Top Tips for Leaving Baby for the First Time
Posted on September 30 2021
The first time you spend an afternoon, night or weekend away from your baby can be anxiety-inducing and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be! Because this valuable time should give you the space to unwind and relax, taking what is a much-needed break from the stressors of parenting.
When it comes time to leave baby, you’ll want to make sure you don’t do too much too soon and, above all, leave your baby with someone you trust. Ideally, this will be a reliable family member or family friend because a consistent and welcoming face are key when getting both you and your baby through what can be a nerve-wracking initial experience.
Therefore, in this article, we’re going to break down the top tips for prepping and performing successful time away from baby!
Easy Does It
Importantly, ease into leaving your baby for extended lengths of time. You may want to begin with an afternoon alone while a trusted family member or friend watches baby, then, once she’s comfortable with this change, go for a longer night out, eventually working up to an overnight and then, finally, a long weekend. Your baby will also be growing increasingly comfortable with the person who she’ll be spending time with while also getting used to not having Mom and Dad’s presence in the house.
Good organization can be a key to early success so have plenty of guidelines to prepare the person who will be caring for her. This means jotting down baby’s daily routine, favorite blankets and toys as well as the ways in which she likes to be comforted and put to bed.
Likewise, make sure necessities like formula or breast milk, baby food, bottles, powders, diapers, favorite PJs, and everything else that may come in handy are all organized and easily accessible. Even if you’re just leaving for an afternoon in the park, you’ll want to make sure you make the experience is stress-free for you, your baby and your sitter!
For the first few outings, stay close—maybe just head over to a neighborhood restaurant, or go see a movie nearby. Then, if you’re needed, you can zoom right on over to help. This is the same for when you begin taking longer trips as well. Chances are you won’t abscond alone to Italy before your baby’s first birthday, so take small day trips no more than one or two hours from home so you can be back just in case.
Communicate, but Save Time for Yourself
Have clear and open lines of communication between you and your sitter but, remember, you’re taking time for yourself so try not to spend the entirety of your time away hovering over your phone. Try to set consistent check-in times—something like once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at bed time. This way, you can have consistent communication with your sitter and your baby while also not overwhelming yourself so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
It’s Might be Harder for You than it is for Her
Believe it or not, separation anxiety can occur for both parents and children so don’t be surprised if you end up more emotional than your baby when leaving them for the first time. In addition to communicating with your sitter, communicate with your baby before you leave as well. While it might seem like she doesn’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll be surprised at how she responds to your warm, understanding tone. Studies have shown that kissing, hugging and communicating openly with your baby during this time can make the transition that much easier. Importantly, this might also soothe you, as you talk through this upcoming change.
But, It Will Get Easier!
Above all, keep in mind that it will get easier. As long as you’re calm and you trust your sitter to do only the best for your baby, everything should go smoothly. The more you practice, the better it will get. And, hey, it’s always nice to have a little additional time for yourself.
While it might seem overwhelming at first, leaving your baby will get easier. Just stay organized, ease into it, stay close, and keep those lines of communication open and consistent. But, maybe most importantly, remember to take this time for yourself. And, when you get back refreshed and relaxed, you’ll be ready for all the snuggles!