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Tips for Parents Returning to Work After Baby

Tips for Parents Returning to Work After Baby

Working families face many challenges – an early one being the transition back to work after a new baby. As parents, our Family Room bloggers have been there! Today they’re sharing some actionable tips and ideas to help ease the transition when it’s time for new parents to return to work.

Tips for Parents Returning to Work After Baby:

LauraRemind yourself that it all gets easier. Getting back in to work mode will get easier as will being away from your baby. Try to make sure that you can turn off your work email at the end of the day to soak in some quality one-on-one time with baby after a hard day’s work. You and your baby will really benefit from it.

MarisaMotherhood changes you. You’ll never be the exact same person you were before baby, and that’s OK! Embrace the new version of yourself and be proud of your mom-status!

Kate: Drink lots of water, especially if you’re breastfeeding and/or pumping. It sounds silly, but I found that I was so busy that I would forget to drink water. I noticed that I felt SO much better on the days that I pushed fluids throughout the day. You may not have time to exercise or get enough sleep for a few months but you can make sure you drink lots of water.

Emily: Don’t feel guilty about feeling excited to return. And at the same time, there’s no shame in crying in the bathroom sometimes. There are a lot of conflicting feelings!

AiliBring as much stuff to school before the first day. If something has shelf life, like diapers and wipes, bring the biggest box you can. Meal prep the night before. Make all the lunches, snack, and bottles you will need for the day and leave them all in a designated part of the fridge, that way all you have to do is pack-it up in the morning. Get back into a work (like) morning routine and nighttime routine a week or some before you do actually go back to work… it will help to show pain points and give you time to adapt your scheduling. I never had a baby that spit up a lot, but I have friends who swear by wearing a lightweight robe over their clothes after they are dressed in the morning to help fend off any accidents. And last but not least, have your child start care a few days before you go back to work to give you time to do any last minute chores or even take a nap!

Media Mom: Remember, no matter how you’re feeling, you’re not the first person to do this. You may feel sad and guilty because you’d rather be home with your baby, and you may feel sad and guilty because you’d rather be at work. Like Laura said, it will get easier. There are thousands upon thousands of mothers who have done this before you and are doing it alongside you. They have made it and you will too.

What tips were most helpful for you when you returned to work? Please share with a comment below!

Editor’s Note: In Baby’s First Day of Daycare, our blogger Amy also offers some great advice on how to prepare for starting child care.

*This post was originally published in Feb. 2014 and has since been updated.

Do you want more tips on returning to work after having your baby?

Use the below player to download, follow, and listen to Episode 1 of the Bright Horizons Family Matters Podcast: Returning to Work as a Parent. Click here to learn more about the Bright Horizons Family Matters Podcast.



  1. Ebony November 12, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I have twin girls 10months and I’m absolutely terrified about leaving them to go back to work. With my son who is now four I stayed home with him for the first two years. But with three kids i need to get back to work and don’t have that luxury this time around and I’m having a serious case of separation anxiety.

  2. Hiba July 18, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Every time i remember by next week i have to leave my son 3 months old , i start crying and feel pain in my heart

    • Yasoda October 1, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      I can totally relate to you. I am feeling the same way, as I have to leave my 6 months old in the daycare from next week onward.

  3. Ursula October 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I am trying to decide if I should stay at home or return to work. I only get 4 months off. (While in other countries mothers get a year or two off, plus their job back.) I’m upset, but I’m scared to leave a 3 to 4 month old baby with a stranger. Mothers, please give me some words of wisdom. I am a new mother and I am terrified.

    • Amy October 27, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      That’s a tough decision and one that is so personal. I recommend looking at first at the key factors influencing your decision – be it financial, professional, family dynamics, etc. If there is not an obvious “deal” breaker for either choice, you could then make a pros and cons list for both scenarios. Speaking to the leaving a newborn with a stranger, it’s never easy to do. As a working mom, I can say there are wonderful caregivers out there. There is a great article from Bright Horizons about choosing a child care and adjusting as parents. Maybe this will help you should this be the path you choose:

      Good luck – and know you’re not alone!

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