Excitement, anxiety, guilt - going back to work can be a difficult time. However, Tommee Tippee has advice on things you can do to make life a little less stressful for all of you.
When you go back to work, you'll probably be tired, with conflicting emotions and practical challenges around childcare. But you'll also be stronger than you've ever been, more productive than you ever thought possible, and have a new motivation that makes anything possible. It's time to celebrate the best bits, tackle the tough bits, and look at some practical products that makes going back to work after having a baby a little easier for all of you.
THE BEST BITS - LET'S SHOUT ABOUT THEM!
- You get to be you again - and after months of being 'mom' 24-7 this can be really refreshing and empowering. And that makes you a better parent.
- You get to finish a full cup of coffee, and take a lunch break - this fuels your parenting power for when you finish work and get home to your tribe.
- You re-establish your social networks - something that's really important for lots of parents who find early parenthood quite isolating.
- You appreciate family time even more - this means you're more focused on having fun together and more likely to plan exciting activities and trips.
- Your baby develops new skills and new relationships - either within the family or with outside groups. Either way, these are essential experiences for your baby.
The tough bits - sorry, there are more of these
- You'll feel guilty. But unfortunately that's normal - most working moms do. Just remember why you're working, and the benefits for both of you. Don't give yourself too much of a hard time.
- Your brain doesn't work - at least that's how it feels. But keep the faith - arrange some catch up meetings for your first week back and you'll be surprised how quickly your brain kicks into gear.
- Your clothes may not fit and that will make you feel pretty bad. Try to sort out your first week's outfits in advance, and get a few new items if you can, so you feel more prepared. Remember to plan clothes that are suitable for pumping if that's what you've chosen to do - access is key!
- You will panic over childcare, no matter what choices you've made. Settle your nerves by writing down your baby's routine and talking this through with your childcare provider as many times as you want. Practise your drop off and pick up routes in advance so you know what your commute will be and, if you can, have a couple of trial days before you go back to work.
- You may choose to pump. Buy a breast pump and practise before you go back to work, and if your baby hasn't taken a bottle yet, practise this too. You'll need some breastmilk ready and thawed for your first day back at work.
- You may need to pump at work. Speak with your boss directly about this - you'll need a private space, a fridge to store your breastmilk and accepting attitudes amongst your peers.
- Your mornings will be manic, so try to practise your new routine the week before. When do you need to get up? Who wakes and dresses your baby? Who makes breakfast? Set clear roles if you can.
- You'll have no time for housework - those sneaky hours when they took a nap and you did the laundry have gone! Re-set your expectations and priorities and just do what you can.
Essential baby products for returning back to work after having a baby
If you're planning to pump when you go back to work, it's probably best to buy your pump a month or two in advance so you can practise and build up a store. A simple lightweight manual breast pump is a great starting point, as it's quiet, discreet and easy to control, ensuring you achieve just the right level of suction.
Pump and Go storage box in fridge
Pump & Go
Our Pump and Go range uses a single pouch to pump, store, warm and feed to make the whole process quicker and simpler. The pouches are small and lightweight, and a discrete storage box makes it easy to store them in your work's fridge or freezer. You can use the system with any mainstream pump, and the single pouch requires no transferring between bottles - so you'll never spill a precious drop!
Bottles and nipples
If you're bottle or combination feeding, you may want a set of new bottles and teats to pass onto your childcare provider. Tommee Tippee has a range of bottles to look after the specific needs of your little ones, while our baby starter kits are an easy way to get everything you'll need in one box. They are super easy to pass on too.
If you're formula feeding, powder dispensers are unique containers which make for really handy products for when you're getting back to work after having a baby. You can keep up to 8 scoops of formula safe and dry inside your bottle, so your childcare provider can mix and feed any time, wherever they are. You can also make up the first bottle of the day and take this along in a travel bottle bag, so it stays warm during the journey.