It's been weeks since you brought your precious new baby home, and it's time for you to return to work. Did you ever think it would go by so quickly?
You probably have many things on your mind as your return to work approaches. Who will care for your baby? How will everything work out?
Going back to work after baby can be stressful and intimidating, but it doesn't have to be chaotic. Keep reading for seven tips that will help the transition go smoothly.
1. Choose a Caregiver Early
It's never too early to choose a caregiver for your precious little one. The happier you are with the one you choose, the more peace of mind you'll have when you head back to work.
Don't hesitate to start looking before your baby arrives. You'll need plenty of time to compare your options. And you may need extra time if there's a waitlist for your daycare-of-choice.
Research each option thoroughly. The choice shouldn't be taken lightly. Make sure you read reviews or talk to people who have used each caregiver.
Meet with any caregivers you're seriously considering. Ask them all your questions and tell them all your concerns. Get a feel for the facilities and make sure you're comfortable with them.
Do they have experience caring for children with allergies? Are they CPR and First Aid certified? How do they handle discipline?
Make sure the caregiver you choose employs practices you agree with. Ensure they'll be able to handle any special needs your or your baby have.
2. Don't Feel Guilty
It's easy to feel guilty about leaving your child with someone else when you go back to work, but try to avoid it! You aren't doing a bad thing, and you aren't neglecting your baby.
By returning to work you're still providing care for your child, just in another way. You can be just as good of a mother while working as you could if you weren't.
While you're working on not feeling guilty, get rid of any comparisons you've been making. Not every mom can stay home, and that's okay. You're doing what's best for your family.
3. Take Time to Snuggle
When you come home from work you'll be bombarded by distractions. Your spouse, other children, chores, and dinner are only a few that may present themselves.
While those are all good things, make sure you take time to snuggle that baby. He needs it, and so do you.
Take time each day to simply enjoy your baby. Let the two of you have some dedicated time together without any distractions. Doing so will help you feel close to your baby even though you're away for a good portion of the day.
4. Be Patient
Being a working parent isn't easy, especially when you have a little one, so be patient. Be patient with yourself, with your family, with the baby, and with your caregiver. Everyone is going to need it.
Have patience with yourself while you're at work. Being away from your baby will take some getting used to, especially if this is your first time around the block.
And be patient with yourself when you get home, too. You won't have time for everything, and that's okay. Focus on the most important things and soon you'll get into a groove that works for you and your family.
Don't forget to be patient with other family members, including the baby. Remember you're not the only one adjusting to the new schedule.
5. Provide the Caregiver with Plenty of Food
Though you're away from your baby, that doesn't mean you aren't concerned about his care. To make sure he gets the best nutrition possible, supply his caregiver with plenty of food.
Whether your baby is strictly feeding on breast milk or you've chosen a high-quality formula, make sure you provide it for your baby. If a caregiver finds his or herself with a hungry baby, they'll need to know what you want him to be fed.
The caregiver will likely have the best intentions, but if left without other options they may feed your baby whatever they have on hand.
If your baby isn't used to formula, or he's given a different formula than usual, he may have digestive issues. So make sure his caregiver knows your preferences.
Your baby will be happier, and you'll have greater peace of mind if you supply plenty of food for while you're away.
6. Go Back Mid-Week
Going back to work after having a baby is a major adjustment. To ease yourself and your family into it, return to work mid-week.
Starting on a Monday means you'll have to survive an entire week right off the bat. But if you return on, say, a Wednesday, you'll only have to make it through three days.
Three is a lot easier than five workdays, so give it a try. Your entire family will appreciate slower adjustment.
7. Practice Beforehand
In the weeks leading up to your return to work, take a few days to practice. Jumping right into a new routine isn't easy, so don't assume it'll go perfectly the first time.
Get up early and practice getting your baby and everything else ready and out the door on time. Get a feel for how much time you'll need before leaving, and how long it takes to get your baby to their caregiver. Make sure you'll have enough time to get to work on time, too.
The more familiar you are with your new schedule the better it will go when it's time to live it for real.
Going Back to Work After Baby Doesn't Have to be Rough
Going back to work after baby can be intimidating and difficult emotionally, but it can go smoothly. All it takes is some preparation.
Plan ahead so you know who'll care for your baby, and make sure your schedule is practical. Ease yourself and your family into it and the transition will go that much smoother.
Are you looking for that perfect job to match your family's schedule? Start your search here.