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Parents Panel: When was your first night out after having a baby?

From a trip to the pub six days in to a night away after two years, our panel members share when they cut loose.

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AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

Whether you had an unavoidable event to attend or just needed a couple of hours to feel like an adult again, no doubt you can remember the first time you left your new baby in the care of someone else. This week, we asked our panel when they took the big leap.

When was your first night out after having a baby?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 - Copy Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly

We went on a date after six days: Our first night out was six days after the birth of our first. It wasn’t so much of a big deal for me, but for my wife it was. It took a little convincing but she came out to wet the baby’s head. It was the best thing she could have done and it set the tone for us as a parenting couple. We look after each other as adults as well as being parents.

- Alan Dooley

We left him with his ‘third granny’ one year in: Charlie was just under a year when we left him overnight with his minder for the first time. Luckily, Charlie’s minder is like his third granny and we didn’t need to look at our phones at all while he was there. For a recent wedding, we brought Charlie along to the hotel and hired a babysitter to look after him there – so we could check in whenever we needed.

- Kait Quinn

IMG_3272 Escape! Charlie in his 'wedding cot' at the hotel room. Source: Kait Quinn

 I waited until he was two: I breastfed Tymek for over a year so there were no overnight trips without him. Aside from dinner or cinema trips, he was two by the time we had our first proper night away. We left him with his minder. We would have done it sooner but we don’t have family leaving nearby so it’s harder to organise.

- Marta Lisiecka

I left her with my husband (and my parents): My first night away was for a hen party when Clíodhna was just four months old. I was very anxious about leaving her for 24 hours. Up to this point the longest we had been separated was a couple of hours. To ease my anxiety my husband stayed with Clíodhna at my parents place as this was a lot closer to where the hen was taking place. She was fine and had a ball!

- Riona Flood

She was eight weeks old: I had to leave Ellie Mae with a neighbour for the evening when she was eight weeks old, as we had a family event so no relatives could mind her. It was like moving house for a few hours: the bouncer, changes of clothes, bottles, toys… My neighbours were laughing at me and my just-in-case-you-might-need-it haul.

- Denise Cumiskey

shutterstock_522257272 Source: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

We went on a date – but he refused to settle: The first night we went out as a couple, our son was five months and he just wouldn’t settle. We had a friend babysitting and my dad was there too, but when I called home an hour or so in, we could hear him crying and we called it a night!

- Olly Keegan

I stopped breastfeeding a few months in: I was 18 and 19 when my first two were born. I was quite young and still very into going out on the weekends. I gave up breastfeeding when they were between three and four months, so that I could have a bit more freedom – but I ended up deeply regretting this decision and not really going out at all. These days I hate pubs and if we go out for dinner, the four kids come too so I don’t really need a babysitter anymore.

- Susannah O’Brien

He was three weeks old – but it didn’t go smoothly: Daniel was three weeks old when we “cut loose” for the first time. We managed to get one of Karen’s sisters to mind him and we headed out for dinner. Dinner didn’t go as planned. Karen wasn’t feeling well and ended up eating virtually nothing and we went home after just an hour or so away from him.

- Ken Hyland

Granny helped (and brought the Calpol with her): Our first night out together was when our eldest was seven months old. We nearly headed home early though because when we checked in with granny, our daughter was on Calpol and running a high temperature… It’s sometimes easier not to go out!

- Ross Boxshall

Help! Am I being unreasonable? We’re looking for parenting dilemmas from our readers for our Am I Being A Bad Parent? feature. Drop us a line with your reader dilemma on family@thejournal.ie.

Plus, we’re have a two-night family break at Fota Island Resort to give away to one lucky Family Magazine reader. Enter here!

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