2nd Trimester

What's the earliest and longest you'd send your LO away?

MIL insists on having our child over for alone (i.e. without me and DH) for long extended visits as early as a couple months old (it's a 4 hr flight away). She even said that when she comes over after the baby is born (we're talking a couple weeks old), that the baby can stay with her overnight in the guest unit of our apartment and I can pump so she can feed him/her.

She has this type of arrangement with her other grandchild due to divorce visitation rights, so she thinks these types of long (as in weeks - even months as a toddler) visits are totally normal. I think it's crazy and she got pissed when I told her that I don't think those things will be happening when our child is born. She then made me feel bad for keeping her away from her grandchild and not allowing her to bond.

What's the earliest age and longest time you'd dump off your kid with the inlaws? 


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Re: What's the earliest and longest you'd send your LO away?

  • I'm sort of a weirdo, but I have never done it and my oldest in 3 years old.  My oldest has stayed overnight somewhere besides home without us once in his life.  Our kids are staying with my mom overnight this Thursday for the first time because it's our anniversary and I'm really torn about it.  Part of me wants to back out.

    I'm just strange and don't like my babies not being where I can get to them easily through the night.  I don't think I could ever do it for more than a night.

  • Are you planning on breastfeeding? That will make a huge difference in my answer.

    If you are bf'ing, I would say it's going to be difficult to be that far away from your LO for any extended period of time.  If you aren't bf'ing, that's a different story and it would be completely up to you.  Some people are fine leaving their children early, some aren't.  My MIL is only about an hour away and we left my DS at 6 months for a week while we went to Wash. DC.  It's personal preference, though. I had already weaned him at that point so it wasn't a problem from the bf'ing standpoint.

    It's really up to you.  And you should stand your ground, although I personally think it's great she's so willing to watch the baby.  Some IL's/parents aren't that willing so be grateful for that much.

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  • My ILs live 4 miles away.

    My parents live an hour away.

    LO still has never had an overnight visit alone with either of them.

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  • DD was over a year old before she stayed with my parents for more than a few hours.  The first time, she was 15 months old, and it was for 1 night while we traveled for DH's family reunion (read: kegger/bonfire, not exactly family friendly). 

    She now stays 1-2 nights a week at my parent's house (at the age of 3.5), just because my mom is constantly inviting her over for sleepovers.  I did have to travel OOT this summer for a job, and she stayed at my parents house for 3-4 days, but DH was there in the evenings to take care of her. 

    As for my in-laws, they have watched her for a few hours while we were out with friends in DH's hometown, but never overnight.  Honestly, DH's parent's don't really like children, and with their drinking habits, and sound sleeping, I just don't trust them overnight.

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  • That's great that your MIL gets to watch her other grandchildren for extended visits.  If you don't want to do it, you shouldn't have to.  She can bond with your grandchild while you are present.  You just aren't going to hand over all your motherly duties to her.

    DD stayed with my parents for a week when she was 10 months old.  DH and I went on a mission trip to Guatemala with our church.  It was a great experience, but I still feel guilty for leaving her for that long. 

  • I can see an overnight with Nana if I had a wedding to go to or something like that, but I really don't plan on having anyone watch my child for any extended amount of time- ever.  I'm not crazy, I know I'll need a babysitter here and there, or may just want a "night off" but I'm having children because I want to raise them and be with them. I'm certainly not shipping them off for days/ weeks/ months at a time!!! And definitely not within weeks of being born.

    It's nice that she is willing to do this for you, but she needs to understand that is not "normal" and she can certainly bond with the baby in other ways!

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  • My IL's just overnight (but MIL has werid work shifts at the hospital and not a lot of vacation time). My parents as long as a week. We went to Cuba last May for a week and DS stayed with my parents. Before that at about 3 months DS stayed with my parents for 4 days when DH and I went on a mini vacation.
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  • I am planning on BFing, so I can't even imagine giving LO away for a long time so young.

    My sister has an 18 mo old and her kid has only spent 2hrs away from her parents. My sister also lives in the same city as the grandparents so the child knows the grandparents well.

    Living thousands of miles away, having LO not know the grandparents that well and then sending it off for weeks at a time sounds crazy to me!

    MIL made me feel like a bad person for not offering up my kid like it was some toy I was sharing. She gets to see BIL and ex-SIL's kid all the time because they are incapable parents, so she thinks the relationship she has with her other grandchild is normal. DH and I are fully capable people and we wont need to send our kid away for months over the summer because we cant pay our bills. She doesn't understand that though and made me out to be the overbearing bad person.


