Whether it happens at 6 weeks, 6 months or 18 months, it is one of the hardest parts of being a new mom – the realisation you have to return to work in a few weeks.  Here are a few tips that may just help ease the pain:

#1 Your baby’s emotions – When you return to work, your little one is likely to become a little clingier and may not sleep as well at night.

  • Play peek-a-boo and hide and seek to help her learn that you still exist when she can’t see you
  • Always say goodbye when you leave and treat reunions with positive interactions and happy smiles
  • Put your phone down and focus 100% on your little one when you reunite after work

#2 Childcare options – Choose childcare a while ahead of going back to work. Whether it’s a nanny at home, family member or a crèche nearby, make sure that the care you choose is well qualified, with good references and loving. If your baby is under 2 years old then the ratio should be no more than 4:1 – four babies to one carer. If your child is 2 to 3 years old – up to 6 little ones in a group only. 

#3 Routines – Try to keep your baby’s routine the same as you have before you head back to work. Write it on a board and tell her carer to stick to your baby’s sleep times – this will mean she won’t be overtired and fractious while you are at work.  

#4 Feeding – If you are breastfeeding, going back to work is no reason to stop. Use a good quality pump to express at every milk-feed time while you are away from your baby. Store this milk and your little one’s carer will be able to offer expressed breast milk when needed.  

#5 Emotions – Going back to work may be harder for you than your baby. You may feel sad about leaving her and possibly a little guilty for not being there for her. You can know that if she is left in good hands and you are ‘present’ and focussed on her when you are home, your little one will be fine, and so will you.

Good luck as you take this next big step as a parent. Visit Breastpumps and Beyond for Medela product information and support.