How to Stay Bonded to a Baby When Going Back to Work

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For many new mothers, the idea or act of returning to work is fraught with stress. It’s exciting to get back into the swing of normal life and enjoy lunches with co-workers. However, the idea of leaving baby for several hours creates a different kind of stress. According to pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene, author of "From First Kids to First Steps," many mothers are worried that their babies might forget them after returning to work and being away for several hours a day. Instead of stressing about the time you’re away, make the most of the opportunities at home to bond with your baby.

Things You'll Need

  • Baby books
  • Baby toys
  • Contact your baby while at work. For example, if your baby is in day care, ask one of the workers to hold the phone to your baby’s ear so you can say “Hi.” Parenting magazine also recommends spending your lunch hour using the Internet to video chat with your baby.

  • Cuddle with your baby while breast- or bottle-feeding. If you’re not breastfeeding, pay attention that you give your baby every bottle. If you are breastfeeding or feeding him with a bottle, make as much skin to skin contact as possible. During this time, stroke your baby’s hair and share some quiet alone time together.

  • Give your baby an infant massage. According to KidsHealth, healthy, premature and medically compromised babies all respond to and will enjoy an infant massage. If you’re unsure how to perform a massage on your baby, KidsHealth recommends speaking to your pediatrician or purchasing a video or book on the procedure. Whatever you do, remember that her skin is sensitive, so use a gentle touch.

  • Play a silly game or read a book to your baby. According to HelpGuide, smiling, laughing and speaking to your baby are as vital to his development as sleep and food. Play a silly game on the floor, read an age-appropriate book or simply gaze into your baby’s eyes while you tell him how much you love him. HelpGuide also urges mothers to watch for cues their baby is tired or overstimulated, such as restlessness or crying. If your baby becomes tired or overstimulated, allow him to take a nap or spend time cooling down before interacting again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Give yourself a break and realize there is no such thing as the “perfect” mother, professional and housewife. If you must skip the dishes or a dinner with friends to spend more time with baby, that’s OK.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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