Christian moms - what do you like about your church nursery? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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DH and I are currently between churches, mostly because of the nurseries! I have to admit that I'm a little anal about where we leave our ds's. We were happy with our old church until we had children. Every week was miserable when ds wouldn't stop crying in the nursery and I was always called in. I didn't want him to be upset so I tried taking him into church with us for quite awhile. He got to be too busy so I tried the nursery again. This time I stayed to check it out more. There were all older ladies that seemed very frustrated and put off by crying babies. They were putting cheerios on the floor for babies to pick up and eat to occupy them, and feeding gummy bears to babies with no teeth. Sick kids were admitted and toys were shared amongst them. Anyone could come pick up any child, it seemed and there were way too many babies for the adults.
When I voiced my concerns and tried to offer to work I was told that they didn't want parents in with their kids and that childhood sickness was a normal part of raising kids.
I had had enough and was pushed beyond what I could take. So we left our church - the only church we'd known since getting married and now we're without. We want to find a new church, but need to know specific things to look for in a nursery.
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#2 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 12:15 AM
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I have been known to use the nursery on occasion. Dh even worked there for a while. We like : the name tags. Not paper ones but real ones that get pinned to the back of their shirts. They are paper animals with the child's name written on it and are laminated. Consistancy : the teachers are nearly always the same and when there is a "sub" it's always the same "sub". A limit on the number of children taken in : There is a cut off number and if you really want your child in the nursery then you better be there early! Routine : The kids always do the same things. Craft, snack, play dough, Veggie Tales. It's the same every week. Toddlers LOVE that! A sign in sheet : This is VERY important! The parent that drops off must pick up and the teacher must see this. We went to a church recently and I walked by the nursery. It was mass insanity! A million little kids, one teenage girl, no sign in sheet, no name tags, nothing! UGH!

Anyway, that's what we look for! Good luck on your search!
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#3 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 01:19 AM
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i definitely would not go to a church where they would not let me hang with my babe. we have spent the past five years mostly in the nursery with one or another of our kids. i think i would also look for a children's misitry that is flexible about moving the children up to the next level. for example, if they have a two-to-three year old class will they let you put your frustrated and bored child in the classroom six weeks before her birthday because she is ready, etc. they should not have the kids stay in the nursery until they are four or five or they will HATE it trust me. I ALWAYS stay with my baby either in the back of the sanctuary (which is a dollar theater) or in the nursery (rockin adn nursin). good luck and i am sorry you had to leave the church you loved. good riddance to the cheerios and gummi bears, and chaos.:
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#4 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 03:48 AM
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How awful!

Our nursery is right next door to the sanctuary. There are two young women and usually no more than 6 kids. They come fetch us right away or bring Bonnie to us if she is unhappy. Also the nursery is totally optional. No one minds normal kid noises during services (except Taize). My husband often hangs out in there for a while playing with the kids and no one seems to think a thing of it.
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#5 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 05:44 PM
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I guess I'm new to the idea of having a nursery for children during church services. Our church services are very family oriented and are full of children and babies. Nobody seems to mind the noises of children, although most parents take out a crying baby until he or she calms down. But even then, the lobby has speakers so you can still hear the service. For other meetings like Sunday School, there is a nursery available for babies 18 mos - 3 years, but parents are always welcome. Younger babies are just as welcome in classes as they are in the worship service.
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#6 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 08:43 PM
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Find a church where you can keep the little ones with you either in a seperate room with a speaker, the lobby, with a speaker, or a playroom with a speaker. You will find the families more child oriented in a church where they don't send them off to the nursery to cry. JMHO
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#7 of 12 Old 06-10-2003, 09:11 PM
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Our church runs the nursery for 1yr-3 yr olds as a parents coop; if your kid's in there, you sign up and spend a few Sundays in there instead of in the service. It was a great way for me to meet other parents, and a great way to get to know the kids.

