Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting Into a Routine

One of the hardest parts about starting back to work is getting yourself into a new workable routine.  During my maternity leave with my second child, I nearly had panic attacks when I tried to figure out how I'd get a 2 year old, a baby and myself out the door in time (hubby left for work very early back then), but now I manage it with 3 kids in under an hour!

When it comes to pumping, storing milk, washing up and preparing the next day, I recommend figuring out a routine that works for you before your first day, work out any kinks, and then stick with it.  That way you'll be ready to go in the morning and less likely to find yourself at puming time missing something critical - like your bottle caps, or those darn little membranes that seem to disappear when you're not looking!

Here's what my schedule looks like - I've left out all of the herding of small children, schlepping of heavy bags, etc., that's also a part of my daily routine...

Arriving home after work:
  1. Immediately place my pump and other bags on the end of the kitchen counter in a row, so I don't forget one the next day.
  2. Remove milk from the pump's cooler bag and place in the fridge.
  3. Place pump freezer pack  and cold pack from baby's diaper bag into the freezer.
  4. Take apart and dump all of the baby's bottle parts into a tub of soapy water in the sink to soak.
  5. Play with the kids and nurse the baby.
Time - 3 minutes
After kiddie bedtime:

  1. Measure out milk into clean bottles for the next day.  Label with a sharpie and masking tape (per daycare regulations).  I have enough bottles for 2 days, but this isn't a necessity.
  2. Wash all bottles and pump parts in hot, soapy water and allow to air dry overnight.
Time - 15 minutes
In the morning:
  1. Pack up baby's bottles and a freezer pack into her diaper bag.
  2. Assemble pump parts and place into pump bag.
  3. Grab freezer pack from the freezer and put it into the pump bag.
  4. Do a quick double check to make sure nothing was left behind on the counter!
  5. Out the door to daycare drop off!
    Time - 2-3 minutes


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