Preparing to Return to Work After Maternity Leave

Those last few weeks of maternity leave really race by, don’t they? Compared to the early, endless days of parenthood, the final weeks before you return to work go by in a blink. Hopefully you are starting to find your rhythm as a larger family but you know, right around the corner, you’re going to be in a whole new routine of work days, childcare, bottles, and more. Sadly, in the US, the luckiest moms get 12 weeks of leave so your return to work is likely happening just as you’re really getting to know your baby and also as they are exiting their newborn phase into more predictable infant life but right before the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. It’s not an ideal time for a big transition!

As a pediatric sleep consultant, I talk to moms all the time who are wondering “how can I get my baby sleeping through the night before I return to work?” This is a natural question – how are you supposed to function at work if you’re up all night? While every baby won’t be sleeping 12 hours at night before you’re back in the office, there are things you can do to increase their chances and head down the road to a full night’s sleep. I am thrilled to be hosting a virtual event with Work and Mother on April 4 at 12 pm CST to discuss just this topic! We’ll be discussing all things sleep and your return to work like:
How to get your baby on a schedule?
What to do to prep for daycare?
How long should my baby be sleeping at 12 weeks?
How can I help my baby sleep well at daycare?
How do I get the best sleep possible as I return to work?
And a live Q&A to answer all your sleep questions!

We hope that you can make it! At Sleep Baby Consulting our goal is to help babies get the sleep they need and to empower parents in their role as caregivers. At the hospital you are handed the most adorable new baby but no instructions on how to take care of them or how your family is going to change as it grows! That’s where we come in.

One of the best things you can do to ensure your baby will sleep well is to make sure they are eating well. Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, it is important to make sure your baby is getting plenty to each each day so that they are able to sleep soundly! A hungry baby is not going to be well rested.

For breastfeeding moms, we highly suggest taking advantage of a session with a lactation consultant so you can get breastfeeding and your supply firmly established in those first few weeks. Make sure you’re baby is getting full feeds each time they eat! A big tip? Falling asleep is not a sign of fullness! It’s a sign they are cozy and comfy but it does not mean they have filled their belly. Work on waking your baby to finish their feed until they are pulling off themselves and showing signs of fullness. This can be frustrating and exhausting work but it will pay off!

If you’re using formula, make sure your baby is getting 20-32 oz of formula each day and try to consolidate those into full feeds as well. You want them to be finishing their bottle each time, not snacking throughout the day. The more of these ounces your baby can get during the daytime, the better and longer they will be able to sleep at night.

Great Feeding is just one of the ways you can encourage your baby to sleep soundly at night as you’re getting ready for returning to work. Join us on April 4 to learn more and get your questions answered! And, if you want some more personalized help, we’d love to tell you about our custom sleep consultations and help get your baby sleeping soundly! Visit our website to learn more, send us an email, or purchase!

Elizabeth King is the founder of Sleep Baby Consulting. As a mom of three and Lazy Saturday Lover, she knew there had to be a way to continue to get good sleep even with babies around. Sleep Baby was born out of a desire to help families get great rest by teaching their babies how to sleep soundly and independently and to empower parents to feel confident in their role as caregiver. What started as a mom helping other moms during naptime has grown to a team of 10 with consultants across the US who help thousands of families each year.