I just emailed X's pediatrician the same question, but I just realized you would all be a great resource, too, so I thought I'd put the question here, too.
I'm going to be out of the country for 2 weeks this summer. While I know X is, like most kids, incredibly resilient and will bounce back, I'm also concerned about how hard this will be on him. I'm his primary caregiver, and in the 2 months before I leave, I'll be with him almost 24/7-- which I'm afraid may make it harder than if I was leaving him with others from time to time since he'll be so used to me being around.
Do any of you have any tips for how I can make this go smoother for X and for his grandmas and aunties who will be taking care of him? I'm worried about while I'm away, and also re-adjusting when I get home. He will be 20 months old at that point.
grapefruit / 4649 posts
With the families I have nannied for we have had good luck with having mom (and/or dad) make a video of them reading a favorite story. I don't usually volunteer to the child that I have it but if they are asking for mom or dad it is a great thing to pull out. Having photos of you that they can hold is often something they like and skype or face time could be great-- I would probably check with the caregivers afterwards and make sure it didn't make things worse. Sometimes just getting on with the day is easier than the reminder you aren't there.
Beyond that I think the best thing you can do is make sure all of his caregivers are on the same page and keep his routine as close to normal as possible-- things like "getting to stay up late" don't really work well, especially not at 20 months. If he is staying with them I would try to pack things that are key to his routines (favorite cup/dishes, books, lovey, sound machine, linens.) If they will come to your home I would just ask that they humor you and let you show them all the things you do through the day-- things like when you open and close the blinds might be a signal to your son that you never even thought about so just pay attention in the weeks before your trip.
He will bounce back from your trip very quickly but don't be surprised if he almost ignores you initially when you return, it ends quickly and it is totally normal. A special new stuffed animal or such helps bridge this gap.
I hope this helps!
GOLD / papaya / 10206 posts
I don't have anything to add but @Cole: that is BRILLIANT!!! Seriously, genious!
grapefruit / 4649 posts
@prettylizy: Thanks! I have been through it a lot, the perspective of the caregiver helps in this type of situation, I have found some tricks along the way
pomelo / 5178 posts
It' snot quite the same thing, but the kids and I had a couple week-long separations from DH in the last three months. DD and DS have never been away from DH for even a night, so it was a really big thing (especially for DD, who is super bonded to her daddy). One thing I think made it a little smoother was to prepare DD ahead of time. We told her stories about what would happen, explaining what the routine would look like without daddy, where daddy would be, when she would see him again, etc... Every day we went over the same things, and when the time came, she did really well. There were a couple times she cried for DH, but most of the time, she did just fine.
kiwi / 549 posts
@Cole: those suggestions are awesome and I totally hadn't thought of giving X a picture of me, or even paying attn to little things like opening blinds. Thanks soooooo much!
@Honeybee: talking about the fact that I'll be gone so he's prepared is a great idea, too!