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10 Tips for Going Back to Work After Baby


Returning to work after weeks or months of maternity leave can be tough; after all, it's so hard to leave those sweet babies behind! Make the difficult transition a little easier with these 10 tips.

1. Start Early

a young boy crawling at a childcare center

The last thing you want is uncertainty about who will be watching your baby, so start figuring that out early. Before baby is born is not too soon, especially if you want to use a specific daycare--they might have a waiting list!

2. Choose Care Carefully

a young mom putting her baby in a car seat

The transition back to work will be so much easier if you are confident in your choice of who’s taking care of your baby. If it’s a daycare, ask if you can stop by and visit with your baby before you go back, so you can both get comfortable with the space and people.

3. Do Some Dry Runs

a young mom holding a baby in a baby sling while walking out of a subway exit

In the weeks before you return to work, it’s helpful to practice your routine of getting up, getting you and baby ready, and getting out of the house by a certain time. You can use one of those dry runs to make a trip to your daycare, for a visit or to drop off the diapers and other necessities they might have asked you to provide.

4. Start Back Slowly

a daycare teacher helping a toddler with a drawing

If possible, work just part-time for the first week or two. That transition time will help you and your baby adjust to being apart, and also let you sort out any kinks in your schedule and systems.

5. Ask for Updates

a young woman in a suit talking on her mobile phone

The hardest part about going back is sure to be leaving your baby. Ask your daycare to send you texts and pictures of your sweet pea throughout the day. And if you need to call every day to check in, that’s your right as a mommy

6. Ask a Lactation Consultant

a professional consulting a young woman

If you plan to keep nursing after you go back, a lactation consultant can help with any questions you have about maintaining supply, pumping at work and storing expressed milk.

7. Have the Pumping Talk

a mom holding her baby while talking to a medical expert

Before you return to work, make sure you speak to your boss about your plans for pumping, and how he or she can support your need to feed your baby. Your Human Resources department might also be helpful in finding you a private space to pump.Your belly has finally arrived. Your pants dig uncomfortably into your waist and you feel like you’re falling out of your shirts. You’re going to feel so much better once you get some stretchy-waist pants and a shirt that fits your new body. The best part? Shopping trip!

8. Plan Ahead

a young woman preparing some food in a kitchen

Nighttime is your new prep-time. Plan on choosing your clothes, packing your lunch and baby bag, and getting everything organized for the next day before you go to sleep. It will make your mornings so much smoother (and you might even have time for breakfast!).

9. Get Baby To Take a Bottle

a young toddler drinking from a bottle

If you've been exclusively breastfeeding, start giving your little one a bottle of expressed milk on occasion, to make sure he’ll take it. If he won’t, step away and have dad or someone else try. Keep offering it regularly until your baby agrees to drink from it.

10. Skip the Guilt

a mom holding her newborn baby

Whether you are choosing to go back, or you have to, absolve yourself now of any mommy guilt. More than 75% of American moms work outside of the home. Returning to work doesn’t make you a bad parent, so don’t think for a moment that you are.

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