Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave

going back to work after baby
flickr/D Sharon Pruitt

Going back to work after having a baby can be daunting. Whether you’re counting down the days (in a good way) or dreading it like doomsday, you’re sure to be running the gamut on emotions, and feeling pressure to get organized.

Tips for Your Transition Back to Work

Here are a few suggestions from moms who learned to make it work:

1. Try to remain optimistic. If you are dreading leaving your newborn and think you both will be emotionally scarred forever, know this: You won’t be. You may even find that using your brain and being around grown-up people is actually very rewarding. And your little one will be safe and happy in the capable arms of a trusted sitter.

2. On that note, hire someone you trust. Do your due diligence. This is not the time for a rush job. Interview several people, check their backgrounds, ask for references, and above all: trust your gut. You’ll never feel secure if you hire the woman with 20 years experience if something about her didn’t sit well with you. Your instincts are a great barometer.

3. Prepare. Make sure your nanny or babysitter knows your cell phone numbers, your home address, and where the emergency equipment is (first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.).

4. Baby proof. You newborn is just a bundle now, but before you know it, he or she will be crawling — and heading straight for that three-prong outlet. Go to the baby gear store and get what you need — outlet covers, cabinet locks, toilet locks, soft corner covers, and whatever else your house might require. You’ll feel better knowing it’s done, especially when you’re at work.

5. Stock up. No need to be running to the store after work every other night. It’s so much easier to stock up NOW on the things you know you’ll need. Head to a big box store and buy a 2-3 month supply of diapers (don’t forget to size up), wipes, formula, baby food, laundry detergent, bath soap, diaper cream, and anything else your baby might need in the coming months. Just one less thing to do…

6. Buy a pump. If you’re breastfeeding, the pump will be your new best friend at work. Breastfeeding is an amazing way to keep the physical bond with your baby and employers are legally-bound to allow you to pump at work. So get a good one and learn how to set it up. Also, prepare your baby to be bottle fed. Don’t wait until the morning you leave for work — if he or she is at all reluctant, you’ll regret not trying earlier.

7. Don’t feel guilty. Dozens of studies confirm that children reared by stay-at-home-parents and those cared for by nannies or day care centers turn out about the same — just fine. So, enjoy those moments to yourself, try not to focus on the negative, and make the most of the quality time with your child when you get home.

Check out UrbanSitter for your childcare needs. Browse detailed babysitter and nanny profiles, and schedule interviews at the click of a button.