Babies at Work?

A regular On Balance reader, Carla Moquin, recently went live with her a passion project: Getting babies to work. Or more accurately, encouraging employers to allow babies at work, when and where appropriate, so that new parents can return to their jobs with their babies for the first several months of life. As part of her consulting company, Babies in Business, Carla spent nearly two years researching and interviewing dozens of organizations with babies-at-work programs. Benefits include:

* Lower turnover among new parents
* Increased morale and productivity
* Enhanced teamwork and collaboration
* Better recruitment
* Increased respect and loyalty from customers and clients

There are relatively few companies nationwide that offer this unique employee benefit. Carla's out to change that. Babies in the Workplace includes a list of businesses that currently allow babies. The site also contains details about benefits for families, businesses and society and tips for implementing a Babies At Work program. Check out the photos of babies at work with their parents and you can see the benefits for yourself.

As Carla explains, "I have discovered that, in many cases, it's possible to successfully remove the walls between work and family. Parenting-at-work programs are surprisingly easy to implement and offer tremendous benefits."

Check out the site and share what you think. Would this work at your company? Would you return to work with your baby? Why or why not?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  August 24, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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Though the effectiveness of this program will depend on the type of job a mom performs and the work environment but for the 4-6 month old child it is doable, as well as desirable. It would also encourage breastfeeding for as long as possible.(I hope)

That is how the women who worked on farms/ households managed for ages. With "Proffessional" office settings this changed.

Posted by: sound | August 24, 2007 7:44 AM

At my office we already have plenty of babies at work. They just happen to be management.

Posted by: btpduc748 | August 24, 2007 8:06 AM

I can just see a cop with her baby at work.

Gee, is that my gun or the pacifier in my holster?

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 8:11 AM

I am looking into this concept (and pets at work) for my new offices. How do you bring on board co-workers in the opposition camp?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 24, 2007 8:14 AM

Funny, my husband and I were just talking about this. He was talking about a colleague of his several years back who regularly brought his DOG to work with him (and no, he wasn't blind, in case you're wondering.) We were talking about how some people gushed about how having a dog around the workplace made it feel cozy and like home. It seemed like him bringing his dog in made him seem approachable and warm, somehow. Whereas bringing your BABY to work was hardly perceived the same way. It's widely regarded as disruptive and people who bring babies to work are regarded as extremely unprofessional. Just wondering about the parallel.

(FWIW, I once worked in an office -- in Europe -- where a colleague brought an infant to work with her regularly. She was a single mom with ALOT of seniority who had worked there a really long time before becoming pregnant, and I think the agreement was that it could continue until she got off the wait list at her local daycare center. It was kind of an emergency arrangement that worked for everyone -- temporarily). It was mostly disruptive because the baby was so darned CUTE that it was really hard for all of us to just park her in the corner and work around her. I think it's natural to want to hold them and cuddle them.

Posted by: justlurking | August 24, 2007 8:19 AM

LOL, btpduc748. Here as well.

This idea might work for some kinds of operations, but definitely not where there's client-employee interaction, or interviews, or research where you need to concentrate. I actually don't think it's a good idea. Once and a while is one thing, but for months? If it comes up here -- the idea is almost laughable, but if it does -- I would not support it. I would have been a bloody basket case as a new mother trying to nurse and diaper and comfort my baby while attempting to carry out my work responsibilities while physically present in my office. No way, Jose.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 8:20 AM

I think dogs in the office are great, if the dogs are pretty low-maintenance. I think there's something about a big lab staring up at you with soulful eyes that makes it hard to get - or stay - mad or upset about things.

The big difference between dogs and babies is that for the most part, babies can't be low maintenance. It's the nature of the beast (no pun intended!). Babies need to be fed and start crying inexplicably sometimes just because they're babies. And they need to be entertained. Dogs, especially grown-up dogs, are often good at sitting on their beds in the corner and not making any noise. You walk them a couple of times a day, and otherwise they just hang out.

I'm not against babies in the office, so long as they don't disturb the people around you. But I can see why dogs are an easier sell than babies.

Posted by: idontlikeyour | August 24, 2007 8:58 AM

I work from home, but I have always had child care and always will.

