New Policy Lets Workers Bring Their Babies to Work
I'm a work-at-home mom, so every day is Bring Your Baby To Work Day for me.
But let's be real: there are a lot of advantages I have to working in my own home with my own baby that a traditional employee wouldn't have. There's a high chair and baby toys and a crib and my own special rocking chair, where I can nurse the baby and there's Netflix for the toddler and snacks galore because snacks = life.
So I really can't imagine if it would make my life any easier to go to an out-of-home workplace with my baby without all of the things that make my life and work at home with a baby easier.
But yet, one company is trying to do exactly that for parents, helping them blend work and family life with an innovative new solution to allow them to bring their baby to work with them. Every.single.day.
The Washington State Health Department is the organization behind the initiative designed to promote an early parent-child bond as well as promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Because the AAP encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months of their lives, before introducing solid foods, the Washington State Health Department is putting its money where its mouth is in terms of infant and maternal health by allowing all employees to bring their babies to work all day, every day from ages 6 weeks to 6 months.
“The concept is the realization of the mantra of Secretary of Health John Wiesman, who has long encouraged employees to ‘bring their whole selves to work' each day,” the department's press release read.
And while I didn't exactly realize that my “whole self” would include my baby, I guess it totally makes sense. Apparently, the initiative was tested by one of the department's employees, who had a baby and did a routine of bringing her baby into work to the office with some telecommuting from home. “Without this program, I would not have been there for all of Gavin's ‘firsts,'” the employee and new mother stated. “I will forever be grateful that my employer made it possible for me to be with my son for those milestones while continuing to help with our family budget and my career progression by returning to work.”
The state office expects that the bring-your-baby to work policy will “help increase employee morale, lower turnover costs due to higher retention rates, and reduce overall health care costs for babies due to easy-access breastfeeding.”
I think it's a great idea in theory, but one that will be harder to carry out in reality because not all babies are easy ones that you can just tuck in a wrap or a swing while you go about business as usual in the office. I think it makes a lot of sense for a quick work meeting or maybe a few hours in the office, but I don't know if I would want to spend an entire eight hours trapped in an office with co-workers and a newborn, to be completely honest. But then again, if I had absolutely no choice whatsoever between leaving my baby full-time or taking him/her to work with me, I would 100% take the baby to work with me and hope for the best.
What do you think of the policy? Would you bring your baby to work?