Going back to work after having your baby
Preparing your baby
- If your baby is breastfed, start introducing bottle feeds (of your own milk or milk formula) several weeks before you are due to go back to work so baby gradually gets used to it. If he refuses it, try letting someone else give him his bottle or try different types of teats. If you want your baby to continue benefiting from the beneficial effects of breastfeeding, you need to be aware that the law gives you one hour a day to draw your breast milk at your workplace: consult your company's labour agreement for exact details of organising your work schedule.
- Try to stay calm: your baby is extremely sensitive to your emotions and any apprehensions risk making him anxious as well! Very often the signs of anxiety in infants are only an expression of their mom's anguish.
- Whichever child care solution you choose do not neglect the adaptation period: for several days, take your baby to the childminder or day-nursery and stay in his field of vision while they take care of him. When he appears to trust them, go away for a short amount of time. If everything goes well, you can gradually prolong your absences.
- Take time to explain your child's habits and routine in detail to his nanny, childminder or the paediatric nurses at the day-nursery: hence his routine will be better respected and he will retain certain points of reference.
- Each morning during the early stage, gently prepare baby for the separation by explaining to him what is going to happen in very simple words, even if you think he is too young to understand: for example, "Mummy has to go to work, you will stay with your nanny (or at the day-nursery or childminder) who will take really good care of you and then I will come and fetch you and we will go home together.
- Even if he has not had one up until then, give your baby a "safety blanket" for when he is not with you: this can be a soft toy that you have held against yourself for a while, a small scarf or a t-shirt you have slept in as it will enable to reassure him by smelling your odour and will help him sleep when you are not there.