Q: I have to return to work six weeks after […]
Q: I have to return to work six weeks after my baby is born, and I’m a little worried about leaving her in daycare even though I love the center I’ve chosen. Is there any way I can make the transition easier on both of us?
A: It’s always tough to leave your baby for the first time, but we can confidently say that it will be a lot easier on her than on you. Babies are resilient little creatures, so she’ll likely acclimate to her new environment with ease, especially at 6-weeks old. To send a piece of yourself along with baby, sleep with a small travel blanket so it can pick up your scent, then pack it in your baby’s bag, explaining to your caregiver that you’d like her to pull it out for baby to snuggle with if she’s feeling upset.
When you walk out the daycare door and get in your car, allow yourself a good cry. Most moms shed a few tears the first time they leave their child, whether it’s day care at 6 weeks or kindergarten at 5 years (and honestly, it’s usually easier on the kids at a younger age, which makes it a little easier on the mom). Keep a picture of your baby on your desk so she can bring smiles to your face throughout the day, and see if your center has an online feed where you can check in via the internet periodically. If you feel the need to call and ask how your little gal is doing, go ahead—knowing she’s fine might make the rest of your day a lot easier. Also know that the adjustment to the new arrangement will likely be short-lived. The first week or so might be tough, but it will soon become routine and your daily drop-off won’t seem like a big deal.