How To Survive Church With a Toddler

Every Sunday, we go to church as a family. We attend a pretty vibrant and loud church,

20190204_115850_00001137990843.pngwhich my daughter absolutely loves but then the preacher begins to prepare as the sermon is about to be given and that’s when all hell breaks loose. My daughter all of a sudden decides that the church is now too quiet and she must take charge and fix the solution.

Sometimes we get the sympathetic stares from others as we try to shh her into quietness. We give her the stare-down, you know, the “you-better-behave-yourself-and-shut-up” look we once suffered from our parents. We’ve tried to be diplomatic with our toddler, let’s just say that didn’t work. Eventually, we just ended up annoyed at our toddler, defeated as parents and embarrassed at our “failure” as church parents.

I spoke to a friend of mine who is also having the same issue as me. We would meet with restless toddlers in our hands, understanding each other’s struggle all the while sharing what we were going through as mothers. Another friend of mine altogether stopped going to church because her toddler wouldn’t stop making noise. I realized this was an all too common issue for not just myself but many church attending parents, so I prayed about it. Is there a way to make church enjoyable for the whole family?

Expect What You Get At Home

20190204_120146_00012006991538.pngMy toddler is a loud, exuberant, vibrant ball of energy. She loves to laugh, sing and dance. She’s always been that way. She loves to run, jump and make new friends. She’s super fun. To be honest, I should’ve known better than to expect her to instantly shut that down just because we entered a building. Come to think, that was silly on my part. She’s comfortable enough to be herself in a different environment and that’s great.  I’m just saying I got what I got. I have a loud kid. She’s a great kid, but she’s loud. I can’t expect her to be a completely different person because of where we are. And come to think of it I wouldn’t want her to.

Engage Them In Worship

This may be easier to do if you attend a church that practices worship in a musically loud way. I find that my worship expression takes on a different form when we worship together as opposed to letting her figure it out by herself. During worship we clap our hands, dance, shout, sing, sometimes we run. She’s involved in all of it. In fact, we even do this at home. So when she sees it at church it’s not foreign. She’ll say, “Amen and Hallelujah”. As of late, Jesus has been her favourite word to say. (I did not force it on her!) Bring the church experience down to her level, you may be surprised at how your perspective may change when it comes to the way you do church.

Entertainment is Your Friend

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Snacks, videos, colouring books whatever you need to keep them quiet, DO IT! Go all out. Does your kid love watching Peppa Pig? Then bring Peppa Pig to church. God can save Peppa. Does your baby love to eat animal crackers? Then let your baby become the ark the animals get on it during church (I know cheesy Sunday School joke, lol). Does your toddler enjoy colouring? Then let them creative in the sanctuary. You never know, you could be raising the next great artist. I mean the Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo in church, right? At the end of the day, church is meant to be enjoyed not dreaded.

Step Away When Necessary

Sometimes your little one needs a time out and that’s ok. Sometimes you need a time out and that’s ok too. Growing up, church used to last a good six hours. Yea…I’m not doing that to my baby girl. If that works for you, cool but be ready to take a break because your little one needs it. For us, the church service takes place during her nap time so we know that halfway through we’ll take her to the lobby and she’ll take her nap. Sometimes frequent breaks are necessary and that’s alright. At the end of day, we’re at church. We had a goal and the goal was to go to church as a family. Maybe your little one needs a snack, step away. Maybe your little one wants to fix the quietness of your church (like mine does every it’s time for the sermon), time to step away. Or, maybe your toddler is inspired to train for a marathon and the church space is the appealing ground for your toddler, (I don’t know, it’s the only logical idea that comes to mind), guess what? It’s time to step away. Don’t be afraid to step away with your little one and press the reset button.

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I hope that this is helpful. How do you keep your sanity with your toddler at church.

Make Bath Time Great!

Bath time is hands down our favourite activity in our household. Bath time is so much for her. She loves being in the water as long as it’s warm. She gets to splash it, gets wraps herself in it (or she tries) and we have our most interesting conversations during bath time. It’s mostly one sided because all I hear is gibberish and I can’t respond accordingly but you get the picture.

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She understands that bath time precedes bed time. She’s aware that in the next 30 minutes after bath time ends, bed time will follow and that’s ok. This is the time we get to spend together and it’s as much about her being clean as it is about us engaging together. This is our time and get to spend it together.

*FYI: Some of these items have been gifted but the opinions shared are mine nonetheless.

So this is how we do bath time in our house.

  1. Bubbles20190122_201534-011635871559.jpegMost babies and toddler have delicate skin to begin with. Winter doesn’t help. So we might as well cater to their needs and keep their skin baby soft.

Jonhson’s has recently relaunched their baby care line and their lavender bubble bath smells so good. The lavender smell is not overpowering, it’s faint like a whisper for your nose.

But this girl only cares about bubbles. She always wants to eat it too, I don’t know why. She loves to touch it and try to mold it. I think she’s just trying to make sense of this soft white foam that can’t seem to hold itself still. It’s quite fascinating to watch her with the bubbles.

2. Gentle Cleanser

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LaRoche Posay has a great skin care, especially for sensitive skin. Their Lipikar line has been a life saver for my baby girl. It’s fragrance free, super gentle and so creamy that it just feels like a satin glove on your skin. It lathers beautifully and keeps her skin from being dehydrated.

She loves to just put it on her skin by herself. In fact, lately she’s been asking me to do things by herself. She’s pretty good at wiping herself with the wash cloth too. My little girl is growing up (insert tear). Where does the time go?

3. Toys!

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Toys are always fun. We always incorporate some kind of toy with her at bath time. Some times we use the rings, sometimes it’s a cup and other times it’s a pitcher. A jug or juice pitcher that would otherwise be used to pour water on her.

Honestly, most kids do not need much to keep themselves entertained. I don’t even know why I bother buying toying when she’s more interested in a pitcher, a bag or a box as a form of entertainment but she is and that’s that.

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I hope these tips help. How do you keep bath time entertaining at your house? Let me know in the comments below.