Take the Trip: Leave Your Baby Behind

“She can’t get out of there, right?” asked our close family member about the crib as we gave her a tour of the nursery, and laid our 1-year-old down for a nap. We were preparing to take our first trip away from her. The crib was at the second-to-lowest setting. I didn’t hesitate, “Nah, she’s fine,”

We shut the door behind us with her crying, as she always does when it’s time to sleep.  

In a panic, I ran back into her room. Before I realized what had happened, I scooped her off the floor. It hit me: she fell out of her crib! How could we have let this happen? How can we leave now? What if she’s injured? I knew I had to nurse her to calm her down. And it worked. Before I knew it, she was trying to make me laugh. She was totally fine.


We had spent months going back-and-forth about what we should do with our daughter for an out-of-state, adults-only, family wedding. We could have a friend out there suggest a babysitter. That would mean minimal time away from her. But wait — she’s going to be so bored on a 7 hour car ride! Then, the most important factor hit me: We need this time alone together.

My general anxiety causes me to come up with excuses for not trying new things. So, leaving our baby in someone else’s care for more than an evening, I of course ran through all of the what-ifs. Falling out of her crib moments before we were going to leave definitely trigged my fight-or-flight response.  I’m so happy that I chose to “fight” this time – fight my fears and enjoy a mini-vacation with my husband. 


Feeling Secure About Leaving Your Child
The best suggestion we got from our babysitter was to have her come to our house. Knowing what a pain it is to pack all of the extra items {on top of our own luggage}, and that she sleeps best in her own crib {at an appropriate height}, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse! We cleaned and stocked the refrigerator for her arrival.

Medical Authorization with Insurance & ID copies; take-out menus!

Another great idea our aunt had was filling out a Medical Consent Letter. If anything happened while we were gone {and clearly, it could have!}, having this form would have made it a lot easier and faster for our daughter to get medical care in our absence. It was super easy to find free ones available online.

My biggest ease of mind were photos – happy ones! It was so nice of our aunt to text us photos of them playing throughout the weekend. We also have a nursery camera that you can check with your phone. I try to resist the temptation of watching this when I’m out so that I can enjoy the freedom. But, it’s still a nice reassurance.  

Be sure to leave your babysitter a copy of your house key, any access codes {garage door, security alarm}, and a car seat in case they need to leave.

Cool as a cucumber back home at her water table.

It’s hard to picture your infant not crying the whole time you’re away – especially if you’re in the throes of separation anxiety. But once you’re out of sight, they will be okay.  Any good babysitter can handle a few tears — it’s nothing to feel guilty about.  

I’m grateful to have had an excuse to get away. There are just too many distractions at home to spend good, quality time with my spouse. Even a long car ride together seemed like a treat. I’ve also been feeling extra thankful to spend all day with my child now that I’ve had a chance to miss her!

Mom earned this glass of wine.

What are some preparations you make when going on a child-free vacation?

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