Returning to work after the birth of a baby can be a harrowing experience for new mums. Separation anxiety, worries about how well the baby will be cared for, and wondering if the baby will forget mum as she spends hours away outside of the home can plague the mind of any parent.
The good news is that while mothers may feel the strain, babies are incredibly adaptable, and most do just fine with mama being away during the day. This is especially true if parents take some extra time to bond with their babies.
Focus On Quality Over Quantity
There is a lot of advice out there about how much time you should spend with your baby once you return from work. Many experts recommend waiting at least two hours from the time you get home before trying to put baby down for the night. Others say it makes no difference.
The best advice is to do whatever works for you as a family. Flexibility is key. But when you are spending time with your baby, make every moment of it count. This means:
- Putting down the smartphone, book, and newspaper
- Not checking emails
- Not making chores a priority (they can wait!)
A lot of parents will prepare meals and tackle chores when baby is sleeping. Others, if they are financially able, will hire a weekly maid to take on the brunt of the housework. Whatever you can do to give your baby as much as your undivided attention as possible will work to their (and your) advantage.
Be Present During Transitional Periods
Babies don’t like surprises. Stick to a regular schedule as much as possible in terms of work time and when you pick up your baby from daycare or return home to relieve the nanny.
Parents being present during transitional periods throughout the day – waking up first thing in the morning, leaving the house, returning from work – is also important. This will give your baby the best start to their awake times and the easiest transition from wakefulness to slumber when it’s time to call it a day.
Do Something New Together
You don’t have to go far to find new things to explore with one another. Here are some ideas:
- Go for a walk in a different neighborhood or park
- Take baby to a “baby and me” class (swimming, music classes, yoga, etc.)
- Visit a new playground
- Go to an indoor play center or recreation center
- Share a new book together
Engaging in new and different activities is not only stimulating for baby. It will allow you and your baby the opportunity to discover what they enjoy doing. These activities can become ways to soothe or distract your little one while you’re away at work.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
Unlike our parents, we have seemingly boundless opportunities to connect “face to face” with our babies during the day – even when we aren’t there!
There are a variety of video calling technologies out there that will allow you and your baby to see and speak to one another throughout the day. But as you may find, even a simple phone call and hearing your voice can be incredibly reassuring to you both.
Savor the Quiet Moments
Two of the greatest bonding opportunities are while bathing your baby and while feeding your baby.
Bath time is a great time to reconnect at the end of the day. It’s a time to be playful with your baby while exploring new toys and concepts (such as water squirting from a bath toy, bubbles in the bubble bath, water pouring out of a funnel, etc.).
Breastfeeding your baby or providing them with breast milk is another great way to stay emotionally connected at the beginning and end of the day. Even if you are feeding your baby with a bottle, having skin-to-skin contact will provide both of you with a sense of calm and reassurance.
Peachymama has long supported both stay at home and working mums. Our line of comfortable and on-trend breastfeeding clothing has been specifically designed to complement the gorgeous figure of new mums while also providing mothers with a private and easy way to feed and pump when at home and in a public place.
Working at home or away in an office space can be difficult for everyone involved. We hope that our extensive line of workplace-appropriate nursing clothes and this post will make the transition easier for you and your family.