How Can I Leave My Baby?

Before D-Day

"A week before I went back to work, I started getting up at the new time and practiced getting ready. This helped me determine how long it would take to get me and the baby set to go. It made me realize that I had to get up earlier than I thought to have time to nurse her, changer her diaper, and get her dressed." --Susan Grayson, Bradenton, FL

"About a week before I went back to work, I started pumping breast milk at the times I knew I'd have breaks and lunch. Near the end of my six-week maternity leave, I went to work for a few hours to check e-mail and clear the mail off my desk so it wouldn't be so overwhelming to come back. This also helped my daughter get used to spending time with someone else." --Rebecca Judy, Hustonville, KY

"I went back to work when my son was 3 months old. I found it helpful to start bringing him to daycare bout two weeks before I was due back on the job. After I dropped him off at the sitter's, I would run errands or go get a coffee -- anything to keep my mind off his being away from me. He was perfectly happy!" --Angela Watts, Fresno, CA

"Before I had my child, I worked in a daycare center. My advice: Get to know the staff. Take a day or two before you go back to work to watch your child interact with the caregivers. Don't be afraid to share things about your child, such as favorite games and nap times." --Evonne Umbel, City withheld

"Nursing moms, start stacking up on breast milk to freeze a week or two before you go back to work. You'll get good practice with the pump, and you'll have a backup supply." --Jennifer Boyle, Cincinnati, OH

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