I know I will probably get it for this, but where does it end? If you can bring your baby, then mike wants to bring his dog and May wants to bring her cat. Oh, by the way school is out this week and I want to bring my five year olds to the office. Who watches the kids when a client comes in? The cheerful admin? Do we play pass the baby when we have a tight deadline?

I am all for flexible, but I think this may be taking it a bit far. And, like Hillary said, how do you bring all your co-workers on board? Some people don't think dogs or babies are cute and just want to come to work, do their job and go home.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 9:09 AM

Could you imagine a colicky baby in the next cubicle? I am not saying it couldn't work, but it depends on a lot. Wouldn't it be better to institute more work place day care for infants and pre-schoolers? That way you can have them close, nurse when you need to, but not have to reschedule a meeting because your infant is having a bad day

Posted by: michelewilson | August 24, 2007 9:14 AM

When DD was born almost 6 years ago, I was a new associate at a mid-size law firm. The firm was in the process of breaking into a couple of smaller firms so we had a lot of extra office space and a lot of very distracted partners. And a lot of work. And no maternity leave policy. After a few weeks, I took the baby to work with me (until she was 8 weeks old). It worked great. She slept about 18 hours a day, nursed when she woke up, had a bouncy seat that sat right next to me, and it took about 2 weeks for anyone to even figure out she was there. I did have a fairly large private office with a door and that helped. It also got everyone used to the idea that they may not want to barge in if the door was closed - this was helpful once I was pumping. I can see this type of program working as long as it is limited by time and age of child. I agree that older kids would be disruptive and that it could easily be abused or extended beyond the initial plans.

Posted by: Stacey | August 24, 2007 9:19 AM

Wow, I'm really torn on this one. I used to work in an office where new moms could bring in their babies. Only happened once while I was there (I actually worked there 5 years, but only one baby born...pretty small office!). Since the mom had her own office, it worked out well. She had a specific note for her door when she nursed, that said "If you don't want to see more of me than you're comfortable with, come back in a half hour!" If Emory cried, she'd shut the door as to not disturb the rest of us. And Emory started life as a bilingual child, because about half our staff spoke Spanish, so people spoke to her in both languages. A few of her first words were Spanish, a few were English! So, in this situation it worked well. But a baby in a cube-farm? That would drive me crazy! No way to block crying sounds is the biggest concern I have.
I actually have a bigger problem with pets than babies at the office. What do you do if you have staff that is allergic to pet dander? I'm incredibly allergic to cats. I break out in hives, eyes can swell shut, blocked sinuses, asthma attacks, the whole nine yards. It's a terrible allergy. I'm sensitive to dogs, but not as bad. I'll be affected if they're in close proximity, and will get hives if I get licked. I love dogs, and am okay with cats, but I can't be around them much without extensive medication. And don't say that I can just get allergy meds, because I don't want to have to take them every day. I do take meds if I'm visiting someone that has pets, but don't take them routinely, because eventually, they'll stop working, and I would have to change therapy. Also, they make me incredibly fuzzy-headed. I wouldn't be able to work. So, if my office suddenly decided to let cats and dogs come in, I would either have to get a private office, or get a new job. Employers would definitely have to request 100% agreement before allowing this, I'd think. I can't imagine what would happen if this (either babies or pets) was "sprung" on someone!

Posted by: OrganicGal | August 24, 2007 9:30 AM

I don't think this is a good idea (and I'm pregnant with my second, so you'd think I'd support this). Babies are hard work. And they cry a lot. With my first, it was a full time job those first few months taking care of him. How really could one do it and work at the same time?

A good compromise (in my book) are those companies that provide on-site subsidized child care. My firm allows new parents to use it everyday for the first few months as a transition and then it is available for backup purposes. You just pop in when you want (to BF or you just miss the little tot) but the rest of the time there are certified care givers watching the child. I think a lot of DC law firms have this actually.

Of course, if you work for a small company, this isn't feasible, but I'm not sure the solution would be to bring your child to work. Maybe a bunch of smaller places could team up together (those in the same building or located close to each other). I don't know.

Posted by: londonmom | August 24, 2007 9:35 AM

Organic Gal, you bring up good points. I have a sister with severe allergy-induced asthma. No way do I want her exposed to animals in the work environment. I think pets at work are a terrible idea unless you work in a place such as my other sister, who is the Marketing Director for a holistic pet food company. Everyone brings their dogs, cats, birds, whatever to work at that place. Not only is it acceptable, it's expected. But my sister complains about how the animals can take over.

