My feed

to access all these features

For free parenting resources please check out the Early Years Alliance's Family Corner.


Taking time away from baby for short period of time

117 replies

amiwastingmytime · 21/08/2021 22:25

Hi everyone.

I’m a FTM to a 7.5 month old DD. My DH is very hands on and very capable when taking care of her. I bottle fed (breast milk initially now formula) from early on which always meant my DH could help me out with feeds.

As time has gone on, my baby is in a wonderful routine, sleeping 7-7 since about 3 months. Eating very well, growing and very happy and healthy little girl. We live a few hours away from family so we don’t have back up locally to give support, which is fine we accepted that.

Overall, I’m loving my maternity leave. I adore my DD and this is probably the best year of my life.

I have other Mummy friends who’s babies are a simile age to my DD. As expected we all have different parenting styles, which is fine and it’s great to chat about them as we all learn from each other.

One thing that I do get guilt about though is that, I like to go to hairdresser (once) meet friends for dinner (twice), go to an exercise class once a week for an hour, pop to the supermarket alone etc. I do so knowing my DH has everything under control. I have done this since the baby was maybe 3.5 months old. I love getting out for short bursts of time, not too often, because I miss my DD and feel so renewed when I come home.
However, other Mummy friends don’t do this. They never leave their babies, take them to hair appointment, don’t meet friends, rarely leave the baby with their partners. I can’t help but feel maybe I’m wrong and shouldn’t be so keen to do those little things for myself. These mummy friends do breastfeed so they are needing to be there more but. Am I a cold mother? Or is the need for me to get out of the house alone from time to time normal? Yes it works for me. But am i deficient in some way?

I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others but I can’t help it sometimes.

OP posts:
OiPanda · 22/08/2021 09:57

But I also know that I have built good foundations with her very early on and it all wasn’t down to luck. Consistency and routine work for us. Both are king for us. On the days these are lost, my baby is not happy, and it takes a couple of days to get it back

Ok so you've found a routine that works for you and your baby. And you like to be able to go out without your baby. All absolutely fine. Also fine, not doing these things or struggling with them. It's not a competition.

Couchbettato · 22/08/2021 10:14

I breastfed, and until DS was about 12 month old I had anxiety about leaving him.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time once I was actually away from him, and loved coming back to him even more, but I just had overwhelming anxiety whenever I thought about leaving him. Even if I was 6 meters away in the shower while his dad watched him.

I think the only thing you're deficient in, is an unhealthy anxiety like mine.

Paris2019 · 22/08/2021 10:18

My DS is 8 months, EBF, and I consider my parenting style as more attachment parenting and yet... I have done all the things you've listed. I have afternoon drinks with friends a couple of times a month, have had my hair done a couple of times, go for runs or to the shops. TBH most of my mum friends have done way more than me in terms of being away from baby - evenings out, days away etc, and most of them are breast-fed. So in my experience what you are doing is totally normal and I wouldn't give it a 2nd thought. I sometimes feel judged for not being able to spend MORE time away from DS!!

trilbydoll · 22/08/2021 10:28

It's just whatever works for you. I've always done things like hair appointments, dentist etc during the day with dc while dh is at work so that the weekend is free (for me to have a monster lie in!) If you'd rather spend that time dh is at home doing other things then that's great too.

Abraxan · 22/08/2021 10:30

Your 23:28 post changes your thread tbh.
It's when it starts coming across as smug and all about how,you've got it sussed and the other mums only have harder times because they're doing it all wrong. I was with you, re getting your own time, until that post tbh.

BertieBotts · 22/08/2021 10:40

[quote amiwastingmytime]@WingBingo if it was just luck, there are a lot of bogus sleep consultants out there with fake testimonials screwing people out of money.[/quote]
Well, yeah, there are! That's not news to anyone, is it?

WingBingo · 22/08/2021 10:46

DS1 slept through from 6 weeks. DS2, A total disaster.

That’s the luck part. Hence the need for a sleep consultant.

It really was luck. Nothing I did at all.

