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Leaving your Baby Overnight

7 Things which will help

1. In an ideal world you will be leaving your little one with someone they have a strong connection with or who they see regularly. But we don't all have this available to us so if you are trying a babysitter for the first time, test the waters with a afternoon out or a night out before leaving them for the entire night.

2. Leave a rough outline of your little one's feeding/meal/snack routine, as well as nap and bedtimes. Talk through different scenarios which may happen such as refusing a nap or a feed and how you think it would be best to address such scenarios.

3. When you leave, expect there to be tears! Aim for a short and meaningful goodbye - look them in the eyes, tell them you love them, you’ll be back soon and ‘grandma’ is going to be looking after them. Give them a kiss and leave straight away. Prolonging the goodbye will make the process much harder for your baby.

4. If your baby is used to being fed to sleep and they won’t take the bottle, talk to whoever is looking after them about offering lots of physical support. It might be a cuddle and a rock or lying down together. It doesn’t matter if they don’t go to sleep in their usual way, just that they feel safe and secure when they fall asleep.

5. If you anticipate that your little one will struggle to fall asleep without you, keeping them awake a little longer before a nap or bedtime can often make this process easier. This is because their sleep pressure will be higher and they are less likely to ‘fight’ sleep.

6. Leave any sleep props which will make sleep easier for your little one, such as bedding which smells of home, a comforter, travel black out blinds and/or white noise.

7. Try not to worry too much. Whatever happens, your little one will sleep and it is only one night! Not only that, some little ones actually sleep better away from their primary caregiver because they’re not so interested in waking when they know that they won’t get to see you during the night!


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