“Would you and Alex like to go to Vegas with us in the spring?” This is how the conversation started. As a mom my first thought was “But how?” How can I leave baby overnight that many nights in a row? I guess I had never even thought about vacationing without our son but when the opportunity presented itself, we couldn’t say no. A whole week in Vegas with some of our best friends!
Once we sat down and figured out the how, I went into mom mode. I checked all the boxes to make sure him and I would be comfortable for the time we were away.
Making the Decision is the Easy Part
Once you decide that you are leaving your little one for the first time overnight for whatever reason that is; to deliver baby two, vacation, or an extra long date night, that’s the easy part. It’s the next part that is hard, the planning. As mothers we will go through every. single. possible. scenario and worry ourselves to death. So, to help with the worry I’ve decided to share with you what I did to prepare for 7 days away from our son.
Leaving Baby Overnight Takes Lots of Planning!
Whether you are leaving baby for one night or a week it takes planning. Some of that planning was obvious for me like clothes, formula, etc. But once I started going through every scenario I needed to prepare for, THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE!
If you are going to be leaving your baby overnight these are the basis I covered and I recommend you cover to make your time away as worry-free as it can be:
- Make a schedule for while you’re away.
- Pack their bag.
- Prepare food for your time away.
- Prepare for an emergency.
Schedules Are a Moms Best Friend
It doesn’t matter if we are at home or 2,000 miles away, there is something about a schedule that gives us a sense of calm (or is that just me, I think other moms are like this haha). So when we made the choice to leave, the first thing I did was sit down and write schedules. I wrote schedules for:
- his day
- and when I would be able to call and talk to him each day.
Meals are a huge part of a child’s day. To write the schedule for meals try answering these questions:
- When will your child eat? Do you have a really strict time for each meal or do you have a general time for each meal?
- Where will your child eat? Do they eat in a high chair for meals and bottles? Do they take a bottle to bed or wake up with one?
- What will they eat or NOT eat? Did you prepare food for them? Does the person who is keeping them need to cook? If so, what foods do they like or not like? Are they allergic to anything?
It seems like a lot of questions but once it’s wrote out it doesn’t look nearly as complicated.
For us the schedule looked like this.
If you wrote out the major events of your day, what would that look like? From the time your child gets up till they go to bed there are things that are the same most days. When they eat, when they nap, when they go to bed. Now, we are pretty casual parents so my son doesn’t have an exact time for each of these things but there is a round about time for most of them.
When you go to write this schedule just think about if you were watching someones child what information would you need to get through the day and overnight.
- wake up time
- meal times
- nap times
- bedtime and routine
- when will you be able to call (is there a time difference?)
It doesn’t have to be super extensive, just enough that your child’s day looks pretty normal and all the major questions are answered.
What’s In the Barney Bag?
When you decided to leave your baby for the first time overnight, if you are anything like me then you immediately go to ‘the bag.‘ What clothes, shoes, diapers, formula, etc. will they need for an overnight away? This is a huge part of planning especially if your child will be staying outside of your home while you are gone.
A quick check list of things that I went through were:
- clothes, at least one outfit a day. Then pack a few extra.
- pajamas, again what you normal use plus at least one extra.
- diapers (average how many and then throw in extras)
- a towel
- any medications they might need
- any comforts of home. My son hasn’t attached to anything yet but you might want to include a blankie or Teddy if they use one.
- formula or breast milk ( I will talk more about this in food prepping).
Food, Prep or Not to Prep?
In our household we food prep every week, so when we decided to go on this vacation I knew I would do the same for our son before we left. By food prepping the grandparents had less to worry about and I also knew what my son was eating while I was away. If you don’t have the time or if you simply do not want to food prep then I would suggest writing a list of foods your child does like for whomever is keeping them while you’re away.
If you would like to food prep, then the next bit is for you.
To food prep you have to decide:
- What your child will eat while you are away?
- What will keep well?
- How will you store it?
