Would you leave your five-month-old baby with someone else overnight?

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
A mum has expressed concerns about leaving her baby with his grandparents overnight. [Photo: Getty]

A Mumsnet user has taken to the forum to ask whether it is acceptable to leave a five-month-year old baby with friends or relatives overnight.

Writing in the forum, the mother claimed it is a question which ‘keeps coming up’ since she had her baby.

She said: “Wellmeaning (?) Friends and family keep insisting that I should leave said baby overnight with grandparents etc., so I can both have a good nights sleep (we’re currently in sleep regression hell) or I can have a night out with my partner to reconnect and relax (this would be nice but we’re actually fine and happy with no issues).”

As the mother explained, while her child’s grandparents do look after him for hours at a time, she isn’t comfortable for the child to ‘stay out’ overnight yet.

However, she still receives repeated comments about how she should feel able to leave him with family, and asked others how they feel about it.

She asked: “I’m interested, am I the minority to feel I do not want my baby away overnight whilst he is still young (5 months) or is it quite the done thing?”

The thread has, at the time of publication, received 63 comments as people weigh in on the parenting debate.

One user failed to understand her concerns about leaving the baby, writing: “Both my kids stayed with my parents at 8 weeks so we could have one night of sanity (sex).

“They stay with them maybe every 2-3 months if we’ve got a night out or whatever, and always have done. But my parents were in their 50s when I had babies. I would certainly have felt differently if they were in their 70s.”

Another added: “My baby is 5 months (born august) she’s slept over with grandparents 6 times now,” while someone else agreed: “Ds1 stayed over at gp (inlaws) around 2/3 months old as he was bottle fed. It was bliss having full night sleep and lie in.”

However, many users totally saw the mother’s perspective, reassuring her it was totally normal not to want to leave her child.

One wrote: “I’m surprised to hear you’ve experienced this. I think it’s quite unusual to leave a five month baby overnight.”

Others said they would not want to inflict their child’s poor sleeping habits on someone else.

“My daughter is a shit sleeper and is almost 2. I haven’t and wouldn’t inflict her inability to sleep well on other people. I’ve also never felt I needed a night away from her. You just do what works for you.”

While some tired parents may be in favour of having a night off to rest and reconnect, it isn’t that easy for all mums – particularly when the child is just five months old.

Official breastfeeding advice from the World Health Organisation is that mothers try to  exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of the child’s life, whether this is through breastfeeding directly or expressing breast milk.

While expressing milk is an option, some breastfed babies struggle with taking a bottle when they’re used to the breast – which would prevent them from being apart from their infant overnight.

You can get more help and advice on breastfeeding from the NHS. 

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