  • the first time DS will be out of the house away from us is when i give birth to this one.  and if i could, i'd take DS to the hospital with us.  I don't like him being away from me overnight.  I've left him with his dad over night while i went out of town, but i just don't like him being out of his own house at night- he's very routine oriented for bed time.

    my Grandparents tried that with me when he was born too...i used to spend summers with them, so they asked when i'd start sending DS down for summers.  the answer is never. 

  • image LynsiBHM:

    I can see an overnight with Nana if I had a wedding to go to or something like that, but I really don't plan on having anyone watch my child for any extended amount of time- ever.  I'm not crazy, I know I'll need a babysitter here and there, or may just want a "night off" but I'm having children because I want to raise them and be with them. I'm certainly not shipping them off for days/ weeks/ months at a time!!! And definitely not within weeks of being born.

    It's nice that she is willing to do this for you, but she needs to understand that is not "normal" and she can certainly bond with the baby in other ways!

    This is exactly where my head is at! Thank you!


  • Both sets of our parents live out of state from us and we are not ready at almost 4 years old to have DD away from us overnight for any length of time. When she is older, like school age, maybe. But not until she's ready and certainly not just because my MIL insisted on it.

    When DD was 2.5 we left her with both of our Moms (taking turns) but at our house. Then we left her again this October and MIL kept her again, but at our house.

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  • image *LisaFrank*:

    Are you planning on breastfeeding? That will make a huge difference in my answer.

    If you are bf'ing, I would say it's going to be difficult to be that far away from your LO for any extended period of time.  If you aren't bf'ing, that's a different story and it would be completely up to you.  Some people are fine leaving their children early, some aren't.  My MIL is only about an hour away and we left my DS at 6 months for a week while we went to Wash. DC.  It's personal preference, though. I had already weaned him at that point so it wasn't a problem from the bf'ing standpoint.

    It's really up to you.  And you should stand your ground, although I personally think it's great she's so willing to watch the baby.  Some IL's/parents aren't that willing so be grateful for that much.

     

    This!

     My ILs live in The Netherlands.  I love them to death and hate that they are so far away. I told DH that since we love to travel that when the kids are around 4 and older that we could take trips over there and (if the ILs like) leave them with the ILs while we go somewhere else in Europe for the week. I would never dream of leaving my baby with anyone for longer than a few hours when they are still breast feeding and I most certainly wouldn't feel comfortable sending them to another state for weeks or a month at a time. 

    As pp stated this is a personal choice. You need to stand your ground and tell your IL that you simply do not feel comfortable leaving your child for that long and this is not just directed at them but everyone.  

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  • I sent my DS over to my parents for two nights when he was six weeks old.  DH and I had tickets to a baseball game and desperately needed some rest.  I am a very laid back parent though and like time that DH and I get to ourselves.  I also trust my parents and IL's.
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  • Wow, I personally would never be comfortable with that. I agree with other posts, if you are not, stand your ground. That is not normal. The earliest I left my DS was 6 weeks overnight because I went back to work and worked nightshift. My husband also worked nights then so it worked for us. My DD is 5 and has never spent the night over someone's house. I just don't like that. I had my children to be mine and others are welcome to come and visit but I won't send them anywhere.
  • image LynsiBHM:

    I can see an overnight with Nana if I had a wedding to go to or something like that, but I really don't plan on having anyone watch my child for any extended amount of time- ever.  I'm not crazy, I know I'll need a babysitter here and there, or may just want a "night off" but I'm having children because I want to raise them and be with them. I'm certainly not shipping them off for days/ weeks/ months at a time!!! And definitely not within weeks of being born.

    It's nice that she is willing to do this for you, but she needs to understand that is not "normal" and she can certainly bond with the baby in other ways!

    This exactly!!  We are planning a family vacation to Disney when LO is about 6 months old.  At this point, my ILs, SS, DH, LO and I are going and DH and I plan to take a (late) anniversary dinner date one evening and leave SS and LO with the IL's - but that's the only time I've even considered it at this point!  Mind you, that could change once LO is here - but like mentioned in the quote - I'm having them so I can raise them :)

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  • I had to leave DS when he was 5 months old for a 5-day work trip. I wasn't happy about it, but the trip was non-negotiable if I wanted to keep my job, and they let me work from home 90% of the time, so I thought it was a fair trade. Plus, I was leaving him with DH, so obviously that made it easier. It was a wonderful experience for DH as well -- it really boosted his confidence in caring for an infant. I do the trip yearly, and now it's no big deal.