Opalfeet · 22/08/2021 10:56

@amiwastingmytime how many children do you have, I had one child who was more difficult than the first, the personality of both was actually really obvious in the first few days of life. Whilst you may have created a routine with your easy baby, this won't have been possible with a difficult one. So, yes whilst you clearly want to give yourself credit, a lot is down to luck I'm afraid.

Frederica852 · 22/08/2021 11:07


Thanks everyone that is reassuring.
I don’t really even talk about how my baby sleeps and eats as most of my mummy friends are struggling with those things still and some are older than mine. They do lean on each other more as they are in the same boat, but for me, my baby is the only one I the group super chilled out.
I have taken a very pragmatic approach to being a mum. I’m way more relaxed than I ever expected. I do see that me being happy rubs off on my DD, so I prioritise that too.

The comment from *@OiPanda* about the baby being an extension is interesting. What does that mean exactly. I have a notion but still curious. I do feel some fo the mums may have this issue.

I could've written this. I was waaaaay more relaxed than I imagined. Also bottle fed and 100% shared care with DH who took 4 months paternity leave so I could go and do things throughout. Couldn't imagine it any other way! At almost 3 I have a happy go lucky toddler who knows who her mum is. Difference is she'll call for either me or DH if she's unwell or upset I'm the night so it doesn't all fall on me all the time!
Wagglerock · 22/08/2021 11:49

My baby is the easiest going baby imaginable - always happy, completely flexible, has her naps anywhere, doesn't mind if her bedtime or meals are late. Parented the same as my eldest who was, and still is, difficult. It's not skill or routine or our parenting ability, but their personality and luck. I have no issues leaving my baby with anyone (DH, friends, GPs, a pack of wild dogs) because she'll be fine, but still struggle to leave my eldest because I know what he's like. I wouldn't take the baby to a nice restaurant though because we do BLW and it's a bloody mess.

I also wouldn't count your chickens just yet, those toddler years can be brutal.

SkinnyMirror · 22/08/2021 11:54

It really is luck Op but it's great that things are going well for you.

As for you having time to yourself- that's absolutely normal! We were having nights out as a couple by 3 months thanks the eager to babysit grandparents and I've never taken Ds to a hair appointment!

Poppy709 · 22/08/2021 12:28

Well yes, there are bogus sleep consultants screwing desperate parents out of lots of money. Routine works because you have an easy baby. If the routine doesn’t work, most sleep consultants advice will be ok well reach 6 months and let them cry (under various different guises). There is a debate to be had about how much attachment parenting is too much (which is what I think your referring to by baby being an extension of the mother) but yes, it is luck that your baby responded to routine. If it was that easy, there wouldn’t be such a massive sleep industry that preys on desperate parents.

Chocolatetrifle · 22/08/2021 12:55

Totally fine to have time for yourself and enjoy it, no need to feel guilty at all. However, it's not great to be judgemental about other friend's parenting methods. A baby under 1 is completely different to a toddler with the 'terrible two's' or a' threenager for example. A relaxed baby with a routine unfortunately will not last forever as their needs and demands grow and change so may your patience at times. Be kind to others, you never know when you might need their advice or support when having a more 'challenging' day (or weeks). Also consider post-natal anxiety and situational anxiety can make parents struggle. Not everyone is completely confident and clued up as you make out you are. Most parents are just muddling through the day. Would love to know what you think in another year or two, after you have got more experience, and especially when the 'routine' goes out of the window due to sickness, teething, temper tantrums etc.
Your thread has unfortunately spiralled from you initially intended I think due to your private thoughts on your friends.

AlexaShutUp · 22/08/2021 13:18

A little humility in parenting goes a long way, I think. It's better to focus on how we can be better parents ourselves than to waste time thinking about what others are doing wrong. The only people whose opinion will really count in the longer term will be our dc themselves.

