle of the reading. [Grin]

FryOneFatChristmasTurkey Thu 13-Dec-12 13:33:58

A few years ago I took mum to the funeral of a dear person, and had my 8 week old DS who was still EBF. Was poised ready to go outside in case, but he was fine and as others have said, a baby is often a nice distraction.

Previously DP and I took our then 11 mth old DD to his dad's funeral, and she sat happily and quietly on his knee throughout. His mum had wanted DD there, although DP's BIL had questioned her right to be there (MIL put him firmly into his place, it was what she wanted). My parents would have had her if it had been decided that she wasn't to go.

Pippinintherain Thu 13-Dec-12 13:25:56

Take him.

My DS attended 4 funerals before he was 5 months old.

I think a baby at an old person's funeral (of course provided you take them out if they grizzle) it rather lovely.

A baby at a baby's funeral is perhaps too cruel to the grieving family - but an old person's funeral, I think it's lovely actually.

MrsLyman Thu 13-Dec-12 13:13:46

DH's cousin brought her exbf baby to her Gramdad's funeral no one batted an eyelid. We also took our 18 month old DS to his great granny's funeral, he sat at the back with Great Aunt from otherwise of the family so they could take him out if required, everyone seemed to enjoy seeing him unless they were just being too polite to say.

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