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Leaving 9 month old for 4 days?


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So I have a dilemna. My husband has a new job and there is a 'welcome' long weekend at the end of next month in the company's head office, to which partners are invited (and are 'expected' to attend!). According to sources, it is also a lot of fun as you are wined, dined and generally shown a wonderful time. My baby will, however, only be 9 months old. It's a 15 hour flight from where we are at the moment to the head office. So I have three choices:


1. Don't go. PRO: Baby isn't disturbed. CON: Risk of annoying husband's bosses; miss out on a great party and some important couple time with hubby.

2. Go with baby. PRO: Baby gets to stay with me; I get to go to weekend. CON: 12 hour time difference and 2 x 15 hour flights for the sake of 4 days seems unfair on baby. Also would have to leave him with a babysitter who he doesn't know so if he does wake up during the night (likely, given the time difference) he might be alarmed.

3. Go, leaving baby with trusted babysitter at home. PRO: Baby's routine not messed up; I get to go to the weekend. CON: I've never left baby for more than about 3 hours. Although he trusts and knows babysitter very well, it's not the same as having his mum there.


Further complication. I'm still breastfeeding baby twice a day (7am and 630pm) and occasionally also in the afternoon (otherwise he'll have a bottle of formula). I've never really expressed milk.


Sooo..... is it stupid even to consider going away? Will it emotionally disturb baby in the longterm? As you can probably tell, selfishly I'd quite like to go, but not if it is at the expense of my baby's happiness or wellbeing.


Please be nice - I've honestly not decided anything yet and am very uncertain.

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i would say that your baby probably wouldn't mind too much. i would worry though that *you* wouldn't enjoy yourself due to fretting. it's a tough one, but i would say if you're worried about the baby and he or she knows the trusted babysitter well then he or she won't be too worried about it. good luck whatever you decide.
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Tricky one but I think you should go! And leave baby with trusted babysitter. Much less disruption for him. As number 2 says above: the only thing that will be tough is you feeling strange (I expect), and you will be able to cope with it for sure.

Sure it will be one of those events you look back on and think 'really we glad I did that!' What does husband think?

Re the breastfeeding - could you take a pump and express (throwing the milk away) to keep your supply up? Meanwhile baby has formula instead, since he's used to is already.

Good luck - this is definitely the kind of dilemma I would lie awake thinking through too.

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We left our baby at 9 months for 3 1/2 days with my parents to go to a wedding in the south of france. It was a great break and she wasn't affected by it at all. I think it's pretty healthy to have time away as a couple so had no hesitation and I really don't think they are affected emotionally long term!


However - it was with her grandparents who she had stayed with overnight before without us (although this 3 days was in our house) and also, probably more importantly I had stopped breastfeeding by then so was not worried about breaking that.


It is a dilemma and the last thing you want to do is go and then worry the whole time. You have to do what feels right, perhaps do a test run for a day and a night with your trusted carer to see how your baby is?

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Go, leave your baby at home with the trusted babysitter. Taking baby with you will be bad for them and for you (and probably pointless as they'll be all over the place due to time difference, a nightmare)


Your baby (I don't believe) will be adversely affected in any way, so, if you think you will be able to relax and enjoy for MOST of the time (whilst I suspect doing lots of checking via phone and text which is perfectly natural) then you should go for it.


Don't feel like a bad mum and don't let anyone tell you that you are (I remember a few snotty comments when I left my daughter as a baby to go away for two days but I felt that was mostly jealousy!)


My daughter (now 4.5 years) has had a fair bit of time away from me, and had to get used to a few different situations from a young age as I'm a single parent and it has not done her one jot of harm - in fact I think it has helped shape her into the very confident, happy and adaptable child she is today.

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As long as you are 100% happy with your babysitter then I would say go!!! I just don't believe this rubbish that people say about emotional damage to the baby. At that age the baby will be happy so long as all it's needs are being looked after by a suitable cater who they know. It sounds like a brilliant opportunity to spend some quality time with your husband too and don't feel guilty about wanting that.. Sometimes people think the only important thing at this stage is the baby but surely a healthy relationship with your husband is really important too- in the days of young children these kind of opportunities to have quality time together don't happen too often. I really believe that a happy relationship between mum and dad is a massive benefit to baby.


Personally I think taking baby would be more problematic than you think and lead to no one enjoying themselves!


I left my daughter when she was 14 months to go skiing with husband for 4 days. Daughter was looked after by grandparents bur had a fantastic time.. believe me, they would have told me had she been upset at all! I have to say that I missed her LOTS but had a great time with hubbie and the reunion with my daughter was so lovely that I will treasure that memory for a long time!


Good luck with your decision!

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Difficult one! Do you have time to try a night or 2 away as a practice run beforehand? If you feel happy leaving him for 2 days you can maybe gauge how he and you will handle four? There's no doubt it's hard to leave them but only you will know if you are ready...if you are it will be fine, if not it will be awful, so maybe testing the waters is the way to go?


