Those few beautiful months with your baby have passed so quickly, and after maternity leave, it is often time to go back to work. Many mums are stressed at the idea of leaving their baby and this is TOTALLY normal.
Here are 4 tips to embrace this new journey:
1) The right childcare choice.
Whether it’s family members, a nanny or a nursery - it is essential for a baby’s physical and mental development to make the right decision, but it’s just as important the chosen solution also suits you. If you feel comfortable with your decision, your child will often feel at ease. It is normal to feel guilty or worried, but often your baby will then feel it too and may find it more difficult to adapt.
Starting with short separations is the ideal way to begin. Entrust your little one to a relative before starting work again in order to gradually introduce separation. If you start with short absences, your baby will learn quickly that you always return, and can gradually get used to separation as you extend the length of your absences.
2) Develop a parting routine and stick to it.
It will make separation anxiety better in the long run. If your baby bursts into tears, say calmly that you will be back at the end of the day. Hide your own distress to signal your confidence that your child can handle this separation letting them feed off of it.
3) Help your toddler to understand what’s happening.
Your toddler understands a great deal, although language may be limited. It will help you both to cope if you reassuringly explain what will happen, don’t pause the separation, instead describe the fun that will be had while you’re away and when you return. Get acquainted together with the staff of the nursery or with the sitter or nanny who will be in charge of your little one. You can take it one step further by going to the nursery or home at several times and/or exploring every room of the house with the new childcarer.Leaving your baby for the first time.
4) Enjoy every moment.
Take advantage of every minute spent together, especially at night, after work, do not let the tension of your day spoil the evening.
Try to go home relaxed (Yes, I know it’s difficult, but try your best), and until baby's bedtime routine, try not to miss any moment to communicate and interact with them. The thrive off the parental attention and it will help to subside any separation anxiety.
Make the most of bathing, dining, cuddles and snuggles before sleeping, these precious moments go so fast!
5) NO to guilt.
Never think that you are abandoning your child. You’re offering them the opportunity to meet other people, form bonds with other carers, other children, other places, other activities and discover new things they can enjoy. In the long run you are also teaching your child that women are needed in the workplace, that you are inspiring, ambitious and multi talented as an employee AND a mum.
Written by: Bertille Terras