The Fashion Magpie Solo Travel

Traveling Sans Baby.

Mamas, when did you first spend a night away from your baby?

I am half embarrassed to admit that I’ve not yet spent a night apart from her, but not for lack of openness to the concept.  We simply have not had the occasion or the appropriate logistics in place to spend the night apart, as we live away from our parents and have been so swept up in a move and all its associated transitions to even think about taking a trip by ourselves.  And honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it until a friend said:

“I can’t believe you’ve never spent the night away from her!  I’ve always thought that would be important — to spend alone time with my husband after we have a baby.”

Her voice has been echoing in my mind, making me wonder if it’s bizarre that I’ve not yet left her for a night, or whether I shouldn’t prioritize a little R+R with Mr. Magpie after a year and two months of go-go-go-go since her birth.  I know that many of my friends took brief getaways when their babies were a couple of months old — to catch up on sleep, to get some alone time, to take a breath.  I’m sure we would have cherished that time, but the opportunity just did not present itself.

I will, though, be leaving her with Mr. Magpie for two nights in July to attend the bachelorette party of one of my dearest friends.  I’m ecstatic to be able to celebrate my friend in person, and I’m also very much looking forward to the three hours of solo train time, where I intend to buy a glass of wine from the snack car, read my kindle, and enjoy some train snacks (a hunk of truffle-flecked cheese I’m obsessed with from Whole Foods and Red Oval Farms stoned wheat thin crackers?  a bag of popcorn?) or maybe a pre-packed salad from SweetGreen (part of my personal #SBB routine).  But I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little leery of it.  Maybe I should have found some excuse to spend the night away earlier after all?

But after this first time, I feel I owe it to Mr. Magpie to get away for a night, just the two of us.

What about you mamas?  When did you first stay away, and under what circumstances?  How did you feel about it?

Post-Script: Travel Gear for Solo Mamas.

A chic weekender — I also LOVE this, shown at the top of the post!

A monogrammed cosmetic set.

My favorite travel tote (enormous/roomy and the zip top is genius for stowing purposes!)

I stow advil, bandaids, pens, etc in this pouch — easy to access and keeps things tidy.

I keep liquids in these pouches to contain potential spills.

For dirty laundry!

I keep my lingerie in a separate monogrammed linen pouch similar to this I received as a wedding shower gift. (I’ve also heard good things about this brand.)

Of course I’ve got to give a shout-out to my favorite packing cubes: these and these.

Screen wipes, sanitizing wipes (to wipe down train seats!), and facial radiance pads!

Cute pajamas!

I’m so sad I missed out on these — though they promise a re-stock in June and I’m signed up for alerts! — because I’d love to travel with it!  (And I can’t quite convince myself to buy this.)

I never ended up buying a backpack — I just can’t find one I love and that has all the right compartments for toting around mini’s stuff! — but this is pretty darn cute, and under $100.  It would also be a lovely travel companion!

I almost always travel with a pashmina/scarf that can double as a blanket on chilly trains/planes.

My Kindle, loaded with new reads — lots of good suggestions in the post-script here!

On travel days, I tend to wear jeans, a button-down (in pink and white or blue and white stripe!), and comfortable flats (I love my Gucci Princetowns — they have some amazing new prints, like these, and I also love these and these).  Comfortable, adjustable, and unfussy.

P.S.  For upcoming travel WITH mini, I am looking to buy a couple of “surprises” for the lengthy car rides.  I have my eyes on this (thanks, Jen!) and this.  Any other must-haves for car travel?  For the beach, I just discovered this darling sand kitMore great mini beach gear here.

P.P.S.  Don’t forget my new beach gear obsession!

P.P.P.S.  More stuff I never travel without and the absolute best baby travel gear.



  1. You deserve a night (or weekend) away! As I say that, though, I don’t think it’s strange that you haven’t spent the night away from mini yet — I have friends who haven’t spent the night away from their 2- and 3-year-olds. I don’t think my mom spent the night away from me until she had my brother when I was 3.5!

    I love that you use little bags for lingerie, dirty items, etc. when you travel. I am the same, though mine are typically from Baggu — I’d love something a bit more elegant (and monogrammed!)

    That circle belt bag! MUST. HAVE. I also love that State backpack, though I did pull the trigger on a Mansur Gavriel backpack — I’ve been waiting until my birthday to bust it out!

    1. OMG! So jealous of the MG backpack. My bestie just bought one of their totes and I admire its simple, slightly rugged elegance all the time…

      Baggu is my jam for grocery bags; I didn’t even know they had other products, actually!

      Thank you! xo

    2. I adore MG’s bags — I still carry one of their bucket bags to this day! Such good quality (particularly in vegetable-tanned leather) and classic, clean-lined shapes.

      Baggu makes wonderful bags — their leather bags are surprisingly high-quality for relatively low prices, I find. And I love the playful prints on their nylon bags and pouches!

