Focus on Quality Time During Your Time Together
If you must be away from your baby for many hours each day, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have together. Make baby and breastfeeding your number-one priority during your non-working hours to increase your quality time together.
Quality Time In the Morning
A baby adds a new wrinkle to the getting-ready-for-work routine. There’s more stuff to manage, and more potential interruptions. Here are some tips to help get you to the job on time.
• Set your alarm early so that you can nurse the baby before you get out of bed. Then you can shower and dress with fewer interruptions.
• Get things ready the night before: pack the baby’s bag, have bottles of milk ready in the refrigerator, make your lunch, pick your clothing, be sure your breast pump is clean and ready to go.
• Make getting to bed at a reasonable hour a priority.
• Take the baby to the sitter’s in his pajamas. It won’t matter.
• Get a wash-and-go haircut to reduce time spent in front of the bathroom mirror.
• Invest in a few basic items of clothing if you’re not back into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe that coordinate with each other and that flatter your new mommy figure. Nothing is worse than starting the day feeling fat and with nothing to wear.
• Plan to nurse the baby one more time at the sitter’s before going to work. This maximizes your baby’s feedings at the breast and minimizes the amount of pumping you’ll have to do. Your breasts will be empty and you’ll feel more relaxed when you finally arrive on the job.
Quality Time After Work
• Breastfeed your baby as soon as you return home. Some mothers nurse at the caregiver’s home before putting baby in his carseat for the drive home.
• Ask your caregiver not to feed baby a bottle within an hour of your anticipated arrival. If baby is hungry or you’re going to be late, instruct your caregiver to feed him just enough to hold him over until you arrive.
• When you get home from work, take time to reconnect with your baby. Settle down to breastfeeding rather than plunging into household chores or dinner preparations. Take the phone off the hook, change into comfortable clothes, grab a nourishing snack, turn on relaxing music, and nestle down with your baby in your favorite nursing corner to get reconnected during this quality time. This will help you unwind and relax so that you can enjoy the evening ahead.
Quality Time At Night
Babies often sleep more while mother is gone and then stay awake later at night. They may also wake more often during the night to breastfeed. This is their way of making up for lost quality time with mom. Don’t fight this–accept it. Your baby wants to be with you. Include him in your evening activities. If he wakes frequently at night for nursing, consider letting him sleep with you. (See co-sleeping) You’ll get more rest and he’ll get the milk he needs to grow. Working dads also enjoy having this special time with baby all through the night.