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Babies/kids at funerals

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June 11th, 2010, 09:34 AM
*SamF*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Not really a spin off of the babyshower thread

Do you think it is appropriate to take babies/children to a funeral?
At what age is it appropriate?
Does it matter who's funeral?

My DH's aunt passed away yesterday. The funeral is Monday and will be graveside only. It's about and hour away from us.
DH asked his mother about us bringing DS (why he asked I'm not sure), and she said it's not an appropriate time to show off the baby, and we should just leave him at daycare.
I on the other hand see this as a family thing, and not in anyway an opportunity to 'show off' my son. Plus I hate leaving him at daycare when I'm not at work and I'm worried about having to rush back to pick him up on time. If the funeral was to take place on the weekend there wouldn't even be a question of him going with us, because they all know that I'm not comfortable leaving him with a babysitter yet (daycare is bad enough for me).
Although this funeral he will obviously have no clue whats going on, I do not plan on shielding him from funerals as he is growing up.

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June 11th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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I have taken my children to funerals, but not young ones to the funerals of other children. When BJ was 3 some friends of ours lost their 3 y/o son so obviously we didn't want to pour salt in the wound and take BJ. We have taken them to family member/adult funerals though, and last fall when another of BJ's and Cammie's friend's got killed in a hunting accident, BJ decided he wanted to go and Cammie didn't. (Cammie's 7, BJ at the time was 11, the same age as the boy that died.)
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June 11th, 2010, 09:54 AM
GinaB's Avatar Ex-Navy Lifetime NRA!
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I wouldn't take mine to a funeral, any funeral, just because I cry at all of them and would not want to upset my kids or scare them.

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June 11th, 2010, 10:02 AM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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I'm sorry to hear about your DHs Aunt passing

If you want to take your baby, that is up to you.

My SO's grandfather died when my son was 2 and we took him. I didn't want to, I thought he was too young but the entire family wanted him there. He made everyone cheer up a little bit. So all in all I'm glad I took him.
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June 11th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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I don't know, honestly.. I think it depends on the kid. I would take a quiet, calm baby to a funeral, but if my kid was colicky or sick, or likely to be screaming and causing a disruption, then I would leave them home.
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June 11th, 2010, 11:16 AM
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I'm sorry for your loose.

When my dad passed away in March I decided not to bring the girls. They're only were just too young to understand what was going on and it wasn't right to put them in the middle of it. They really didn't need to see me like that and I, my mother, and probably most of the family would not have been able to greave properly with them there for fear of scareing them.

I think its a personal thing and depends on the age of the children. I've been to funerals with very young children and its a distraction. Especially babies. They cry and scream, and older kids run around and its chaotic. I didn't want my dad's funeral to turn into that. My brothers and sister also felt that way and non of the little kids came.

I'm very happy with that choice for our family. I would say talk to them. If they're ok with kids being there then bring them if you feel they can handle it. If they don't want kids try to respect why they feel that way. Its not an easy place to be.
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June 11th, 2010, 11:22 AM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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I don't think it would be inappropriate for you to bring your son. He is still a very young baby and I think most would understand that you weren't bring him to "show him off" but rather because he is too young to be left behind.
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June 11th, 2010, 11:25 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm also sorry for your loss

When my grandfather passed away last Aug., I took my 16 year old but not my other kids. It was more or less for me though. That way, I did not have to "police" my children while trying to focus on other family matters so they stayed home with their dad. Another relative brought her baby though and she was pretty quiet for most of the service and when she did make a little noise, it was a welcome distraction for most of the family.
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June 11th, 2010, 12:37 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
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I have no issues with kids at funerals, as long as beforehand they are given the knowledge they need to be there and not just dumped into a situation they know nothing about. E.g. you'd tell them that people will be sad and probably crying, and that's OK - it's OK to feel sad and to show it; also to use their best manners and not be running around. I know my DD knows the difference between store/going out behavior and staying home behavior, and I'd remove her immediately from the funeral if she didn't act appropriately (quietly play with toys or read a book, or listen to the eulogy, etc). I don't think funerals are anything to shield kiddos from, but you can't just toss them in the situation without prepping first.
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June 11th, 2010, 12:38 PM
SamuelsMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm so sorry

I think it's a personal decision. My great grandma died when Sam was about 18 months. She loved him to pieces and it so happened that she passed while I was here visiting my family just me and Sam. We took him to the viewing and everyone loved seeing him etc. but when it was time for the funeral itself my dad (it was my mom's grandma) took him to the van and they hung out there during the brief service. He was at the age where he would not have sat still quietly so obviously we didn't want him to be a distraction or bother anyone. He also was much too young to understand. This last December DH's grandma passed away and we happened to be visiting his family in AZ at the time. We opted for me to stay at his parents house with the boys during the funeral and then they came a picked us up and took us to his aunt's house where the whole family was gathering. Extended family had flown in that we hadn't seen in awhile so this was a chance for everyone to be together and worked perfectly for them to see our boys and the other children without the distraction at the funeral. Honestly, Sam had seen her twice and Nolan only once so they didn't even really know her. If one of my parents died, I would have to think really hard about what to do because the boys are so close to them.

