Church Nursery

From the time Wyatt was two weeks old we've always taken him into the church service with us. Our church has a nursery available, but he was so little, there was no way I was putting him in there that young.

As he got older, we just kept taking him in with us, and generally he did pretty well - half the time he would fall asleep, and if he was hungry I would just take him into the nursing room and watch the sermon from there.

Here we are, with Wyatt almost ten months old, and he still hasn't been in the church nursery. In fact, he's never even been watched by anyone he doesn't know.

However, it really is getting to the point though where I think we need to consider putting him in the nursery during the service. It was fine when he was littler, but he's so active and talkative now, and he's too little to understand that he shouldn't babble during the service. Derek and my mom have been gently nudging me toward considering putting him in the church nursery.

I'm fighting it though.

See, I have this fear that my baby is going to be stolen. I've had this fear since Day One.

After all, he's so cute, who wouldn't want to steal him?

If I walk two feet away from the cart at the grocery store to grab something from the shelf, I am constantly looking back to make sure he's still there. It would just be too easy for someone to walk off with him when I'm not looking.

So to be completely honest, I have a little fear of leaving him in the nursery because what if some wacko comes into the church and steals him? These are the kinds of things that run through my mind.

They have a little card system for picking up kids, so I guess someone couldn't pretend to be his parent and steal him because they wouldn't have the proper card. And they have a security guard downstairs, so I suppose he could do something about it if someone was trying to forcibly steal a kid.

Still, I wish the security was a little stricter. Can't we lock the kids down and have photos of each parent for reference when the kids are picked up? I guess that would be a little more impractical.

I think it's time though. Derek can't keep sitting out in the hall with him for the entire sermon.

I'm not going to lie and say I'm not nervous about this, because I seriously am. I'll probably be one of those moms that leaves the service ten times to go peek at her kid through the glass and make sure he's okay.

And yes, I do have plans to stay in the nursery with him next week while he gets used to the place and gets to know the nursery workers. Probably the week after that too. And maybe even the week after that depending on how it goes.

This is one of those times when I just have to learn to loosen my grip, just a little bit, and trust God to watch over my boy.

Letting go stinks, and I don't like it (right now). But I will have to let go a little more with every year that passes, so I suppose I should get used to it.

This will be a great exercise for me in trusting the Lord, which is something I constantly have to practice with each new situation. I know He is worthy of my trust. Thank the Lord that He's patient with me, because I would have given up on me a long time ago.

Anyway, do you/have you left your baby in the church nursery?

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Lydia said...

We started taking Brynlee at 4 months- mostly because she would just talk as soon as the sermon started! It will be hard {it is always hard to leave your baby even when you know who he is with}. I will be praying for peace and comfort for you! I am sure he will have a blast and love getting to play with the other babies!

Jaime G. said...

I feel your pain. With Jax, I was more comfortable with the idea and I knew the ladies that worked in the nursery (they were actually friends) and the church had a two bab

Jaime G. said...

Weird. Typing from my phone so I'm not sure what happened.
Anyway. Our church had two babies for each volunteer rule which I was comfortable with. The chapel here has nothing of the sort and usually has one room with infants to 3 year olds! I can't imagine putting Eli in there. And there is basically no security, other than getting on base. Freaks me out!

Lauren said...

It's completely reasonable to be weary about leaving Wyatt with someone new. You will feel better to sit in there a time or 2 and be comfortable with the people there. Wyatt will do great!

chloƫ. said...

Do you guys go to a big church? We go to what I think is a big church (500 people), but the service we attend is less than 200 so the nursery workers know who all the parents are. But I'm the same way with Gideon, only not because of being afraid of being stolen, but because I've worked in the nursery and know how unsanitary it is! Kids put all the toys in their mouths and they never get cleaned. Not to give you further reason not to put him in, LOL. If there's one place that should be safe for your baby boy, it's church!

Brittney Galloway said...

Oh, I feel you friend. I have had to put my seemingly real, but in reality, paranoid ideas behind me so that I could exist in this world with my daughter.

My advice? Rejoice that you have a nursery available! Take the opportunity to have some wonderful worship time with Derek and trust that God is in control of the situation.

LeAnna said...

I understand this post, totally. I kept Sprig out in service with us until she was about 10 months, too. Let's just say it was much easier to transition her to nursery than it was with Q. He cried, and cried, and cried (we started him @ about a year) and I just couldn't do it. It didn't help that the church we go to doesn't let parents stay, and they encourage the "just drop them and leave, they'll be fine" mentality, which I just do.not.agree with! Needless to say, it took months, and he finally out grew it. Now our problem is that everytime we leave them in nursery, one of the two gets sick. EVERY time. It's so frustrating, we actually take a bit of a hiatus from church during cold and flu season, and watch services online. Obviously that's not for everyone, and obviously it's not like they can't get sick outside of church (because they do) but I find it so frustrating when parents don't keep their runny nosed kids home. Not only do the staff not appreciate whiping their snot, they share their germies with everyone else!

