7 top tips for leaving your baby for the first time

Follow our dos and don’ts to make the parting less painful the first time you leave your baby

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DO… a trial run

Make sure you’ve left your baby with whoever is babysitting before, even if it’s your mum.

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If you’re planning a big night out, get used to being away from your baby during the day for a small amount of time first. Try leaving him with your partner while you meet a friend for a quick coffee.

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DON’T… feel guilty

“It’s ok to recharge your batteries,” says maternity coach Miranda Russell (from www.myfamilycare.co.uk). “And it’s good for your baby to bond with other people and get used to the idea of childcare.”

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DO… start small

“Keep your outing short and local,” says Miranda Russell. That way you’re never far from home if you need to be and aren’t relying on public transport (or the traffic) to get there and back. “Remember you can say no if it’s not something you’re ready to do,” she adds.                

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DON’T… show your nerves

“Babies are programmed to pick up on every emotion because of their survival instinct,” says psychotherapist Diana Parkinson.

“If you or your partner is anxious about heading off, the baby will detect it and that will increase his anxiousness. The result is he’ll find it harder to settle.”

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DO… talk about it

You might feel a bit silly, but talking to your baby and explaining where you’re going will settle your nerves. “Tell him that you’ll be coming home again,” advises Diana Parkinson. Act normally, and talk about where you’re going and when you’ll be back. “Stay calm if he’s awake, and when you get home tell him you’ve missed him,” she says.

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