Scott and I have been praying for a while now that we would figure out how to keep Soren happy during church. I love to attend my church meetings but it is a lot less fulfilling when our son is screaming the whole time. It's hard for him to be there because he misses almost two naps in the course of the meetings. He is such a good eater, player, and sleeper at home but he hates the unfamiliar and restraining environment of church meetings. Soren is a spirited guy and he gets very vocal when people tell him what he can and can't do.
At first we rigged up a bottle with pureed baby slop in it and aligned his midday feeding with sacrament meeting, in an effort to keep his mouth plugged and us in our pews. However, we quickly realized that only keeps him content for a few minutes. Once he has downed the baby food and nursed, he remembers again how exhausted he is and begins to wail in earnest. Juggling him from gimmick to gimmick has ensured in the past that Scott and I do not get much out of any meetings and that we are more crazy than rejuvenated by the time the last hour ends. I'm not complaining, I hope. I have learned many valuable things from this tiring experience. I was just a little tired of learning patience. So every Saturday night we have prayed for inspiration or for a crazy fluke.
This last Sunday, our prayers were answered. It sounds like such a simple thing, but I am grateful for wheat puffs and the marvelous Sabbath experience they provided my family.
Wheat puffs: wheat :: Popcorn : corn. They are a simple food, whole grain, with lots of air that dissolve easily on contact with the mouth. Soren is old enough to start chewing little pieces of real food so wheat puffs enable him to enjoy a new and interesting texture without fear of choking. He rolls each tiny kernel around in his mouth for about a minute, greatly elongating the feeding process. So instead of giving him his daily dose of yogurt and oatmeal, we drew his midday feed out to fill the whole three-hour block. Each time he got a little cranky, we popped a wheat puff in his mouth. Then during the last hour, he nursed and nearly went to sleep!
We have been trying to teach him that there are other ways to find comfort besides eating but we've decided just to give up during church. He's learned that he doesn't need to eat all the time at home but since it is impossible for him to take the naps he so badly needs during church, a reliable form of comfort is desperately needed. I really feel that the Lord answered my prayers when I found that big bag of wheat puffs on sale at the store and decided to try them. I learned so much during church yesterday! I felt at peace again, able to contemplate and fellowship without being completely frazzled. I'm just so glad that we finally found a method of appeasement that works for our family.
You could be a further answer to my prayers by adding any of your own tricks and suggestions for keeping babies happy in church.