The last days of your maternity leave are quickly approaching. The good news is that your childcare and scheduling concerns have probably all been worked out by now and you have a plan for who will be caring for baby while you’re away at work.
Even though the thought of having to leave your little one is totally heartbreaking, focusing on nurturing the wonderful bond you’ve created with your baby is a great way to make the most of the remaining days of your leave.
There are lots of ways you can continue to keep your relationship with baby going strong. The ideas below will help get you started with planning activities and setting aside the time to help keep you and baby connected as you transition back to work.
Spend time in Nature
If weather permits, head outdoors to a park, nature center or any nearby green space with trees. Being outside in a peaceful, natural setting can be very soothing for baby and it could help relieve your back-to-work stress too. Talk to baby about all the sights and sounds in your environment. Turn off your phone and enjoy a quiet outdoor feeding that’s all about bonding time.
Give a Daily Massage
You already know that baby loves your touch, and you’ve probably heard about how important touch and skin-to-skin contact are to the bonding process. Dedicating a specific time every day to giving baby a gentle massage can provide a wonderful way to keep building attachment with your baby. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts first. Then, to learn some basic techniques and benefits of infant massage, look for a class you can attend at a local hospital, look for books on the topic or search for videos and articles online.
Wear your Baby
Of course there are going to be plenty of things on your to-do list as you plan for your return to work, so when you absolutely have to focus on chores and preparations, wear your baby in a carrier or sling. This allows you to get things done and still keep baby super close even when you can’t give her your undivided attention. Your little one loves being physically close to you and being able to smell you and hear your voice will comfort her—even if it is while you’re dashing around running errands.
Sign up for a “ Mommy & Me” Class
Now’s the time to research and register for a class that is exclusively for baby and you. Maybe it’s parent-baby swim lessons, music and movement, baby-and-me yoga, or even a fitness class—there are all kinds of options available. Planning ahead and signing up now (before your calendar fills up with work stuff) ensures that you and baby will continue to have some fun, one-on-one time together every week.