26/11/2012 10:23 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

With Or Without You: New Mums' Separation Anxiety

With or without you: New mums' separation anxiety Alamy

My daughter was perhaps about seven months before I left her with anyone other than her daddy (while I nipped to the shops for about a minute-and-a-half). But one evening, with Ava in the care of her grandparents, Dan and I finally went out for dinner – and, plates clean and dessert refused, we came straight home again, at 9.15pm.

While it's hard to recall whether it was my own separation anxiety or sheer exhaustion that saw our evening cut so short, new research by Cussons Mum & Me would suggest, in all likelihood, it was anxiety.

They interviewed 1,000 mothers and found almost a quarter wouldn't contemplate leaving their baby with anyone else until they were at least eight months old. And when they did get out, more than half the mums felt guilty about leaving their baby behind, and a third just couldn't relax. In fact, 11 of mums who made it through the door for an evening out texted or phoned home up to six times to check all was okay! And 6% even used FaceTime (a video calling service) to say night night.

No, it's not quite the same thing as a raspberry on the tummy, but anything that can make time away from our babies a little more bearable is good, especially as the festive season approaches. Lord knows, new mummies need a break... occasionally.

How old was your baby the first time you left them with a sitter? Did you find it stressful, or could you not wait to get out and let your hair down?

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