We coordinate snacks, paper products, etc., and all the kids have name tags (on the backs of their shirts; you can't put them anywhere else on a toddler).
we are also located right next to the church sanctuary, so it's easy for moms or dads to check on the kids, and easy to find mom or dad if the babe is missing them too much. I think in a sense this is even more family frendly than a cry room, tho' I've experienced both.

But as an AP parent, this was the only way to go...and dd actuakly stayed there without me sometimes when the caregivers were her friends (she's always been picky about friends!)
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#8 of 12 Old 06-11-2003, 01:17 AM
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We have an old Catholic church with no nursery. There would be no place to put one. Of course we also have a priest who loves children (don't take that the wrong way: ) and isn't bothered at all by the noise that they make. The mass we attend is full of families and is loud as loud can be. However, when we attend the Saturday night mass (4:00pm) on occasion we stick out like a sore thumb. The dirty looks I get from the old ladies when one of my kids even whispers is like daggers. We try not to go to that mass much.

I have actually never belonged to a Catholic church that had a nursery. Kids are expected to be at the service.
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#9 of 12 Old 06-11-2003, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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It sounds like a lot of you have great churches who love kids! I have yet to find one as accepting as what you talk about, but inspires me to keep looking!

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#10 of 12 Old 06-11-2003, 10:27 AM
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I didn't use our church nursery because my babies and toddlers didn't want to be seperated. There was always some fussy baby/toddler, they gave the kids nasty sugarey snacks (usually sugary cereal, there were older babies/toddlers who were rough.

But OTOH, our church doesn't mind if we keep our children in the service.

I have always felt comfortible nursing there and our worship is lively enough that children aren't a problem. There was a period of time during the message when I would keep my crawling/toddling one in the back with a few toys but, again, no one gave me grief for this.

The nursery was for parents who wanted the nursery but no one got uppity or offended because I opted to keep my young children with me.

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#11 of 12 Old 06-11-2003, 05:25 PM
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In our church, it's similar to the "co-op" arrangement already described, except all members under age 50 are expected to serve in the nursery on an assigned date. (whether they have kids in nusery or not) Members over 50 don't have to, because sometimes they have health issues, etc.

There are no name tags, but the bags are labeled with the child's name.

It's a fairly small-medium church. Very family oriented, and kids age 3 and over are expected in the service, and if some noise happens, it happens. The parents deal with it, and things aren't loud or distracting. I have brought my baby into the service many times, in the sling. I take him to the nursery to feed him, just because it's more comfortable in the glider rockers provided for nursing moms!

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#12 of 12 Old 06-11-2003, 05:40 PM
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There are a few things I like about our nursery:

We have two paid attendants that rotate (plus a volunteer and 2 youth) so at least the head attendant is consistent and the kids know them.

There's a sign-in sheet at which time you get a vibrating pager. You can't get the kid back without the pager, LOL! I like the pager b/c you're not always in the sanctuary where the little number board thing is, so you can always be contacted.

We have a medium-sized church (300) so I basically know everybody, the kids, the attendants etc.

They do background checks on EVERYBODY dealing with kids, Sunday School teachers, nursery volunteers, teen ministry people, etc.

They have cubbies for the regulars and spots for visitors, so your kid's sippy, dipes, etc. is all the same place.

They will do cloth diapers!

That being said, dh usually drops her off, b/c if he does, she happily goes to play - if I do, she screams.

Of course, many people keep the kids with them in the service and it's never a problem to have kids in your adult classes with you.

There's also several rooms with rocking chairs for nursing mothers with little signs, "Do not know, nursing mother inside," LOL! I *really* appreciated these rooms when I was learning to breastfeed b/c I had nipple shields, had to hand express some milk to get started and then she nursed for over half an hour...not something I wanted to share with everybody (hand expressing especially). Once we got the hang of it, I had no prob NIP, nobody even blinks. Like one older lady said (who isn't a mother, BTW), "There's breastfeeding all over this church!" :LOL

Meghan, mom to 11yo, 8yo, and 3yo 

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