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dads & mums

leaving your baby: there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ first time

2 minutes


There are certain parts of parenthood that it is almost impossible to understand until you actually experience them. Such as leaving your baby with another person for the first time. On the surface, it seems like a fairly simple step - when the time comes that you need to go out without your baby, you ask someone you trust implicitly to babysit. But in reality, many more complicated feelings can arise.

Don’t feel ready to leave your baby for the first time? Don’t worry

‘You spend the first months of parenthood so absorbed by tending to your baby’s every needs that the thought of entrusting that job to someone else can be really hard’ says Hayley, mum to Tommy, 3. ‘I was invited to a no-kids party when my baby was six months old but my mum was away and I didn’t trust anyone else to have him, even though I have other family members that were willing and totally capable. So I didn’t go in the end. I think it raised a few eyebrows that I was ‘that’ kind of mum, but even though I knew nothing would go wrong, I also knew I wouldn’t have had a good time because I wasn’t ready.’

Other people’s opinions can be surprisingly persuasive, but this is 100 percent your decision and you are always the expert on what’s best for you and your baby. So don’t rush anything or feel pressured into doing this - you set the rules.

More than ready to leave your baby for the first time? No guilt needed

‘We went to a wedding when our son was seven weeks old, and left him with his grandparents for the day,’ says Kevin, dad to Seren, 7 and Owen, 2. ‘Some of our friends were clearly a bit surprised we had done this so soon, and I know my wife was a bit self-conscious about it, but we had absolutely no doubts that he would be fine. He had his milk, two doting grandparents and his big sister and we were a phone call away if necessary. It gave me and my wife a chance to just be ‘us’ for the day, which was so needed.’

Just as you shouldn’t be pressured into leaving your baby before you’re ready, neither should you feel guilty for trusting them with someone else. Learning to be comfortable with others is an important part of baby’s development, and if you get a little bit of time to just breathe, for a moment. Well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

For more tips and parents' advice on other milestones and first times, why not read some of our articles on our Parenting Hub, including your baby's first haircut and how to encourage your baby to walk.

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