It’s definitely normal to feel anxious when thinking about leaving your baby to return to your previous life with work and colleagues. While you’ll miss them so much, you can take this chance to have a break, connect with your besties, wind down and sleep peacefully through the night.
So, when is it OK to leave your baby with grandparents, even overnight? Is there anything to consider before asking your parents for help?
This guide will look at the most important ones to help you make a suitable decision for your child.
When Can You Leave Your Baby With Grandparents?
We’ll dig deep into six major concerns that most parents must consider carefully before deciding when to drop their children at their grandparents’ house.
1. Consider Your Baby’s Needs
The baby’s needs are important, but not all needs are equally important. Needs like affection and love may overshadow other daily stipulations like eating at the right time.
It is critical to maintain normalcy when leaving the baby for grandparents and enforce compliance, meaning grandparents need to show the same affection and love toward the child.
Besides, older children are generally more effortless to manage and teach than younger ones. During the first three months, babies are most vulnerable. Any effort to escape would expose you to a crisis after that.
A dinner or movie night out with your husband seems tiny, but those few hours feel like a performance to the baby. If you intend to leave your baby with grandparents overnight or even for a few days, you should start your trip when your kid is from four to nine months old.
When the baby turns four months old, he will gradually get used to formula and solid foods, reducing the reliance on breast milk. However, the best time for separation is after your child is nine months old since you’ll be less anxious, and your heart will not be torn apart when walking out of the door.
2. Consider Grandparents’ Physical and Mental Health
One of the most critical considerations before deciding when to leave your toddler with grandparents is your parents’ physical and mental health.
Toddlers are highly active and demanding, sometimes requiring attention, playing around, and chasing after. Thus, ensure your parents can handle it mentally and physically.
If your kid has special interests or needs, or certain things need certain ways of handling, show your parents the detailed instructions beforehand.
If necessary, give grandparents your kid’s regular schedule so they can help you make the baby feel more comfortable, particularly if you intend to let the little one stay at the grandparents’ house, not at your home.
3. Are Grandparents Happy With Babysitting?
Of course, grandparents are always eager and happy to be close to their grandkids and have bonding moments. However, babies are usually disobedient and demanding, and not all older people are happy with babysitting, particularly for extended periods.
Ask your parents if they can help you babysit in the morning or any length you expect, what you need them to do, and ensure they’re fine with it. Clear communication is crucial and will help prevent sticky circumstances while away.
4. Consider Differences In Parenting Style
Young and old parents have different styles of raising a kid. Modern-day parenting sometimes works opposite to the old-fashioned style, which may stress you out when asking your parents to do as you want.
Those internal conflicts are common in families. Young parents often judge grandparents too harshly since they believe they’re the best parents for their children with the best parenting style.
Don’t worry too much about your mother teaching your kid in a wrong or too old-fashioned way. She loves her grandkids and will do anything for them, just like you.
If you’re afraid your toddler can’t get used to a different parenting style, you can build a close bond between the baby and grandparents by taking him to visit them regularly. Regular visits will help the kid gradually familiarize themselves with a different upbringing style.
5. Your Child Accepts Bottles
Some babies only accept drinking milk in bottles from particular people. You can tell your mother to try feeding your kid with a bottle to ensure he is comfortable accepting it from his grandma before going on a trip.
Experts suggest not giving breastfed babies bottles until your breastfeeding and milk supply are well-established, typically when children are four to six weeks old. If your little one is an exclusive breastfeeder, you should only go on a trip when you can prepare bottles of expressed breastmilk and send them to grandma.
Start feeding the newborn expressed milk a couple of weeks before the trip, from once to twice per day. In so doing, you can rest reassured that he will accept bottles while you’re away.
6. Consider How Long Grandparents Will Help Watch The Kids
It’s better to conduct short trial tests before leaving him with grandma overnight if your little one doesn’t often spend long stretches without parents.
You can ask grandma to watch him for 1-2 hours while you’re going for a walk or to buy coffee at a coffee shop to see how the toddler will react. Yet, wait until he reaches four to nine months before leaving him with grandma or grandpa overnight or for a few days.
In short, four to nine months is the easiest period to let your baby stay with grandparents. Though there will be some conflicts and disagreements, you know that your kid will always be in warm, hands with love.
Above are the considerations you should involve to ensure your decision works for your family.