This blending of the personal and professional has to stop somewhere. I say no pets ever and no kids (on a regular basis anyway) at the office. As I said, there would be exceptions, but this should be a rule.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 9:38 AM

"... it's possible to successfully remove the walls between work and family". IMHO, these walls are what keep most of us sane. Sorry, no babies at work. Inappropriate and unprofessional. Period.

Posted by: ilonka | August 24, 2007 9:41 AM

It's not enough that your baby gets exposed to all the people in the street and the supermarket. You've gotta bring her to the hospital where you work, where sick patients cough and sneeze all day long. Or to the closing, where any of the buyers and sellers, their bankers and lawyers and gofers, could be filling the air with dangerous bacteria. Or to the factory, with its fumes and loud machinery noises. Listen to the David Edelstadt's song about the workplace (my translation):

'Swiftly run the gears,
Wildly clang machines;
In the shop it is dirty and hot.
My head gets confused,
In my eyes it gets dark,
Dark from tears and sweat.

'Already I feel
No healthy limb,
Broken, crushed is my chest.
Already, from pain
I can no longer bend my back.
At night, the coughing won't let me rest.

'Running around is the foreman,
A beast, a wild one,
He drives the sheep to the slaughter.'

This is where you're gonna bring your baby? Are you nuts? Is this Charles Dickens's nineteenth century? If day care centers lead to kids getting day care diseases (and they do), then babies at work will lead to babies getting workplace diseases. For your baby's sake, leave her at home with her daddy or the au pair. Save "bring your daughter to work day" until she's old enough to have built up some immunity.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 9:44 AM

I actually did this when my second child was born. She unexpectedly arrived 6 weeks early and some projects at work that I intended to finish before maternity leave were not yet complete. I brought her in with me a few times when she was very little (3-4 weeks old) so I could finish up my projects. It worked okay because she just slept most of the time (and I had a private office), but I still found it distracting because I checked on her often and tried to make sure she didn't cry or fuss if she woke up. I can't imagine being very productive if I had done this for a longer term or if she was older and slept less. I agree with others that subsidized on-site day care would be a MUCH better benefit than being allowed to bring babies to work.

Posted by: CONTRALTO | August 24, 2007 9:45 AM

If I want to listen to screaming kids,deal with diapers, barfing etc, i will stay home. Work is for work

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 9:47 AM

I've been through this twice, with co-workers. They were administrators in a university academic department (women-run all the way, BTW), and they both brought their babies in to school from the ages of about 3 to 8 months, over different stretches of time. Both moms had private offices large enough to accommodate a Pack-n-Play, and there were plenty of hands (graduate students between classes, student workers with light workloads) when the babies needed to be held, fed, played with, or fussed over. Changings and soothing tantrums were mom-only jobs, however! I do remember some of the male grad students grumbling that it was "unprofessional." I didn't see how, since the women got their jobs done, and it was a very informal atmosphere even before the babies arrived.

I found that the babies actually helped to break down barriers in the office, foster collegiality, and reduce the stress level. The babies were very good and didn't really cause disruptions. Now, if they had been colicky little screamers, it probably would have been different!

It probably helped that family involvement generally was encouraged by this particular department: it was relatively small, its main program was graduate-level, and spouses of both faculty and students were welcome at office events (some of which were held at people's homes). Older children of faculty and staff were often spotted in the office, especially in the summer.

Posted by: northgs | August 24, 2007 9:48 AM

I can't see this working at most jobs for any extended amount of time. The baby would be both distracting to the parent and the co-workers.

I think it would be a nice work-life policy if an office would allow new parents to bring in babies (or older kids) once-in-a-while when child care falls through or there is a snow day where you live, but not at work, etc.

Posted by: mgrajales | August 24, 2007 9:50 AM

I have trouble imagining how you could do a good job working and caring for a baby at exactly the same time. What is the baby doing while you're working? Sitting in the bouncy seat alone? I just can't imagine it, unless you have one of those babies who sleeps alot during the day (I didn't get one of those).

