A day in my life: Taking my baby to work

Many people have asked me about the practicalities of taking my baby to work with me. How does it work? Do I actually get work done? What does my baby do all day?

When Lilly was a newborn my days looked much like they did pre-baby, except that I’d breastfeed and change a nappy now and then. My happy newborn would wake to feed and then go back to sleep for a few hours. I continued to have meetings with clients, sit in the open-plan office, make phone calls, prepare documents, supervise staff, etc. with Lilly sleeping in her pram or in the baby carrier.

Lilly is now 7 months old and, as you can well imagine, my days look quite different.  Taking a 7 month old baby to work is very different to taking a newborn baby to work! These days, each day is different.  I don’t know if there is such thing as a ‘typical’ day for anyone with a baby, working or otherwise.  Every day has its challenges and successes. Some days I give up and come home by lunch time, but on the whole, it’s a good thing we’ve got going on.

This ‘day in the life’ is an average, good day.  What you’ll see when you read this is that it is quite mundane and ordinary. I read back through this and felt like it needed jazzing up a bit.  But this is it. It’s just not that jazzy.

Our as-typical-as-can-be-with-a-7-month-old-baby working day

6-7am – I don’t bother setting an alarm anymore. I wake up when Lilly wakes up.  There’s always plenty of time to get ready. For a while I managed to get up before her and go for a run, but then our sleeping patterns synced and she will wake up without fail if I get out of bed. So I gave up on the run! We get ready, have breakfast, play … the usual.

8:30am – Travel to work. We get the train to work. I did drive for a while, but Lilly is not a fan of the car cries uncontrollably if she is in the car for longer than about 15 minutes.  So train it is. Lilly loves the train ride. Well, more accurately, she loves the attention she receives on the train ride.  The train journey is one of my favourite times of the day. I always get Lilly out of her pram and we play.  I talk to her, sing to her, throw her up and down.  I’ll be as silly as necessary to inspire giggles. I don’t care who is watching or how ridiculous I look. This is our precious one-on-one time and I treasure it.

9:30am – Arrive at work (having picked up my coffee on the way, of course). I usually spend the first hour in the open-plan office organising any work I finished the night before, preparing for any meetings that day and making phone calls. Lilly will usually sit happily in her pram with some toys for a few minutes. I also try to put her on her mat for a kick-about as she probably hasn’t done much of that for the day. I make all my phone calls in the open-plan office so that a colleague can pick Lilly up if she gets loud or unhappy while I am on the phone.

10:30am(ish) – Nap time. Lilly doesn’t have a schedule, but when she is starting to get tired I put her in the baby carrier (my current favourite is the Ergobaby 360) and we go for a walk around the block. It usually only takes a few minutes for her to fall asleep. We head back to the office and I go to my office and shut the door.  When Lilly was a newborn she’d happily sleep in the open-plan office, but now the noise wakes her so we have a quiet space where I can continue to work.

While Lilly is sleeping I focus on work that requires a lot of concentration or heavy thinking – drafting advice, research, reading etc.

Lilly will usually sleep for about an hour or an hour and a half and will probably breastfeed for 20 minutes or so when she wakes up. This gives me a good chunk of uninterrupted work time.

12noon(ish) – When Lilly finishes feeding I put her on her mat and give her some toys to play with. I’ll carry on working and she’ll kick around for a bit (usually without a nappy, cos who wants to wear a nappy 24/7). When she gets fed up I will sit on the floor with her and play with her (read a book, sing, play with her toys, etc).

When I need to continue working Lilly will probably sit on my lap and play with anything that is not a toy.  Why is it that babies love non-toys more than they love toys?! Give Lilly a highlighter, calculator or pair of glasses and she’ll happily play for, well, minutes. Not quite hours, but I’ll take what I can get!

1pm – Lunch.  Lilly has recently started solids so I have taken a high chair to the office for lunch time. We are doing baby-led weaning, so lunch is always fun messy.

2pm (ish) – Lilly will have an afternoon nap at some point. Again, I put her in the Ergobaby and go for a walk outside. The rest of the afternoon is a mix of Lilly playing on her mat, us playing together, me working with Lilly on my lap or meetings. A lot of my time is spent training and supervising, so most of my meetings are informal meetings with colleagues.  Lilly joins in, just as she would if you were having a chat with a friend at a coffee shop! She’ll sit/stand on my knee, play on her mat, or we’ll walk/jump/run/dance around the office (Mums: Queens of multi-tasking).

I do still meet with clients, but my colleagues usually take care of any meetings that are likely to go for longer than about half an hour. Lilly is generally happy, but she’ll want attention after a while and it isn’t fair to her or my clients to half-heartedly do both.