    But I'm not very uptight about leaving DS with the grandparents. We first left him overnight when he was 6 weeks old -- I slept through the night and it was heavenly. And now that DS is 4, he often spends one night a week in the summer at the grandparents. He is extremely close with them, and I'm thankful for that.

    Bottom line -- do what YOU are comfortable with. I can't see putting DS on a plane with anyone other than DH or I just yet, and that's my comfort level. My in-laws asked if they could take DS to Disney for a long weekend, and I wasn't very comfortable with that, even though I've let them take him on long car trips (5 hours) before.

    ETA: The idea that I'm not "raising" DS because I'm fostering a close relationship with his grandparents is comical. It would be like me saying that you won't cut the cord because you haven't done an overnight yet.

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  • It seems weird to me that MIL wants all this alone time with LO and almost strikes me as her wanting to be a mom again and not a grandmother. I would honestly be freaked out if MIL or even my own mom wanted to keep LO for days. YOU need bonding time with baby too, more so than MIL does IMHO. 

    I think overnights are okay if you want them, or need them. I know growing up with my mom being a single parent and working nights I spent a lot of time with my grandmother (mom's ex-MIL). That was just because it was either her or a babysitter and my mom wanted my sister and I to be with family if we could.  

    I think it depends on your situation but if you are not comfortable with it and there is no reason you can't take care of LO yourself, I see no reason to give LO to MIL for extended periods of time. I would say she is welcome to come visit but you are the mother, not her.  


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  • I'm happy to read all of these responses.  Both sets of grandparents live 10 mi. or less away and this is our first child.  I tell them that we'll take one step at a time, but not to have any expections.  They too, act like LO is a toy that I should be sharing.

    Both grandparents are setting up nurseries in their homes, buying baby carriers, and talking about all of the overnights and places they'll take LO.  I'm just not sure where my comfort level will be with that. 

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  • image lorist202:

    I'm happy to read all of these responses.  Both sets of grandparents live 10 mi. or less away and this is our first child.  I tell them that we'll take one step at a time, but not to have any expections.  They too, act like LO is a toy that I should be sharing.

    Both grandparents are setting up nurseries in their homes, buying baby carriers, and talking about all of the overnights and places they'll take LO.  I'm just not sure where my comfort level will be with that. 

    Ok, seriously, this really weirds me out. My mother has a pack n play to use when she watches LO but that's only because it's a hand me down from my Aunt who had a baby a few years ago. I prefer to get a new one for our own use so mom is keeping the used one at her house. If my mom or MIL set up a nursery, bought carriers, etc. I don't know what I would do. It honestly feels to me like they are trying to be parents. 


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  • I'm sorry....that's just weird to want your child without you being there.  My daughter is 13 months old and she has yet to stay over night without me. 

    Your MIL needs to back off, you are the mother now, not her.  Buy her a puppy.

  • image LegalLadyBug:
    image lorist202:

    I'm happy to read all of these responses.  Both sets of grandparents live 10 mi. or less away and this is our first child.  I tell them that we'll take one step at a time, but not to have any expections.  They too, act like LO is a toy that I should be sharing.

    Both grandparents are setting up nurseries in their homes, buying baby carriers, and talking about all of the overnights and places they'll take LO.  I'm just not sure where my comfort level will be with that. 

    Ok, seriously, this really weirds me out. My mother has a pack n play to use when she watches LO but that's only because it's a hand me down from my Aunt who had a baby a few years ago. I prefer to get a new one for our own use so mom is keeping the used one at her house. If my mom or MIL set up a nursery, bought carriers, etc. I don't know what I would do. It honestly feels to me like they are trying to be parents. 

     

    I agree that is too much to have both sets of grandparents have their own nursery. I would not like that at all. If it were me I would tell them that my baby will not be using it so don't waste your money. My MIL is this way and has a nursery set up for my BILs baby and it really seems like she wants the baby with her all the time. I just am not that kind of mom that will allow that.

  • image radiant05:

    MIL insists on having our child over for alone (i.e. without me and DH) for long extended visits as early as a couple months old (it's a 4 hr flight away). She even said that when she comes over after the baby is born (we're talking a couple weeks old), that the baby can stay with her overnight in the guest unit of our apartment and I can pump so she can feed him/her.