I imagine it could work for *some* jobs, but I have trouble imagining how it would work with standard office-work. I can see it as a very temporary short-term solution, but as an ongoing arrangement I don't see how it could work.

I agree with others that on-site daycare would work much better.

Posted by: floof | August 24, 2007 9:50 AM

off topic poll:

bassinet by the bed for the first few months or

Crib with a monitor.

My husband and I cannot agree.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 9:53 AM

"IMHO, these walls are what keep most of us sane. Sorry, no babies at work. Inappropriate and unprofessional. Period."

I totally agree. This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time. You are getting paid to work, not babysit your kid. And the idea that this improves recruitment? I'd NEVER work at a place where there were babies around all the time.

What a sense of entitlement. Companies need to bend over backwards to meet YOUR desires up to and including making the office into a daycare?

Posted by: seriously | August 24, 2007 9:55 AM

This is not especially a unique point of view, but it really does depend on a lot of factors, one of which (and this one I haven't seen mentioned yet) is the personality of the baby itself.

To make the blanket statement that pets are low-maintenance and can therefore be allowed in workplaces, while babies are high-maintenance is far too simplistic. I work in a public services environment where neither pets nor babies would be appropriate, but even if I worked somewhere that you could bring your pets, I would NOT bring my dog. She's cute and lovely, but what a handful! Even with training, she's still just too hyper to even consider bringing to work. If I had a laid-back, easy-going baby OTOH (they do exist), I'd think about bringing her/him.

My $.02,

Posted by: jesselewis | August 24, 2007 9:57 AM

What is funny is that my wife works form home. We constantly get oh how lucky she can care for the kids. She is WORKING, she is just officing out of our study.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 9:58 AM

to the tune of Maria from the Sound of Music...

How do you read the words of Matt?
How can you catch his meaning and pin it down?
How do you find a word from Matt?
A pontificator, an enunciator and so glib!

Few things he would not tell you.
Many things you would rather not hear.
But how do you make him stay?
And listen to what you say?
How do you keep his words at bay?

Oh, how do you solve the riddle that is Matt?
How can you hold him to just twenty words?

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 9:59 AM

We constantly get oh how lucky she can care for the kids.

I get this too!

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 9:59 AM

"there were plenty of hands (graduate students between classes, student workers with light workloads) when the babies needed to be held, fed, played with, or fussed over"

Now EVERYONE is taking time out to watch the unprofessional parent's babies. Terrific!

Posted by: seriously | August 24, 2007 10:00 AM

CRIB WITH A MONITOR! You will be a sleep zombie otherwise.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 10:00 AM

"bassinet by the bed for the first few months or

Crib with a monitor.

My husband and I cannot agree."

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 09:53 AM

Each of our babies started out in a porta-crib about three feet from our bed. If he woke up and cried in the middle of the night, I could jump up right away at the first sound. My wife could not, still cannot do this. I would give the baby to his mother to nurse him, and then I would go right back to sleep. After nursing, she would put him back into the porta-crib. Repeat as often as necessary until morning.

Who is this "monitor" who is going to watch the crib all night? How much will you have to pay him? What if he falls asleep on the job?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 10:01 AM

Posted by: anon | August 24, 2007 09:59 AM

that's a good one. I had one for catlady concerning the Metro set to the tune of' THE HILLS ARE ALIVE. But the @#$%&^& POST ate it and I was too lazy to redo it.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 10:04 AM

Irishgirl - with our first we had these grand ideas to make sure baby was situated in his crib from day one (to promote good sleeping, reduce SIDS, blah blah blah). We had a monitor all set up and seriously expensive crib sheets (yes, I know - but I couldn't help myself). Baby came and had acid reflux. Would not sleep in crib. Would not sleep in bassinet. Wouldn't sleep unless on mom's chest or in the car.

Sooo...I'd plan for both b/c you never know what will happen. Be flexible.

With baby #2 on its way, we will probably go for the bassinet in the room, but who knows what will happen!

Posted by: londonmom | August 24, 2007 10:04 AM

seriously

"What a sense of entitlement. Companies need to bend over backwards to meet YOUR desires up to and including making the office into a daycare?"