I talk to Lilly almost constantly while she is awake. I tell her what I am doing – “I’m just going to make a quick phone call”, “This is a tricky question. Do you know the answer. Maybe you can help me”, or “Let’s go to the printer and get our printing!” as if collecting the printing is The Most Exciting Thing Ever.  You can usually hear me singing to Lilly as I walk through the corridors – everyone knows when we are coming!

3:30-5pm – I don’t have a set finish time. Instead, I see how the day is going. If Lilly is happy and I’m getting work done I’ll stay until 5. If she’s not happy I leave earlier.  Either way, we play together on the train journey home.  The train journey always seems to cheer Lilly up if she’s a bit cranky.

6pm – Home for dinner, bath and bed. My husband usually has dinner ready by time we get home from work. He then gives Lilly a bath while I have a shower and then I put Lilly to bed. She still breastfeeds to sleep, which will usually take about an hour. But it’s a nice way for us to unwind and reconnect at the end of the day.

7-9pm – More work!  I usually spend a couple of hours working in the evenings. This doesn’t bother me, in fact, it’s great. It’s amazing how much work I can get done without any interruptions from Lilly, colleagues, phone calls or emails.  Flexibility is the key to making this work. I’d much rather spend a few hours during the working day playing with Lilly and catch up on work during the evenings while she is asleep.

At the moment I only go into work three days a week, so the day after a working day is always a ‘mummy and Lilly day’ as I call them. I focus on spending quality time with Lilly on these days (quality, not quantity, as they say) and then repeat the work day the following day!

41 Responses

  1. This is so fascinating, thanks so much for sharing your schedule, proving that is CAN be done, which most woman wouldn’t believe, although it must be different for each child, but well done you! #KCACOLS

    1. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely possible! But yes, every child is different. My next one may not sleep quite so much! Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. Thank you! I have a lot of support from my work and at home so I’m definitely not doing it alone.

  2. Amazing, I’ve never heard from someone who does this? Was it difficult to get your work to agree to it? There often seems so much discrimination against mums when we go back to work and trying to make it fit around our families. It sounds like this is working really great for you. Well done, it must be really hard! #KCACOLS

    1. It was actually my boss who suggested we give it a go! It is tough for working mums, especially if others in the workplace don’t have children because they find it hard to relate. Thanks for reading ☺️

  3. Hey, collecting the printing can be pretty darn exciting. lol. Great post here, sincerely. You and I lead quite different lives (though we’re both of us fighting stigma atm), and it is truly swell to have a peek at your routines. Looking forward to reading more by you. Take care. #GlobalBlogging

  4. Thank you. I’m grateful that I have such a supportive workplace. Thanks for reading

  5. Wow – what a fab workplace you have where you can take Lily with you! I don’t know how you do it but it sounds like you have got it down to a tee! I work from home two days a week where I have to do the school run and pick my youngest up from nursery but they are older and thankfully are well behaved and tend to shout if they need anything from me! #KCACOLS

    1. There are always a few tough days! It’s great your work is flexible too and you can work from home. Thanks for reading ????

  6. Wow, this is amazing. So great to have that support at work and to be able to still enjoy having your baby with you! Its a win win situation. You also get to see all those special milestones that we sometimes miss whilst working! Thank you for sharing with us! #globalblogging

  7. This is truly inspirational! For a moment I thought you were your own boss but to hear that your boss suggested it is truly amazing!! It just goes to show how flexible employers CAN be when they realise they can hold onto their best workers by supporting them this way. I personally couldn’t see this working in my office, and the commute by train and tube in London would be hell packed in like sardines for over an hour, but loads of people take their dogs to work (mainly in creative agencies) Obviously it’s not the same at all, but why not also embrace bringing in babies? I’d love to hear how this works for you as Lily gets older and starts to be on the move. Mostly I think it’s about attitude to these things. Anything’s possible when you put your mind to it and WANT it to work. Thanks so much for sharing, Ruth x

    1. Take their dogs to work!! I haven’t heard of that one! Perhaps I should suggest that to my work too ????
      The tube wouldn’t be fun with a baby in peak hour. I go in slightly later to miss the morning rush so the train isn’t busy for us.
      She’s rolling all over the place and will be crawling soon I expect. I’m interested to see how it works then too! I’ll be sure to update you ???? xx

  8. This is so interesting! I don’t think I know anyone who takes their baby to work with them. It sounds like you’ve got it sorted so it really works for you. It just goes to show that if employers are willing to be more flexible anything is possible! #bigpinklink

    1. Neither do I, yet! Telling others how fab this can be has become one of my missions now ???? I hope I can encourage some other parents to give it a try. Thanks for reading

  9. It is great. I love it. I hope I am able to show others that it is possible and encourage them to give it a go! Not looking forward to leaving her at home next year tho! 🙁

    1. 🙂 every mom is a super mom in her own way, I agree.. just wish more of us would see us this way and take credit for it!;)x

  10. Wow! I’m so amazed that you have found a way to work with your daughter! It might get a whole lot harder when she can move about more easily, or maybe not as she is used to the routine. Either way, it’s a wonderful thing to have both. Thank you so much for being a part of the #bigpinklink it’s great to have you with us!

