If you’re planning to go back to work after having a baby, you know that it’s not easy. You’re trying to juggle your newborn with every other facet of your life. This can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead and try to get as much rest as possible.
At Rock and Roll Daycare in Central 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 and each will receive a $50 Target gift card.
To further help you, 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
No matter what type of childcare you have in place, feel confident in your selection and know what to expect. 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 child care backup plan? These are the types of questions you want to have answers for before you go back to work. Also, learn what transition plan your new daycare or nanny has in place.
2. Schedule Your First Day for Midweek (if possible)
You’re going to want to ease into your new routine if possible. This means going back to work mid-week if you can. This will help you adjust and hopefully make you less likely to burn out that first week.
3. Ask for Flexibility
Asking for flexibility at work is also a good idea. Many employers offer flexible work schedules that allow for a shortened week or 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.
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. For some babies, this can take time. Start in enough time 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.
5. Do a Dry Run
Once you have an idea of what your routine will look like, do a dry run. 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.
6. Ask for Help
Many parents are afraid to ask for help, but it’s okay to do so! Whether this means having someone pick up your child at daycare or come over to give you a little break, it’s good 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.
7. Make Time for Yourself
Make time for yourself and make it a priority. Whether you’re taking a short walk, a bubble bath, or reading a book, do whatever relaxes you. If you don’t, you’re going to get stressed and burned out. This may lead to illness or just downright irritability. Either scenario isn’t one you want to find yourself in.
8. Set Boundaries
Try to set boundaries between work and home whenever you can. This means not calling the daycare center ten times a day to check on your child. 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.
9. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead can help your mornings go smoother once you go back to work. Whether it’s packing the baby’s supplies or prepping your lunch, do as much as you can the night before. 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
Rest when you can as much as you may want to push yourself to do more. It’s important to get the rest you need. When you’re not well-rested, you can’t function properly which 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.
After you’ve had a baby, give yourself time to adjust. No one expects you to do it all right away. Cut yourself some slack and you’ll be better for it!
While we’ve added some tips for you, we want to know if you have any other advice. Please share any tips with us in the comments below!