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Wakes and funerals with baby in tow

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I wasn't sure where to post this, so feel free to move it. DH's grandmother is in hospice right now, so we are sadly planning funerals and wakes. Grandmother lives 2 hours from us, and when we have been going to see her, we noted that our 4 month old daughter seems to throw up for about two hours after we get there. I am thinking she gets carsick, as DH and I both did when we were little. (This will be important in a moment, I promise.)

The wake is going to be a long one - from 4-8pm. We are going to be staying in a hotel, so all our normal schedule things will be out the door. The funeral will be the following am at 9, followed by a 2.5 hour drive to the burial site. Then there is a gathering afterward out there, and then we will have a 5 hour ride home in the car.

Is there any way that I can improve this situation for my 4 mo old? I want to support DH, but that is a LONG time in the car for a little one who throws up after lesser drives. Plus, should I be at the wake the entire time? I BF her and there isn't really a place for me to do that there (DH checked.) I am comfortable going out to the car during daylight (this is in a city), but not at nighttime to nurse her.

Thanks for any ideas or insights. There isn't anyone near me here that I can really ask about this stuff.
post #2 of 6
Immediate family often stays at the wake the entire time, but clearly it's an exception if you have a small child that needs to nurse (or run around if a bit older). So it's probably doable to attend the wake but pop out to the car as needed to nurse. Or, just discreetly NIP if you're okay with that.

If you go to the wake, could you and DD stay at the hotel during the funeral and just send DH?

I think that babies are totally fine to bring to wakes and funerals in general (in fact in my experience they tend to be a help at wakes because they give people something to talk about/focus on other than just grieving), but if you can save your DD a long ride in the car it might be better for her.

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's grandmother.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
Immediate family often stays at the wake the entire time, but clearly it's an exception if you have a small child that needs to nurse (or run around if a bit older). So it's probably doable to attend the wake but pop out to the car as needed to nurse. Or, just discreetly NIP if you're okay with that.

If you go to the wake, could you and DD stay at the hotel during the funeral and just send DH?

I think that babies are totally fine to bring to wakes and funerals in general (in fact in my experience they tend to be a help at wakes because they give people something to talk about/focus on other than just grieving), but if you can save your DD a long ride in the car it might be better for her.

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's grandmother.
I'm sorry as well. This is certainly a difficult time for you and your family.

I agree with this poster. In many cultures, the entire family would be welcomed and expected at the wake and funeral. But, that is/was probably when ALL that traveling was out of the picture.

For me, if DH could get through it...I would stay home with DD. That's just a lot for such a tiny baby. Also, bad weather or an accident could make the journey even longer. You will be there in spirit. It might actually make it less stressful for him. So, he can focus on his family and his feelings.

Good luck. Best Wishes.
post #4 of 6
I'm so sorry about your husband's grandmother.

I would leave early and take a couple of breaks along the way. I'd send DH to the wake alone and have him tell the family that the baby is not feeling well. Then I'd take the baby and go with DH to the funeral.

If the baby really does get sick on the way there, is there any way you and DD can skip the burial? Either drive home and have someone bring your DH home later, or wait at the hotel (I assume that the burial site is in the opposite direction from where you'll be staying).

Funerals are so difficult, but I'm sure most people will understand if you don't attend every part of it with such a little baby.
post #5 of 6
I'm sorry you're facing this. Can you break up the ride into 30 min segments or travel at her naptime? I'd probably go to the wake for an hour or two then back to the hotel, and attend the funeral. IMO most funeral homes have a nice lounge in the ladies room that is a seperate room from the actual bathroom with couches or chairs that you could nurse in. If you had to go outside to nurse at night could your husband break away for 20 min and go with you? I don't think there is anything wrong with staying home if that's what you choose, and I don't think anyone would fault you for that with a young baby.
post #6 of 6
We just had my DH's grandfather's wake and funeral last week. I don't have a really little one currently, but I do have two noisey/rambunctious toddler/preschoolers. We all went to the wake, and the kids stayed 2 of the 4 hours, then I took them home to where we were staying (MIL's house) and got them in bed. For the funeral, I didn't even try to bring them. The service was in the same place as the wake, and it was a challenge to keep DS (almost 2 yrs) from constantly running in that room the day before--I saw no way he'd sit still for a service. Since I was staying home, DD stayed with us. We skipped the graveside (wet and muddy and DS is really hard to wrangle when he wants to go sit in a puddle), and met up with everyone at a restaurant after the graveside service to eat. I don't think anyone minded at all. I think people love seeing little ones at these sort of events, but not as much when they're shrieking in the back or the room. Since we'd have spent most of our time out of the room walking in the hall, I gave us all a break and just went to what I knew they could handle.
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