Leaving a breastfed baby for a weekend - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 109 Old 02-17-2008, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anybody successfully done this? I really want to visit my sister for a weekend in April and don't think it'll be practical to take the baby. My DP thinks I should just get him onto formula before then so it's less hassle, but I think it should be possible to leave some breast milk while I'm gone and then pump and dump while I'm away.

I'd love to hear some words of encouragement...
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#2 of 109 Old 02-17-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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I know people who have done this successfully. I don't see any reason to start babe on formula. You can even store your breastmilk while you're away. You also have lots of time to store breast milk before your trip. I think you'll be fine.


 
 

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#3 of 109 Old 02-17-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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how old is your baby? that would have a lot to do with it.

I was never away from my first baby for more than 8 hours, until she was weaned (at 27 months). even then, it was about 8 months later before she was away from me for a couple of days.

If it was me, my baby would be coming with me. Over-nights without mama would be especially hard on a baby if you have never done it before. I took my first DD on a least 2 planes rides to visit my parents, just me and her, while she was young. It was not too hard.
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#4 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He's 20 weeks now, so by the time I want to go he'll be around 6 months.
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#5 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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Why pump and dump? Why not pump and save? If you're going to make the effort to pump, you might as well save the milk and bring it back for your little one

For me it wouldn't be so much the issue of eating as it would whether or not your baby would be ok without you for that long. Mine STILL wouldn't and she is almost 14 months old. It's just the way she is wired. If your baby is perfectly happy to go to sleep without you and with your partner instead, and won't wake up freaking out that mom is gone, I'd say go have fun!

Otherwise, take her with you
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#6 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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I definitely would not do it. There is no way I could leave my little one for a weekend at that age. Maybe when he is much older, but 6 months? Not a chance for this mama.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#7 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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I wouldn't leave a 6 month old for the weekend, nursing or not but especially nursing. I also wouldn't put a babe on formula to get a weekend away. Take your baby with you, that's what you do when you have an infant IMO.
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#8 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 10:49 AM
 
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Totally agree with thismama.

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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#9 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd be leaving him with his father so it's not quite abandonment. He's fine about DP putting him to sleep too.
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#10 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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I'd be leaving him with his father so it's not quite abandonment. He's fine about DP putting him to sleep too.
You are his primary food source. Also I assumed his primary caregiver, and that you have some fear about how he will do without you, since you posted the question. With a baby that young, especially a nursing one, I wouldn't do it.

My personal opinion is that father does not anywhere near = mother at that young age, except perhaps in rare circumstances and where the mother is not nursing. But IME leaving a young baby with the father doesn't make it okay that the mother is gone. It would be easier with our current conception of how family should be structured if that were the case, but IMO it is not. So... I would not leave my 6 month old for the weekend. I might really want to, I might be disappointed or even resentful that I could not, but I wouldn't do it.
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#11 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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I had to leave my 6 month old when I had to get a weekend job. It was for a total of 10 hours on Saturday and then 10 hours on Sunday. It was really hard for my DD. I would get home from work and all she did for the evening and all night long was nurse- her way of reconnecting with me.

I do have to agree with the others. 6 months is pretty young to leave the baby for a whole weekend. And yes, your DP would be able to handle everything fine, but it's not about your DP, it's about your babe.

And I'm trying to say this as kindly as possible, but don't ask a question if you don't want honest answers back.
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#12 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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I had to leave my 6 month old when I had to get a weekend job. It was for a total of 10 hours on Saturday and then 10 hours on Sunday. It was really hard for my DD. I would get home from work and all she did for the evening and all night long was nurse- her way of reconnecting with me.

I do have to agree with the others. 6 months is pretty young to leave the baby for a whole weekend. And yes, your DP would be able to handle everything fine, but it's not about your DP, it's about your babe.

And I'm trying to say this as kindly as possible, but don't ask a question if you don't want honest answers back.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#13 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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There's no way I'd leave DD for a weekend. She's such a mamma's girl that it's hard on her if I'm away for an hour! Even if her personality was more laid back, though, I still wouldn't leave her. I think 6 MO is too young.

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#14 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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I'd take the babe. I'm sure his auntie is anxious to see him. Every and any bottle of formula you give your babe will diminish your supply and damage your nursing relationship.
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#15 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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I agree with thismama. I would most definitely take my babe with me. In our house, nursing is not just about giving him the nutrition he needs, it's also about comfort and mama/baby closeness. Wouldn't your baby miss nursing if he wasn't able to do so for a whole weekend? I can't imagine how inconsolable my 7-month-old would be if I had to be away from him for three days...or even a day. Also, at 6 months old, I would be worried about early weaning if I wasn't around for that long.
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#16 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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I wouldn't leave a 6 month old for the weekend, nursing or not but especially nursing. I also wouldn't put a babe on formula to get a weekend away. Take your baby with you, that's what you do when you have an infant IMO.
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-Angela
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#17 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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The World Health Organization doesn't suggest weaning before the age of two years. Giving a young baby bottles of formula or expressed milk for an entire weekend could result in accidental early weaning.

