This past weekend my husband and I visited my sister at Mizzou! We had an amazing time and it was nice to get away. It was the first time we left our 8 month-old, Sadie, and our puppy, Wally. To make sure everything went smoothly while we were gone, there were a couple of things I did beforehand to prepare.
Sadie stayed with my parents who live close by. In the weeks leading up to our trip, I had my mom visit during different times of the day to shadow me. I also had her babysit a couple of times when I needed to go out to ensure Sadie would be comfortable with my mom and okay with me not around. A few days before we left, I emailed my mom written instructions and helpful tips about Sadie’s schedule that she could reference in case she had any questions. I also left her all of our insurance information and written consent for her to act as Sadie’s guardian in case she needed medical attention.
Note: Normally, I would recommend having someone stay at your place so there is less change to your baby’s day. However, in this case, my mom needed to be in her own home to take care of my 14 year-old brother in addition to Sadie.
Wally stayed with his aunt and uncle who fostered him originally. Since he stayed with them before, he was very excited to be there. Unfortunately, a couple of days before we left, we found out Wally had roundworm. (Poor baby!) It was very lucky his aunt and uncle handle puppies with worms all the time since they foster rescues that typically have worms. We provided them with de-worming medicine and gave them lots and lots of thank you’s.
While we were away, I checked-in a couple of times each day. It was really helpful to get pictures and videos because I missed Sadie and Wally terribly! When we returned, although Wally was very happy to see me (and he looked and felt much better – no more worms!), Sadie was not my number one fan. This only lasted for the night but Sadie would not make eye contact with me and had a major meltdown before bedtime (it took her 45 minutes to calm down and fall asleep). If this happens to you, don’t worry! It is common for babies to feel separation anxiety starting around 4-7 months and acting out when you return is a psychological safety mechanism. Everything should go back to normal once you reestablish your routine and your baby understands you aren’t leaving again any time soon.