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.

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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...

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...

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