Going back to work after having a baby can be a struggle. You’re trying to adjust to being a new parent while balancing everything else you did pre-baby. This takes rest, strength, and some heavy-duty organizational skills.
At Rock and Roll Daycare in Inman Square, 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 who each will receive a $50 Target gift card.
Now, you can check out 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. We truly hope that this helps you make that important transition smoother!
1. Schedule Your First Day for Midweek (if possible)
If possible, ask to start mid-week rather than jumping into the full week. This will let you ease into your new routine 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.
2. Have Your Childcare Situated
When you go back to work, you want to know that your childcare is situated. Whether you’re leaving your baby at daycare or with a family member, you want to know who is responsible for drop-offs and pickups. Also, consider what types of gear and supplies you’ll need to supply and whether you have a childcare backup plan. You can’t expect to wing it because you’ll cause yourself more stress and anxiety. Also, learn what transition plan your new daycare or nanny has in place.
3. Do a Dry Run
Set a time when you can do a dry run and see how your new routine will work out. You should 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. 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 the adjustment smoother.
4. Prep for Pumping
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to prepare yourself and your baby for pumping. This may mean getting your baby used to having your breast milk from a bottle. If your baby isn’t used to this, you’ll want to get them used to it so that your childcare provider doesn’t have trouble. 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.
5. Ask for Flexibility
If your employer allows for a flexible work schedule, take advantage of it. Some allow employees to work from home or have a 4-day workweek. Many parents would prefer to work from home some of the time or work fewer days during the week.
6. Set Boundaries
While you may want to call the daycare to check on your child, it’s important to set boundaries. 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.
7. Ask for Help
New parents don’t have to do it all by themselves. It’s important to ask for help when you need it. This may mean picking up a child at daycare or coming over to give you a little break. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you’re a bad parent. 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.
8. Make Time for Yourself
This is a big one! While it may feel impossible, you want to make time for yourself. Whether you’re taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or taking a walk, do whatever relaxes you and makes you happy. This may lead to illness or just downright irritability. Either scenario isn’t one you want to find yourself in.
9. Plan Ahead
The more you can plan ahead, the better off you’ll be. This may mean packing the baby’s supplies or prepping lunch. Trying to get everything ready in the morning can be a struggle, especially since babies are so unpredictable. Any tantrum or anything else unexpected can throw off the flow of your day. 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 you may want to stay up late to get things done, it’s more important to sleep! If you’re not well-rested, you can’t function properly. This can make you irritable and may create dangerous situations. Without enough rest, you won’t be able to focus sufficiently, which can make driving and other tasks more difficult.
Always give yourself time to adjust to your new life. It’s going to take time. The more you can relax and cut yourself some slack, the better off you’ll be,
If you have any other tips for going back to work after having a baby, please share them below!