March 04, 2010,
M.D. asks from Ashville, OH on February 22, 2010
Toddler Overnight Stay??
My daughter is 2 years old, and she has never been away from home overnight. My husband thinks it is time for her to stay the night with her grandparents (giving us a night to go out). I think she is too young.
I should add we weaned her from her pacifier in December, changed her daycare this week, will be moving in a month, and we are expecting a baby in June. To me it seems like too many changes for one little person to take on in a short amount of time. I would prefer we wait until she is old enough to understand why she isn't in her bed, and where mommy and daddy are when she wakes up.
Any advice on how others handled this situation would be wonderful.
D.K. answers from Indianapolis on February 23, 2010
I have to disagree with you. Make a BIG DEAL about her getting to spend the night with her grandparents. Abbie spent her first overnight with her grandparents at two. EVERYONE enjoyed it. We made a big deal about her being a big girl and getting to spend the night with them.
My nieces and nephews had their first overnights at two and a couple of them even before they were two. If you are EXCITED about it, chances are the child will be, too. Trust me, the grandparents certainly are!
C.S. answers from Charlotte on February 22, 2010
That does sound like a lot of changes. But if you make it feel like a "big girl" thing, maybe she'll be into it. I would try it out, but be prepared to pick her up in the middle of the night if need be to let her know you are not far away. Also, tell grandma to let her talk to you on the phone whenever she asks or is missing you, this always made my little ones feel better when they were away.
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R.J. answers from El Paso on February 22, 2010
Well I personally I think she's old enough. Especially if she knows her grandparents and they aren't foreign to her. My DS started spending at least one weekend a month with his grandparents at 4 mon up until we left last summer (he's 3.5 now) and I miss those wknds so bad. I always looked forward to that time that I got to spend uniterrupted with DH. You guys need that time! Plus his grandparents spoiled him rotten so he always looked forward to going to grammy and grampy's house!
I would prepare her for it by just telling her that she's going to her grandparents house for a couple of nights. Make it a fun thing. Maybe get her a cute overnight bag and something special to carry with her that she can sleep with. And maybe a picture book of the family that she can look at any time she thinks of you guys. But if her grandparents keep her busy, she won't have time to remember she's not home.
I think she will be okay. Your life is chaning alot right now but little kids adapt much better than we think they do. If you're not stressed about the situation, she won't be either. They usually follow our actions and only get stressed if they see we are. It'll get her socialized outside of mom and dad and give you and hubby some much needed husband/wife time HTH!
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J.Z. answers from Toledo on February 22, 2010
I am glad to see so many people that feel you need to do this. These are a lot of changes for you, but for a little one, 6 months is a very long time to absorb these changes. It will be harder for you than it is on her. Remember, that you can call a couple times when you are away to check in on her. She will be fine and you really need this!! My 2 kids started staying at my in laws overnight once a week when they were only a couple months old since I have to travel each week for work. They have such a special relationship with their grandparents. If your in laws are excited to do this, you should go for it and have fun!!
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M.R. answers from Chicago on February 22, 2010
Yes you will be nervous but DO IT!
Our son stayed with his grandparents overnight for the first time when he was 13 months old so that we could have a night away for our anniversary. Initially I was nervous but it was the best thing we could have done - for everyone in the family!
Mom and dad got some much-needed alone time (and we got to sleep in the next morning, too!).
More importantly though, the baby and his grandparents got to spend a lot of quality time together playing and being around each other. You'll be surprised at how A) resilient your child is and B) how much fun it will be for them to be with grandma and grandpa. These are the special times and bonds they create with their extended family members. And try not to project your feelings onto the situation; a new bed at grandma and grandpa's house can be a really cool adventure for a little one - how special for them to do something like this!
Take a deep breath, let go, and try to enjoy this rare opportunity of time alone with your husband and time alone for your in-laws to bond with their grandchild.
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S.E. answers from Cleveland on February 22, 2010
Maybe now isnt the best time, but when would be? If you have a new baby coming in June, your 2 year old needs to be comfortable staying with someone so that your husband can be with you when the new one arrives. Even if you dont do it right now, it should be soon. It's probably going to be harder for you then her :) Little ones are more resileint then we give them credit for!
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K.M. answers from Boston on February 22, 2010
Much depends on how fit and energetic your parents are, but assuming that they have no handicaps and aren't super geriatric, you should absolutely try it. Especially with the new baby coming. If she has a great time then you will be able to send her relatively often once the baby comes and she will have her "special time". Just be sure the grandparents understand how much sleep she needs etc.!
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H.T. answers from San Francisco on March 02, 2010
DO IT! It was soooo hard for me to do at first, and just before my first was 2, my family made plans to go to Tahoe overnight. It was for my dad's 60th, so I couldn't say no, and it was in a casino, so it would have been ridiculous to bring my daughter. In a way my family ganged up on me and made me bit the bullet and do it! It was hard, I missed her, but I ended up leaving her with her adoring grandparents almost once a week- she loved it, and still does! My second was only 7 months the first time I needed to leave her overnite, and I felt that was too young to be away so my oldest went to the in-laws, and my grandmother stayed at our house with the little one. Now I am a stay at home mom, so I sooooo appreciate the fact that my in-laws take both girls almost once a week for a sleepover!! The girls looooove it, and I miss them, but get a niiice break- and can sleep in as long as I want on Friday mornings!!!
You just have to take into consideration one thing- will your daughter enjoy it? I found that if I set aside all my own feelings (missing them, wondering if they would be okay- missing them!!) and really put my daughters first it was easier to let them go- meaning I knew it was such a treat for them, and they are getting some really special time with their grandparents. HTH, good luck!
A.G. answers from Norfolk on March 02, 2010
I think this is the perfect time for her to stay and try it out because you may NEED her to stay for a day or two with all this upheaval going on. Look at this not as an opportunity to go have fun for you but instead as a chance to teach her a skill she needs (since nurturing ourselves is so much harder than doing what we need to for our kids). Two ways in which this helped us with our two year olds:
We actually sent our two year olds to live with grandma for a couple of days when we moved. For them, it would have been very traumatizing to see thier toys get boxed up and thier home empty. While they were away we took care of all their things and had them unpacked and ready for them when they went straight to the new house. This led to lots of excitement and no tears.
We were super lucky that we have taught our kids to love staying with their grandparents when I was suddenly hospitalized with my last pregnancy. My husband was away and couldn't get back right away, and a friend was able to drive them to grandma's where they though they were on vacation for THREE weeks. Because they have done this a couple of times already they had a great time - I was the one who was upset.
S.D. answers from Indianapolis on February 23, 2010
I exclusively breastfeed and don't use bottles, so leaving my children overnight wasn't even an option for quite a while. My son was 2.5 when we let him go to my in-laws' house for the weekend. He came back with a double ear infection. And, while I don't blame them, I'm also reluctant to send him away :(
Could they come stay at your house instead? We left both sons with my parents while we went on my husband's business trip. I think they were better off at home, in their own beds, sticking with their regular routines, etc...
Don't feel bad if you don't want to ship them off. Some parents are ok doing it before the baby is 6 months old, some don't do it for a long time. Do what makes you feel comfortable and don't let anyone make you feel bad for not doing what they want or think is best. Being a "good wife" doesn't NOT have to mean you spend the night away from your children. A night out with a babysitter is plenty.