Deployment with a 14 month old? — The Bump
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Deployment with a 14 month old?

My husband will be deploying late this year when our baby is 14 months old.  He will be gone about a year.  What should I expect with her being so young?  Will she be able to remember her Dad when he comes home? What should I do to make sure she keeps a connection with him and doesn't feel abandoned?

Re: Deployment with a 14 month old?

  • Hopefully YH will be some place with good Internet so you can Skype/FaceTime.  That would be helpful for her to see her daddy's face and hear his voice.

    A Daddy Doll would be good, too.   www.daddydolls.com.   

    Sesame Street has a video series about deployments. It might be above her level, but it's worth a viewing.

    There are books about deployed parents.  My favorite is "Over There" by Dorinda Silver Williams.  You can order it through Military One Source.  It comes in a Daddy version and a Mommy version.  On the Zero to Three website, you can download a version that is not illustrated and add your own.

    Here is a list of other books that are for children in military communities.  Most of them are for older kids, but there might be a few that are age appropriate.  https://www.operationwearehere.com/childrenbooks.html.  

    I would put pictures up of YH--his alone, him with you, him with your DD. Perhaps you could make a book of pictures of YH.  Talking about him helps.  My DH (and I) made a video of him reading books to our LO (before LO was born).  That was really, really sweet. (But be forewarned--it was difficult for me, at first, to watch the video.  I choked me up--darn postpartum hormones!)

    I don't have personal experience with deployment with a 14-26 month old.  My DH missed our LO's birth and first nine months.  And this time, he deployed just before LO's third birthday and is anticipated to be gone about a year.  For me, it was easier (by far) when my LO was itty bitty.  This time around has been much more challenging.  But, we also PCS'd (to Germany) three months before DH deployed and the "trying threes" have been way harder than the "terrible twos"!

    My last bit of advice is to take care of yourself.  Make sure that you have at least a friend or two you can call if *anything* happens.  And, if you live near post, if your LO is not already registered with CYS for hourly child care, do it!  With a deployed service member, you and your DD qualify for 16 free hours a month of respite care and anything beyond that is only $2/hour.  Being able to schedule breaks for yourself is vital.  Being able to go to the doctor, go out to lunch, or, my favorite, go home to take a nap, without your child, helps the otherwise 24/7 time together. 

    Good luck.  Check back if you have any other questions! (And sorry this got *so* long!)

     

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  • DS was 10 months when DH deployed and is currently 15 months. My H made a video of himself reading all of DS's favorite books and we play that while reading. We also have a daddy doll and a quilt by Operation Kid Comfort with the asymca (https://www.asymca.org/index.php/operation-kid-comfort-2/)

    I show DS pictures and videos of Daddy but to be honest I think he has forgotten him. I know he will warm back up to him when DH gets home but it still makes me sad. 

    On the positive side, DS isn't bothered by DH being gone and doesn't get upset or sad like some older children do. It's nice knowing it isn't hard on DS but obviously that will change with future deployments as DS gets older!

    Good luck and keep your head up! 

         Lilypie - (2Lt7)      Lilypie - (WFOL)

     
         Jonah Stephen born at 39w on 11/3/2011                Naomi Isabel born at 37w 5d on 5/27/2013
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  • My friend told me this story as I have no experience with this. He depolyed for a year when his son was less than 2. Mom and LO would regularly video chat with Dad. Everytime the LO saw a computer he would point to the computer and get very excited and say "DADDY?!". This exclimation apparently made for some awakard explinations for his wife, but his son had no trouble remebering him or feeling abandoned when Dad came back.

  • imageehnasto:

    My friend told me this story as I have no experience with this. He depolyed for a year when his son was less than 2. Mom and LO would regularly video chat with Dad. Everytime the LO saw a computer he would point to the computer and get very excited and say "DADDY?!". This exclimation apparently made for some awakard explinations for his wife, but his son had no trouble remebering him or feeling abandoned when Dad came back.

    DD associates her Dada with the computer too.

    Munchkin born 11/22/11
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  • Try using skype it works for us and skype to skype webcam is. Free. My hubby is leaving the end of this month and I'm terrified, our baby is 2.5 weeks old and loves daddy. 

    One thing that helped me sleep when he was away, he would leave his shirt he wore with me and I would sleep with it. Being able to smell him kept me calm.  I sleep terrible when he is gone, so this helped.  Try it with the lo send him tee shirts to wear and to send back.   

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