Sunday, February 3, 2013

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How to connect with your baby when away on business trip


This post from NationalNannies is particularly timely as my hubby just jet off to his native land for carnival for a couple weeks. I'm going to share this with him so he can connect with his much older babies: 10, 7 and 5 years old who are home with me while he is away.
 
Being away from your baby is a difficult thing to do, especially if you are new to parenting. However, sometimes work gets in the way of spending precious quality time with your baby. With the help of modern technology and a little creativity, you can still connect with her when you are away on business. Whether it is a short weekend trip or a longer month-long venture, it is important to keep an open line of communication with your baby. 

Will My Baby Really Know If I Am Gone?
The age of your child may help you determine which avenue you choose for bonding while in separate locations. The younger the child, the less stimulating the interaction needs to be. Your newborn may notice that something is missing and be fussy without being able to quite pinpoint the reason, but he might not have the cognition to realize that you are the missing piece of the puzzle. The older the child, the more she will realize that you are gone for longer than she wants you to be.

Your one year old has the ability to remember a little bit more than your newborn. She might react negatively toward your absence, but may also have a similar reaction when you return because she is upset that you left her for that longer period of time. For the older child, an interactive web-cam program can be the perfect way to keep that tantrum at bay. She will see you on the computer or tablet screen and realize you are not gone forever, you are just gone for a little longer than she’s used to. She can let out her pent up aggression by talking with you and seeing you instead of acting out against your spouse or the caregiver who is still at home with her.

Using Web-Cam Technology to Connect With Your Baby
With web-cam being so readily available – most laptops have the camera and microphone built right in – it is an easy way to talk with your baby every day. There is usually a point during the day, whether it’s right before bed time or right after work or another such time, where both of you will have the time to sit down and chat. The best part of using a web-cam is that the child can see you as well as hear you. This makes it easy for her to show you the picture she drew that day or his new favorite toy.

Can’t Go Wrong With A Simple Phone Call
For the pre-cognitive ages, a simple phone call can put baby at ease. The familiarity of your voice will make it seem like you are there with him and make an otherwise difficult situation a little easier for him to cope with. He might not “get it” if you are on a computer screen making faces at him, but he will definitely know it is your voice on the phone.

When you do speak with your child, be it by phone or by web-cam, be sure to keep the conversation upbeat. Instead of continually reminding your child that you are gone – and thereby abandoning him – keep his attention on something else, such as what he did that day or what he learned in school. You can even talk to him about what you did that day. He may not truly understand what a marketing meeting is or where Chicago is located, but he will enjoy hearing about your experiences.

Talking Not Your Style? Writing Is The Way To Go
If it is difficult for you to think of things to talk about out loud, consider sending a daily email or letter to your spouse that can be read to the baby. This doesn’t have quite the same effect as you talking, but it can still make your absence easier to bear.

Non-High Technological Communication
Other ways to connect with your child are a little less reliant on technology, but are also not a direct way to communicate with him. Before you leave on your trip, take a picture with your child and print it off. That way there will be a reminder of you the entire time you are gone. The child – if old enough – can talk with the photograph as if you were really there and feel a closer connection than if you had left nothing behind.
Something similar to the photograph is letting them draw some pictures of you. Sit down with your child and draw pictures with her. Encourage her to draw pictures of you so she can keep the picture nearby if she needs you for anything while you are gone.

Never Underestimate the Power of Scent
If you are going to be gone for a long period of time, leaving something that smells like you can be comforting for baby. It can be a t-shirt or blanket that you use often. You can even go so far as to sleeping with one of her stuffed animals before you leave, that way when she sleeps with it she will be reminded of you.
Whichever way you end up communicating with your child, make sure that some sort of interaction takes place. Your baby will miss you when you are gone, just like you will miss her. Make everything a little easier on everyone involved by being there in whatever way you can.

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