    This blows my mind.  This is your child, not hers!!  My parents and IL's live on separate coasts (and we're in TX) and while I don't mind them visiting at all, I don't think either would have the audacity to tell me that I'm leaving baby alone with them and that I "can pump so they can feed him".  I don't think so.  The first few weeks is you and DH's time for bonding, she can get in line IMO... if any of what she says makes you feel uncomfortable at all, I say that's a sign you shouldn't agree to it.  So what if she had that arrangement with other grandkids... if it's out of your comfort zone, don't do it.

     Sorry if that sounds like a rant - I would be SO angry if either set of grandparents tried any of that with me.

  • We left Kate (in our house, with ILs) when she was 10 weeks old for a night when we went to a wedding.  We left her a few weekends when she was 5-10 months old and for a whole week when she was 14 months old. All times, though, she was at our house. And it wasn't so ILs could bond, it was so we could get away!
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  • I think your MIL is off base here.  Newborn????  No way.  My DD is just over 2 yrs and she still has never been anywhere but with us overnight.  We're just starting to be open to the idea.  Whenever she visits at my parents house or the ILs she constantly says  "stay papa's" when we tell her it's time to go.  We're probably going to have her staying either at the ILs or SIL's overnight when I have the baby.  I just don't think she'd do well overnight.  She was with us in Disney World and for the first 3 days, every nap and bedtime she'd say "go Emme's house" through tears.

    I would at least put up the boundary that baby will not be staying w/ her while she's still nursing.  Period.  That would be incredibly difficult to build up enough of a supply to feed baby solely on bottles for a week.  In the beginning it feels like all you do is nurse the baby, sometimes every 30-60 min.  If you were pumping on top of it to try to build up a supply of bottles for a week your boobs would never get a break.  Your MIL sounds a little crazy.  She's this baby's grandmother, not mother.

  • I think DS was 4 months old when he stayed over night with FIL (who lives 10 min. from us) ... because DH treated me to a night at a fancy hotel and a spa day at a hotel in Dallas for my birthday.  

    He regularly stays with MIL overnight though (since I'd say about a year old), she's about 30 min. from us. 

    The first time he went any good distance away from us for an extended amount of time was this past Summer.  He had just turned 2, and my mom took him for 5 nights up to her mom's house in OK ... so he was about 3 hours (by car) away from us.  It was a heavenly week, lol.   

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  • Wow.  There are some seriously judgey people in this thread.  Fun times.  
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  • I think it is weird your MIL wants to spend weeks with your child alone. But I also think it is weird that so many people are horrified at the idea of leaving their child overnight with someone other than themselves. Parents need a break. Kids have fun with grandparents. It doesn't make you any less a parent because your child spends the night somewhere else or at your house without you there.

    And I heavily roll my eyes at those of you who say you have kids so you can raise them, not someone else. No sh*t. Having a night away from your child isn't allowing someone else to raise them, it is allowing you to be more than just a mom for a few hours.

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  • image MrsTotty:
    Wow.  There are some seriously judgey people in this thread.  Fun times.  

    You don't want to raise your own child AND you want to drink while you're pregnant.  CPS definitely has a strong case now.  I'm calling. 

  • image andrea922:

    I think it is weird your MIL wants to spend weeks with your child alone. But I also think it is weird that so many people are horrified at the idea of leaving their child overnight with someone other than themselves. Parents need a break. Kids have fun with grandparents. It doesn't make you any less a parent because your child spends the night somewhere else or at your house without you there.

    And I heavily roll my eyes at those of you who say you have kids so you can raise them, not someone else. No sh*t. Having a night away from your child isn't allowing someone else to raise them, it is allowing you to be more than just a mom for a few hours.

    THANK YOU.   

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  • I'd start letting them have sleepovers somewhere between 2 and 3, if they sleep well.

    My sister lives just down the road from my parents and that is the earliest her kids stayed over. My nephew only slept well in his own bed, so he was closer to 3.

    I'd suggest letting your husband talk to her. That seems to go over better than coming from a DIL. I agree with you - no extended stays at a few months old. That's crazy. You can't just pump for a whole weekend...that really doesn't always work out. You may not have the supply to do that, and it's really not recommended to pump exclusively for any length of time (it leads to your milk supply drying up). Play the breastfeeding card as long as you can!

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