Flittingaboutagain · 22/08/2021 14:08

OP I don't want to leave my baby anywhere near as often as you and that isn't because baby is an extension of me. It's because I am enjoying spending the little time we have together together having waited so many years and had so much heartache to have the baby. Where possible I choose to go out with my baby in tow. That has nothing to do with my parenting style (attachment) or feeding (ebf now) or the temperament of my baby but it could, and I wouldn't expect to be judged for it.

itshappened · 22/08/2021 14:08

It's very easy to say that your child is relaxed and a good sleeper because of your strict routine and parenting style... but in my experience children are who they are from day one. Some sleep, some don't, some cry more, some don't. I fully advocate a good routine and consistency but it doesn't always mean your child will sleep consistently and be happy all the time. Anyone who has a child with reflux I'm sure will agree! My first was anxious and a bad sleeper from day one despite following all the rules laid out in books. I could never leave her as she needed to feed constantly and cried for hours at night; and despite getting help from a reflux expert she still fought every night time sleep until she was 3. My second I parented in the same way, he also had reflux but he also liked to sleep. He is a totally different character and always has been. Try not to think you have it all worked out, because babies are unpredictable and hard work and you never know, your next child might not be quite such an easy baby! That being said, enjoy your time away from your baby, it makes you appreciate the time you are together even more. But try not to judge others or try to fix their parenting problems unless they directly ask you for help. Sometimes mum's just want to rant and share their feelings or talk about how tired they are; they don't necessarily want advice from the mum who is lucky enough to have a good sleeper!

Hardbackwriter · 22/08/2021 14:18

I have left my babies for short periods since tiny, went back to work full-time when DS1 was one and with DS2 was leaving him for a few hours from very early so I could do things alone with DS1. DH and I have always been very equal parents. So I'm very much on your side in some ways but like others the more of this thread I've read the clearer it is why other parents don't want to have long lunches with you! Since you want to hand out tips here's one for you: no one wants unsolicited parenting advice and really, really no one wants advice from the parent of one seven-month-old who thinks they've got it all figured out.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 14:32

@Hardbackwriter - reread my posts. I don't give advice. Never have.
I also don't think I have it all figured out - as I've already said in my posts also

Goodness, I must be the only one with an opinion that I keep to myself in friend circles. I wish I was as pure and unopinionated as many of the PP on here are. But alas - I am only human.

Anyways - I've gained perspective, learned something new about Mumsnet culture and am happy to have this as my last post.

Thanks all.

OP posts:
HangingChads · 22/08/2021 14:37

The other mums you know are crazy! Why would they live like that, it sounds an awful existence. You have a brilliant balance in your life and are setting a wonderful example for your daughter of how to be a great parent!

AliceW89 · 22/08/2021 14:44

You haven’t kept your opinions to yourself though have you OP? You’ve come and spouted it on Mumsnet to a lot of people who actually empathise with your friends’ situation, which you don’t seem to like. All the best to you and your baby. May you never have the experience of an unsettled, refluxy one.

blueberrywaffle · 22/08/2021 14:47

Op you need a break to remember you and not get lost in just been mummy! I love my supermarket shops alone, goin the shops alone!! It's great and I feel better once I get back

Duochromey · 22/08/2021 14:49

Goodness, I must be the only one with an opinion that I keep to myself in friend circles. I wish I was as pure and unopinionated as many of the PP on here are. But alas - I am only human. you are posting on the parenting topic. Where there will be lots of parents. Lots of parents who may not have 'easy' babies. I think you've misjudged your audience.

Footprintsonmyfloor · 22/08/2021 15:01

My ds is 9 months and I’ve been back at work since he was 4 months. He’s been exclusively breastfed, I go out for dinner with friends occasionally and the odd shopping trip. That’s about it and it’s my choice (not the working from 4 months bit though). We all parent differently, doesn’t make either way right or wrong providing baby is well looked after.

Ohpulltheotherone · 22/08/2021 15:04

Do you really actually feel bad for doing your own thing for a couple of hours a week? Really? I don’t think you do.

There is no one way to parent, no rule book. It depends on the parent and the child and parents will get different babies each time.
I know my kids are totally different and the experience of raising them is different.

You do you, let them do them.

NotThatSocial · 22/08/2021 15:05

I left mine with my husband or mum for the odd hour from a few weeks old, and for about 4 hours for an evening out by the time they were 6 months ish. And I breastfed both for over 2 years. I'd have gone stir crazy not having occasional breaks.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.