Tips for leaving your baby overnight

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It may be to attend a wedding or to spend some time with a friend in hospital, or maybe it’s just because you need a break.

Whatever it is, some babies will not handle being away from their parents for so long, especially overnight.

There are babies who will happily be passed from one to another, take a bottle from anyone and drift to sleep without a care in the world.  That is the personality we all dream of when we leave our babies in the care of others.

But of course it’s not always this easy. Some babies find being cared for by someone else, and the change in their routine or surroundings, to be quite difficult.

In this case, they will need some preparation before your time away.  With a solid plan in place, everyone will be less stressed and hopefully enjoy their time apart.

Here’s how you can prepare your baby for time apart from you.

Help them feel comfortable

Firstly, spend time together with your baby and the person who’ll be looking after them when you leave. Preferably multiple times in the lead up so your baby feels familiar with them.

Tired babies will find it harder to stay calm without you. If you have the luxury of choosing when to leave them with your babysitter, choose the morning or just after nap time when they’re feeling perky and more resilient.

If you’re dropping your baby off somewhere other than your home, make sure  they have familiar things with them like a blanket or bedding. Their own pram or baby carrier can make a big difference too.

Will they take a bottle?

If your baby will be drinking from a bottle while your away, it’s a good idea to introduce the bottle early and make sure that they’ll take it. Practice using the same bottle and teat they’ll have when you’re away. This applies to expressed milk and formula.

If you’re unsure how much milk to pack, it’s always best to over cater just in case your return is delayed or your baby is super hungry. It’s kinder on your baby and your babysitter.

If you’re worried they won’t drink from a bottle, then prepare some extra solids.

If they’re not eating solids yet, pack a small plastic spoon or medicine cup so at least your baby can lap at some milk to tide them over until you’re home.

Anything that helps them get through it is worth considering.

We can help

If you’d like more tips or you're having particular trouble, book an online consult with one of our experienced and kind baby specialists. We can make a plan that works for you.

Good luck!


Author: Helen Stevens. RN. RM. MCHN. Manager of Clinical Services, Education and Research.
Parent Infant Consultants.