Mixed feelings are the only way to describe it. Leaving your little one in someone else’s care for the first time can either be the most daunting thought ever, or something to look forward to- or both depending on the day and your mood.
The bond between you two is especially close- since your baby was born you have been joined at the hip, so it’s no surprise that leaving them for the first time can feel difficult. It might seem like you’re the only one in the world struggling with leaving your little one for the first time, but be rest assured that you’re not alone.
Here are our tips on making it all as smooth as possible.
1. Find the right person
It’s completely normal to worry about how your little darling will cope without you, but you don’t want to worry about if they’ll be looked after properly! So choose someone you know and completely and utterly trust. Having complete trust in them will mean you are more relaxed, which is better for you and better for baby.
2. Park the guilt
We know & understand the unconditional love that you have for your baba, so there’s no need to feel guilty when you need some’ ME time’. We nearly consider it a requirement of parenthood! They won’t remember the one night you weren’t there when they were a baby! It’s also good for them to bond with other people other than you.
3. Wait until you’re ready
Don’t give into pressure, and wait until you feel comfortable. Otherwise it will just be a terrible experience for you! You’ll know when the right time is.
4. Play it cool
Believe it or not, if you’re anxious when leaving, your little one will sense it and feel anxious too! If the babysitter on duty has any chance of getting them to settle, you need to try your best to relax and give off good vibe. We recite the mantra- they’ll be grand! Cause they will be!
5. Mini rehearsal
Do a trial run by leaving your little darling with the babysitter/grandparent while you pop out to grab some groceries or meet a friend for a coffee. You’ll get used to the idea of leaving them, and they’ll get even more familiar with the minder too. You don’t have to go far, just go for an hour or so!
Coming back to your baby and seeing that they’re still happy and healthy will build your confidence that they will be ok when you’re not there.
6. Prepare & leave a guide
Take the time to make sure that the babysitter has everything they need-from feeding essentials and times to favourite toys and their bedtime routine. The more detail the better as it’ll leave you with less to worry about!
If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you’ve enough expressed milk to cover the number of feeds that you’ll be gone for. This will probably take some advanced planning.
If your little one is 6months+ and is formula fed or you have moved on from breastfeeding, consider picking up some Cow & Gate Follow On Milk Ready to use milk. This will take the hassle out of making up bottles- as your babysitter can simply pour the liquid straight into your little one’s sterilised bottle or beaker and feed them. They won’t need to worry about counting the scoops! Find out more about Cow & Gate Follow On Ready to Use Milks here.
It’s OK to check in
If you feel the need to give the trusted sitter a call to make sure everything is OK, DO! Until you get more comfortable, do what you need to do! We would recommend scheduling ‘check in times’- so that you’re not checking your phone constantly while you’re out/away. You’ll know when to except your update that all is well!
To complete put your mind at ease, place an item of your clothing in the cot with your little one so they get the smell of you around them. Just make sure to tuck it in at the end by their feet, like a blanket so it’s safe.
It’s a big, but important step! But just remember- they’ll be grand!