    1. Oh yes, I’m expecting that it will! It’s not a long term plan, just while I’m breastfeeding. But it works for now ????Thank you for having me 🙂

  11. Amazing! So great that you can do this. A great way to expose your daughter to a working environment too. I’ll be really interested to hear how your day changes as she gets older, starts walking etc. I cannot imagine having my daughter at work; Partly because my office is not suitable for kids but also she would never sit still and try and steal my computer. But she hasn’t grown up in the environment so it wouldn’t be a true test! Do update us at a later stage – love hearing about alternative working approaches to break the 9 – 5 convention! xx #DreamTeam

    1. Haha I’ve got a few photos of us at the computer and Lilly is stealing the keyboard! I usually give her a calculator to play with. That sometimes does the job.
      I don’t think she’ll be there when she’s walking, the plan is to just take her while I’m breastfeeding. When she’s older she’ll stay with my hubby or mum for 3 days while I work. But I’ll be sure to update you ????

  12. This is fascinating. Like the other posters, I’m amazed at how accomodating your workplace has been. This helps provide a demonstration that this can work and work well.


  13. This is really interesting – I never thought that I could work AND care for my daughter at the same time, but clearly it’s possible (well, maybe not so much now that she’s a very active toddler). It’s great to show that this kind of arrangement can work, and that other companies should consider offering their parents of babies the same flexibility. #stayclassymama

    1. Thank you. Yes, it IS possible! I haven’t tried it with a toddler tho, haha. I can imagine it would be hard.

  14. This is amazing. I don’t think that I’ve ever come across it before to this extent. I admire you for coping with it, because I would need to separate the two. This is a very interesting post. Thank you for the insight. Alison x #StayClassyMama

  15. Omg where do you work?! I would love to work there. Honestly I don’t think my manager or colleagues would be very accepting of having a baby in the office, I’m very jealous that you have this kind of flexibility. I do get working from home days where I spend some time with my son but I find it hard to do both? How do you do it? I love how forward thinking this is and would love to get on board with this. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    1. I’m a lawyer and I work for a small law firm. The flexibility is great and, honestly, it works! We all have the same goals so as long as I’m achieving the things I’m supposed to be achieving they don’t mind how/when I work. I’d love to see more companies embrace this idea too. I keep meaning to write a post about the benefits for the employer, I’ll get on to it! ????????

  16. I’m super jealous! Not only can you take little lady to work but they allow you to work at home for a bit also!
    You are super lucky! I must admit I’m jealous as I’d love to have little man with me when I work! #stayclassymama

    1. I wish more employers were so flexible. I realise not all jobs can be done with baby in tow or from home, but many can be, or at least parts of them can be. What’s your job? I’ve just written a post about the benefits to your employer of taking your baby to work. I’ll publish it next week x

      1. I’m actually between jobs as I was facing redundancy so I’ve gone from negotiating solicitors fees incurred from personal injury claims to now running the claims themselves. Work is by computer and I know access from home can be done but isn’t allowed. I’m now having to work four extra long days to have full time hours but to have a 4 day week. They’re being accommodating but I do wonder how much of that is to stop a law suit due to all this happening when I’m on maternity leave!

        1. That’s such a shame. I do think it’s good to have some contact time, but if you’re getting your work done properly why does it matter whether you’re working from home or in the office. You’d probably be much more productive too if you could work flexibly during the hours that suit you better

  17. My. Mind. Is. Boggled. I’ve never come across a mother who takes her kid to work and doesn’t get fired! I wonder if this is the future? Will probably take decades but I can imagine there’d be a lot fewer stressed out mothers (although I do concur with what others have said about needing the separation which is actually a huge factor in many women returning to work if it’s not purely for financial reasons). I’m in awe!! #stayclassymama

    1. I sure hope so! There are benefits for all involved.
      I agree about the separation, it’s just a bit too early for us yet. When my daughter is older / not breastfeeding during the day she’ll stay with my hubby while I work.
      Thank you ???? xxx

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