Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Leaving the baby overnight for the first time

I can honestly say if you polled me last year when Owen was born, I would not guess that it would take me 10.5 months to leave my baby overnight. I would've figured some work-related task would take me away from the home for an overnight trip. Owen never took a bottle so it made leaving him at all a challenge--still is. Matt had to actually bring him to me at most weddings (I'm a wedding photographer) until Sept. (7 months). At any rate, a conference came up that I really wanted to attend and it was the perfect opportunity to leave him with Matt. I left Sunday around noon post-nursing and didn't get back until 10PM the next day.

Miracle of all miracles Owen survived without me.

This was an important lesson for my own psychology. He will survive!

I think every mother feels connected to her baby and certainly every nursing mother has a hard time leaving her baby when he still nurses frequently (and doesn't take a bottle). Owen nurses once at 11PM or midnight and again first thing in the morning. These are typically BIG nursing sessions for him, so as you might imagine I was worried he would "lose it" when he woke up and Mommy was not available. Not so much.

He woke a bunch more than usual before 11PM that night but Matt gave him his sippy cup (thank god he sorta likes that thing) around 11:30 and he fell asleep on Matt and he went back into his crib and slept until 5:45 and then napped on Matt until 6:30 or so. Not too bad, actually. I think babies live in the "now" more than we think.

Kudos to my husband for even agreeing to try something like this with our persnickety boy. I THOUGHT he would cry for a couple hours when he woke up and then be up every hour while I was gone... so I was pleased that he was really FINE.

This is encouraging since I have a business trip to NYC in March. The plan is to leave him for three nights.... and I'll be pumping milk in the big apple. Yippie. I now have a tad more confidence in the boy... and in myself and my own sanity. I'm really NOT a neurotic person... honestly, I'm not. Being a Mother is hard.

If you have never left your children overnight... I highly recommend it. I think it really helped me realize an important lesson: they will be fine, especially in qualified hands like my husband. Each time a small milestone is reached: having someone else put him to bed, leaving overnight, leaving all day, I feel a little bit of Cameron returning and I think Owen feels happy too.

post signature

3 comments:

Sarah/Gran said...

Good for you and Matt and Owen! Those "firsts" are difficult ... first overnight, day of school, off to college - I cried with all those. I still do ... flying out of Phoenix I look west to Flag and cry - to ... maybe Alabama?!

Truculent Horse said...

Hi
Just chanced on your blog when searching for reassurance about leaving my four month old overnight to go to a party! First big social outing. I feel like the breast pump is my arch enemy too! But she seems to prefer formula in a bottle to breast milk in a bottle. When she takes the bottle ... should be a fun night for her dad and grandma! Interested to read about babysigns too.

Medela symphony said...

hello there, thank you for sharing this with all your readers appreciate it big time!