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June 11th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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I just reread the original post...

in all honesty if you've been told that he shouldn't be brought I really think you need to respect that. Its no longer your choice, but theirs. To not listen, imo, would be disrespectful of their feelings in this situation. If this was a case where your baby has never been away from you, or was BF and couldn't be without you, or there was no where for him to stay or someone to watch him then I would say explain that, but since he attends daycare normally, and they obviously know that, and he has a safe place and people to be with that he knows and really the only reason to bring him would be for you, not for him. You don't want to rush to get back, you don't feel comfortable while not working, although this is another situation daycare is good for (both mine went to daycare the Friday of the service for my dad, and then my MIL took then on the Saturday) For him it would be better/normal to stay at the daycare, after all he wont know whats going on, he didn't know this person, and you don't know what he'll do, he might end up being fussy or distracting and cause unneeded stress and resentments.

I understand why they don't want him there, and its not because they want to exclude you, or don't like him.

Last edited by KimberlyD0; June 11th, 2010 at 12:48 PM.
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June 11th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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The child is just as much a member of the family and has just as much right to be there as anyone else. Funerals are not members only or by invitation only.
BJ was 14 months when my great great aunt died, Timmy was a year and a half when my BIL died and I took them to the funerals. Why should they be exluded? They were loved by the person who passed away and deserve the opportunity to make sense of the situation for themselves.
I would be pretty offended if a family member told me not to bring my child to another family member's funeral.
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June 11th, 2010, 12:54 PM
blondie-lox's Avatar Do NOT feed the Troll
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December of 08 DF's grandmother died. DS was 4 months old. I took him to the funeral but not DD. DD was in school but DS was still EBF and I had no where else to leave him. MIL (who's mom died) was very thankful to have DS there because it was a nice distraction for her (she said this). Everyone loved having the baby there because it helped lighten the mood. Why do funerals have to be so sad, yes there is mourning but shouldn't it be a celebration of the person's life as well?

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June 11th, 2010, 01:16 PM
*SamF*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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OK- found out it was DH who started all of this.
He made the comment to his mother about leaving him at daycare, which turned into something totally different. Also there will be other children there. DS is very laid back and rarely fussy- usually only when he's very tired or sick.

So as of right now he's completely in the doghouse with me.

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June 11th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Mom2DyJessAva's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think family should be there no matter what age...your not trying to show off your baby your there because a loved one was lost...

my kids father died in 08..jessica was 2 months and dylan was 19 months..I wasnt trying to show off any of them but was there cause a loved one lost their life...they were the only babies there but everyone was soo focused on the funeral (so was i) that i didnt even realize if someone commented on how cute they looked

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June 11th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Kids and funerals.......Personally I wouldn't bring kids to a funeral just because there are so many people who are upset and crying that I think it could be hard on them especially if they were too young to understand what was going on.

In your situation if other kids are going and you feel comfortable go for it.
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June 11th, 2010, 02:38 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I didn't attend my first funeral until just before I turned 18.

My aunt's little girl however is 6 and has been to more funerals than I have. Her first was at just a few monts old, and was to 5 before she turned 2. The entire family went, only family baby sits.. so.. kid went too. She sat on my lap during my cousin's grandparents funeral, played with my hands and quietly asked questions to me about what was going on. She did not cause any sort of disturbance until she heard our cousin crying and then was frantic to reach her.
She behaved like a champ during my dad's funeral in March, even stood with her mother at the front of the curch infront of 150ppl while the Euligy was read.

I think it depends entirely on the child. You just need to be sensitive to the situation. You dont take a baby to a funeral for a child, that's just plain cruel.
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June 11th, 2010, 04:28 PM
MrsSarah1's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think it would greatly depend on the age of the child and the closeness of the relative. If it's a distant relative or someone that we werent that close to, then no, unless the children were much older. If it were a close family member, then absolutely. I think a toddler or young child might get closure out of the funeral.
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June 11th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
The child is just as much a member of the family and has just as much right to be there as anyone else. Funerals are not members only or by invitation only.
BJ was 14 months when my great great aunt died, Timmy was a year and a half when my BIL died and I took them to the funerals. Why should they be exluded? They were loved by the person who passed away and deserve the opportunity to make sense of the situation for themselves.
I would be pretty offended if a family member told me not to bring my child to another family member's funeral.

Normally I would agree, if this were an immidiate family member. When its not then I think its importent to respect the immidiate family of the one who had passed. They have the right to say no to children being there if they feel they would be a distraction. To disregard that request is disrepsectful. babies get no closure from a funeral since they wont understand whats happening, many young children would be the same (another reason we didn't bring my girls) A funeral is not the time or place to make a point.
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