You’ve waited for nine long months to meet your little bundle of joy! There is so much excitement in bringing home your baby and starting your new life as a family! As you get into the routine of your new life, there will come a time when you will need to leave your baby. Whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store, a date night out, or heading back to work, leaving your baby is inevitable. But, is it normal to not want to leave your baby?
Leaving your baby is never easy, especially for the first time. Ever since this precious little one’s arrival, he/she has completely relied on you. Babies and their mamas have a very unique bond that starts the second they arrive. You get used to being needed and sometimes it’s really hard to let go and let someone (even a spouse) care for your child. While it’s never easy, knowing what to expect and how to best prepare when you leave your baby for the first time can really help make this difficult time a little easier!
Is it Normal to Not Want to Leave Your Baby?
It is absolutely normal to not want to leave your baby! It’s even normal to not want to leave your baby with their other parent! It might sound a little strange but having a child changes everything! Your child is your everything! You went from not being a parent one day to having a tiny, precious human being who relies on you for literally everything. Being needed in such a way makes it incredibly difficult to leave them, even if it’s for a short amount of time and no matter who the person is that you’re leaving him/her with!
Every mama is different in her journey to becoming comfortable with leaving her child with others. Some have an easier time, and some have an incredibly difficult time with it! Every mama has her own personal struggles with this. Knowing what to expect and how to best be prepared can help ease the discomfort and dread you may be feeling!
Leaving Baby for the First Time: What to Expect
Whether you are a few days postpartum or a few months, there will come a time when you will leave your precious little one in the hands of another person. While it can be a difficult thing, and is totally normal to feel worried, it can help to know what to expect!
- Leaving your baby for the first time, even for an hour, will bring a whirlwind of emotions. You have nurtured and loved and taken care of your baby’s every need since birth and leaving him/her can bring a variety of emotions. You may feel relieved to have alone time. But, then you may feel guilty that you feel relieved! You may be completely overwhelmed. You may feel paralyzed with worry and fear. Just know, you’re not alone on this roller coaster ride of emotions, and it is completely normal!
- When leaving your baby for the first time, you may find it near impossible to walk out the door. Whether you keep coming up with things to remind the person watching your child or you keep coming up with things you need to do to prepare (set bottles out, restock the diapers, etc), you may find that you are subconsciously delaying the inevitable! It’s so hard to leave them, so expect that you may try to come up with any excuse in the book to not leave!
- Be prepared to constantly think about your baby the whole time that you are gone. Like I said earlier, even if you are gone thirty minutes, it is going to be incredibly hard to stop thinking about you precious little one, what they are doing, and whether or not they are okay without you. Again, this is completely normal! It may be frustrating and stressful, but completely normal! This precious one is your everything, so be prepared that it will be hard to focus on whatever you have going on!
It’s really hard to leave your baby, but now that you know a little more about what to expect, explore the following tips to make this first time a little easier.
5 Tips for Leaving your Baby for the First Time
1. Start small
Leaving your child for the first time can be hard enough as it is, so take your time! Your first outing as a new mom doesn’t have to be an overnight or extended stay somewhere. It could simply be a trip to the grocery store or going outside for a walk.
No one just goes outside and runs a marathon! They start with walking, then running a mile, and then building up their endurance! The same strategy should be applied to leaving your precious little one! It takes time getting comfortable with letting others watch your baby, so take your time, start small, and you will eventually feel better about it!
2. Leave your child with someone you trust
This is such a big one! There is no love like the love of your own child, and while it is incredibly difficult to leave them with anyone (even your spouse), trusting the person who is with your child can make a huge difference.
Similar to the first tip, I would say start small with this tip as well. If you’re leaving your child for the very first time, leave him/her with your spouse. As time goes on, and you get more comfortable, then start leaving your child with close family and friends.
As a parent, you want to be sure that your child is taken care of in a way that you expect. Leaving him/her with someone you don’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings and expressing your wishes on how you want the child to be taken care of will only leave room for more worry and anxiety on your part. Leaving your child with someone who will follow your plan to the letter will greatly help ease some of the worry you may be experiencing!
3. Communicate a Plan
If you are leaving your child with someone that you feel really comfortable with, you should be able to trust that they will follow your child’s plan/schedule.
Babies thrive on schedules. Knowing that your child will be on their typical schedule while you are away, will definitely bring some comfort!
4. Ask for updates and pictures!
There is nothing more exciting and reassuring than receiving updates, videos, and pictures of your baby while you are away! Our minds can be our worst enemies at times. They can be filled with thoughts and possibilities of all the things that could go wrong when we leave our baby for the first time. It’s downright unfair! But, one of the best ways to combat all of these feelings and anxieties is actually seeing your baby while you are away!
By leaving your precious little one with someone that you trust, you can and should feel comfortable asking them for updates. Pictures and updates can keep you in the loop on how the baby is doing, if he/she is following the schedule, and so on! It can be such a relief!
Try to Enjoy it
Being away from your baby for the first time brings a variety of emotions. You’re probably already exhausted and stressed from taking care of your baby 24/7. You deserve a break, and you shouldn’t feel bad about having one! It’s unfair how much you are devoting to this amazing, little miracle, and even the thought of leaving him/her for even a small amount of time can bring on so much dread and guilt. Try not to let these negative feelings overtake you. Take a breath. Enjoy your time away. There is nothing wrong with meeting your needs and having some time to yourself. You deserve it, and you should try your best to enjoy it!
Is it normal to not want to leave your baby? Absolutely! Many mamas out there are filled with dread even at the thought of leaving their child at home, but it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience! You have such a unique and special bond with your little one, and it is completely understandable that you don’t want to leave him/her. But by knowing what to expect and following the tips I provided, there are definitely ways to make the experience better and even enjoyable!
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