Interesting viewpoint. I am looking at a number of things to RETAIN the newer employees. No one has asked for anything. It takes c. 4 years for employees in some positions to be fully functional. This is costly and time consuming.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 24, 2007 10:04 AM

Who is this "monitor" who is going to watch the crib all night? How much will you have to pay him? What if he falls asleep on the job?


You know the thing you plug into the wall so you can hear the baby in your room.

Oh my gosh, I did not know I had to watch the crib all night.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 10:06 AM

if the nursery is not close enough to your room, use the monitor. otherwise you will have no problems hear the crying.

Posted by: chemguy1157 | August 24, 2007 10:07 AM

Who is this "monitor" who is going to watch the crib all night

Matt was making a funny, which was actaully kind of funny!

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 10:08 AM

hillary

I think a flexable schedule like working at home a few days a week or working four tens, having onsite daycare is actually a better idea than BYOB to work.

Again, this should include all employees and not just people with kids.

Thanks for the advice on the crib. I think my husband is worried about another baby in the bed.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 10:10 AM

Scarry --

I vote for bassinet, especially if you plan to breastfeed. Actually getting out of bed, walking down hall, and sitting up in chair to feed requires much more waking up than just rolling over, getting baby, latching on, dozing, putting back when done. Of course, the spouse who isn't doing the feedings would likely prefer the monitor and crib in baby's room -- less disruption for them!

Transition to crib when you want to "encourage" the baby to go longer between feedings -- much easier to turn the monitor down so you don't hear anything unless/until baby gets loud (I always found I woke up at first burble).

Posted by: laura33 | August 24, 2007 10:10 AM

Irishgirl

Your 19 year old nephew will be delighted to "monitor" the new baby!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 24, 2007 10:10 AM

well, irishgirl, who's going to be getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby? You? Then your husband wouldn't probably mind as much that you have to get out of bed, go down the hall, etc.

For the first we were in in-laws basement, so crib right near bed (not close enough though). Second, I had a bassinet by my side, so I could just pick the critter up, put him in the bed, he could nurse, and I could barely wake up. Of cours,e you only have the bassinet for a few weeks, but even if you buy a new one, it's easy to sell (ebay, baby). It's definitely a lifesaver. Even after second was in the bassinet, I was getting up in the middle of the night to nurse, but not as frequently, so it wasn't horrible, but I couldn't imagine doing that several times a night.

BY THE way, how are you feeling? When are yu due, exactly, anyway?

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 10:11 AM

Irishgirl

Your 19 year old nephew will be delighted to "monitor" the new baby!

Haha, that boy could sleep through a tornado.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 10:12 AM

Irishgirl,

I suggest crib. And if the room is near yours, skip the monitor. You'll hear the baby. The monitor just makes you hear way too much of the baby's shifting in the night. And just as an aside, try not to shush your #1 child too much because "baby is sleeping" or whatever. The more baby learns to sleep with the noise, the better off you are. I made this mistake with #2 child (now 2 1/2) and she still is much too sensitive to noise. Whereas when #3 was born, I couldn't shush both #1 and #2, so now #3 (10 mo) will sleep through just about anything.

Posted by: rockvillemom | August 24, 2007 10:21 AM

As for babies at work, I think that's just plain unrealistic. Sure, it might make new moms come back to work sooner or at all, but at what productivity level? It's difficult enough as a new mom when you do go back to work to focus on your job -- if the baby were there - no way!

As for monitor or bassinet, I used a bassinet, but vote for the crib/monitor. The parents I know that had the most success getting their babies to sleep through the night the earliest all went crib right away - some put a Moses basket in the crib to make the crib seem smaller and cozier for the baby. If you don't think that having your baby sleep through the night as soon as possible is important, then I see no benefit to one over the other, although if you don't think it's important, you clearly haven't had a baby before.

Posted by: runkara2 | August 24, 2007 10:26 AM

If day care centers lead to kids getting day care diseases (and they do), . . .

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 09:44 AM

spoken like someone who hasn't any experience at all with any childcare plan other than his SAH spouse.

scarry - we preferred the monitor because, with a bassinet right next to you, it's easy to be disturbed by every odd breath or little cough. You get little enough sleep. At least with a monitor you can set the volume so you hear only what you need to hear and no more. YMMV

Posted by: mn.188 | August 24, 2007 10:34 AM

I wouldn't go for this as a "policy." It might work for a particular type of job (office, no meetings/clients), with a particular office setup (private office with door), and a particular type of baby (quiet), for a limited period of time (no crawling). But what if someone has a cranky/demanding baby? If your formal policy is that people can do this, then you either need to say ok and deal with major work disruption, or say no and risk a discrimination claim.

