Going back to work after having a baby isn’t easy. Learning to adjust to taking care of this precious new life while still balancing everything else you did in your pre-baby days takes strength, rest, and some savvy organizational skills!
At Rock and Roll Daycare in Huron Village, we totally get this and that is why we are developing an educational support program to bring awareness to the need to have adequate rest, resources, and planning for having a newborn and making that transition back to work.
Before we share the tips, we would love to hear from you! As we are developing this valuable program to help support and offer new parents resources within our community, we would love to learn more, if we may about YOUR Postpartum Journey. Please take two minutes to fill out this quick survey, that will help us tailor our educational program better.
Thank you so much, we appreciate your help and time. We will be doing a giveaway amongst everyone who filled out the survey. We will have THREE lucky winners and each will receive a $50 Target gift card.
Today we have compiled this list of 10 tips for going back to work after having a baby. This is just the beginning of our offerings for postpartum parents, and we truly hope that this helps you make that important transition smoother!
1. Have Your Childcare Situated
One of the first things you have to do is have your childcare situation settled. Whether you choose a daycare center or a family member, you need to have that nailed down. Are you going to be responsible for drop-offs and pickups? What types of gear and supplies are you going to need to provide? Do you have a childcare backup plan? These are the types of questions you want to have answers for before you go back to work. If you leave it until the last minute, you’ll cause yourself more stress and anxiety. Learn what transition plan your new daycare or nanny has in place as well.
2. Do a Dry Run
Set aside some time well before your first day back to get up when you need to, give yourself enough time to get ready, get your baby ready, and get out the door. This is your dry run of your new routine. Your test run should also include getting in the car, getting to your childcare center, and getting to work. This will give you a better idea if you’ve planned appropriately and if you need to tweak your plan before your real first day. Also, the daycare center, just like Rock and Roll Daycare, may have a transition plan in place that will need you to be present, and pick up the child after a few hours, to make adjustment smoother.
3. Schedule Your First Day for Midweek (if possible)
If possible, try not to go back for a full week. Go back mid-week if possible. This will let you get your feet wet and start to see what works and what doesn’t. Plus, it should make it less likely for you to burn out that first week.
4. Ask for Flexibility
Ever since the pandemic, more and more employers are offering flexible working schedules that allow for a 4-day work week or for people to work from home. If your line of work includes this option, ask for it to be included in your back-to-work plan if you think this will help you. Many women would prefer to work from home some of the time or work fewer days during the week.
5. Ask for Help
While asking for help isn’t always easy, it’s something you should get used to doing. Whether this means having someone pick up your child at daycare or come over to give you a little break, it’s okay to ask for help. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you’re a bad parent. It’s quite the opposite. It means that you realize you can’t do it alone and are taking the steps needed to make sure you and your child are being taken care of properly.
6. Prep for Pumping
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to prepare yourself and your baby for eating out of a bottle. For some babies, this can take time, so you’ll want to start this when you’re still home so that your childcare provider has an easier time feeding your baby when you’re not there. You’ll also want to alert your employer that you’ll need time during the day to pump. Employers need to provide a clean, private area for you to pump while at work.
7. Set Boundaries
Set boundaries. While it may be difficult not to call the daycare every ten minutes to check on your child, you should refrain. When you’re at work, do your best to focus on work. When you’re home, use that time for your child and family. Setting boundaries between work and family time can make the transition easier and assure that every part of your life gets the attention it needs.
8. Make Time for Yourself
Amid all the hustle and bustle, you need to make time for yourself. This may mean taking a short walk, taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or whatever relaxes you and makes you happy. If you don’t, you’re going to get stressed and burned out. This may lead to illness or just downright irritability.
9. Plan Ahead
Get as much of your morning prep done the night before. Whether it’s packing the baby’s supplies or prepping your lunch, avoid doing everything in the morning. Trying to get everything ready in the morning can be a struggle, especially since babies are so unpredictable. They may throw a tantrum at any moment which can throw off the flow of your day in a second. If you have as much ready as you can in the morning, it will make the mornings go as smoothly as possible.
10. Rest As Much As You Can
While it may be tempting to stay up late to get things done, it’s more important to get the rest you need. You can’t function properly when you’re not well-rested. This can lead to irritability as well as potentially dangerous situations. Without enough rest, you won’t be able to focus sufficiently, which can make driving and other tasks more difficult.
Remember, give yourself time to adjust to this new life. You’re not expected to jump right into it and ace it!
Do you have any other tips for going back to work after having a baby? Please share them with us in the comments below!