Toddlerfilter: How do we prep for our first weekend getaway sans bebe?
June 27, 2014 3:33 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are leaving our 2.5 year old with her grandmother for the Fourth of July weekend. How do we prepare for this first trip away?

My wife and I are going camping next week and the stars aligned so my mother-in-law will be in town to watch the wee one while we're away. Yay! We do not have family near us so we've never left her alone with anyone for more than 8-10 hours at a time.

Rugrat and her grandmother are gangbusters together so they'll be good in that regard. We'll make sure we're stocked on food, diapers, and leave instructions for entertainment/bed time but what else am I forgetting?

What do you know about leaving your kids for a few days that you didn't know the first time around? Do we need some kind of medical release in case of emergencies? Anything I can do to prep my daughter for our departure? I'm sure it's not going to be a super dramatic thing but I don't want to miss anything huge and make it a pleasant situation for all involved.

posted by Tevin to Human Relations (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Kids that age live in the moment. She might cry when you leave and then be just as happy a few minutes later. I'd say check in at certain times and have an emergency number for Grandma. Stop worrying. You will be fine.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2014

You definitely want to do a medical release, just in case. A cheat sheet with important phone numbers is good, along with an additional cheat sheet for medications baby is allowed to have along with dosage instructions. Don't be afraid to write as detailed a manual as makes you feel comfortable! Most likely grandmother won't need it, but it might make you feel better to know that she knows what to do if baby throws a tantrum because the tag on her pajamas is itchy (turn them inside out).

You should tell your daughter that you're going away for a few days, or that grandmother will be staying with her for two nights. She might or might not understand until it happens, though. I think it would be nice to bring her home a treat or plan a special outing with her very soon after you return.
posted by Night_owl at 5:50 PM on June 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

When Granny stays at our house she needs notes explaining how to use things in our house, like the Apple TV or the light/ceiling fan in toddler's room that we broke the remote for so the switch only works on the fan not the light... stuff like that. That is in addition to the detailed notes about toddler.
posted by Swisstine at 8:58 PM on June 27, 2014

Not so much baby related but unless grandmother is very familiar with your house things like where to find the fuse box, the stopcock etc.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:03 AM on June 28, 2014

Nothing. Leave an emergency phone number, a friend's number or two, the doctor's name and number, and stock food. Leave a note dated and signed by you empowering her to make medical decisions in an emergency.

Don't make a big deal about it with the kiddo. Mention it once a day or two before, once the day before, then say Bye. Don't make it seem like a big deal that you're leaving, focus on the part that it's going to be Kid and Grandma PartyTime.

Have a blast.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:36 AM on June 28, 2014

Seconding medical release. I was once taking care of my niece while her parents were away for a few days, and something minor came up that required a doctor's attention. Luckily, I could reach my sister, who emailed a release to the doctor's office, but it took more time than the appointment itself.
posted by AMyNameIs at 6:43 AM on June 28, 2014

My son is the same age as your daughter. He and I have just arrived for a visit to my parents. We've been talking about this trip for weeks, how we'd go on two airplanes, arrive at grandma and grandpa's house, and how Daddy wasn't going to be on the trip with us but we'd see him in a little while at the other grandma's house. So we set off yesterday morning, no tears saying goodbye to daddy.

Until last night, when we headed for bed. Meltdown. "I want to go back to my house and Daddy puts me to bed." I hadn't thought to explain to him that going on a trip meant that we wouldn't be sleeping at home, and that Daddy couldn't put him to bed. So I think I'd make sure to explain to your daughter that you won't be there in the morning (but grandma will be!), you won't be there at dinner time (but grandma will be!), you won't be there at bedtime (but grandma will be!), etc.

When I went out of town a few months back and left our son with my husband for the first time, for a week, I got this book, called "When Mommy Travels". Obviously it's about a mom going away, and it talks about Daddy doing all the things she normally does, but I felt like it was a helpful way for us to practice ahead of time all the things that would be different. So you may want to get a book like that or find one about parents traveling.

Good luck and enjoy!
posted by wyzewoman at 6:09 PM on June 28, 2014

Hmm, I see I have different advice from A Terrible Llama... I guess it depends on your kid, whether talking it through a lot ahead of time will make it into A Big Deal or whether it will help make it predictable and keep her calm...
posted by wyzewoman at 6:12 PM on June 28, 2014

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