As much as we want to be close to our precious little ones 24/7, the truth is that there inevitably comes a point when we’ll have to leave them home.
This is especially true for working moms, who, after the blissfully exhausting maternity leave, have to – often reluctantly – rejoin the workforce. It’s like leaving a part of you at home: the most special, most precious part of you.
So how do you make sure you’re leaving baby with the best care possible even while you’re away the whole day?
Choose your childcare options carefully
This is the number one priority for moms who are planning to return to the workplace and should be carefully planned months before your first day back at the office. You may not realize it now, but it could make or break your ability to maintain successful work-life balance.
Are you looking to hire a stay-in caregiver or babysitter? And is this person trained to care for newborns? Do you have family coming over to help care for the baby and supervise his caregiver? Or are you bringing your newborn to your parents’ house?
If you plan to hire a babysitter you also have to consider having another person at home who’ll be in charge of the chores while you’re away. If a family member won’t be available to do this make sure a housekeeper is around to take care of chores like cooking and cleaning. This housekeeper can also be the babysitter’s reliever during bathroom breaks and when she needs to shower or eat. Making sure the babysitter’s not worrying about chores helps her focus all her attention on your child and having a reliever around makes sure your child’s closely supervised all the time.
Discuss your options with your partner and make sure that whoever is going to be in charge of caring for your child has enough newborn care experience and knowhow, as well as sufficient training from you.
Some of the questions you can consider when choosing the person who’ll care for your child include:
- Does he/she genuinely like children and enjoy playing with and taking care of infants?
- Is this person physically capable of living up to the demands of newborn care?
- Does he/she have enough experience (and good recommendations from former employers) taking care of babies the same age as mine?
- Does he/she handle stress well and can handle emergency situations?
Train your caregiver
Even though there will be an overlap in tasks, have your caregiver do a ‘practice run’ by shadowing you a week to a few days before you return to work. This will capture the overall care instructions along with the nuances of watching over your newborn.
Most caregivers will know how to change a diaper, bathe a baby, and prepare milk, but little details like exactly how warm your child likes his bathwater to be, which songs make him sleepy, and toys that stimulate him the most, are essential to ensuring his comfort while you’re not around.
On your caregiver’s first day, discuss the following:
- Rules and expectations
- Main tasks and daily schedule
- Your baby’s personality, habits, and preferences
- Specific instructions for feeding, bathing, and putting baby to sleep
- Emergency SOPs and contact information
Prepare what you can in advance
This helps make sure that the caregiver is focused on your baby and not on minute details on your first day away. This is especially true for feeding. Pre-portion and properly label and store your child’s milk. For older babies who have already started on solids, prepare baby food made from fresh ingredients on weekends and invest on storage tools and equipment that will enable the carer to easily retrieve and thaw the prepared food while you’re away.
As a fun and productive exercise, you can also prepare a few days’ worth of your infant’s outfits. Make sure as well that bath products, wipes, diapers, and other consumables are well-stocked and within reach or easily located in your baby’s room.
Invest in a nanny cam if you must
While we would like to believe that we’ve found a caregiver we can fully trust to care for our baby, nothing beats the sense of security a nanny cam gives. It’s a worthwhile investment, especially if it will help quell your anxiety, making you more productive at work.
Some models let you listen in on your baby and there are also those with speakers that let you talk to your baby and nanny. Plus, don’t you just love watching your baby sleep? Most nanny cams can be connected to the home’s wifi connection and are compatible with apps you and your partner can download onto a tablet or mobile phone so you can you monitor your child even while you’re on the go.
Choose baby products that care for your child like you do
Baby care does get quite expensive, but quality is top priority. Sometimes, products that come cheap cut corners and performance is compromised. Your baby may even get adverse reactions.
Choose your child’s daily essentials with care and make sure that they were designed with newborns in mind. If you’re planning on switching brands, make sure you do this 2-3 weeks before your scheduled return to work so you can monitor your child’s reaction. This way you can notice even minor changes to your baby’s skin, for example, or poop patterns.
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The 100% breathable outer cover allows air to escape, keeping baby’s skin dry; while the soft stretchable ears gives gentle but secure comfort to prevent leaks. It’s the most gentle yet dependable protection from skin irritation you can give your baby while you’re away – just #LikeMomsHug.
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