Being away from you all weekend could also be quite stressful on your little one. Six month olds are fairly aware of their surroundings and his needs for you then may be quite different from his needs for you today. He may refuse to take a bottle. He may be at a stage where he'll only fall asleep for you.

Personally, I'm not even ready to leave my nursing two year old for a weekend. She still has very intense needs for me and my milk, and with the amount she nurses I'd likely risk getting plugged ducts and/or mastitis if I were to be away from her that long.

Kim - Wife to Liam , Unschooly mama to Nick (10/00) Lily (09/05) and Olivia (07/09)
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#18 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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Fine for you, probably. Fine for your partner, probably, too. Fine for your baby? Well, that's another question entirely. Is there any combination that could give you time with your sister and not take you away from your baby?

*your sister could come to you to visit
*take your baby along
*take DP and the baby
*All three of you stay in a hotel together at night and you have the days with your sister
*DP and baby stay in a hotel close by while you stay with your sister

There are several other possible combinations, I'm sure. Honestly, MDC is probably not your best place to look for encouragement to leave a six-month-old baby for the weekend, no matter what the feeding choice.
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#19 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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And I'm trying to say this as kindly as possible, but don't ask a question if you don't want honest answers back.
i hate to bring this to your attention but we are all very passionit about breastfeeding so understand that you are starting to tead to deep water.

you made an alwsome chose to bf your baby and he need as you needed him before you got pg, did't need a baby??? i understand your need to get away we all long for that too, but there only nursing babas for awhile and there is a piont at whice you can get away, if you do a whole weekend w/o YOUR baby that you are going to break that bond of bfing that was so hard to form, think back to the first hours/days that was alot of work please, please do not think selvesly and break that beauiful bond between bfing mother and nursing baby. my hearth breaks for you if you make that trip w/o your baby.:
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#20 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I cannot offer encouragement. Your sweet little boy is emotionally and physically dependent on you. You are his only Mama and he needs you. Unless it is a true emergency that cannot be avoided, please do not tamper with the wonderfully strong nursing bond you have created.

Mama to E (12/07) and M (01/11). homebirth.jpg
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#21 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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It's a mother's responsibility to be with her baby all the time. That is just what having a baby is about. I bring my baby everywhere, as I'm sure many mamas here do. I would be so sad if I left my baby for a weekend. He would not understand that I am leaving for a few days and then coming home. For all he knows, I'm leaving him forever. My baby deserves to be with me all the time, just like I was with my mother all the time as a baby.

Michelle, wife to Ryan, mommy to Gabriel 6/23/2007 and Susanna 9/19/2009
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#22 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Honestly, I don't have a problem with leaving him with his dad for a weekend - I know he'll be fine. I left my DD with my mother for the occasional weekend from 4 months old (she was formula fed by then anyway) and it did her no harm either. Personally I think it's good for them to get used to being left with trusted people other than me from a young age, but I understand that other mothers may feel differently about when to leave their children.

becoming/KimProbable -what do you mean by early weaning? That he won't go back to the breast again?

artgoddess - will my supply be damaged if I'm still pumping over the weekend?
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#23 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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becoming/KimProbable -what do you mean by early weaning? That he won't go back to the breast again?

It's possible. The way a baby latches and sucks on an artificial nipple is very different from the way he would with a real nipple. The flow of milk from a bottle is also instantaneous and sometimes faster than the flow of breastmilk, so some babies who get used to drinking from a bottle refuse the breast because it's more work.

Kim - Wife to Liam , Unschooly mama to Nick (10/00) Lily (09/05) and Olivia (07/09)
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#24 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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artgoddess - will my supply be damaged if I'm still pumping over the weekend?
Everyone is different. It is possible, but if your ds is able to continue nursing well from the time you get home then you can get your supply back up and running well, as long as you are seriously committed to doing so. However, with every bottle feeding and use of artificial nipple you run the risk of your ds having latch issues upon moms return, or even worse, refusing the breast.
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#25 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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What thismama said. PLEASE take your babe.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#26 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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Well I am pretty easy-going, let people do as they will, and all that but I would not leave a 6 mo old nursing babe. Like a pp said, its also about closeness. You are everything to that baby. And I need breaks too, dont get me wrong. But a weekend is a long time to a baby. Just take him with you. Travelling w one 6 mo old child is really not a big deal at all.
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#27 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Taking the baby with me would kind of defeat the purpose of going away for the weekend I'm afraid!
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#28 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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what is the purpose of your trip?
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#29 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to get away from the kids for a weekend and have a good time with my sister.
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#30 of 109 Old 02-18-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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Just to get away from the kids for a weekend and have a good time with my sister.
Infants don't need mama to get away from them. And in infancy the baby's needs trump mama's wants.

-Angela
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