Going Back to Work Checklist

You’ve know the day your maternity leave will end, but will you be ready for it? We’ve got the scoop on what you should prep to help make the transition a less crazy (plus, some fun stuff you should definitely do).
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Updated March 2, 2017
Going Back to Work Checklist

Work prep

[ ] Talk to your boss — what will your first week back to work look like?

[ ] Get in touch with HR at least two weeks in advance. Let them know the day you’re coming back to work and find out what to expect.

[ ] Buy some new (loose-fitting) work clothes, if you’re not fitting into your old ones.

[ ] Set out the first week’s outfits — it will make your (hectic) mornings easier.

Child care

[ ] Finalize details with your day care provider or nanny — what will the first day be and what do they need?

[ ] Pay any child care deposits that are due.

[ ] Finalize your nanny’s employment paperwork.

[ ] Go over baby’s routine and preferences with your provider — or write up notes to send along.

[ ] Do a practice run from home, to the day care or sitter’s and then to work, so you know exactly how long your new commute is.

[ ] Send baby for a trial day at day care or with the nanny.

[ ] Pack baby’s day care bag with the essentials: sheet and blanket, change of clothes, diapers, wipes and bottles.


[ ] Buy a breast pump and practice using it.

[ ] Buy spare breast pump parts to use in case one set is dirty or left at home/work.

[ ] Stock up on convenience items, such as breast pump wipes and steamer bags.

[ ] Talk to someone in HR or a colleague who’s a mom about your company’s pumping policy.

[ ] Get baby used to taking a bottle.

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[ ] Pump extra milk and freeze it.

[ ] Make sure some thawed milk is ready to go for the first day.  Put your ice pack in the freezer and set out your cooler bag.

[ ] Pack a water bottle, so you stay hydrated on the go, and an extra shirt in case of leakage.

Bottle feeding

[ ] Stock up on extra formula and enough bottle gear to leave with baby’s caregiver.

[ ] Wash baby’s bottle gear for the first day.


[ ] Create a budget. Can you still afford lunch out every day or will you need to cut back and pack?

[ ] Do a grocery run, so you have enough food for the whole week.

[ ] Freeze a few meals ahead of time.

[ ] Pick up a few takeout menus from your favorite restaurants that deliver.

[ ] Make a schedule — which days will be home early, which days you’ll be home late? Who’ll drop off and pick up baby every day? When will you clean (and who will do it), do laundry, take a shower?

[ ] Take a day to tidy up the house. A clean space will keep you from going crazy.

[ ] Do a big batch of laundry. Make sure there are enough of clean baby clothes for the week.


[ ] Plan a date with a friend — it’ll help you (and baby) get used to being apart. Plus, here’s your chance before your schedule gets more hectic.

[ ] Schedule a mani/pedi.

[ ] Get an easy-to-maintain haircut.

[ ] Get a massage.

[ ] Take yourself out to lunch.

[ ] Get lots of cuddle time in with baby.

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