Even though you’re a new parent, you still need time to relax or take a break from your parenting duties. Leaving your baby even for a couple of hours may seem like a nightmare, but it’s not an impossible task. After tirelessly taking care of your baby, you deserve a date night out with your partner or some time to yourself. Taking a break will help you relax and rejuvenate, and happy parents have happy children!
Unfortunately, many parents don’t have a choice about spending time away. There may be times you’ll need to be away from your baby for medical or family or work reasons. Either way, if you’re able to plan ahead, here are some tried and tested tips for making your time away less stressful for both you and your baby.
Keep It Short
When you’re planning time away for the the first time, choose something close to home. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing you can return immediately if you need to. Don’t plan an elaborate getaway when you’re not sure how your baby will react in your absence. Choosing a destination closer to home will cut down your travel time so you have more time to relax, and a short trip will help your baby get used to time away.
Choose A Familiar Caregiver
Choosing the right caregiver for your baby is crucial. Turn to family or anyone else close to baby to lend a hand. You need to be able to trust that your baby is safe and well taken care of by someone who’s already aware of her needs and routine. Babies recognize familiar faces and are comfortable in their presence, so if you’re thinking of hiring a nanny, get them to spend significant time with your baby before you go away to help them get familiar with each other. Leaving the baby with a nanny or a family member for a short periods regularly will prepare your baby to get used to their secondary caretakers.
Stock Up On Feedings
If you’re breastfeeding, stock up enough milk well ahead of time. According to What To Expect, “When you’re away from your baby for more than a couple of hours, pump on-the-go, pulling out the pump each time your little one would normally be nursing. This will allow you to keep up your milk supply and avoid any discomfort from engorgement. Breast milk stays fresh for up to four days in the back of the fridge or for about three months in the freezer.”
Preparing feedings for your baby can be time-consuming, so store bottles in advance. Label each bottles with the date and time so your baby’s caregiver knows which order to feed in and they can check that the milk or formula is still good.
Maintain A Schedule
Your baby is used to a certain schedule of feedings, naps, and playtime. Maintaining the baby’s schedule will minimize disruptions while you’re away. Ensure that you’ve written down your schedule with enough notes to keep the caregiver well-informed. If your baby is attached to a stuffed animal or any other comfort item, make sure your caregiver knows.
Before you leave, practice baby’s routine with the caregiver while you’re around to monitor. Show them your baby’s preferred way to be held, soothed, or fed and give baby a chance to get used to their presence.
Make a List
Write down important phone numbers, emergency contacts, prescribed medications, and other instructions. Make sure your caregiver knows your child’s doctor’s information and the nearest emergency room in case of a medical emergency. Leave your emergency list somewhere obvious and easy-to-find, like on the fridge.
There’s no denying your first time away will be hard. No amount of planning will stop you from feeling anxious about being away from your baby. But remind yourself you’ve planned well, your baby is in safe hands, and she will be fine until you come back.
Parenting is hard work, and you deserve a break. Relax and unwind, guilt-free. Once you see things go smoothly the first time, you’ll feel more comfortable taking other short trips every once in a while.