I am extremely lucky to work at a company that goes out of its way to support mothers and families. At Cotton Babies, I get to bring my baby to work. Babies at work is easily the best perk I’ve ever had.
Since returning to work, everyone asks me what it’s like. I came back to work when my baby, Tommy, was 8 weeks old. He is now 13 weeks old, and we are both adjusting to life in the office.
Here, I’ll answer the questions I am most commonly asked.
Where does the baby go?
He’s with me most of the time. We do not have onsite daycare. I love babywearing. Today he’s in a Queen Koala Tula. I have a play mat, swing and pack ‘n’ play in my office. There’s literally a baby room full of gear I can swap in and out. We bounce on a yoga ball a lot. Bringing him to work is all about strengthening our bond and getting to spend time with him.
So you can breastfeed whenever you want?
Yes, I am able to breastfeed my baby whenever he needs it. No, it’s not awkward. Everyone who works here is very supportive. If I’m in a meeting, I can discreetly nurse in a carrier, use a nursing cover, or just feed him. It’s really not a big deal. If I’m in my office, I can close the door. Tommy is still little enough that he doesn’t get distracted and pop off, so I don’t really worry about flashing my male colleagues… yet.
Do you get any work done?
Yes, I can get my work done. He’s literally nursing as I type this blog post. I have a nursing pillow on my lap pushed about against my desk so he can’t roll off. I’m hands-free. Most moms get the whole multitasking thing down pretty quickly. Right now, he mostly sleeps, eats, and smiles at me for a while in between. Plus, other people in the office like to get their baby snuggles, so I do get breaks.
Obviously, he does take some time away from my work because babies require attention. And sometimes you can’t help but stare at the precious baby you’ve created and fallen in love with. We’re finding the balance. I’m far from the first mom to bring their baby to Cotton Babies, so our corporate culture accepts a certain level of distraction while transitioning.
Does he cry?
Yes, he’s a baby. Sometimes he’s fussy, so we take a few laps around the office in a carrier. He usually falls asleep from the movement. I don’t think it bothers my co-workers; their crying babies never bothered me. If he’s really making a scene, I close the door or walk him away from the workspace. I just try to be respectful of others, as they would do the same.
Do you just love having babies at work?
Yes, 100% yes! Besides Tommy, I have a 2 ½-year-old, Jane. When Jane was 12 weeks old, she went to daycare. For weeks, I had horrible anxiety and meltdowns over the thought of leaving her to go back to work. It was just the worst. Obviously, we made it through. It still broke my heart to drop her off in the morning, but I knew she was with caregivers who were highly skilled and truly loved her. This time around, I came back to work sooner. I didn’t dread coming back because I knew he’d be right there with me. I don’t stress over pumping and worrying that I’ll have enough milk. Overall, things are just easier.
We’re only 5 weeks in, so I’ll post an update after he’s been here a bit longer.
What are your questions about bringing babies to work?
Question: How long can you bring baby to work?
Babies are welcome in the office until they turn 1 or start getting mobile.