  2. Unfortunately, I had to return to work when my daughter was 10 weeks old. I live in Chicago at the time and was a hospitalist and the new Nadel intensive care at printers. I worked a 24 hour shift so when I went back to work it was for an entire day. It broke my heart! So every fourth night that’s what I did.

    1. Hi Claire — That must have been so tough, but you are a tough cookie for getting out there and supporting your family. Power to you. xoxo

  3. Our first night away was completely unplanned! My husband and I both got a 24 hour stomach virus. My sister showed up and scooped him away, thankfully. We were basically stuck in bed till the next morning. He was about 5.5 months old. 2 weeks later he went back so we could go to a wedding. When you are that sick, you don’t feel badly about having your baby away for the night! He was a carrier monkey though, and my sister and parents ended up with it too!

    1. Well, that’s one (unpleasant) way to rip off the bandaid! HA! I can totally see that. I had a ridiculously horrible stomach bug a couple weeks ago and remember saying to Mr. Magpie: “What do single parents do?!” Like, I was completely incapacitated and could not care for mini let alone myself…! Ahh!

  4. Still haven’t spent the night away from the baby yet (she’s 13 months), and no plans to in the near future. Ugh! It’s hard because we don’t have any family nearby, and I haven’t found a sitter here I’d trust with an overnight. Not to mention, she is NOT GOOD with being separated from me or my husband at this point. I suppose the time will come, hopefully soon?!

    I am adding that reusable sticker pad to my Amazon cart!! What a good idea!

    1. Hi Jen – I’m in a similar boat in that we don’t have any immediate family in the vicinity, so we’d need to drive down to DC to drop her off with my sister or parents or parents-in-law, and it just seems out of the way and impractical. I’ve contemplated leaving mini with her nanny overnight, but we’ve not yet coordinated on that front…keep me posted on if/when it happens and how it goes!


  5. First night away was when my son was 15 months – was a solo to visit a girlfriend. Loved it! Then a month later, went away for 2 nights with my husband. We both had a great time and wished we had done it sooner.

    1. Hi Jenn — Sounds like I’m on a similar path myself. I’m sure it’s a rip-the-bandaid-off kind of thing, and once you get a taste for that pre-baby freedom…ooh la la la la!

  6. I didn’t leave my son overnight until I went to the hospital to have our daughter…he was 2.5ish. I was very worried in the days leading up to it but he had a wonderful time and I was obviously distracted by other things. In hindsight, a less emotionally-charged practice night would probably have made things less stressful for me. I work outside of the home and carry a lot of guilt about that and want to always be with my children when I can, but I do realize that time for ourselves is important too. For me, breastfeeding throws a monkey wrench into things as well. I don’t know that my babies would sleep without me…

    1. Hi Mary — That’s an interesting point about making your delivery experience for the second baby a little more complicated, and something I’ll hang on to for the future (in case there’s another mini!) I guess we all do these things on our own time and own terms, though. This made me feel better! xo

  7. I had a bachelorette party when my son was 3 months old … and I was away for 2 nights. Maybe 2 days and 1 night? Foggy brain… Then, not again until a wedding when he was 9 months. For our daughter… I don’t think I spent a night away from her till she was 6 months and I went on a girls trip.
    For both kids, I did not feel like I needed a night away from them for the sake of it. Instead I had life celebrations that were both very important and exciting things for me to attend.
    The harder thing for me to schedule or prioritize is going on a date! I fall into the trap of being tired, eating at home/take out, and staying in to watch something. But, when we do actually get a sitter and enjoy time out, I’m always reminded of how restorative it is, albeit expensive!

    1. Hi Anna – I loved that you wrote this: “I did not feel like I needed a night away from them for the sake of it.” Thank you for sharing this alternate perspective — I had been feeling, for some reason, that I should feel guilty for not being in a harried rush to get away for the night! And now I wonder — why? We all do what we feel to be right.

      The sitter should be a bit easier for us, though — we have a nanny who will routinely stay late if we ask her too — but we tend to use those nights to catch up with friends. We really need to start scheduling more date nights, just the two of us…


  8. Our little one, William, is almost 15 months and we have left him a few times. A night or two is amazing to recharge and reconnect with your husband. You will miss the Mini terribly, but it is really nice to be alone with your husband, sleep in, read, drink a little too much wine etc. Plus, Mini will be so excited to see you when you return!

    We always left William with my mom and my sister and whenever I got sad and missed him, I would think about the wonderful memories that they were making together and how he was bonding with his grandmother/aunt/cousins etc. It helped a lot xoxo

    1. Hi Katie! Thanks for this encouragement — it can and will be done! I so wish my parents lived closer for the exact reason you cite…

  9. We did our first night away from our son when he was 7 months old, at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VA – my parents came up for the weekend to take care of him, and it was just glorious! Highly recommend sneaking away for a night there if you’re visiting family down here – very luxurious and utterly relaxing, plus car service to the area wineries… what more could you possibly want?

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