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The Schedule You Need to Survive Your First Morning Back to Work After Maternity Leave

The first day back to work after maternity leave is the worst! There is no sugar coating it. Whether you’re itching to get back to civilization and have conversations with adult humans, or you’ve been dreading it since the day your baby was born, the first day back at work is a tough day for mama.

Printable schedule below!

My first day back to work full time was Olivia’s first day of daycare. I also needed to leave for a (horribly timed) overnight business trip. It was a very rough day. Hubs took the week off to help me with the transition and make sure we both adapted as well as we could. (He’s the best!)

Well, we were ill prepared despite our best efforts. Up to that point, Liv was breastfed all day, every day, with a bottle mixed in here and there. She needed to get used to them, and I needed to attempt to build up a new, allergen free freezer stash. But it never failed that my attempts to pump always coincided with when she would get hungry. I’d need to abandon pumping to feed her. So we had no idea how many ounces she was eating daily. We had no idea how much to send to daycare. And we really didn’t force a schedule on her because we were both home with her. She was still waking throughout the night, but she was perfectly content to wake up for the day at 9:30 a.m., so what sane parent would want to mess with that?!

Our lack of preparation made it glaringly obvious that we were first time parents. The first days back after maternity leave were rough.

What I learned from that day (and the days to follow) was that a little bit of prep work can go a very long way for getting everyone out the door on time–or at least, a time within reason. I wanted every minute in the morning to be spent enjoying our daughter before I absolutely had to leave for work.  

Those first couple of weeks … it was so hard to figure it all out. And I cried. A lot. 


The good news is, your first morning out the door doesn’t have to be COMPLETE chaos like ours … I promise! Use this schedule together with The No-Stress Back to Work Prep Checklist to help establish new routines to make your mornings getting two ready to go run smoothly!


Download THIS SCHEDULE with The No-Stress Back to Work Prep Checklist to help establish new routines. Make your mornings getting two ready to go run smoothly!

As you make your way through the schedule (when you have a minute to breathe), jot down what activities took you more or less time and adapt it accordingly to personalize your own schedule sheet.

But two things before we get to the schedule ...

  1. If you want to be mostly ready before your baby wakes up, immediately adjust this schedule and set your alarm for 1 hour before your baby’s usual wake time (or more, if you wish to get in a home workout session).

  2. Don’t skip prepping a baby entertainment station in your bathroom/bedroom! A full pack-and-play setup, a bouncer seat or a blanket on the floor with a few toys will work. And it’ll be a life saver in case your little one decides to wake up when you’ve only finished makeup on one side of your face!
the schedule you need to survive your first day back to work
(This schedule is even Olivia approved!)

And remember mama … you can do this!

OK mamas, here it is. The secret schedule for a well-oiled routine. Remember to use it alongside The No-Stress Back to Work Prep Checklist for the best results. The prep work makes ALL of the difference!


6:15 AM (or 1 hour before baby wakes) – Mama wakes up

6:15-6:45 AM – Makeup & hair, get dressed (shower the night before)

6:45-7:00 AM – Let out/feed pets

7:00-7:15 AM – Make coffee, grab quick breakfast

(Built in 5-minute buffer. Use the restroom or start getting bags together.)

7:20-7:35 AM – Wake baby & feed baby (make a note of this time, you’ll need to record it at daycare!) 

Note: you may need to change the baby’s diaper here first if you aren’t changing it overnight. In this case, be prepared to change it again before you leave!

7:35-7:45 AM – Change & dress baby (Make a note of the last diaper change time, too. Daycare will need that information also!)

7:45-8:00 AM – Let the baby play within eyesight while you gather last minute items. (Don’t forget your pump supplies, pump, and the fully prepped baby bottles for daycare.)

8:00-8:10 AM – Last minute diaper change, put baby in the carseat & pack up the car


8:30-8:45 AM – Daycare drop-off. Take your time, but avoid overstaying and unnecessarily working up your little one. Give him/her a big hug and kiss, plop them somewhere neat, tell them to have fun in a cheery voice and wave good-bye. (It’s OK … you can totally cry in the car.)


9:00 AM – Arrive at work


Want to print this schedule to reference again and again? It’s all yours! BONUS: You get the The No-Stress Back to Work Prep Checklist, too!

Like this post? Please share it with your mama friends! I’d be most grateful!


Until next time ladies,

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