Re: kidnapping. I soooo know what you mean. I've had to pray through so many ocassions. My kids are both at the complete opposite end of the house, and I have battle that fear more often than I'd like to admit.

Amber said...

We started putting Eden in the nursery when she was about 4 months old. We know all the nursery workers, and it just got too hard I have her with me. I wasn't able to pay attention to the sermon. Plus, I knew it would be good for her to be away for us for a short time on a regular basis to help keep the separation anxiety at bay. She does great and she loves it. And the nursery workers always tell me she's their favorite baby because she's so happy and easy. I was a tad nervous the first time, but I don't think twice about it now. You'll get used to it. And I bet he'll be a lot happier being in there able to play with toys and fun things. And nobody will steal your baby. Don't let Satan have that power of fear. He wants you to freak out about that. But Wyatt is in god's hands at all times, and there's no better Place for him!

Emily Powell said...

we have been leaving her in the nursery since she was 6 weeks. They've never had a problem with her and she loves going! It's a win win! When I bring her in they smile and say, "Oh Georgia's here! Our favorite!"

Kara @ Just1Step said...

We started leaving Krew in the nursery right around 3 months I believe. He's always done well (despite a few tearful goodbyes), and the caretakers get attached to him. It's great to see him developing relationships with other adults and playing with other kids. I think you should go ahead and do will be good for Wyatt, and good for your relationship with the Lord because a) it will teach you to trust Him and b) it will allow you to focus on Him more during the service.

Nicole said...

Yes, it's time. We had the same issue with Marco, but gave up when he turned 7 months. Jonas was in by 2 months... even though he was a premie. First time parents are a little finicky... hence, your situation.
When choosing a church, I really evaluated the security system in place for the children. In the church we're at now, it's the best. We each had to take pics, and give finger prints. Then to sign them in, we have to scan our fingerprint, get stickers that have pics on them and a slip. Then to sign them out we have to do the same. It is Sooooo secure and it really gives me a peace of mind.
For your church, you should offer your cell # so they can text you if there's a problem. But really... just tear off that bandaid. Children are safe at church. Church volunteers are wonderful and they are in love with all the kiddos. Trust.

Sarah said...

Yes we do but we've been church searching so it's even scarier with a new church every week! My girl (5 months) likes to sleep during the loud music and wake up with tons of energy right when the message starts. Great timing (note the sarcasm). We have to use the nursery but I am always nervous about it for your reasons and more (cloth diapers scare others and they panic when they hear that she's wearing them).

Bridget said...

The first time we took Abbie was when she was 3 months. Of course I had already left her at daycare at this point so church nursery was easier to give into since I'd already gotten over the bigger hurdle of leaving her in someone elses care for the day. It actually kind of happened by accident. Every year my church has a conference that we all go to, and nursery workers from the church who hosts watch any babies who are currently nursing. They are very strict- check in cards, have to have your check in card to claim your baby etc so that never bothered me. Anyway when it got down to it, my level of anxiety of just constantly feeling like I had to care for her every moment of every single day, was so hard. My husband and I paid for a conference that I was hardly getting anything out of because I was so focused on making sure Abbie was taking care that I didn't have time to go and just bask in what God was teaching me and allow myself to be filled in order to be a better wife and mother. Somehow during that conference I finally let go and let her go to the nursery. My time with God and in fellowship with others from our church including my small group and my spouse was so much better from that moment on. To just let go and trust God that he would take care of my baby. I encourage you to do the same. Don't forget that they will let you know if your baby is upset (your churches system sounds like ours)...they put your # up on the screen and you can come get them if they are upset. Take some time out for you! It will take some time to adjust and you will cry a few tears...its ok! I think what was always the hardest thing to remember is that each time I've had to let go of my grip a little bit to trust God with how he is calling us to parent, it's always been way harder on me than it's ever been on Abbie. She loves the other kids, loves playing with them, loves other people, and even if I was staying at home full time I would need to make sure she still had that interaction with others cause keeping her away from it would be doing her a disservice in helping develop part of her already extroverted personality :) You know Wyatt best and you know yourself best. Trust God with what he is calling you to and I know he'll bless you through it!

Lori said...

I totally understand what you mean! I too have had that same fear! My mind always plays all the worst scenarios of every situation. I guess its the Mama's instinct! I started putting Savannah in our nursery when she was pretty young. It was hard on me to leave her, and it still is. BUT the ladies in our Nursery are so wonderful, they are all Mama's too! There are about 4 girls that are all 2 months apart and Savannah is one of them. Just recently she has started to love the playtime with the other little girls! I am so glad! The nursery workers always know to tell me all the details!! HA!! Good luck sweetie, and let me know how it goes!!!

Claire said...

