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My daughter actually technically went with me to work for a little less than a year– I took 12 weeks of maternity leave, which helped, but she was with me the rest of the time until just before her first birthday.
Before deciding to take my baby into the office, I checked with my boss. And my boss’ boss. And my boss’ replacement boss. They agreed, because I typically got my work done very quickly, we had such a small office in that location, and my co-workers wanted me to bring the baby to work.
I made it clear that if anyone had a problem with her there I wanted to know so I could try to resolve the problem or give them ample time to find a solution.
When I finally left the company, my boss’ new supervisor was concerned about the liability of having a baby there, though it still wasn’t a huge issue. I worked with the company to negotiate bringing her in for a short while longer. Then I set a date to leave, finished my projects and thanked them for their employment. The plan had been to work as close as possible to one year, when we hoped to move and knew the baby would be more active. I left a few days before my baby’s first birthday, and we moved the next month!
Why it worked
For one crazy, awesome, incredibly busy year I took my baby to work. It absolutely would not work for every situation, but I was so glad that it did for mine. Great coworkers, phenomenal supervisors, a small office and a flexible (though crazy) work schedule all worked together to make it happen.
My husband was also a huge help. He worked a demanding full-time job, a part-time job, and I worked really weird hours full-time. If there was a more casual work event appropriate to take her, I loaded my baby in her stroller or Ergo 360 and we went.
My husband’s main job wouldn’t work well with bringing a baby to work, but his part-time job let him bring her when appropriate. It was amazing! I got to pursue my professional goals and we made extra income to help make up for the expenses of having a baby.
The sanity savers
In addition to the support of our supervisors, co-workers and my husband, this worked out thanks to some amazing baby products:
• The Ergobaby 360 carrier let me take my baby through the office while she slept, close to me while I spoke with customers and calm (often sleeping) as I worked at my desk.
Since my job required a lot of time at my desk AND walking around, this carrier was perfect.
• The Spectra S2 pump was another key to success.
My job was important to me, but so was giving milk to my daughter. This pump is lightweight, quiet, and works efficiently. The only issue I had was that the bottles it came with sometimes leaked. That was easily fixed by using one of the many Dr. Brown, Avent or Mandela bottles we’d been given. I used the Spectra bottles with the pump, then poured the milk into another bottle for her to drink while I was gone or stored them in…
• Kiinde milk storage bags. These bags were easy to use and stored the milk without leaks.
Like most milk storage bags, you might want to look at how much milk is in the bottle rather than going by the ounce marker on the bags since as they fill it’s not always accurate. I’d just measure, say, four ounces in a bottle, write the date and amount with a Sharpie on the bag, then pour the milk in.
Another tip: lay the bags on their side to freeze, then store them vertically. It makes the milk freeze more evenly instead of all freezing at the bottom, widening it and reducing your storage space.
Mine was missing a couple of the toys since it was a used one from a relative, but we had a few little toys with rings that we clipped in their place. She liked looking at the birds and playing with extra toys on the mat.
• My swing had a slightly different design (stars for the toys instead of leaves) but my baby slept a lot in this!
The only downside is that the swing eats up batteries. I wish it had a cord option. But you can buy rechargeable batteries and keep a set always ready to go. Since it takes batteries, it’s very portable if you need to move it from an office to a conference room, or rearrange your office space. My baby wore through a ton sleeping in this while I worked.
The toys connect with Velcro, so I would find extra toys to hang from it, or make plastic links into a chain to hang down little toys for her.
I was able to nurse my baby in the office and bring bottles to keep in my mini-fridge in case something came up. My husband would come and get her and whatever bottles were ready, and the baby supplies stayed with me, unless she took a favorite toy with her.
I kept texture balls, a couple of stuffed animals, plastic links, board books and a few other little things there in a Graco pack-and-play and changed them out every little bit to keep her interested. The pack-and-play was definitely helpful, but she preferred her swing, mat and the Ergo.
Again, I know this solution won’t work for everyone. I was very glad it did in my situation. It was sometimes hard to focus on work and my baby at the same time, but we got into a rhythm. I loved taking my baby to work! I planned to quit when she was around a year old and more mobile and loud, though I would have left earlier had there been a disruption.It was sometimes hard to focus on work and my baby at the same time, but we got into a rhythm. I loved taking my baby to the office! Click To Tweet
Before that point, though, she would sleep, eat, play and contentedly stare at me in the Ergo while I worked. I even brought a high chair for her to eat in the office. (Yes, my office probably looked a little Marissa Mayer-like.)
In fact, it’s actually much harder for me to work from home now with my freelance business with her as an active, adventurous toddler.
These might be a good option for a work environment that is baby-friendly, or for keeping your baby near and happy in a home office.
If you’re interested in the Ergo, it’s available through Amazon or through Ergobaby.com. If you end up buying one through Ergobaby, you can use this code to get 10 percent off for one of each item in your cart (it expires Sept. 30, 2018): jo8KbuYBBM. They offer free shipping on all orders, and if you have Amazon Prime, shipping will be free through Amazon, too. If you get one, let me know what you think!
Do you take your baby to work, or work from home with a baby? What are your tips and tricks to making it work?