Leaving Baby for the First Time

Nursing ResourcesFour months after our first baby was born, my husband I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Sedona, Arizona. Alone. After solely taking care of baby C since birth, the thought of leaving him with anyone overnight was incredibly nerve wracking. I was a jumble of emotions…would I cry? Would he miss me? Would he be afraid? I was excited for my mini-vacation but I was also nervous. But leaving baby is monumental and it’s totally normal to feel this way. Fortunately, with some planning, your first overnight sans baby can be a well-deserved and pleasant experience.

Ask Family or a Close Friend

Who to leave baby with is the most important thing to consider when planning an overnight get away. Obviously you want someone that you implicitly trust but you may also want to consider how much experience they have with small children. For most people, that will be family but it could also be a close friend. You want to feel secure in their ability to handle any situations that might arise. We chose my parents; they had raised two kids successfully and I knew that they would be able to handle any situation that arose.

Leave Suggestions or Instructions

Even though it may seem like overkill, leave very detailed instructions with your caregiver. I never felt bad about being specific about how we did things. Does baby need a certain lovey to sleep? Like to be swaddled tightly vs. loose? The clearer the instructions, especially if baby is young, the smoother experience for everyone. Include feeding times, tips for baby’s preferences, and a solid timeline of what to expect and when.

Make a Breastfeeding Plan

If you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to begin pumping and freezing in advance. You should plan on leaving your caregiver with more milk than is needed and instructions about how exactly you’d like the milk prepared. If you have been almost exclusively breast feeding, give yourself a few weeks to test run with some bottles to ensure that your baby will take the milk. And don’t forget to pack your pump and cooler to continue pumping while away.

Relax and Enjoy

Even though you might be longingly looking at every baby that passes by, time away can be a much-needed stress reliever. In Sedona, I was able to take a long hot shower, read a book, and I even sat down to eat for the first time since baby C was born. It also allowed me to reconnect with my husband who was begging for some couple time. When you do get home, you will be a calm and rejuvenated momma!

 Tessa Wesnitzer is a mother of two boys and certified personal trainer. She lives and works in South Jordan, Utah.

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