At What Age Should I Leave My Baby Overnight?

It started when my baby was 4 months old – my friends suggesting I leave him for a day and night to hang out with them. They are good friends, great friends, and I have no doubt they believed it would be good for me to be away from my kids for a night. To relax, to eat a meal without being interrupted every 10 seconds and to get some gorgeous, uninterrupted, deep sleep. It does sound good. Especially the sleep part. That sounds marvellous actually.

At 4 months old I wasn’t ready to leave my baby
But it was never going to happen that early on. My baby had a rocky start, which no doubt has made me super cautious with him. But regardless of that, I really don’t think I would’ve been ready to leave him at 4 months old, even if he hadn’t had heart surgery. I wasn’t ready to leave my first baby that early either. So I told my friends that and they accepted it.

My baby is now 7 months old and the issue has come up again and again. My friends and I would excitedly be arranging something through a group text chat and it would dawn on me that they were assuming we would have an overnight stay somewhere. And that I would be fine that. But I’m not. Not yet anyway.

And there’s another issue… my husband works unsociable hours and he wouldn’t be able to look after the kids if I was away for a night, so my mum would have to step in. Can I really ask her to have my baby overnight knowing that he is the world’s worst sleeper and still has at least one night feed? I don’t think I can. That’s assuming she was even free to look after my kids on the night in question. She still works part time and has other commitments that keep her really busy. It’s also assuming that she would agree to have the baby overnight and she won’t, she’s too worried he’ll stop breathing or turn blue.

Still not ready to leave him at 7 months.
But aside from all that, I am just not ready. Even if my mum was itching to have the baby overnight, or there was someone else I trusted to look after him, I’m not ready to leave him for that long. I’m not ready to not put him to bed and I’m not ready to not be there when he wakes.

Am I being clingy? Do I just need to convince my mum to have him overnight, bite the bullet and go? Or is it still too early and my friends just don’t get it? If it is too early, at what age should you leave your baby overnight?

I suppose the answer to the question is, when you’re ready. When you’re ready because you feel your baby’s ready. When your baby wouldn’t be distressed at you not being there. When a night away from your baby wouldn’t just be a huge worry-fest consisting of tears on the drive away and a million calls home. When you would actually be able to enjoy the time away to let your hair down and put yourself first for a little while.

I’m not there yet and I don’t know when I will be but I refuse to give myself a deadline of say 10 months, 1 year or even 2 years. When I feel ready I will leave my baby for a night but not a minute before.

My friends don’t get it, they think I’m being over-protective. They don’t say that but say other things like ‘oh your baby’s a tough cookie, he won’t even notice you’ve gone, don’t be silly…’ etc. They don’t seem to get that it’s me who isn’t ready for a night of separation yet. Or if they do get that, they think it’s totally unreasonable. 

And don’t get me wrong, I know there are some mums (and dads) who leave their baby’s overnight much earlier. Through choice or through necessity. I’m not saying they shouldn’t, or judging them at all. The same way I hope they wouldn’t judge me for not wanting to leave my baby yet. 

  
I don’t think there’s a golden rule when it comes to this issue. Except only leave them when you are ready to. Otherwise the night away won’t be any fun anyway and what’s the point in that? My view is that you may as well bank the babysitting hours for when you are ready to go all out and have a baby-free blast. 

I’d love to hear other people’s views on this. Do you agree with me or am I just being a massive mumbot?

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8 thoughts on “At What Age Should I Leave My Baby Overnight?

  1. It is a big leap to go from nothing to overnight.
    Having someone come babysit at yours on an evening while you have a few hours out of the house is a more gentle leap into leaving them. They need the least amount of care when asleep and you will have something lovely to take your mind off leaving them.
    Although he might show you up if he sleeps out and sleep through, mine used to!
    Girls nights in are one way to still see friends too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve left them for days and evenings but just haven’t left Zaki for a full night yet. I’m really not ready for it and especially not to go and stay in another city, which is what was suggested. I am relaxing slowly with him though and think it’ll only be 4 or 5 months until I’ll be ok leaving him overnight. Thanks for reading and commenting 😊 xx

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  2. S was 22 months. I left him for 2 nights with Daddy. I wasn’t ready before then, and he’s a massive mummy boy. Some people I met (NCT friends) were leaving their babies at only a few weeks old and I definitely felt pressure to do the same – but my real friends didn’t put on any pressure at all. There were a few times when S and hubby came with me on trips (e.g. my friends hen do in london when he was 8 months) and stayed in a hotel, and u just went on the hen do until early evening.
    Just like everything in parenting you just have to do what feels right for you.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! I think your solution of daddy and baby going with you to London is a fab one; that way nobody missed out on anything.
      I’m definitely not ready yet and like you said, I have to do what feels right for me.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting 😊 xx

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  3. Only you know when the time is right and you’re not going to enjoy yourself one jot if you’re fretting about your little one.
    I’ve been there.
    I felt pressured into committing to a night out having dinner in London for a friends birthday before my 3rd was born, going on the basis of his due date. They had to pay in advance. Needless to say, he was 10 days late and I ended up going out just over 2 weeks after he was born (when he would barely take a bottle, my boobs were leaking milk out everywhere, I was still in pain from the birth) and it was horrendous! I wanted to cry at various points and couldn’t wait to get home! I was only out for 5 hours but that was enough and I didn’t leave him again for 5 months after that 😂🙈

    I’m sure you’ll feel happier once he’s nearer his 1st birthday.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no poor you! I think I would’ve just cried off – surely they’d have understood that you’d just given birth! Then again, some people don’t…
      Even before I had kids I never pressurised anyone into leaving them, I really don’t understand why people think it’s ok to do that xxx

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