For many moms, the decision to go back to work after giving birth is a decision made with conflicting thoughts. If you are one of these moms, then you are probably having a lot of feelings about this transition. This is completely normal, and your feelings are definitely valid.
After all, you have just gone through a life-changing event, and now you’re about to enter into another huge change.
You may be having a lot of worries right now, and on top of the list is separation anxiety. It’s a struggle to imagine being apart from your newborn baby, not to mention the stresses of leaving them in the care of someone else.
The good news is that little babies often adjust to new situations more easily than we think. Don’t get us wrong – there will be crying involved especially during your first time away from each other. But there are many ways to make the separation less painful for the both of you.
Going back to work after you have given birth is not easy, but it’s not something that should be dreaded. This is because there are ways you can keep bonding with your newborn baby even after you have gone back to work.
7 Ways to Bond with Your Baby When You’re Working
One of the most common worries working moms have is the possibility of their babies getting more attached to their babysitter than to them. You do not need to worry about this if you make the effort to bond with your baby even if you’re away working.
Thankfully, this is not difficult to do. Here are seven things you can do:
1. Record your and your baby’s voices.
Recording your voice is one of the things you can do to ease the pain of separation. First, you can record your own voice. You can read a story, or just say anything you want to say to your baby. You can even sing a simple song or a lullaby to calm your baby and lull them to sleep.
At the same time, you can also record your baby’s voice for you to listen to during downtimes or stressful times at work. Even if your newborn baby is not speaking yet, the sound of their voice will certainly brighten up your day!
2. Spend quality time with your baby on days you are not working.
On the days that you are not working, try to maximize your time with your baby. If you have to use the free time to clean the house, wear your newborn baby in a sling or swaddle them to keep them close to you. This way, even if you are doing something else, you are still bonding with your baby.
You can also do this if you need to get outside of the house, for example, to get groceries or to run errands. Swaddling your baby is a great way to keep the bond between you and your baby, so you will be hitting two birds at once. But if this is possible, get someone else to do the errands to give your child undivided attention.
3. Set a routine in the morning and in the evening.
Babies, especially newborns, thrive on consistent and regular routines. Even if you are working outside the home, you can still set routines. For example, in the morning before you leave for work, you can feed your baby and then do some tummy time on the play mat.
And at night, you can feed your baby, give them a bath, and follow up with a simple but solid bedtime routine. This way, your baby, who is beginning to understand the concept of object permanence, will understand that you leaving the house is just one of the parts of their daily routine.
4. Make the most out of feeding time and bath time.
If you have time, you can make your baby’s bath time a regular part of your schedule. The same is true for your baby’s feeding time – whether you are breastfeeding or not. These may be simple tasks, but if you make the most out of these, you will create a strong bond with your baby.
When bathing your baby, you can incorporate massaging them and playing with them. And when you’re feeding your baby, make sure that you maintain eye to eye contact. Your schedule may be full, but spending even as little as 10 minutes of quality time with your baby makes a whole lot of difference.
5. Read stories before bedtime.
Your baby’s bedtime is a fantastic time for undisturbed bonding. Snuggling with your baby under ultra-soft blankets, for instance, is a great way to destress. To make the most out of bedtime, follow a bedtime routine that includes reading your baby bedtime stories.
Your voice is very soothing for your baby, and reading a bedtime story is effective in lulling them to sleep. Reading bedtime stories also help develop your baby’s cognitive, motor, and even social skills. Aside from these benefits, reading to your baby makes them feel secure, special, and treasured. This boosts their self-esteem, which is vital in coping with separation.
6. Use technology to communicate with your baby while at work.
It’s a wonderful world that we are living in. Even when we are physically apart from our loved ones, we can still make our presence felt through the aid of technology. If you can, use technology to communicate with your baby throughout the day.
Video calls are thankfully a thing now, and you can easily call your baby’s babysitter to see your baby. Your baby will also see you, and it will be the highlight of their day! You can also install baby monitors at home that you can check even while you are working.
7. Don’t feel guilty!
Finally, don’t feel guilty that you chose to be a working mom! We think that all moms are the same – whether you made the decision to stay at home or to work. There are no “full-time moms” because every mom is a 24/7 mom wherever she may be. You simply don’t stop being a mom!
If you made the decision to go back to work, there is no reason to feel shame. It helps to not compare yourself with other moms, and don’t count the hours that you are not around your baby. Instead, look forward to the moments that you spend with your family – even the tiniest moments count.
And don’t forget: you are doing a great job.