this weekend livi spent her first night away from us and, I have to say, it was unexpectedly hard. for me, not for dave. he slept like a baby.
i didn’t have a single inkling of anxiety about livi staying the night with her grandparents. in fact, i was a little giddy. because livi nursed for a year, we were never apart for more than 5 hours and that only happened a handful of times. she basically turned 1, started walking, said tata to nursing (see what I did there??) and then decided she was big enough to sleep away. *sigh
the evening started out wonderfully relaxed with a Scream marathon and pinning to my heart’s content. sure i missed her, but it was nighttime & she’d be in bed anyway, right? but, when i got in bed, it hit me. livi was sooooo far away. (all of 10 minutes) i couldn’t hear her sound machine over the baby monitor, and i didn’t get to sneak in and check on her like i have every single day dice she was born. i melted. quickly. even my body seemed to know that she was gone. every 30 minutes it jerked me awake to listen for my baby that wasn’t there. it was then, in the wee hours, that i began praying for the women i know whose arms are currently perpetually empty either from loss or a not-yet-fulfilled desire to have a little one. i counted myself lucky to know that livi was just a short 10 minute drive away, soundly tucked in & greatly loved.
there’s a certain amount of Stockholm syndrome that sets in during those first few months of cocooning to survive the sleeplessness. the sweet bundle of mess holds you captive (almost literally) and pretty soon you can’t even think of what life was like before they came along. the physical cord has been cut, but those heart strings grow stronger every day.
hopefully any babies we have after livi won’t catch me quite so off guard during these milestones. i put together a five tips that might help you survive the first night away better than i did!
1: make sure you have white noise to replace the sound of the monitor. i love the app Ambiance and the sound Rolling Thunder in the Rain category.
2: leave your baby with someone you trust who already knows his/her schedule and routines well. livi stayed with dave’s parents who watch her often and she’s really comfortable with them. this gave me the most peace of mind!
3: give yourself plenty of time to prepare emotionally and mentally and, if you think your overnight sitter might need it, a list of any info you think is vital to success and safety.
4: if you have the means, get away for the whole night at a hotel or go out on a special date! i feel like if i’d done this i would’ve had a better chance at sleeping. all night i fought the urge to wedge myself in livi’s crib!
5: change up your own bedtime routine. maybe pamper yourself with a facial steam & a mask. I love the Clear Improvement charcoal mask from Origins. or have a beer & a bath with a good book that’s not about parenting! (a mistake I made!!)
when did you first leave your sweet baby with someone else? what was your reaction?