DH and I are contemplating two getaways. One overnight for our anniversary when babe is 13 months old and another about 5 days when DS is 18-20 months. For the first we would ask grandparents to stay at our house. For the second DS and DD (4 yo) would stay with Grandparents at their house...same grandparents both times.
I would have never considered this with DD first time around. She was glued to me round the clock, but DS is used to a babysitter while I work part-time. I realize a day is different than overnight. Do you think the first trip would help DS at all? I'm hoping being with DD would help too.
Anyway, I'm wondering about how your LO did with a longer trip away. Were you still nursing?
That's probably more than I would do with a nursling. I know that's no reason to wean, but it will be a really long time (overnight), especially for a 13 mo. I'd postpone away trips until baby is weaned (or over 3). Just me though.
Momma to DD (12/04) and DS (11/09) .
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!
If he's not nursing at night and he sleeps through the night, I don't think the overnight one is a big deal. But 5 days? No way. I'm not sure I'd even want to leave my 9 year old for that long, and I'm probably more mainstream than AP. Not to mention, there's a decent chance he'll wean with you gone for that long.
At any rate, I really don't think the first trip would do anything to "prepare" him. 5-7 months is a huge time lapse for a toddler that age, I really doubt he'd remember the first over night by that point. I had an ectopic pregnancy rupture when dd3 was 14 months and had to be hospitalized for a couple days, she was nursing at night still and she survived but it was VERY hard on her.
I wouldn't leave my baby (nursing or not) for that amount of time at either age.. I did leave my nursing 2.5yo with Grandma for 2 nights once. He was perfectly fine, but he's also very easy going about who's watching him. It depends a lot on your child's personality. Some kids might never fully recover and some will be totally fine. Maybe, maybe, MAYBE I would leave an 18mo for 1 night if he was night weaned and really used to the person watching him.
My LO is 13 months. I wouldn't leave her in the day, let alone all night. She still nurses 4-5 times at night. That said, when I was 13 months old, my mom got really ill and had to spend 2 weeks in the hospital. My aunt took care of me, but didn't take me to visit, because when I saw my mom, I obviously wanted her and became unconsoable. Anyway, when I was reunited with my mom, after a full 2 weeks, breastfeeding was re-established and her supply came back. Not saying it would be like that for everyone, but 5 days doesn't mean a forced wean... although it could happen. Ask yourself this though, if the 5 days did end breastfeeding, would you still be happy you went away. If breastfeeding is that important to you, I wouldn't take the chance.
I'm going to chime in with a little different opinion. You really need to look at your babe's personality, relationship with the grandparents, and attachment to you and figure out (the best you can) how he'll handle the time away. I've had several trips away from DD1 and I know hard hard making the decision can be. Here's my experience:
Went away for a work conference at 12 mo. for 2 full days (one overnight). She was still nursing a lot and she did great with her grandma and dad. No issues at all with nursing or any apparant separation problems when I returned.
DH and I went on a weekend trip (Fri-Sun) when she was 18 mo. She also did great with my mom and dad (who she's really close with). At this point she was still nursing but had stopped taking bottles of BM while I was at work 2 days/wk. I sent bottles with her but she didn't drink them at all and didn't even want the BM out of a cup. Again, so problems with nursing or attachment when we returned.
I went on another work trip when she was 20 mo. old this time for 5 days. She was with her grandma and dad and I think she had a blast. DH did so much fun stuff with her and it really gave them a chance to bond. She was still nursing and there were no issues with it when I returned.
When I was gone for the trips for work I think she did so well because she was with DH. I would have probably had a really hard time leaving her for 5 days if DH wasn't with her. As it was I cried each time I left! If I were you I have no problem going away overnight, but I would wait a bit to plan the next trip and just see how you feel when the time gets a little closer.
If in the hands of loving caregivers who your DS is attached too (like grandparents) I think it can be a great experience to bond with them. Generally they are totally devoted to caring for the kids and do all kinds of fun stuff.
