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  Work –Making the first day easier
I am so nervous about going back to work and how my baby will cope at day care. How can I make the whole process as easy as possible for both of us?

As usual, your emotional condition will have a big impact on your baby. So try to be calm about the process. Make lists of all the things you have to do before you go back to work, and make an effort to get these things done. This can help you feel in control. Use your lists to ensure that everything is ready the day before, so that there is no last minute rushing that can unsettle the baby. If you are really struggling with the idea of day care, a few drops of rescue remedy can help you feel more able to cope.

Plan to have a few serene days with your baby before you go back to work. This can really be calming for both of you. If you have things to do, try to do them in a deliberate and unhurried way, and chat to your baby in a relaxed way so that baby feels included and stimulated.

If you are able to plan it, it may be a good idea to spend a little time at the day care with your baby, perhaps a few days in a row, and then leave the baby there for a short time, again for a few days in a row. If this is possible it will make the transition to staying at the day care for your whole working period less traumatic.

Another idea that can help the transition is to find out what the day care routine is, and slowly adjust your baby’s routine so that it slots in. If your baby continues to have snacks and naps at the same time at day care as at home, this is one more aspect that will be easier.

Make sure that you are organised on the first morning that you go back to work. Think carefully about what to put in baby’s bag, so that you don’t find yourself in a work situation worrying about whether baby has enough changes of clothes. Make sure that the day care facility has your number and that they will contact you should the need arise. Then you can be sure that no news is good news. If baby has a comfort item like a blanket or dummy then it will be very reassuring for baby to have that item at day care. Whatever you are really feeling, chat in a bright and cheerful way to your baby on the way to day care, and tell baby what a fun time she will have. Be aware that many babies cry inconsolably on the first day, but that those tears are usually short lived once you are out of sight.

See also:

Work - Baby showing discontent

Work - Baby’s relationship with carer

Work - Childcare decisions

Work - Choosing a carer

Work - Deciding whether to go back

Work - Financial implications

Work - Guilt at wanting to work

Work - Important considerations

Work - Missing baby’s milestones

Work - Returning to work part-time

Work - Spouse doing his share

Work - Stay at home regrets

Work - The downside of working from home

Work - When to return to work

Work - Work from home

Work - Working with baby present

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