If you have anxiety about going back to work after having a baby, it’s completely normal. 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 Reston, 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
Before you can go back to work, you need to know who is going to be taking care of your baby. Whether you’re going to be leaving your baby at daycare or with a family member, decide what that plan is going to look like and what that means for your routine. 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. Learn what transition plan your new daycare or nanny has in place.
2. Ask for Flexibility
When you first go back to work, you may prefer to work from home some of the time or work fewer days during the week. These days, 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.
3. Schedule Your First Day for Midweek (if possible)
You don’t want to overdo it your first week. If you can, ask to go back to work mid-week. 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. Do a Dry Run
You want to see if your new routine is feasible and do that, you’ll need to do a dry run. 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 adjustment smoother.
5. Ask for Help
You don’t have to do everything by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help! Whether this means asking someone to pick up your child at daycare or coming 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 pumping. Your baby may have to get used to having your milk from a bottle which may not be easy at first. 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
When you’re at work, do your best to focus on work. While it may be difficult not to call the daycare every ten minutes to check on your child, you need to set boundaries. 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. Plan Ahead
If you’re not a planner, you’ll learn to be as 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.
9. Make Time for Yourself
Making time for yourself is important as a new parent. 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. Either scenario isn’t one you want to find yourself in.
10. Rest As Much As You Can
Get as much rest as you can. If you don’t, you won’t be able to 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.
Remember, give yourself time to adjust to this new life. You’re not expected to jump right into it and ace it! Cut yourself some slack and you’ll be better for 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!