I wish I had the opportunity to be able to work and care for my children when I gave birth to them almost two decades ago. I would have loved not having to make the choice between sacrificing my income or sacrificing my bonding time with my children. But it is good to know that some companies are allowing their employees to bring their infants to work until they’re six months old.
That’s because, before babies learn to crawl, you can wear them as a fashion accessory. That was the preferred means of baby conveyance for a British lawmaker named Stella Creasy. She recently made headlines when she was fined for wearing a baby by her colleagues in parliament. To avoid the same pitfalls that ensnare even the most powerful women, here are a few ideas to a make family friendly workplace work for you:
- Be highly attentive to any noise your baby makes. This is not the place to let them cry it out.
- If there’s more than one new parent in the office, ask about designating a baby-friendly zone to minimize distractions to the rest of the office.
- Encourage a “my baby is your baby” policy with some trusted colleagues to increase the number of social interactions your baby is exposed to.
- Offer to write an opinion piece on how family friendly the company is. This will help entice new talent to apply.
- Maintain a back-up childcare provider and a Zoom account in case the office is bad for your baby.
Baby wearing is a great solution for the first few months, especially if both parents work. Childcare can be very expensive! Programs like these are also worthy investments for companies. Allowing employees to take care of their infants while also making money is like letting them have their cake and eat it, too! This is a very welcome third path that many brave and innovative companies are choosing.