Should You Leave Your Baby To Go On Vacation?

beach baby. h.p.a/Getty Images

My husband and I have reached that point of parenting when we need a serious break. 

I'm talking physically, emotionally, spiritually, everything-ly exhausted. I'm not even sure we remember that we are married some days, so great has the toll of work and kids and sickness after sickness infecting our household through one of the most brutally cold winters on record yet. 

We haven't slept through the night in five long nights--and honestly, that's not an exaggeration.

We may be the parents of four kids, but that doesn't mean we have figured out the secret of how to get kids to sleep through the night! (No, really, who has the answer there?)

Even our recent family vacation, a combined work trip for me, left us more exhausted than refreshed, as it took about a month of prep to get ready to take four kids across the country and of course, left us all with vicious stomach bugs from the travel. 

Long story short, I've been dreaming about an adults-only trip, even if it's only for a night so we could catch up on sleep (honestly, nothing sounds more romantic than sleep). And with another work trip opportunity coming up for me in a few months in one of the most romantic places in the country (Savannah, GA, baby!), I can't get my mind off how nice it would be to have a relaxing, recharging trip away with my husband. But there's one problem--I don't know if it's OK to leave the baby.

Let's break down the considerations:


First of all, there's the logistics of finding someone to watch the baby. Call me crazy, but I always feel super guilty asking someone to watch my baby. She's not exactly as easy as an older kid, you know? I think about asking one of her grandparents to watch her and just imagine her getting up 10,000 times during the night and I wonder if I would even be able to enjoy myself on the trip.

And day babysitting? Can we say expensive?

Separation Anxiety

Next, there's the issue of separation anxiety. At almost eight months old, my daughter seems to be super attached to me--even walking out of the room can set her off in tears. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that separation anxiety typically starts around six months of age and can last until your little one is two years old. Some amount of separation anxiety is totally normal. They encourage parents to take a "loving and consistent approach," reassuring your child that you will be back. So, in other words, it's totally normal if both you and your baby are feeling anxious about being separated. 


I am still breastfeeding my daughter and while she will take a bottle when necessary, she definitely doesn't prefer it. At almost eight months, I also don't have a lot of milk stored up, which means, she would be forced to take formula for the first time. Part of me wants to simply bring my baby along, because let's face it, that would be easiest for me and for whoever does end up watching her, but my husband is really adamant that we have some alone time.


I just don't know what to do and I'm torn between the convenience of traveling with my baby and the benefits of enjoying a trip without her. (Oh, and side note: The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention also provide a few tips and considerations for breastfeeding mothers traveling with our without their babies that might be very helpful if you're anything like me!) 

In the end, I'm weighing all of the considerations that go into taking a trip without my baby with the potential benefits for my health, sanity, and let's be blunt--my marriage. 

So, tell me--what do you think? Is it worth it to take a trip without a baby for your marriage? 


Separation Anxiety and Sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed online March 18, 2015: 

Breastfeeding: Recommendations: Travel Recommendations For the Nursing Mother. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed online March 18, 2015: 



Continue Reading