Madi was 15 months old when my husband and I went to a medical conference in Quebec City. It was the first time I ever travelled away from my baby. It was also the first time I had ever slept away from Madi. Needless to say I was beyond stressed. The thought of leaving Madi made me feel like vomiting. Since I found out I was pregnant she has been a part of me, so therefore leaving her felt like I was torn in half. I know I sound a little over dramatic but I couldn’t help it!
I know as an independent woman, wife, and doctor that there are going to be times as Madi grows up that I will have to leave her for a few days, but I want her and I to feel comfortable if we have to be separated. What helped me the most was talking to my mom, and my other mom friends who have had experience travelling away from their children.
I realized that these few days away from Madi would be hard and that I would miss her, but this was an amazing opportunity for my husband and me to spend some time alone and catch up with each other. We could sleep in and have quiet, relaxing meals. With all the new baby craziness, it’s hard to stay in sync with your partner, and we needed some “us” time.
To squelch that nervousness, I came up with a few tips to keep in mind if you need to travel away from your toddler:
- Have people you trust looking after your baby. My parents looked after Madi while we were away and I knew she was in great hands. I mean, I turned out fine!
- No one knows a toddler’s quirks like their parents. I made a list of Madi’s meals and her favourite snacks as well as songs, toys, etc..
- Show the caregiver her bedtime routine. We always put Madi to sleep around 8pm and read her the same book. She sleeps with her special blankie “Sophie” every night. Do a practice run with the caretaker before you leave.
- Leave your phone numbers, the number of the hotel that you are staying in and your email address.
- Set up FaceTime dates so that you get to see your little one everyday!
Graeme and I are now in Hawaii for a friends wedding. It was nerve wrecking leaving for 5 days. It seemed like an impossible task, but after you survive a weekend away, every subsequent time will be just a liiiiiiittle bit easier.
Learn more from Dr. Mom:
Going on vacation Without your baby? Learn more about attachment and your bond with baby
Mom Guilt is real, learn more here
Taking your baby on vacation, learn about sun safety
Is vitamin D important for babies?
Leaving your baby with grandparents, and spoiling with sugar?