But a bigger issue to me is that any formal policy could only apply to the limited part of the workforce that already gets most of the privileges -- you're giving more to people who already have the most. My secretary in her cubicle couldn't do this; she needs to be able to answer the phones whenever they ring, and can't shut the door when the baby gets loud. And I can just imagine the joy that would result if the lawyers in my firm started asking their secretaries to watch the baby for "just a minute so I can take this call," then re-emerging 3 hrs later. Support staff already gets little enough respect for everything they do -- turning them into de facto babysitters isn't going to help anything.

I agree with the above: if you really want to make these kinds of benefits available and useful to all, provide an on-side daycare. A snowday, an emergency, sure -- we all love to coo over the little guys. But not a permanent thing.

BTW, I'm also in the no animals camp. Love 'em, but am deathly allergic to most of them (so much for my childhood dream of being a vet). And no, there is no medicine that I can take -- been there, done that, had the asthma attacks to show for it. So animals in my office would mean that I have to find another job -- not exactly a boon to my own workplace morale.

Posted by: laura33 | August 24, 2007 10:35 AM

I would never support having babies at work. It would be far too disruptive and distracting for the other workers in the office. Babies cry, and they make quite a bit of noise doing it. That can be very distracting when you're on a conference call. How's the parent supposed to deal with a baby and deal with their job at the same time? Baby's crying, important client is on the phone... which one do you pick?

A healthy separation between work and home is important. It's not fair to the coworkers to have to put up with a crying baby (or possibly having to watch the baby when the parent has to do their job), and it's not fair to the baby to get exposed to things at the office.

As for pets, as much as I love my dog, work isn't the place for him, either. Sure, he's quiet, and I've got him well trained, but he's still a dog. Not everyone will like him, and I respect that. Obviously service animals are an exception, as are work places like the pet food company example, but as a whole, no pets in the workplace is fine with me. Not everyone has a calm, well-behaved pet, and just like babies, the potential for noise, mess, and distraction isn't needed in the workplace.

Posted by: Sitka1 | August 24, 2007 10:39 AM

If day care centers lead to kids getting day care diseases (and they do), . . .

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 09:44 AM

as opposed to kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade etc etc etc?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 10:45 AM

yeah, matt sounds like someone I know who wouldn't let her kids have playdates or be around other kids cause she was worried about 'diseases.' The first preschool she put her kid in, the kid got sick almost every day, so she pulled her out (she had no immunity to anything).

So my friend was so proud that, at 4 1/2 her precious little one had a playdate - her first one ever.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 10:46 AM

atlmom,

For the reason you state, it's always funny to me when certain parents make these broad, self-validating statements about a choice with which they have no familiarity. Funny, neither of our kids missed more than 3 days per year for illness, and one of those days was typically required in compliance with the high temperature rules in place at their respective providers. Like the vigorous immune systems of teachers, doctors and nurses, immunity is built in kids by encountering other humans, LOL.

Posted by: mn.188 | August 24, 2007 10:52 AM

Thanks for all the great adivce guys. I am feeling okay these days and just waiting for it to be over!

I am also praying that baby number two is like baby number one and sleeps through the night from the time I bring her home from the hospital. I know most parents hate me when I say that but it was true.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 10:56 AM

The Metro

(to the tune of Downtown!)

When you're downtown and need to get around
You can always count on
The Metro

Just watch the rider cramming in the cars
Linger at the station where transit cops aren't pretty
What can you lose; the crowds are much bigger there
You can forget about safety, forget about your cares
Metro - where are the pervs are at night
Metro - where the pedi's hang out all night
Metro -danger is waiting for you


Don't hang around, and let boredom surround you,
There are peep shows near
The Metro

Maybe you know some time to go
When there aren't many people on
The Metro


Just listen to the sound of the wino in the car
You'll be ralphing too before the night is over
Grossed out again
The Thunderbird is much cheaper there
You can forget about your safety, forget that you care and go
Metro - when the slashers hang out
Metro - waiting for you tonight
Metro -- you will hyperventilate

And you may find somebody kind to help to liberate you
From all your cash and other things that motivate you
Someone who has a gentle hand to mug you again...
We can forget all our safety; forget that we care, and go
Metro - the pickpockets are waiting for you
Metro -- you know you are gonna' get screwed
Metro -- everything's waiting for you...


Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 11:00 AM

"But a bigger issue to me is that any formal policy could only apply to the limited part of the workforce that already gets most of the privileges -- you're giving more to people who already have the most. My secretary in her cubicle couldn't do this; she needs to be able to answer the phones whenever they ring, and can't shut the door when the baby gets loud."

Posted by: laura | August 24, 2007 10:35 AM

That's what I was saying. The operators on the shop floor at their sewing or cutting machines, with the noise in their ears and the sweat in their eyes -- they don't dare bring their babies there, even if the boss would allow it. Neither can the foreman bring his baby: he's too busy running up and down. No. It's the managers in their plush, air-conditioned offices who will get to bring their babies to work.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 11:01 AM

mn: The funnier part is that after the preschool thing, she was saying things like: my poor child who never gets sick!

When I thought: every time I call you, your kid is sick. My older child really never does get sick -yes, he brings home colds from everywhere, but he himself isn't sick (we call him the carrier). Poor thing, too, since mom and dad getting sick means he doesn't get to do so many fun things.

Yes, I'd get chastised for being in a playgroup (if I hadn't, I would have been stir crazy! it was for both of us!)

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 11:03 AM

Posted by: anon | August 24, 2007 11:00 AM

CONGRATULATIONS, Yours was much better than mine.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 11:12 AM

"I think a flexable schedule like working at home a few days a week or working four tens, having onsite daycare is actually a better idea than BYOB to work"

Totally agree! A policy that allows all parents to bring their new babies to work - or worse, a policy that allows only some parents to bring their babies to work - doesn't seem to recognize that some babies need more attention than others, and that some jobs are less conducive than others, and that some coworkers would be annoyed and even (perhaps) mad. Even companies where a calm baby might work out just fine could run into problems with a colicky one.

Also, have the claims of this company been followed long-term, and in a broader context?

- Lower turnover among new parents: how abuot the turnover of other employees who don't bring babies to work?

- Increased morale and productivity: I can see how the morale of new parents would increase, but claims about overall increases in productivity make me a bit skeptical...

Posted by: nicole | August 24, 2007 11:16 AM

There is no way a kid would be allowed in a factory even if the line staff had time to watch them.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 11:21 AM

I think it won't be long before kids are not allowed in any workplace. Recently, the place where I get my hair cut instituted a "no kids" policy because of liability issues. Granted, there are scissors everywhere and chemicals, and curling irons, and so forth, but I can see this becoming the norm in our litigious society.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 11:26 AM

I'd like to reply to some of the comments appearing here. To save space in this comment area, I've posted in my blog at http://www.workingwithkids.org.

Carla Moquin

Posted by: carlamoquin | August 24, 2007 11:45 AM

It's a nice idea.

I don't know where they'd go as we've all been moved to cubicles.

Maybe once in awhile in a pinch, but as a routine thing I think it's fraught with problems.

Posted by: RedBird27 | August 24, 2007 11:47 AM

Crib with a monitor.

Keep the sin room sacred!

Posted by: jrs1978smith | August 24, 2007 11:48 AM

I'd like to reply to some of the comments appearing here. To save space in this comment area, I've posted in my blog at http://www.workingwithkids.org.

