First Sleepover

Separation Anxiety

She'll miss me.

Doing some prep work will help her take your leaving in stride. For starters, don't plan a secret escape if your baby is 9 months or older. "Many parents think it's easier to sneak away and avoid the drama as you walk out," says Dr. Brown. "But telling your child you're leaving will help relieve her separation anxiety." Then create ways to stay in touch while you're gone. When Jennifer MacKenzie Baker, of Glen Allen, Virginia, road-tripped to South Carolina with her husband, the two talked to their 7-month-old son via Skype. "He got excited to hear our voices," says MacKenzie Baker.

I'm afraid I'll miss my baby too much.

Ditch the guilt and remember that having a few days all to yourself will probably make you a calmer, more relaxed mom in the long run--plus with digital photos and e-mail updates from home, you won't miss a thing. But if the thought of leaving your baby for a vacation has you feeling too anxious, try a modified version. "Book a hotel room in town, so if your child needs you you'll be available," says Dr. Walfish.

Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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