Anna McMillan shares her personal experience as a mom who left her baby for the first time with other trusted family members. She explains the steps she took to prepare herself and her baby for her baby-free weekend.
Here are some tips she shared to make the experience as easy as possible for everyone involved:
Have grandma or your partner look after your little one often. This ensures baby is familiar with people other than mom and also the other caregiver has a chance to learn the routines and your babies needs
Work up to your away times from baby. The first time you may just go out for a coffee, then eventually a date night, then an overnight. This will help your baby, your caregiver and yourself the ability to add longer increments of away time with support if needed.
Introduce bottles to your little one for feeding. Prepare your little one by letting them learn to drink from a bottle given to them by someone other than mama.
If you are breastfeeding, start pumping when you can and build a freezer stash so that when you are away, your little one has a full freezer to choose from.
While away, you’ll still want to pump to keep your supply up. Try to pump at the same times your little one usually feeds and this will help keep your supply strong and also you’ll be continuing to build your freezer stash.
Invest in a good double electric pump if you are able to. You can be very quick & efficient with pumping and still be able to partake in the activities going on while you are away.
Have your partner or grandma practice putting your baby down to sleep. They will need to learn your babies bedtime routine and feel comfortable with it and also baby will need to feel safe and comfortable having someone other than mom do the bedtime hustle.
Schedule plenty of quality time with your baby leading up to the days before you are away and also when you return. Skin to skin time, lots of breastfeeding and bonding. This is not only great for your baby but also you as a mom who will be missing your babe while away.