Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Going Back to Work after Baby? Here’s How to Make Life a Little Easier on You and Baby

Adjusting to life with a newborn is hard enough, but when the days of your maternity leave are coming to an end, here are some tips on how to make life a little easier when it’s time to head back into the office.

• Set up your childcare as far in advance as possible so you can begin to adjust to this new situation.

• A few days before your first day back in the office, if your childcare is not in your home, do a trial-run of leaving your house to the childcare location at the same time you will leave in the mornings for work. This will give you a better idea of how long you need to allot for travel time. Once you figure out travel time, factor in the time it will take you to get your baby in and out of the car, and also leave enough time to give instructions to the daycare teacher or nanny. Always give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning, too, in case there is a spit-up or if you need to do an emergency diaper change.

• If your childcare is away from your home, pack your baby’s bag the night before. Also make your bottles ahead of time. This will save you so much time in the morning. If you have a nanny come to your house, set up the bottles, clothes, diapers and anything else the nanny will need for the next day the night before. This will alleviate stress in the a.m. while you get ready for work.

• To make your mornings go more smoothly, lay out your outfit for work the night before as well. After you have a baby, you may not be back in your regular clothes right away, so finding suitable outfits for work can be stressful. Do this the night before to avoid wardrobe meltdowns!

• If at all possible, try not to have the childcare travel arrangements solely your responsibility. Sometimes work or personal things come up unexpectedly, and you may not be able to always be the one who picks up your baby from childcare.

• If you are nursing your baby, set up a pumping location with your boss and the HR department before you return to work. Pack your pumping necessities the night before, too.

• Take care of yourself and get plenty of sleep when you can. Working all day and then taking care of your baby at night leaves little room for “mama” to take care of herself. If you have a spouse or partner, divide the responsibilities at home so it doesn’t all rest on you. And remember to cut yourself some slack. The laundry can wait another day- get your rest while you can!

• Make time for your friends with babies even when you go back to work. Nothing can substitute your “mama friends” as they provide emotional support and understand what you are going through!

Good luck heading back to the office!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day---Homestretch

My daughter is a holiday-a-holic. What does this mean, you ask? It means she is obsessed with holidays. ALL holidays. So, needless to say, she's pretty excited about Valentine's Day being less than a week away!

We’ve already made Valentines goody bags for her friends. She’s crafted the perfect Heart Day cards for her family and teachers. She’s colored countless Valentine’s Day coloring sheets, and she has made a plethora of V-Day crafts I have been collecting from all over town.

With t-minus six days until February 14, what else can we possibly do to celebrate the holiday?

I came across some Valentine’s Day Apps for the IPad/IPhone today that look pretty cool, so we'll probably check those out tomorrow. Maybe these free or low-cost apps below will bring us into the homestretch of Cupid’s very favorite day!

Julius Harts Cupcakes: Decorate a cupcake on mommy’s IPhone/IPad with the perfect Valentine’s Day decorations app!

KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun-Valentine’s Day Theme: This app teaches math skills for ages 3-9 year-olds, but does so with a fun new Valentine’s Day theme.

Valentine’s Day Coloring Books: Get your creative juices flowing with this cute and colorful way to personalize and send Valentine’s Day e-cards on the IPad or IPhone.

Matching Hearts Game: It’s memory time, but this clever game uses conversation hearts to get in the mood for February 14!

Valentine’s Day Countdown: Instead of enduring the, “How many more days until Valentine’s Day, mommy?” question that I will inevitably get every day, I am going to download the V-Day countdown so my daughter can see for herself and tell me all about it!

Talking Cupid: Who wouldn’t be entertained by a cupid that talks, laughs and interacts with you? This is a must-have download for February 14!

Valentine’s Day Painter: Let someone special know how much you love them with this free
Valentine’s Day heart painting app. Send it to your loved ones via e-mail!