Spending time away from your baby can be very stressful, especially for first-time parents. Add in the lockdowns of the past few years and many have not been able to wean their babies and toddlers into the natural separation process.
Separating from your baby does not mean that you leave them or abandon them, but that you both can be apart from one another for short periods of time. You may need to go to work, may want to just drop into the store to pick something up quickly, or may have date night plans. Start of slowly with one night away.
Find Someone You Trust
A parent, a friend who is great with babies, or even a babysitter that you trust are all great examples of caregivers who can look after your baby for the night. Plan with them in advance so that they will be free the night you need to be away.
Understand They Won’t Parent the Same Way You Will
Everyone has their own unique approach to parenting, and assuming or even demanding that the person that is babysitting approach parenting the same way as you and your partner do is a big mistake. So long as your baby is healthy and happy how they get there is less important. You need to trust them and not try to micromanage.
But Give Them Ground Rules and Your Worries
Though you should trust in the person that you are giving to your child, you are allowed to make rules. From what and when your baby should eat to even how to approach bedtime can all help establish a sense of normalcy for your baby. Voice your anxieties and explain your fears so that you can talk it out and, most importantly, feel calmer about it.
Understanding when to expect peak separation anxiety and how to manage that anxiety if it extends beyond two years old is essential. In some cases, a new approach or even professional guidance can be what you need.
Do A Trial Run
Have whoever is going to babysit your child care for them for a few hours in advance. Not only does this help older babies understand you come back and can help minimize separation anxiety, but it can also assuage any fears you may have.
Give a Schedule
This is particularly useful for those who don’t live with you. By giving a schedule from general wake up, when to expect the baby to nap, eat, and so on you can keep your baby’s day stable. Not only that but you can highlight key areas of priority. For example, if your baby misses this certain nap, they end up being cranky and fussy during dinner. You know your baby, so give whoever is caring for your baby the secrets to their comfort.
Give Them a Kit
While having your loved one or babysitter care for your baby in your own home is the best way to approach your first night away don’t assume that they will know where everything is. It is better to put everything together in a kit so that your loved one doesn’t have to go around looking or texting you on an ongoing basis to find things.