The first time both parents are away from the baby for a longer period of time can feel overwhelming. I had done a couple overnights away from our little guy. Two by myself where he stayed with my husband at home. And one night where we both were away and he stayed with my in-laws. These went great and logistically were very easy to plan for since it was such a short time frame. But we also made plans (before he was even born) to be away for 5 nights when he would be just shy of 10 months old.

We both felt like that would be an age where we’d be more comfortable leaving him for a longer chunk and it would be more manageable for the grandparents at that age as well. But as the trip approached I realized that even though I felt ready for it, it’s still a lot to prepare for!  You want to make sure your little one and whoever is caring for them are set up for an enjoyable time while you’re away and keep all stresses to a minimum. So here’s how we prepared for our trip away in the days leading up to our departure…

Keep Them At Home

If at all possible, I think it’s helpful for whoever is caring for your baby while you’re away to come to your home rather than you bringing baby to them. We made plans for my parents to come stay at our house while we’re away. This is helpful for a few reasons. First, it means you’re not trying to pack up a thousand things for your little one while also getting yourself ready to go. It also means that during a time that will be a little out of routine for them, they’ll be in a familiar environment. This will hopefully help them be more comfortable, sleep better and feel like things are more normal even though mom and dad aren’t there. 

Stock the Fridge

Think about what your little one enjoys eating and be sure to have plenty of those snacks on hand. But also consider planning out some meals that would be easy for the grandparents (or whoever is there) to fix for your little one and having the ingredients already purchased. You can make some lists of simple breakfast, lunches and dinners that they could make throughout the week to take the guesswork out of it for them. It may be second nature to you at this point, but they’ll probably appreciate the ideas.

I also prepped a freezer meal for my parents to enjoy. I’ll have the staples in my fridge and pantry for them- things like milk, bread, eggs, coffee, cereal, fruit etc. But how nice for them to have a meal that’s ready to go for one of the evenings they’re there!

Consider Safety First

Think about the various safety precautions you take during the day and take a few minutes to make some notes about these to leave for the grandparents. Some example of things you might want to include would be: reminders about how to properly secure the car seat harness, how the baby gates or other child safety locks work, areas of the house that they need to keep an extra eye on, a printout with infant rescue maneuvers on it for them to review (ie choking rescue or cpr), the right size to cut food for safe eating, proper bottle washing technique, where the sunscreen is etc. 

*Remember: you do these things every day so it seems second nature. But that may not be the case for whoever is watching your little one so a reminder can be helpful. 

Answer Questions Ahead of Time and Leave Notes

I think it’s a great idea to ask the caregivers about any questions they have or things they’re wondering about before you’re about to walk out the door. This way you can be sure you cover those things for them. And then I would definitely leave notes for them too! Don’t be tempted to just verbally give all of the directions- no one will remember all of that! Write things down that will be helpful that they can refer back to later.

Understand that things may not happen the exact way they do when you’re around so rather than try and share every single detail, prioritize sharing the things that may be unfamiliar to them. The safety tips we talked about above are great but you also want to think about leaving notes on a general schedule/routine that they can reference, a list of activities your little one likes, places nearby that would be good outings, meal ideas, the bedtime routine etc. This will let you feel more comfortable knowing they have the info they need and also keep them from feeling like they need to call or text with every question that pops up.


I know this one is easier said than done. I but once you’ve left, try to remember that you’ve left your little one in good hands and enjoy the time away! Prepping for this trip was a challenge it felt like a never ending to do list to be sure everyone was ready and emotionally it was a roller coaster leading up to travel time. But the time spend with my husband, full nights sleep and a few days of relaxation were worth it!

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