Having started my business with a little person in my lap or crawling around my feet, I am an avid advocate for parents who want to bring a baby to work for a period of time after returning from maternity leave. Making this allowance for employees enables them to further develop the parenting relationship after baby joins their family and, where applicable, also elongates the length of time a parent is able to exclusively breastfed a child. Employers who want to have a family friendly environment can make some simple adjustments to their employee manual that allow this to be possible and productive for both the employee and the employer. In this post, I will outline our experience with allowing young children to be at work with a parent and chart a way forward for the business who wants to adjust their policies to be more accommodating to parents of young children.
Cotton Babies started when our oldest child, Andrew, was eight weeks old. By the time we hired our first employee, Andrew was about 18 months old and I needed help filling orders and answering the phone. Our first employee started working for us when she was several months pregnant with her first child. When her baby was born, she took about six weeks off and then decided that she was ready to come back to work. Aiden came to work with her and stayed in a sling or played on the floor while the two of us worked on orders. Our second employee also had a baby not long after starting work for Cotton Babies. When she felt up to returning to work, she also brought her baby to work. We had three babies around, and I was pregnant, but at that point in time we were still working out of my home, so it was easy for all of the kids to hang out with us and play with each other. We fed the babies in between snapping diapers, packing orders, and answering the phone. To continue reading the full article, click here.