Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland
How do you do attachment parenting when you need to go back to work after the baby comes? Organization, outlining priorities, and getting as much help as possible can make attachment parenting possible even for working parents.
Organization can save your sanity and free up tme for you to spend with your baby when you are home. If possible, store some clothing and diapers at your caregiver's home in advance to save time packing and unpacking the diaper bag. Keeping an extra diaper bag packed for emergencies will help to reduce your stress as well. Make lists for yourself, your spouse, and your caregiver so you are all on the same page. Ask the caregiver to keep a daily journal or record with information about feedings, daily activities, and any unusual behavior or symptoms. This record can really help with communication since it is easy to forget to share details during drop-off and pick-up times.
Especially in the first year of your child's life it is important to prioritize. Always ask yourself if the activity that is taking you away from your baby is worth missing time with your child. A few dust bunnies won't hurt anyone, but a frazzled and exhausted parent is no good for anyone.
Get help anywhere you can. Nearby family is good, but don't overlook other sources of help. Trade babysitting with a trusted friend or pay a teenager to do laundry once a week.
Co-sleeping can help you spend a few extra hours of cuddle time with your baby. It is a good idea to have the baby nap alone from time to time. A baby that does not know how to fall asleep or stay asleep alone can create a miserable experience for the baby and the caregiver.
With a quality breast pump you can continue nursing your baby. I have seen extended breastfeeding work well even when a mother is working outside the home. A quiet and effective pump such as the Medela pump will help to keep your milk supply up and provide expressed milk your child care provider can give the baby while you are away. It is a good idea to start pumping several weeks before you plan to return to work if possible. This will allow you to freeze breast milk so you don't have to worry as much about supply while you are getting settled back in at work.
If you only need a pump for occasional use or you want a small, lightweight backup pump then the Isis by Avent is a great pump at a great price. It interchanges with the other parts of the Avent system including bottles and sippy cups.
Avent also makes a breast milk storage system with reusable disposable bottles. The Avent manual breast pump has a special silicon flange that helps to massage the nipple and encourage letdown. Studies have shown the Avent pump to be more effective than other manual pumps, and even more effective than many electric pumps.
This is a great pump for use when you don't have access to electricity or you want a very quiet pump.