I am not opposed to babies in the nursery during church services. In fact, I prefer it. But Laurel developed an aversion to the nursery several months ago. I’d keep her in the service as long as I could, and then take her to the nursery, let her cry for a minute, and then stayed in the nursery with her if she continued to cry.
Not everyone takes this route. I know many mothers who choose to let their babies cry in the nursery for the entire service, if necessary. Other mothers have a shorter tolerance level, but longer than mine. I have my reasons for not letting her cry in the nursery, but I was pleased today when I dropped her off and she didn’t cry at all. She let her diaper be changed without screaming. This is progress.
Bethel has started attending Sunday school instead of the nursery this year, since she turned three. It has taken about six weeks for her to go happily and participate in the class. She now enjoys going and can relate parts of the lesson.
The next transition we’re building up for is for David, since our nursery ends when he turns five. But actually, he doesn’t ask to go to the nursery often. I suspect seeing his friends in the church service makes a difference to him. I’m waiting to see evidence that he’s absorbing the service, but I’ve not yet seen much. It will come.
Barbara H. says
Your comment about not knowing how much David is absorbing from the service sparked a memory. When my oldest was little, the church we were in then only had nurseries up to age 2 mainly due to lack of space: they did expand the nursery and ages when the built a bigger building. But at this time Jeremy was 2 and in the service. We would let him draw and doodle on some paper during the message. At one point the pastor asked a rhetorical question during the sermon — and Jeremy answered out loud, much to the amusement of everyone around us. But I was struck by the fact that he was listening and absorbing something even at that age and while doing something else.
That’s a great story. Without question young children grasp more than we think (although sometimes less than we think). It will be fun when I start to see evidence of what is going on in their brains.