You will need to do a lot of planning before you go back to work after maternity or paternity leave. This will help ensure your child is well looked after and make returning to work easier.
Many parents in Ireland who have babies want or need to return to work after giving birth. The most important factor in the decision-making process is that it suits you and your family.
Organise childcare in advance
Organise childcare well in advance of your return to work date. You will be more confident to return to work when you are happy with your childcare arrangements.
Introduce your baby to your childminder or crèche several weeks before you return to work. This gives you and your baby time to settle into this new arrangement.
It can take time to adjust to dropping and collecting your baby from a childminder or crèche. You should practice this before going back to work. This will help you develop the new routine. It will also help your baby settle in. Your childminder or crèche will be able to offer advice.
Budget for childcare costs
Good quality childcare can be expensive. You will need to budget for this when you return to work.
What you can do about breastfeeding
Try and get your baby used to taking milk from a bottle or a cup before you return to work. If you decide to express breast milk during the day, consider how you are going to pump and store the milk while at work.
Share the housework
If you are in a relationship, agree on the household chores that you will both do when you return to work. Look at what jobs you can share. Plan in advance. This will make it easier to return to work.
Spend good quality time with your baby
Make sure you have good quality time to spend with your baby. This can be difficult when you are exhausted after a day at work and when your baby is tired too.
- start the bedtime routine at your usual time
- take your time bathing them and reading to them
- enjoy the cuddles
Spend time planning
Organise anything you can plan in advance to make the morning rush easier. This could include planning outfits for you and your baby or batch cooking meals.