I knew my son loved all of these foods and each meal was healthy and easy to make. I decided to make the following menu for the week:
Breakfast: fruit and banana pancakes
Lunch: Mac & cheese, cheddar, broccoli bites
Dinner: Quesadillas and peppers
For each day there was a bag with the day of the week and how to heat or prep the meal.
Once it was all prepped I tossed it all in one giant bag and put it in the freezer. All the foods would keep in the freezer and the grandparents had to just pull out the meals for that day and heat when needed.
All of this probably only took an hour or so and the grandparents didn’t have to worry about cooking or what he could or couldn’t have.
Along with food you will also need to portion out breast milk or formula for your time away. We used formula so I did enough for 3-8 oz bottles a day and three or four extra bottles just in case they were needed.
(If your baby is still on puree foods read my post on meal prepping purees)
Of all the things that we did to prepare to leave our son this is the thing that made me feel the most at peace, the In Case of Emergency Envelope.
There were so many scary scenarios that went through my head leading up to our trip. What if he got hurt, or sick or if he was in an accident? As moms we worry and this small envelope helped me ease those worries.
Before we left we made a special envelope that had anything the grandparents would need in case of an emergency. I included information they would need and things they night not remember in the moment. Here is what we included in the envelope:
- letter with permission to treat
- an insurance card
- all the information they would need to admit him to a hospital
Permission to treat
As we prepared to leave him overnight for a whole week this I googled what to include in a letter to give permission to someone other than the parents, to treat a child. The letter read something like this,
We (your and your partners name),
Give permission to (name of person who will have your child) to make any and all medical decisions on behalf of (your child’s name) while we are away.
(Yours and your partner’s printed name and signature.)
Time is crucial in some situations and having written permission to treat can speed things up. (Also, I am by no means a lawyer or professional in any way. This is just the information I used and I can’t confirm this is legally correct).
This was a duh moment when I read this online. I NEVER thought to leave an insurance card just in case. If you have an extra copy this is a huge must have for anyone keeping your child while you are away.
ANY and ALL information they would need
On a simple piece of paper I wrote any and all important information they would need in case of an emergency.
- Pediatrician’s name, phone numbers and location
- your child’s social security number (we don’t normally write this down but this envelope was kept locked up unless needed while we were gone)
- any known allergies
- date of birth (grandparents know this but in an emergency maybe not)
- any medications that are being taken daily
- parents names and date of birth
- contact information for parents
Once all of this was together I stuck it in a normal envelope. I told his grandparents to keep it somewhere safe but accessible. This way if something happened they could just hand all the information to whoever needed. All the information they could need was in one simple envelope. They wouldn’t have to think or worry about anything if God forbid something would happen that they would have it.
Now, Enjoy Yourselves!
After, you have checked all the boxes and packed everything thing they’ll need, enjoy yourselves. I know this is hard and not everyone will agree with me, that time away is needed but I think it is. My husband and I had a great time and to my surprise I didn’t worry as much as I thought I would. I knew my son was in good hands and that I had made his days as normal as I could.
Have you ever taken a vacation without your child or had to leave your little one for an extended amount of time? What would you add to this list of things to do before you leave?
When I took a test to see if I was pregnant I had my suspicions. We had to use fertility treatments so there is always that doubt. But there were a few clues that I was getting the answer we were waiting on.
My suspicion started one night while I was watching How to Train a Dragon 2 (by myself I might add). One of the small dragons threw up, which lead me to throw up. Anyone who knows me knows that I would rather feel crumby all day then to throw up and I threw up over a cartoon throwing up. So we tested the next day and we were pregnant with #2! We were so excited especially me because my first pregnancy was AMAZING! I had some food aversion but no sickness, not really any pains and basically a simple pregnancy and delivery.
Lesson 1 as a second time mom, no two pregnancies are the same apparently. I have been sick almost everyday for 11 weeks. I have gone through some terrible days and on top of being sick I still have my son who needs me each day at home.
