Wow! Where do I even start? I am back from my vacation, and I honestly feel like a new person. Due to spotty internet service, I didn’t even open my laptop once during the entire trip. Part of me felt like I was being a terrible blogger, while the other part of me felt relieved to put everything aside and truly relax.
As you guys know, before the trip I was in pure panic mode about leaving Michael for the first time. I was interested to see what I would have to say about it after the trip.
Leaving Your Baby for the First Time:
As my mother-in-law dropped us off at the airport and we said goodbye to the baby, the tears started pouring down. And I mean hard. It wasn’t the first time I had cried about leaving him either. As I stood at the kiosk trying to check in, I couldn’t even focus or read the screen. I’m pretty sure at that point Brett was wondering if we should just not go on the trip if I was going to be like that the entire time. (Brett is gone for work for 2-3 days at a time, so a 5 day trip away from the baby isn’t a huge deal for him. I, on the other hand, had never been away from Michael for more than 8-12 hours.)
I have traveled with the baby quite a few times, so going through the airport with empty hands just didn’t feel right. Leaving your baby for the first time is such a weird feeling. My emotions were high every morning and night, but the constant photos and updates made me feel so relieved. He looked like he was having an absolute blast with his cousins. It honestly seemed like he was too occupied to notice we were gone.
So many people have told me they are scared about leaving the baby for the first time. Well, I’m here to encourage you to rip that bandaid off and do it. I must say I think it is good for both the adults and the child. Sure, we talked about how much we missed the baby, but it was relieving to take a few days to focus on ourselves. We talked about other things rather than diaper changes, nap times, what the baby was going to eat, etc. Here are a few tips to leaving your baby that made the separation anxiety a little better:
5 Tips on Leaving Your Baby for the First Time:
1.Figure out the milk situation at least a month in advance.
I nursed up until Michael’s first birthday. I was determined to have him fully weaned in time for our trip. The first week was rough, but after that he was totally fine. It was a major relief knowing that anyone could feed him a bottle and easily soothe him.
2.Make a detailed list.
Obviously when someone is nice enough to watch your children, you have to remember that they have their own routines, schedules, and obligations as well. Make a list, but don’t expect it to be followed to a T. Although I knew 100% that Michael’s schedule would be different while I was gone, I found comfort in writing everything down in case they wanted to reference it. The list included his food and milk schedule, how to put him down for naps and bed time, his night time routine, food that he eats often at home, and things that make him stop crying.
I tried to prepare a few things the night before including diced sweet potatoes and sliced fruit. Just in case he turned into a picky eater, I brought over more than enough food. Prepping some snacks made me feel like I was contributing in a small way, and making things a little easier for our family as they watched Michael.
4.Ditch The Guilt
There is no right or wrong time to leave your child for the first time. (Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.) I must say that I feel like this trip was so good for Brett and I. We were able to reconnect and focus on ourselves, which can be hard to do when your main focus is your child. Some may not understand, but I think that leaving your baby for the first time can allow you to be a better parent.
5.Phone and Wifi
If you are leaving the country, call your service provider in advance to see what kind of service you will have during your travels. Also make sure your hotel has wifi capabilities if you need the internet for baby updates.
Leaving Your Baby for the First Time
We received couples massages on the private beach, went on hikes, and watched whales in the morning. Some nights we stayed up way past our normal bed time, while other nights we went to bed much earlier than we do at home. We truly relaxed and spent quality time just the two of us. From the romantic dinners to naps in a hammock and the long walks on the beach, we had so much fun together. We were so anxious to get back to our baby boy by the end of the trip, but I will cherish the memories of that trip forever.
If you’re thinking about taking that first trip without your baby, just do it.