"I try to recommend that parents transition their baby a few weeks before they go back to work," advises pediatrician Dr. Heather Lubell, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. "I usually recommend that they do at least a short time with the new caregiver or daycare as well. A few days is usually enough to get the baby used to a different sleep wake cycle as well," so transitioning your baby before you return to the daily grind will likely ensure the most success.
For breastfeeding babies, your return to work can often mark a newborn's first exposure to a bottle. To boost your baby's acceptance to this new feeding method, try introducing a bottle a few feedings more each day or have someone else, like your partner, feed your little one to cut down on nipple confusion.
During the first few weeks of your newborn's life, you may find that his baby schedule has become his call. However, when it comes to sleeping in a daycare setting, he may have to learn to conform to the center's sleep schedule. Confirm your childcare provider's sleep schedule and begin using the same times at home, being sure to distinguish day from night, waking him early if need be, and putting him to bed on time at night.
As hard as it may be, teaching your newborn to put himself to sleep is a necessity when transitioning his sleep routine to adapt to your childcare provider's customs. Unless your baby has a nanny or is lucky enough not to have to share childcare attention with any other babies, you need to help him learn to fall asleep by laying him down sleepy or letting him fuss a little.
Babies communicate through crying, but mommy has a way of sifting through the weeps and decoding the hunger cries from the tired cries and more. Grab a tape recorder or a pen and translate your newborn's cries for your baby's care giver to make the transition to a new baby schedule even smoother for everyone involved.
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