When Do You Leave the Baby?

I’ve kind of been itching for a night.. or two away on my own.  Either solo or with my husband. When Vivien was 6 months I took off for 24 hours by myself for a birthday present to me.  I took the pump and she was with my husband and my mom.  When she was about 14 months, I went on a 48 business trip.  I have done a couple of those since then.  But, now with baby Rex I’m finding leaving to be harder.

Money wise I’m looking at stuff that wouldn’t cost a lot, use miles, stay at a friends, stuff like that.  But, here is my thinking if it’s with my husband we can’t leave for more than 24 hours.  If he stays I can go for 36 hours.  If I can bank enough milk.  And then I hear my mom’s voice, “leave a nursling?”  And it stops me in my tracks.

I was just playing with Rex, singing “itsy bitsy spider”, which he loves.  Kissing his toes which made him laugh like Ed McMahon (God rest his soul). And I think, sure I ‘d love to have wine with friends, go to a show, sleep all night, but what is better than this and more fleeting?  Stay at home, save up for a big trip. Get over it.

But, I still want to go…

I once met a woman who said she left her 6 week old for two weeks to go Italy with her husband and I almost threw up.

On the other hand I have a friend who has not spent one night away from her daughter who is now 4.  That makes me itchy.

When did you leave your baby, if ever?  And for how long?  Can one justify it if it’s not related to work?

23 thoughts on “When Do You Leave the Baby?

  1. I can’t imagine leaving my 6 week old for 2 weeks! Holy crap.

    Daph, I say you’ve been through a lot stress wise for the last 6 or so months. If you can pump and take a 24-36 hour retreat, why not? I am sure it would do your soul a hell of a lot of good. Rex will be in good hands (I’m assuming) you can pump and rejuvenate yourself.

  2. I left Lexi for one night (20 hours) when she was 5 months old and then for 36 hours when she was 10 months old. It was good for me. I needed to know that I wasn’t actually running on baby cuteness and I could operate as an adult again.

    We took Lexi to Santa Barbara for a few week vaca when she was 5 months old and a lady was on the plane heading LaLa for 2 weeks sans 5 month old….I was sick to my stomach at the thought of that.

  3. I left my 4 month old over night, then again when he was 7 months for another over night and now my husband and I have planned a 4 day cruise, he will be 12 months + a few weeks. I missed him terribly and have almost cancelled the cruise a few times . . . . BUT I need(ed) the time away. It’s good for me (us) and I know he is going to be okay and happy while we are gone.

    Go for it, treat yourself, you deserve it! You don’t want to get to the point where you resent your kids or worse! Relax and do something nice for YOU!!!!

  4. If you’ve been thinking about it, you’re telling yourself you need a little getaway. And who should know better than you? Having conversations with yourself does not make you crazy… And your mom is supposed to say things like that. I think someone pays them per comment.

    Anyway, every mom needs to recharge and relax away from the day to day, even if it’s just for a night. The whole family is better for it :)

  5. Get ready to itch, I have been away over night once when my oldest (now 10) was 2 months old. Since then only a few nights a year away from all 3 of my kids for only a few hours at a time. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel a very strong sense of responsibility to my boys but after 13 years of marriage I owe it to my husband to put him first for a change. Now comes the question of what if you have no trustworthy/willing person to stay with your kids? What do you do then? Sad, I know.

  6. I left my two week old for an evening out with the girls. They freaked out when I told them I had left him with my husband. What’s with that by the way? It’s not like he was going to harm his own son!
    When he was almost 2 we went for a week in Hawaii. We really missed him and feel now we should have gone as a family. Just my experience there.
    I’ve always thought that in order to be a good parent you need to pay attention to yourself sometimes; and when the opportunity arises for you and your husband to take some time together you should take it. My kids are now 12 & 14, and we are really close. My husband and I have been together since we were 17. Proof / or not of what I speak. You have to follow your own heart.

  7. I am glad I just clicked over here as I am going through something similar. I have left my daughter (9 mo) once overnight. My husband and I have another planned overnight in August, but now I am being asked to maybe travel for work in Sept and if my husband and baby can’t come I am not sure I feel right about leaving. My husband is fine with it, but I just don’t know I would be ok. I do think the nights away are good though, for both your sanity!

