Leaving Baby for the First Time

Nervous, anxious, excited, fearful, happy: All of these words could describe the emotions you feel as you leave your baby for the first time. You may be excited or happy to go on a date with your spouse, catch a movie with a friend, or just hit Starbucks alone. Or, you could be nervous, anxious, and fearful because you are not there to watch baby every second.

Here are some things I have learned that have helped make leaving a little easier.SAMSUNG

Prepare Baby’s Food.

If you’re a nursing momma, you are going to need to think this through. Nurse baby right before you leave, and plan to nurse him or her right when you arrive home. If you’re a pumping mom as well, have 1 oz. of breast milk for each hour you will be gone. Prepare the bottles before you leave. If baby is 6 months or older and eating solids, have snacks and meals laid out for the sitter. I rarely leave my daughter with anyone but Daddy, but the one time I have, I left a detailed menu for her.

Make Everything Accessible.

Leave diapers and wipes visible. Lay out baby’s pajamas if you will be gone at bedtime. Leave the important toys or soothers close by. If baby uses a paci, make sure the sitter knows where to find it. The more organized you are, the easier time the sitter will have. To this day, I still tell the nursery workers at church that Teddy is in my daughter’s bag. Her Teddy is the one thing that will soothe her if she gets upset or doesn’t understand why mommy is leaving her there.

Relax and Enjoy Yourself.

This is the hard one. I would be lying if I said I don’t text and call when I am away from my toddler. Let the person who is watching baby know if you are a little anxious, and maybe they can help. Once a friend watched my daughter and she sent me updates throughout the day. I received texts and photos showing what fun they were having. It definitely helped me enjoy my day with my husband and not worry constantly. Remember that you will be home soon, so enjoy each moment. If you are on a date, try not to talk about baby the whole time. (Good luck!) If you are out with friends, enjoy the girl time and adult conversation.

Leaving your baby with someone else doesn’t make you a bad mom. It really makes us better. Prepare for your time, be organized, and be honest with your emotions. Friends and the Internet will have more tips for you if you’re still anxious. Enjoy your time, and give baby some extra cuddles when you get home!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a stay at home mom, so she is always with her daughter. When she gets mommy time, she likes to go shopping, go to Starbucks, or catch up with a girlfriend.

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