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When Should Parents Start Leaving Their Babies Overnight?

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New parents are filled with questions when it comes to their babies, and although there is never a shortage of helpful and not so helpful advice from others, there are rarely set rules new parents can follow when it comes to parenting.

Mumsnet is a popular online forum where new and experienced moms can pose questions or ask for advice from their peers about their parenting and relationship dilemmas. One new mother recently took to the forum to ask about when is the right time to leave your new baby overnight for the first time with someone other than their parents. Not surprisingly the responses were varied. The poster, who goes by the username Grumpos, explained that friends and family were insistent she should leave her 5-month-old with grandparents for the night so she can have a night off.

"Well-meaning 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)," she writes. While the baby does visit his grandparents for a few hours during the week, this new mom insists she's not ready for her baby to sleep out. While she's comfortable with her decision, she has found herself under pressure from others to have her baby sleep out and asks the forum community if she's in the minority? "I don’t want him never to stay with family, just maybe when he is sitting up, fully weaned, sleeping better, etc.," she explained.

Naturally, Grumpos received a variety of responses, although most supported the mom and encouraged her to follow her instincts. "My ds [dear son] wasn't left overnight until he was 14 months (that was in his own house), then overnight at his granny's at 16 months. He wasn't looked after by anyone other than a parent until he was 5 (almost 6 months)," wrote one commenter before admitting that she too was often judged for her choice. "People nagged at me too saying he'd be overly clingy. I don't see why other people get so involved tbh [to be honest]."

Another commenter admitted they wouldn't want a caregiver to have to deal with such a small baby either. "I wouldn’t inflict his 2-3 hour waking cycle on anyone but his dad tbh [to be honest]. Mil [mother-in-law] has babysat for us for a couple of hours. The last time she insisted on waving us out the door and that she could settle him. Came back 2.5 hours later, he was just asleep on the sofa, and she hadn’t had time to eat."

"If it doesn't feel right to you don't let it happen yet, There is no right or wrong about this. You do what suits you," wrote one commenter who wants the poster to know that it's perfectly fine to do whatever makes her feel comfortable, a sentiment echoed by many who responded to her post. Others were simply jealous of her opportunity and encouraged her to give it a try, as a night off may be exactly what she needs. "It's totally up to you but if they're offering I personally would JUMP at the chance. With my first, I was very nervous about leaving him, but it's really fiiiine and soooo nice to get a bit of space," they wrote.

Leaving your child overnight for the first time can be very anxiety-inducing and nerve-wracking experience, and every parent will react differently. While there is no "rule" as to when is too early to leave your baby overnight, each parent will have an age that works for them. The most important thing is that both

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