  8. i think you should not feel guilty if you want to get away for a night or two. The thing to remember is it will make you a better mother to get away and regroup. I remember how much I love my husband when I am away from the stress of children 24-7. Other wise, he mostly annoys me because I feel like I am doing it all myself. So, take the time and pamper yourself. My husband and I have been going on vacations without the kids since my son was 5 months old. Of course we go on plenty with the kids but every once in a while we go without them and have such a good time just reconnecting with each other. In fact, I am going to Sweden and Norway for 12 days next week with just my husband. I can’t wait. My children are very comfortable staying with their grandparents and are excited to have their own special get away where the grandparents spoil them rotten for 12 days. Don’t let anyone let you feel guilty for a decision that is right for you because only you know what you can handle at this point in time. What works for me might not work for you. Good luck and have fun!

  9. My daughter was 6 months when we took off for a weekend. It was just enough. A day and a weekend here or there was fine and I was ready to get right back. Now that she’s 13, well I was gonna we could leave for longer but we never do. She comes along with us whenever we are gone longer than a weekend anywhere. Just the other day I said, honey, next vacation we should plan for just us. But watch, we’ll take her along.

  10. Just last week I was away for 3 nights from my 3 year old for the first time. Unfortunately my father was very ill in the hospital and I flew off to see him at the last minute. My husband stayed with our son and on my first night away he remarked “How do you do it? How do you keep the house so clean and organized? J is like a tornado!” I think the experience was good for all involved, me to know that my husband and son can fend for themselves and them to appreciate mom a little bit more. And the best part is that my dad is doing much better now.

  11. I hear the “oh, I have to remember I love my husband”.. or even like him. we had our first date night last night.. first in two months and it was great! Better to connect than to mutter under my breath “run Forest run”.

    we just realized our anniversary is the 3rd, so we might take one night!

    thanks for all the feedback/support

  12. Hi all you mom’s out there : ). I thought I’d bring a new flavor to the community and add a little insight from a 21 year-old’s perspective.

    Unfortunately (or should I say… FORTUNATELY) I don’t have any children of my own yet, making it hard to understand exactly the feeling a mother has when leaving her child alone.

    That being said, I do know what it feels like to be left with the responsibility of watching over a younger sibling (My brother Adam) and how those experiences can actually help build a stronger relationship within the family-especially between me and my mom.

    When you leave your child in the hands of someone else-whether it be a babysitter, your husband, or even a friend, I believe the most important thing to think about is TRUST.

    In this “going-away-for-a-night” situation, TRUST plays a huge roll, not only in the sense that it allows for YOU to be at ease and not worry while you’re on your trip; but also because it creates the foundation for a better connection between mother and “watcher-of-child” (I like this name for it).

    If you go on your trip, and the experience is fulfilling, and the person watching your kid keeps you informed and in-the-loop (like they should), than 1 or any of the following will happen:

    -You have relaxing “ME” time which is probably something that doesn’t come around all that often, and you’re able to come home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated

    -Everything went great at home, so the next time you want to take a little get-away or you have to go on business, you wont be AS stressed out about leaving your child. (which is really important, because how can you enjoy a weekend get-away if you’re constantly worried about what’s going on at home) It’s almost like having a day-off from work, and as you’re sitting in your bed, all tidy with your pj’s and such…you just cant stop thinking about all the work you have to get done the next day-thus ruining your state of mind for how AWESOME it is to have a day-off (or in this case-a weekend getaway)

    -You now have labeled the “watcher-of-child” as someone you TRUST. If someone asks you, “How come Nancy is your best friend?” Most ppl would respond at least in some sense with the fact that they trust that person. Trust is a big deal in maintaining a strong relationship (I’m sure all of you already know that though).

    I guess the point of what I’m trying to say is: Find someone you really TRUST to watch your child. If you really trust them, there is no need to worry while your gone. Enjoy the little time you have away! Go see some friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Drink a Cosmo…c’mon ladies. I know some of you out there even have some swing in those hips–go dancing! Its FUN!

    I definitely think leaving your new-born for two weeks is a little much, but DONT be afraid to have some ME TIME! It’s good for you, and it helps kids (like me)….learn how to grow on our own as well.

    Sorry for such a long post…I hope it was helpful, or at least got you thinking (I know the dancing part raised some eyebrows!)

    What do you all think about this? Am I just “too young” to get it? I’m interested to hear (from a mom’s perspective) what you all have to say.

