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Returning to Work: What You Need to Know

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Returning to work after being a stay at home mom can be a very difficult transition. Many moms experience feelings of guilt, anxiety and even depression. But there are ways to make this emotional time period an easier one for both you and your family. The Nanny Doctor, Dr. Lindsay Heller, a licensed clinical psychologist, who consults nannies and their families, gave us some practical tips on the things you can do to make returning to work a smooth process for both you and your children.

mother greeting son coming home from work
1) Spend as much time as you can trying to find the right child care arrangement.  Whether you are considering a nanny or a day care, you should start considering your options, planning financially, and getting educated about how the process works as soon as you can.

2) Have a "Try-Out" period with your potential caregiver.  Never make your first day back at work the first day your child goes to day care or your nanny's first day. Try to gradually transition your nanny into your home or your child into day care; have your child spend a few hours a day with their new caregiver, with you around, so they feel calm and confident about the new arrangements. Practice being away from your baby -- not only to check out the nanny or day care, but also so that you can get used to being a way from your child.  

3) Communication is key.  Develop a system to communicate with your caregiver about your baby. Whether it's a white board or a notebook log, this is a good way to communicate to your nanny or day care about things (diet, sleep, habits, etc) to be aware of with the baby. It also gives the caregiver a chance to relay important information (the baby is having trouble napping, or the baby needs more formula), etc.

4) Stay connected.  Set up a time during the day that you will speak with your caregiver to hear about how the day is going. Checking in will make you feel confident that your child is being cared for.

5) Catch the progress.  Give your caregiver a disposable or digital camera and ask them to take photos of your child during the day. If you have a web cam, you can even i-Chat with your child and caregiver. You can also give your child a picture to take with them to day care so they can always have you close by.

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