I didn't leave son no 1 (S) for more than a night until he was nearly 3 (more circumstantial than anything else) but I left son no 2 (W) at 15 months to go to Goa for a week with 2 friends (a lovely birthday present!), but I was leaving him with his Daddy and Grandma.


I was a lot more worried about leaving S than W as babies...I didn't want to be parted and really felt unable to leave him for more than a day with anyone except mrdarling or my mother but by the time I had a baby and toddler under my belt I was more than happy to get away for a couple of days:) For the record 4-5 days was fine but after that I started pining and couldn't wait to get home.


Would you feel more comfortable leaving baby with a grandparent, if there is one? I know that I wouldn't have been happy leaving my boys with anyone except my mum, my sister or my mother in law


So difficult to strike a balance between parenting and partner time but there's no way your son will be adversely affected, this really is more about how you will cope with it.


Good luck with whatever you decide!

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I could never have imagined leaving son no 1 for so long, but when the twins came along I was forcibly separated from twin I for 6 days at 10m while hospitalised with twin II. Twin I was still bf, I sent expressed milk home for him.


He didn't seem to be affected in any way. But more recently I as hospitalised again for 9 days over a fortnight and both twins, at 2 1/2, seemed quite perturbed at various points.

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We left our son for the first time overnight at 9 months - for two nights, as we went to a wedding without him. He was in his own home, with grandparents. He was also recovering from his first ear infection - so though fine, wasn't 100%. It was absolutely fine. I'm not sure how I'd have felt about it if we'd had to travel away though, it wasn't very far away. I have to say it was AMAZING! I felt odd leaving him, but he knew his grandparents well, and by the time we got on the train I was feeling happy. I think there may be something in the idea of having a trial night with the sitter, for your own peace of mind/to accustom the child and sitter to the routine.
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If he can be in his own home and he's happy with the babysitter (and YOU are happy with the babysitter), then go. You'll stress and have sleepless nights during the whole week before you go (I always do and I have fear of flying on top of that!). But once you're on the plane you'll LOVE it. :-$


Don't take him with you. Either stay behind or go.


Good luck with your decision!

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I am convinced your baby would suffer no emotional damage as a result of you going. As others have said, it's much more about how you feel about it and whether the fun of the trip would make up for the anxiety you are almost certain to feel. For me though, that would be too far away to be for too long at such a young age. But it does sound like a wonderful experience you'd be missing out on.....
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actually, have just remembered we left our boy for a night at about 7 months, think poss that helped with the longer trip a few months later.


will there be other opportunities like this, or will your husband have to go to head office much? not sure if that makes a difference, but it could. I think the distance/travel time required is the biggest drawback really.

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Question is, if this is a new job for your bloke, will you know anyone else there? What happens if you don't like the event when you get there. You'll be somewhere strange, a long-haul flight away from your baby - ie no quick dash back if something goes awry. To be honest, if it was me, I wouldn't go.
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sb - good point - like you my parents regularly jetted off without us and had a very very happy marriage. I do think sometimes we need to get a little less sentimental about our little ones and embrace opportunities to do wonderful things with the men in our lives. (off I go for a little sniff around expedia.....)
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Of course you can't be 100 per cent sure, there's very little certainty overall when it comes to raising a child IME. You need to trust to your instinct and be guided by your baby, that's why i think a test run is a good idea, for both of you.


My mum never left me alone for a night until I was five and she had to go into hospital. By that age I was deeply distressed by her absence and had an absolutely miserable time until she returned home. I wish that she had given me a little more independence from earlier on as I felt a general lack of confidence during my childhood, particularly when she wasn't with me. But maybe that was just me.


My kids on the other hand have spent the odd night away from us (with grandparents or their aunt) since about 6 months and from what we can see, it seems to have no impact on them whatsoever (they haven't been tearful, have eaten well and slept well and have been given lots of love while we were absent) and now my eldest often begs for a sleep over at my mum's house.

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Just or the record, I'm not sugesting it would mess with the baby's head, I'm just saying that we don't know. Charlotte raises a good point though, in that you could definitely leave it too late to leave a child alone.


I just feel that 9 months old, plus a 15 hour flight between you, would be too much for me personally.

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Personally? No I would not go. The fact you are breastfeeding also could be an issue if you have never left baby alone to be fed by someone else via expressed milk for the morning/evening feed.

I also think an 15 hours flight is too much at that age, I would want to know I could get home in an hour tops if anything should ever happened.

Its your baby, your life so you will do what you feel is acceptable for you.

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My hubby and I got married last year and left our then 11 month old son with his grandparents for 2 weeks while we were on honeymoon. He had a fabulous time being totally spoilt and there have been no negative affects. In fact, he regularly has sleep overs with Grandparents and there is never any kind of separation anxiety. However, I had stopped breastfeeding at this time so that wasn't a problem. My sister left her 9 month old daughter with me for 4 days a few years ago and by the time she came home her supply had really dwindled so this may be an issue for you.


Couple time is extremely important, especially after the stress of becoming new parents.


Hope this helps in some way.

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