  13. this is a tough one! i have two boys (my oldest is now 3, baby is 9 months)…i had no clue what I was doing with the first so I never left him overnight until he was 15 months…and I actually used it as the final weening technique..he was down to nursing once a day, so when my husband and i went on the one night mountain/ spa getaway, i just never nursed him again. let me just say…the floodgates opened after that, my mother in law was chomping at the bit to watch him so i went for it! now, I still have not left my 9 month old..I will probably wait til he turns one…who knows, we live in such agony as mothers! if you can’t get away for a night or two, maybe start by trying the spa for an afternoon of relaxation–keep the posts an vlogs coming–you are awesome as always!

  14. Daph, I ditto what everyone is saying about getting away- you need it, you deserve it, and it will make you a better mother. I just got back from my little weekend get-away in Vegas, and boy, it was awesome! 😉

    DO IT AND FORGET THE MOM GUILT!!

  15. huh, .. breathe, forget mom guilt. I have to have a mantra.

    Sean, thanks for your perspective. that is great, since mom’s are always worried that if we take some time away we are scaring our kids, so good to know we are not.

  16. Gretchen is five months old and I’ve been away from her three or four times — for no longer than 4 hours.
    I’m a breastfeeding mama & I don’t know when I’ll feel ok leaving her.

  17. My mom was forced to leave me overnight when I was 11 weeks. She was too stressed out and ended up with a clogged duct which had to be removed surgically. Also resulted in immediate weaning.

    Get away. Better for you, better for him.

  18. My son is only two months old and the thought of leaving him for more than a few hours is upsetting (first time mom). I’m stupidly procrastinating on what to do with him when I return to work next month and have to leave him for a full day at a time. I hate the thought of not being his primary care giver during the day.

    I hear about mom’s who have to travel for work and fed ex breast milk home. I can’t imagine. I’d seriously have to just quit work regardless of the financial devastation it might do to my family.

  19. Because of my job, I had to spend a night away from my daughter when she was 2and a half months old, which I gather is relatively young. I’m a touring musician, and I travel with my husband and baby. Sometimes the drives are just too long to take the little bean. Leaving her is better for everyone involved.

    Since then, we’ve had to leave her a couple of times. At five months we had plans change unexpectedly and I had to be away from her for two two day stretches separate by one day with her. And last week, our routing was so insane that we thought it’d be best to leave her with my folks for 4 nights and 3 days.

    I was so distraught over the idea of being away from her for that long that I had a classic breakdown…tears, threats of quitting and getting off the road. If it weren’t for my mom talking me through it, I might actually have grabbed my baby
    and caught the first plane back to Austin.

    But looking back on our time apart from the bean I see that the time leading up to the separation…the time of fretting and self castigation…was way worse than the actual time apart. My folks have always watched her, and I’ve grown to really trust them. They’ve also been given the chance to really bond with their first granddaughter. My husband and I have had opportunities to reconnect as a couple. And the baby? Well she has a great time with her Nana and Grandpappy.

    Which is all to say that a day and night or two off may be just what you need, and not as bad as you think it will be.

  20. yes, I agree, the lead up and walking out the door is the worst part. Great if you have parents who can take over for you.

    And as the saying goes, it takes a village. not that I’ve booked the trip yet, but feeling more like I will.

  21. Do it! Even if you have a slumber party at a friends’ house (no kids). If for no other reason than to take a moment and realize how much time you really devote to your kids on a daily basis. It is amazing (and liberating) to go through an entire day without changing a diaper, listening to a story about Dora, cutting up food, eating your food after it’s cold, and on and on and on…

  22. I think the key is having a good and safe “watch my kids for me” plan if you go away — I was able to leave my first child at 4 months for a weekend trip to a destination wedding because I knew she was in great hands. Over the past few years (that baby is now 3), I’ve left for weekends here and there, all revitalizing and necessary, because she loves her special time with the family she gets to stay with when we go away. I just had another baby, and left her for several hours with my sister to go to a friend’s 40th – had no qualms about doing so, and would probably be OK leaving a newborn overnight. They are so out of it for the first few months, I swear I doubt they would notice. :) Gets harder, for me, as they get older, and more interactive.

    I agree with the notion that if you’re fantasizing about that little getaway, it’s probably a mental health necessity. Go for it Daphne!!

  23. Oh, this is perfect timing for me. I’m leaving tomorrow for my first weekend away since having my daughter 14 months ago. I’m spending a weekend in wine country with four of my closest and oldest friends. Can’t wait for some time without responsibilities but I am worried and a little sad about leaving my daughter. I find myself justifying it to anyone who will listen. I do believe it’s a positive and healthy thing to do but I also feel guilty about doing something that is purely for my own enjoyment. Why do moms carry around the guilt?

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