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WYOO Babies at funerals?(27 Posts)
As the title says really. It was a relatives funeral today, we weren't exactly close but still a relative whose funeral I would have attended if I didn't have DD (5 months) I didn't have childcare options and don't really believe in taking babies to funerals for some reason- it makes me a bit uneasy. Another of my relatives took their baby though, which I don't agree/ disagree with a she's the mum and it's her choice completely. I didn't attend the funeral but took DD to the wake and met everyone after they arrived back from the crematorium. I think it's very much an each to their own thing but it's made me really curious as to what other people's opinions are?
I took my then 9mo ds1 to my grandfathers funeral.
Mainly because he was still breastfeeding and I had to fly to NI from England for 3 days and I didn't want to leave him at home with DH and no milk. I did leave DD at home though, she was 2 and much more likely to play up during the service.
As it was ds1 slept in his sling through the service and all the old ladies loved playing with him during the wake.
It was a very large funeral though, over 200 people attended. (I'm from a very large Irish family)
I took my three month old to my grands funeral. She was breastfeeding. Two friends have just done similar. I don't see why not - the baby isn't going to realize what's going on and you don't get to attend if you don't take baby. I thought it was important to attend this funeral so dd had to come too.
I think you have to respect the wishes of the principal mourners
I have taken young children to funerals but we were the principal mourners
At the last one the funeral directors commented on how rare it was for people to bring their children (it was a cremation - not sure if that makes much difference)
I took DS to DH's DGM's funeral last year. He was about 4 months and slept throughout. We deliberately chose not to take DD as she's older (4) and we didn't think she would handle seeing others upset.
We also didn't take her to my Aunt's funeral last year, but would have happily taken DS (other family had him which made it easier).
Small baby is a yes from me, over six months and I would think twice as they're likely to disrupt. I'd definitely have them at the wake though.
I think it's nice, it brings a bit of light to an otherwise tough day. Although it's not really the place for toddlers running up and down the aisle and screaming. But I can't see why anyone would object to a quiet baby.
I think if DD didn't have as much of an ability to sense the most inappropriate times to kick off I maybe would have thought differently!! I don't know why I have it in my head that I didn't want her to go, like I said I didn't judge my other family member for taking her baby- I just felt really uneasy about it. I do tend to be over cautious though!! It's nice to hear other people's opinions on it!
Unless asked otherwise, I would have no hesitation about taking a babe in arms to a funeral.
It's the 'can't sit still' toddler years that I think might be excessively problematic. I'd definitely take a noisy child (of any age) straight out at the slightest hint of noise that would carry, or any other potentially intrusive behaviour.
I would take DC of any age to a wake.
I have taken my dd to a few funerals, always been by the back so I can leave if she gets upset. She is currently 17 months. I think it's important for children to go to funerals especially for close family members. Both my husband and I lost our mums when we were very young, and we both resent our fathers for not taking us to the funeral. I was 3, so I prob would not have remembered but feel as if I should have been there dh was 9 and was gutted he couldn't have that goodbye with his mum.
Children need to understand and grieve and see that it is ok to be sad and upset.
Why not? All part of the cycle of life and death. The babies at a funeral are often the genetic legacy of the person who has died too , somehow that seems right to me.
As long as it is a " normal" funeral- at the end of a life well lived , then the babies can lighten the atmosphere, remind everyone we are celebrating at the person lived and left the world a better placer than they found it after all ( though we are allowed to be sad that we miss them dreadfully of course!).
"difficult" funerals- traumatic/violent/child deaths maybe not but that's only a maybe for me- if the child is close enough to be included in a funeral party then maybe they have a " right" to be there? I dunno
Really wasn't expecting these answers to change my opinion but it has a little bit! I've only ever been to one funeral and it was a horrible experience, possibly because I didn't know what to do expect. Think you're all right in the sense that it should be more of a celebration of life and that all family should be included. Thanks ladies, it's been an eye opener!!
At my uncle's funeral a few years ago (pre-kids for me) all my cousins who attended brought their kids and it made for a better service. They weren't silent nor were they "naughty" but IMO children are a welcome reminder of the cycle of life, and (for want of a less crass way of saying this) that life goes on for the mourners despite the very sad occasion at hand.
If it makes any difference, we are a fairly close extended family of Irish origin.
We've always had kids at funerals, mainly because they've been family funerals.
When my DBro died, his funeral was attended by about 250 mourners, friends/family, people, like me, DH and DS1 were in the UK from overseas. DS1 was only 9 months at the time, I don't think it occurred to me to leave him, not least because anyone we could have left him with was at the funeral!
As it was my DMIL flew down from Edinburgh and looked after DS1 during the service so I could concentrate on my parents and sister-in-law. But my 7 year old DNiece was also there and she was very close to DBro. I think we come at it from a "more the merrier" view of mourning and gathering in our family. And God bless for my niece and baby boy, they lightened the darkest of days.
That being said, I wouldn't want to attend the funeral of a friend or acquaintance with my child, from the point of view that I would think my attendance is to support the family of the deceased, show my respects and remember them, none of which I'd be able to do effectively with my child in tow.
But if the primary mourners wanted babies and children in attendance then I would happily bring them. Anything to help them really.
And yes, children and babies are a wonderful reminder of the cycle of life. During the saddest points of DBro's funeral, hearing DS1 giggling at my niece was wonderful.
I'm glad this thread had appeared today. My grandma died early hours of this morning and I'm already wondering whether to take DS 10 months to the funeral. He's generally well behaved and my dh will be there so can take him out quickly if he starts creating. But most of all my grandma adored him and I'm sure she would have wanted him there.
My beautiful grandma died about an hour ago. I will take my 4 year old and 1 year old to the funeral but with DH on watch I think.
Oh archer what a cross post! My love to you all x
So sorry to those with losses
I'm also attending my grandmother's funeral tomorrow with my children, one a toddler, one a bit older. Some of my relatives are bringing their babies and children too. We will keep to the back and take it in turns to help look after the dc. My grandma loved the fact she had a huge family and lots of great grand children, it seems fitting.
I took DD2 to a funeral when she was a tiny newborn. She was born the day the person died - the mother of a very good friend, and in her 80s. He took her presence as a comfort - one light gone out, another lit in the world was what he said. We did ask beforehand whether he would be OK with it all as it was a very tiny and highly personal funeral.
She slept through it all. I still remember it as a very positive experience.
My daughter was 15 months when dad died and she was at the funeral. She sat in the buggy and was looked after by my mum (they'd been divorced years) and my MIL while I did the hard stuff. She was stellar.
It was such a delight to have her with me at a very hard time and she was a little ray of sun at the wake.
I took my 4 month old DD to my great aunts funeral last month.
She was nearly kidnapped by a legion of old ladies, who were very impressed with her frock - apparently babies don't get dressed much in frocks these days. As it was from mothercare, and not particularly hard to fink, I disagree.
On the whole, family would rather I was there with her, than didn't attend because of her, plus the great aunt adored babies.
Apparently she was a little ray of sunshine (I agree, but I am biased).
I took 5wk old DD to Gdads funeral. She cried throughout the service and stressed me out trying to calm her down. She was fine for the rest of the day and it helped my Mum to be a little distracted.
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