Working With A Baby

by Jenny

Wondering if it’s possible to keep working with a baby? Maybe you are self-employed? Maybe you aren’t eligible for mat leave? Or maybe you just can’t afford to survive on the reduced pay? Well, whatever your circumstances, we are here to tell you that it is possible! And here’s our how to continue working full time with a baby… Or even better, part-time!

The mills family standing on their farm with the fields behind them

Working Full Time With A Baby

Well, I was wondering the same thing. Pregnant, running my own business. And with a husband 12 hours away and only home at weekends. Oh, and I had 3 dogs, 4 cats, and 4 horses to look after daily – alone! Well, the truth is, I managed. And so will you!

I’m not a superwoman. Plus, I have plenty of self-doubts and fears. I got too fat with my second pregnancy, was super sick all through my first, and with both pregnancies lived in constant fear. I was wondering how on earth I would cope and keep my business successful once baby arrived. And how would I manage the dogs and horses alone with a baby? Well, I started back at my desk to some extent with baby number one four days after she was born. And, with baby no two, I went pretty much back to full-time work the week after he was born.

Did I want to? Well, with baby one, yes I did. I was scared if I took mat leave I might lose my mojo. Or lose my identity. My business is me and I didn’t want to lose who I was. Then I had baby no 1 and realised that I didn’t lose anything… It simply added to my life something incredibly wonderful! I was so much happier and more fulfilled in life. With baby no two, I would have liked some more time off. I had a rather traumatic time, that left me weak and unwell. And I felt I needed a bit more baby time, having a toddler to look after as well as the baby. But I didn’t need time off and I did manage.

If you can take time, do. But, if you can’t, then here are a few tips on how working from home with a baby works best…

Firstly, Babies Sleep A Lot

Ok so for starters, you need to understand that newborn babies sleep a lot. And they don’t really cry that much unless they are hungry. So, if they cry; feed them. If they have the hiccups, feed them. If they wake, feed them. You get the gist of it? Oh and then change them. If you breastfeed, this is simple. I have done conference calls and even video calls (with my shoulders cut off) whilst breastfeeding. No one was the wiser.

Don’t Hide Your Baby

Everyone knew I had just had a baby, so I didn’t worry about hiding the fact I was working with my baby. Plus, I had shown I could continue to deliver my work to a high standard with said baby. So there was no issue. And in reality, everyone will be more interested in seeing your baby and hearing about it, than concerned it is interfering with your work. You can juggle both.

Tips for Working From Home With a Baby

Start Working From Home

First off, if you can, set yourself up with a home working environment. When I was pregnant with Millie, my first, I gave up my office and set up the team at home. We did this whilst I was in my first trimester, which gave us plenty of time to adapt. And, it worked better than office working! No travel time daily. We were more productive and the team was happier, with a better work-life balance. Here’s how to make working from home, well work!

One of the POSH home offices

If you can’t work from home. Then you simply need to set up your work environment, whatever it may be, with all the things you need as follows.

Setting Up Your Work Environment For A Baby

Secondly, get your workplace for your baby. Swing, sling and station.

Baby Swings: From your expensive Mamaroos to a basic automatic swing like the below. We spent around £85 on ours and added a John Lewis sheepskin liner to it. Ideal for helping rock, and keep baby asleep whilst you work. We always kept a Moses basket on a stand in the office with me too, but if I’m honest, neither of my babies settled well in it. But yours might!

Google search results images for automatic baby swings

Sling: You will learn quickly that babies like to be held. And, we mamas and papas, like to hold our babies. But one-handed typing isn’t easy! So, I highly recommend a good sling. This way, you can sit working away (two-handed) with your baby snuggled into you for hours on end. We have a Caboo lite Baby Carrier, which I really love and find so much easier than most slings to use!

Caboo lite baby carrier google search images

Station: When I say station, I mean a changing station. So, for speed, you want you change mat, change mat liners (we used tea towels!), nappies, wipes, cream, muslin cloths, and changes of baby clothes, all to hand. Then, there are no flustered, one-handed searches for what you need, when you need it.

Finally, Be Organised!

Organisation, Organisation, Organisation! You can never be organised enough. And without this, you will be flustered, stressed and feel like you can’t cope. So, spend a few days getting to know your baby and getting into a feeding and sleeping pattern. This might be four days, it might be a week, it might be two. But you will get back to work faster than you think. So stop worrying.

Write lists! Write lists of what you need to get through with work. And lists of what you’re running low on with shopping. Write lists of what needs to be done around the house. And then write a list in order of how you want to achieve each in that given day. This will organise your mind and keep you in control.

I have to plan and set up everything I need to get both babies to bed that night during the day whilst my toddler is at nursery. I do the same for the morning too. So, when we wake up both babies have their outfits ready, as do I and there is no panic in trying to get myself to work and Millie to nursery. I can then get to work, unflustered, and reorganise for the next night and morning during my lunch break.

Working From Home With A Baby

And last, but not least, some other handy tips and tricks I learnt:

Dictating texts and emails:

So I now (since having babies) spend most of my life dictating emails via my iPhone. In fact, I never type any texts, emails, or messages – just use the little microphone next to your space bar. Plus, not only is it 7x faster than typing, but it allows me to hold a baby, wipe a high chair, or cuddle my toddler at the same time with one hand. Just be patient, it takes Siri a bit of time to get used to your voice and ways.