Separation Anxiety — How to Get Through It
New parents need time for themselves. Many new parents simply wish for an evening out among other adults; some prefer a quiet dinner alone. But how can you ease the inevitable separation anxiety you or your baby will experience?
First, involve those who will care for the baby “in small doses” before leaving for a longer period of time. Have Grandma come to the house and spend time holding the baby long before you decide to leave; this way, baby and Grandma will be more comfortable with your absence.
If you sing to the baby before naptime or bedtime, consider leaving a tape recording of your voice for the caregiver to play while you're gone. Or, have your babysitters or caregivers come to the baby's most familiar surrounding (your home) rather than taking baby to their home.
The more familiar everything is to baby, the less stress he will feel. Although you may think they are unaware, babies spend their entire first few months painstakingly taking note of everything in their new world.
If you want, check in with your caregiver frequently — but not too frequently. One or two calls per outing is acceptable, but not a call every hour.
Time away from baby should not be a guilt-inducing experience but a pleasurable way of re-energizing and maybe even gaining new perspective. Don't feel as if you're a bad parent just because you need a break; in fact, the best parents know when to take time for themselves.
Information Sheet for Babysitters
When you start making time for yourselves again, you'll need to leave some pertinent information at home for anyone who is babysitting your little one. Here's a list of information you might want to keep on the refrigerator door or near the phone.
- We are out at:
- We will return at:
- A number you can call to reach us is:
- If you can't reach us, call:
- Baby's mealtime is:
- Baby's naptime is:
- For a snack, baby can have:
- Baby is allergic to:
- Baby's bedtime is:
- In case of emergency, call the pediatrician at:
- Police number:
- Fire Department number:
- Special instructions: