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Working Mothers: Organizing Your Life

Making the Most of Time with Your Baby
While the catch phrase "quality time" means many things to many people, studies reveal that babies need be exposed to caring parental interest for only about one hour a day in order to thrive. This research proves that the length of time babies spend without their mothers counts far less than the quality of the time spent with them. Love should never be measured according to time. Love is what you put into time, no matter how little you have.

Dos and Don'ts for Quality Baby Time
Quality time doesn't have to involve elaborate entertainment. It simply means making the beginning and end of each day together something special and intimate. It's more than a spotless house, and it should come before any worries about the job. This is the time to enjoy being a parent. There are many pleasurable things you can do, and some things you should avoid, including:

  • Do sing, talk softly, or hum on the way to and from child care to create an atmosphere of fun and serenity.
  • Do use animated gestures when you speak, and smile often. Ask questions and make eye contact.
  • Do read often to your baby. It helps language development, and it's a great opportunity for physical closeness. An infant enjoys just having pictures explained.
  • Do have spontaneous play. Just get down on the floor and follow whatever your child is doing.
  • Don't tune out your child. Always take your child's feelings seriously; really listen.
  • Don't over program. Evening time together should be simple, relaxing, satisfying experiences. Your child doesn't expect to be constantly entertained. Stop at a park in daylight or take a short stroller ride around the block.
  • Don't feel that you must give undivided attention at all times. You can continue with your activities while you're talking. Share some daily tasks when your child is old enough. For example, provide toy cookware while you're preparing dinner. Or take a bath together.
  • Don't equate quality time with absence of discipline or limits.
  • Don't feel guilty because your time together is not like a greeting-card commercial.


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© 2005 by Marla Schram Schwartz. Excerpted from The Working Woman's Baby Planner with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


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