So how have I survived up to this point? Lots of trial and error!!! Here is the list of foods, drinks and tricks that have helped me get to week 11 somewhat in tact.
So mama if you are feeling crumby try these simply tricks.
Whether you have some nausea or you are sick everyday like me you need to be prepared for feeling your worst! Especially, if you have a little one(s) at home counting on you.
Items that I keep near are plastic grocery bags, mints, napkins and a small snack. At home I have a little area in almost all the rooms just in case I feel sick. I keep mints under my bathroom sink, in the kitchen and in my bedside table.
When I am on the go I keep mints, plastic bags and a snack in my car and in my diaper bag. This way I am never in a place where I’m unprepared. Morning sickness doesn’t care if you on the highway or in the middle of the grocery store it’s better to be prepared then not.
Finding foods to eat
There have been days where I can’t keep anything down at all! And for the first 9 weeks I couldn’t stand the taste of water (which I am normally drink all day). So, it took so trial and error to find foods and drinks that helped me get the nutrients and energy I needed.
These are some foods that helped me through the days where everything looked gross or made me want to run to the bathroom.
- Popsicles: I found this awesome brand called Outshine they have real fruit and no sugar added. I would eat these to get some calories and to stay hydrated. While trying to find food to eat I read that popsicles are better than saltines because they have more nutrients. I assume there is some truth to that but either way I felt better eating frozen fruit that bland crackers.
- Chickenbroth: On bad days it’s important to keep your sodium replenished. Broth was easy to get down, it had flavor and I was getting some liquid in my system as well. You can buy broth already made. I opted to use bullion cubes this way I could control the taste and amount of sodium I was getting.
- Bananas: Some days I couldn’t eat these but on days I could I tried to eat at least one. They are packed full of nutrients and are bland enough to look appetizing.
- Triscuits: These crackers come in so many flavors but they are also 100% whole grain wheat made with simple ingredients. When I needed a snack with a crunch and some saltiness there were my go to.
Also, because water was a no go for a while I had to look for other ways to stay hydrated. I found a few options that helped until I could keep water down (which thank God I can now)
- Spindriftsparklingwater: These waters are made with real fruits. They have a few different flavors and the fact that they are carbonated helped settle my stomach on those really rough days. My favorite flavor was blackberry. Yum!
- Ginger ale: This is one you have probably heard before but if you are a fan of ginger ale it really does help with the nausea. This is by far my favorite one.
- I did get to the point where I didn’t want ginger ale so I searched for other ginger flavored drinks. Which lead me to find some awesome ginger teas.
- Ginger Teas: I am lucky enough to have an awesome coffee shop in my town that is a small business with the best teas. So here I found a ginger peach tea that has been a life saver on days where I need a little caffeine and something to settle my morning sickness. If you are every in Cincinnati definitely check out Coffee Emporium! But if you are too far to come to Cincinnati you can always check out your own local tea shop or grocery store there are so many ginger options that are awesome.
This may seem like a contradiction but I mean it, move as much as you can. Of course there are days where I am too weak to get up and workout or do anything. But on the days where you have even a little energy get up and move your body.
I have been doing these awesome 20 minute workouts from Michelle Marie Fit Pregnancy Program.
The days where I can move even a little I tend to feel a better afterwards. When you are laying on the couch because you don’t feel well it can take a toll on your body, which is already going through so much. It’s better to move those muscles when you have the energy trust me.
I aim to get my workout in four times a week and with Fit Mom To Be’s AWESOME workouts I can break a sweat in as little as 15 mins. If you want to check out these workouts she has a great 14 Day Free Trial workout program you can try!!
—–>>> 14 Day Free Trial
Heading into the second Trimester
As week 12 is quickly approaching I can only hope and pray that the nausea will ease up soon. If you are going through morning sickness and nausea too, I feel for you and I hope these tips help give you some relief.
