Skip to Content

Returning to work …. 5 top tips on leaving baby

returning to work

It’s not easy returning to work after maternity leave. I have had two kids, and was back in the saddle after nine months with the first, and 11 months for the second. The second wasn’t any easier than the first. Practice does not make perfect when you’re a working mum.

However, you can make the process easier. So here are 5 tips that will help make the transition smoother for you and your baby.

Choose childcare well ahead of time

You will feel better if you have planned childcare well in advance. If you are leaving your child, then it helps to be sure what they are going to experience and that those you are leaving them with have everything that they need. Get childcare recommendations from friends if you can. Let your child experience the care setting before you leave them for real. This will make you more comfortable, as well as your child. Make a list of what they will need during the day. Pack a bag the night before. You may feel emotional on the day itself, and it’s tough to remember things then.

Think through feeding well in advance

Breastfeeding your child requires forward planning. Can you express? Is work near enough for you to be able to pop in? If you continue to feed, you need to make sure you have enough expressed milk to cover your baby’s feeding times. If you decide to give up feeding during the day, you need to start to do this in advance so the routine is settled before you go back. Too many changes all at once can add to the disruption for you and your child.

Don’t be afraid to get into details about your child’s routine

We have to feel comfortable about who we are leaving our children with. My way of dealing with this was making sure that I gave all the details of their habits, likes and dislikes, favourite toys, and foibles to their carers. Don’t be afraid to do the same. When you pick them up from their carer, ask what they have been doing. Even though I wasn’t there, I knew what they had played with, when they slept, even when they had a nappy changed. It helped me feel included and eased the guilt for leaving them there in the first place!

Use a comforter

It may help to give your baby an object that will become a close companion when you are away. It could be a favourite toy, or a muslin. Whatever it is, it can be a source of great comfort to them and you to know they have it if they feel upset and you aren’t there. My kids still sleep with their comfort objects, but don’t play with them during the day anymore. They will gradually reject the toys as they get older.

Expect tears

They may not actually be that upset about being left. It depends on how aware they are of being separate to you when you head back to work. If they still don’t understand, there may be few tears from them. This can make it even harder for you, which means the tears could be yours. If they are upset, you will feel upset too, so you can’t win either way!

It’s a tough thing leaving your child, even if it’s with family. Allow yourself time to cry, and bring a tissue. After a few days you will feel better about the process. Your baby will too as they settle into a new routine.

Be realistic about returning to work

Everyone feels differently about returning to work after a baby. You may be desperate to get back, but at the same time torn that you will be away from your child. This was how I felt; and it helped me to tell those around me what I was going through. Find a sympathetic ear if you can at work. If not, then just be realistic about those first few months. It’s a time of adjustment for everyone; you, your colleagues and your family. Don’t expect everything to be the same as it was before you had a baby. Probably the only thing you can be sure of is that it won’t be! Most importantly, talk to people about how you feel.

Going back to work after having children is never easy. The hardest thing for me was leaving my baby in someone else’s hands. Both went to nursery and I left these precious little people in the care of someone I barely knew.

However, you need to remember that the choices you make about when, where, how and who will be right for you and your particular family’s needs. Good luck!

Have you returned to work after maternity leave?  How did you cope with leaving your baby?  Would you do it again or stay at home longer?  Please do share your views with us in the comments below.

Note: This article first appeared on Yahoo Contributor network written by Helen Neale, but was withdrawn last year and publication on this site has been allowed.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

Sharing is caring!


Sunday 18th of January 2015

Some lovely, thoughtful tips here, it can be so hard as can the transition to nursery/ day car too. I think it's important to not let the guilt, the most pointless of emotions creep in too. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

Suburban Mum

Thursday 15th of January 2015

Great post! I found it just as hard returning to work after having my second too!

Its definitely good to have your childcare sorted in advance that way you can both trial a "settling in" session so you both get used to being away from each other! #brilliantblogposts

Comments are closed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.