From my experience and from what I've heard it's rare to wean after such a short time. You, however will probably be really uncomfortable and will definitely need to pump.
I hope this helps, and good luck making a decision!
I went on a 7 day business trip to Guam when my son was 20 months. He was still nursing, but not very frequently, maybe 2-3 times a day. I was nervous, but it went well. He was with my husband and barely asked for me. However, as soon as I got in the car when they picked me up at the airport, he was clawing his way out of the carseat to nurse. It was a nice reminder that even though he was fine while I was gone, he definitely missed me.
I don't know if it would've been so easy to leave if it wasn't a business trip. I was so busy and jetlagged, I didn't have time to miss him.
If you do go, don't call and talk to him over the phone. I think it will make it worse for him. Out of sight, out off mind.
Every baby is different but knowing my son I wouldn't leave him for a night (he's 14 months). I am with him all of the time though so it would seem very unnatural. That said, I do believe that babies are resilient. What likely matters most is your overall presence every day and night in his life.
Do your los spend alot of time with their grandparents? My kids are with theirs all of the time and started overnights at a really early age. I would have no problem with an overnight, if that's the case. For one night, I say go for it! My kids LOVE sleepovers at their grandparents and really look forward to them. They eagerly pack up the sleeping bags and get ready for a night of fun game playing, etc.
5 nights does seem like a long time for an 18 month old, however. But, you do have to judge what works best for your family, how often and how big a part of their life the grandparents are and a million other factors. Including the fact that big sis will be there too. Could you shorten the second trip a little and compromise?
It depends so much on your child and his personality - how adaptable he is to change and new situations. In general kids are pretty adaptable.
The overnight thing will be no big deal - especially in his own house. If your kid will take a bottle and you pump, no big deal.
Going away for a few days I think will be fine for the kid as well. But even pumping your supply could decline. So you have to think about how you feel about that. You could end up accidentally weaning if you had not already. You may or may not be OK with that (I would be, personally, but I didn't do extended breastfeeding).
It's such a personal decision.
I spent one night away from my DS when he was 28 months, and wouldn't have been comfortable doing it any earlier. I couldn't even fathom spending a night away at 13 months.
Julia, mama to Bumpa 2008, and The Mole 2011
Thanks for the responses. I'm thinking the 5 day thing would be too long, but we will likely try the one-night in the spring. Yes, the kids are close to their grandparents and I will probably work on more evening babysitting from them to work up to it. Like many people who responded, I couldn't fathom leaving my first for even a whole day let alone one night, but it has been important to me this time around to build better attachment to other dear family members and their caregiver (rather than 100% mama 100% of the time).
I spent a couple of days away from DS for a work trip when he was around 15 months (he stayed home with DH). He had no problems. I spent 10 days away from DS when he was 19? months (also for a work trip where he stayed home with DH) and he did not wean then. I pumped while I was away with a hand pump and was able to maintain enough supply to resume nursing when I returned.
I would be more concerned with him staying away from his home for 5 days on top of missing Mommy and Daddy. That's a lot more disruption that just missing Mommy, IMO.
I spent 4 nights away from DS when he was 11 months old to attend a conference while he stayed home with DH. This was pretty rough for both of them during the night, but when I got home we picked up just like I'd never left.
DH and I both went out of town for 6 nights when DS was 21 months old. He stayed with MIL, with whom he has a great and comfortable relationship, and they stayed at our house. He was (is) still nursing and didn't (doesn't) really sleep through the night (but that's only when I'm around apparently ). When I got home he was quite happy and we went straight back into nursing and he was totally fine. He is a mama's boy, but he had no problems being with MIL.
Hopefully there won't be any other trips without him. Even though he was fine, I was a mess when I left him. I cried nearly the entire way to the airport.
ahhh to be able to think well enough to create a clever signature. someday i will have enough sleep to accomplish this task...
Janae, mama to X (1/09) & X (7/11) and wife to J (since 9/96!) Homebirthing, cloth diapering, baby (and toddler) wearing, co-sleeping, lactivist, intactivist.