What has worked for you when it comes to having morning sickness? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Lots of Love,
I’ve only been a parent for 9 short months and there have already been several of those events. You know the ones… the ones where when you think about taking your little ones you get so excited when you think about how much fun it’ll be (especially if it’s a first for your family) and then in record time you. freak. out.
It’s going to be so much work, what if they’re cranky, should we take them…. Does this sound familiar? I know it does for my husband and I. We are still so new at this and there have been several events where I want to take our son and I weigh the pros and cons and decide if I should, most of the time I do.
One thing you should know about my husband and I is when we got pregnant we decided we wanted our baby to be apart of our lives. What I mean by that is, I did not want to be a couple that stayed in and turned down plans because we had a baby (within reason of course). We wanted adventures and memories with all the good and the bad.
So when the opportunity arose to get semi season tickets to our favorite hockey team when I was 7 months pregnant we took it, knowing that our son would only be 3 months old when the season started. There was going to be so much to figure out but it was an adventure we wanted.
So this is how we take our son to hockey games and pretty much every where and enjoy ourselves.
Most of us moms are planners or at least when it comes to our children we are. We know when it’s time for them to eat, when they will throw that evening fit, and when they are going to get overly sleepy. Knowing these things is part of being a mom and they play a huge roll in planning a successful trip out to a big or crowded event.
Things to figure out before:
- When will your baby need to eat.
My son was still nursing every 2-3 hours when we first started going to games so I knew I would have to feed him before we left, once we were there, during the game, and before we left.
- Where/how will you feed your baby
We decided to do a little of both. Sometimes I would have a bottle pumped so we would take that and save it for during the game to cut down on needing to nurse in public and other times I didn’t so I would prepare for nursing under my cover in my seat or sitting on a bench.
- Do you need to take any medications
My son needed acid reflux medicine so we knew that it needed to be packed and easily accessible while we were at the game.
- What kind of event will you be attending, do you need anything special (swim diaper, head phones, etc)
Hockey games are loud so we knew that we had to invest in some good headphones to protect our little ones ears. We bought these and they have worked so well even as he has got bigger.
- How late will you be out, should you take pj’s to make baby comfortable
Since our hockey team plays 1.5 hour away we knew that packing Pj’s was a good idea. We could get him settled in and comfortable making transition to bed easier when we got home.
After you have answered all the big questions you can move to onto the check list of things to take with you.
Going to the hockey games meant seats that were close together so we opted to take a small draw string bag instead of our diaper bag. So we went down our plan and figured out what we would need to make sure baby was happy and content without packing everything but the kitchen sink.
- Diapers (how many)
- Food (breast milk or formula)
- Nursing cover
- Binky and clip
It was here, our first hockey game as a family of 3. To say we were nervous and stressed would be an understatement. I stuck to the plan of nursing right before we left ( to keep baby somewhat content on the drive), we loaded the car with our condensed diaper bag and headed off to our first big outing. When we arrived I nursed again in the car ( I know I can nurse in public but I always felt more comfortable in the car). We parked and walk to the game. When we got to the arena we changed his diaper and found our seats.
During the game we had our plan. The baby would eat once during the game and then again when we left. I located the nearest restroom just in case and we settled in. We had a blast!!! Once we were in our seat my son (who was SUPER difficult his first 6 months) did amazing. He got his medicine on time, I nursed in my seat and he had his head phones so he could enjoy the game. The bag we brought fit perfectly under my seat making it easy to grab but not in the way and when he got cranky he had his binky or I could walk him up the aisle.
After the game we changed him and learned about ‘Family Restrooms!’ (we were really excited about this haha), took him back to the car changed him into his pj’s and headed home with an amazing night of memories.
He did so well. As a family we had so much fun. Was it different? Of course. Was it a little difficult? YES. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY
As new parents we were probably a bit naive and we probably still are. But who isn’t?? And if a small touch of ignorance gives us memories… well then it’s worth it.
Comment below and let me know what events you have been brave enough or naive enough to take your little ones to.