I leave my kids in the nursery, but at first it was a really difficult thing for me too. I applaud you for wanting to stay in there with him for his first time, and even if you need to do that more than once, you should feel free. I also signed up to volunteer so I'm there once a month working anyway. The result of that has been that I know all the other people who work in the nursery because I've worked with them all at one point or another. So I trust them. And if there is one person who I may think is a little less on top of things than the others, I might choose that week to stay down or to keep my baby with me. But all that being said, don't undermine the importance of you being in church. I have felt so drained at times because I haven't been able to go to church because of not wanting to leave my kids in the nursery. At the end of it all, Wyatt will be so much better for having a mommy who is being fed on Sunday mornings.

Claire said...

oh and just to add to my comment because I saw something about this mentioned in another comment... I always specifically ask that the nursery workers not change my child's diapers. I ask that they always call me if my child needs to be changed. I also ask that they not try to calm my kids if they are crying. I like to know right away if they're upset. They have honored my requests.

Diana Hill said...

we started leaving Nathan in the church nursery at 2 months old. THe ladies who watched him were so sweet and loved on him. they were like extended grandma's!! HOwever, now that he has "graduated" to the big boy class, it is mostly paid staff in there. I am not to keen on this but, they do a good job watching/playing with him. Our church is big and we just don't have enough volunteers to cover all the kids. My favorite part is when we go to pick him up he gets so excited to see us!
The nursery staff is the same from week to week (even if they are hired) so they get ot know us and Nathan (what he likes and dislikes). I am sure they would never give him to anybody else! Also, NAthan would not act excited if some stranger came to pick him up!!
I also enjoy the break too. I like to fellowship with our Sunday school class without worrying if Nathan is getting into anyting or fussing. I think you will like it once you do it!
I hope it goes smoothly for you!

Meghan said...

I so get this! Dustin and I sat with Donovan in the hallway of our church and watched (but not really watched) the sermon on a big screen tv on the wall. We never got as much out of it. When D was about 6 months we finally put him in the nursery and it was so worth while. It's such an important thing for Dustin and I to really listen to the sermons together. You can do it Momma! Just one of those big mommy milestones. Know that we've all been there. :)

Mom of 12 said...

Some of mine have gone right in and others hate it. Just a personality thing, I think. I think the best answer is to just walk away. They might scream for a minute, but usually they stop quickly. I've worked in nursery before and that is usually the case. But it's hard to do! Good luck.

Sarah said...

Our church is very small (20-30 people, tops) and we have a nursing room in the back for children up to age 3. After age 3 they go to the children's room with the Pastor's wife during service. Matt and I take turns each weekend sitting in the room with Luke.

Our old church sounds similar to yours. We had a children's ministry center where you could drop kids of all ages off and they would go to the appropriate age rooms. They would get bracelet bands that matched the parents and then a number would flash up on the screen in the sanctuary if there were any problems going on with the child. Parents had to fill out forms about the child and who could pick them up, etc. before enrolling them in the ministry program. I got to know the volunteers and the head of the program, so I felt safe with the people, but I see your fear and would definitely pray on it and church is most likely the safest place to leave your child for an hour or two. God bless!

Felicia said...

I think I agree with all the rest of the commenters here - if there's one place that babies are safe, it should be church. I volunteer in our nursery, and we use the card system as well. And even though our church is massive, we still recognize parents. If some weirdo ever tried to take a baby, I think we would all go nutso on them!

It's okay to be nervous, but I think it will all be okay :) Plus Wyatt will have so much fun with the other kids and the volunteers! I definitely have my favorite kids, and they're all the ones with the happy dispositions (like Wyatt *wink wink*). I'll be praying for you that you will just be able to trust that nothing bad will happen to him.

Natalie said...

I am nervous for when this day comes for us as well. Callyn is still at the age though where she mostly sleeps through it, or is at least quiet/content so there really isn't a reason yet for me to take her to the nursery. We have already talked about when we will though, and it will be, like you said, when they're getting noisy enough to distract you. You should check out your church's security specifically and see what it's like. It might be better than you know. Our church just recently started requiring that people in the children's rooms attend our church for at least 6 months and have a background check before they can volunteer in there. They also got these pager things so a parent can be paged (it just vibrates) when their child needs changed, fed, is crying, etc. which I like...that way a stranger isn't changing her diaper. And they have you sign them in and out and put a nametag on the kid and only the parents, who have the pager, can pick the child up! You can always suggest other security measures like this or others to whoever is in charge of childcare at your church! I will pray that it will all be good for you. And I think it's great that you want to stay in there the first few weeks-then you can see what goes on and you and he can both be prepared and you can have peace of mind so you can enjoy the message-which is the whole point anyway!

Julie S. said...

This is going to make me sound like the absolute worst parent, but I have to comment.

I tried to leave Brayden in the church nursery, but he hated it. I would get called out of the service to go get him because he just wouldn't stop crying.

And we literally haven't been to church in MONTHS. I have such horrible guilt about it, and I told myself when he moved up to the 2's room that we would go- but then Kenley came, and she's little, blah blah blah.

Yes, they are excuses, I realize. But I just knew he would hate it. He doesn't ever get left with someone random, and I just couldn't do it. I am trying to work up the courage to go very, very soon. I miss church and I want that to be a part of my children's lives.

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