Carla Moquin


Posted by: carlamoquin | August 24, 2007 11:45 AM

Umm, thanks but one ON BALANCE log is quite enough thank you.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 11:53 AM

From the FDA:
USE OF PRESCRIPTION CODEINE BY NURSING MOTHERS / FDA MEDWATCH SAFETY INFORMATION


01. EXCERPTS FROM MEDWATCH - THE FDA SAFETY INFORMATION AND ADVERSE EVENT REPORTING
PROGRAM:

THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) IS CONCERNED THAT NURSING INFANTS MAY BE AT INCREASED RISK OF MORPHINE OVERDOSE IF THEIR MOTHERS ARE TAKING CODEINE AND ARE ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZERS OF CODEINE. THE AGENCY HAS REVIEWED ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT SINCE A MEDICAL JOURNAL REPORTED THE DEATH OF A 13-DAY OLD BREASTFED INFANT WHO DIED FROM MORPHINE OVERDOSE. THE MORPHINE LEVELS IN THE MOTHER'S MILK WERE ABNORMALLY HIGH AFTER TAKING SMALL DOSES OF CODEINE TO TREAT EPISIOTOMY PAIN. A GENETIC TEST SHOWED THAT THE MOTHER WAS AN ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZER OF CODEINE.

"OUR BEST ADVICE TO PHYSICIANS PRESCRIBING CODEINE-CONTAINING PRODUCTS TO NURSING MOTHERS IS TO PRESCRIBE THE LOWEST DOSE NEEDED FOR THE SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME,"
SAID DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF NEW DRUGS IN FDA'S CENTER FOR DRUG EVALUATION AND RESEARCH. "AND NURSING MOTHERS SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT THEIR PHYSICIANS BEFORE TAKING ANY CODEINE CONTAINING PRODUCTS."

CODEINE IS AN INGREDIENT FOUND IN PRESCRIPTION AND NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES THAT ARE USED TO RELIEVE PAIN OR TREAT COUGH. ONCE IN THE BODY, SOME OF THE CODEINE IS CONVERTED (METABOLIZED) TO MORPHINE. SOME PEOPLE, DUE TO THEIR GENETIC MAKEUP, METABOLIZE CODEINE MUCH FASTER AND MORE COMPLETELY THAN OTHERS. THESE PEOPLE, CALLED ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZERS, ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE HIGHER-THAN-NORMAL LEVELS OF MORPHINE IN THEIR BLOOD AFTER TAKING CODEINE.
MOTHERS WHO ARE ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZERS MAY HAVE HIGHER-THAN-USUAL LEVELS OF MORPHINE IN BREAST MILK.

ACCORDING TO THE FDA, NURSING MOTHERS HAVE USED CODEINE SAFELY FOR MANY YEARS.
IN MEDICAL PRACTICE, CODEINE IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED THE SAFEST CHOICE AMONG NARCOTIC PAIN RELIEVERS FOR NURSING WOMEN AND THEIR BABIES. HOWEVER, TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THIS POSSIBLE HEALTH RISK AND TO PREVENT MORPHINE OVERDOSE IN NURSING INFANTS, FDA IS REQUIRING MANUFACTURERS OF PRESCRIPTION CODEINE MEDICINES TO INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT CODEINE ULTRA-RAPID METABOLISM IN DRUG PACKAGE INSERT INFORMATION. IN ADDITION, FDA HAS POSTED INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ISSUE ON THE FDA WEBSITE FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AND PATIENTS.

NURSING MOTHERS TAKING CODEINE (OR OTHER NARCOTIC PAIN RELIEVERS) SHOULD KNOW HOW TO WATCH FOR SIGNS OF OVERDOSE IN THEIR BABIES. BREAST FED BABIES NORMALLY NURSE EVERY TWO TO THREE HOURS AND SHOULD NOT SLEEP FOR MORE THAN FOUR HOURS AT A TIME. SIGNS OF MORPHINE OVERDOSE IN A NURSING BABY INCLUDE INCREASED SLEEPINESS, DIFFICULTY BREASTFEEDING, BREATHING DIFFICULTIES OR LIMPNESS.

THE CHANCE OF BEING AN ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZER VARIES AMONG DIFFERENT POPULATION GROUPS FROM LESS THAN 1 PER 100 PEOPLE TO 28 PER 100 PEOPLE. FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZERS, THE RISK OF HAVING AN ADVERSE EVENT WHEN TAKING CODEINE IS NOT KNOWN. THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF SOMEONE IS AN ULTRA-RAPID METABOLIZER IS TO DO A GENETIC TEST. THERE IS A FDA-CLEARED TEST TO CHECK FOR ULTRA-RAPID METABOLISM, BUT THERE IS ONLY LIMITED INFORMATION ABOUT USING THIS TEST FOR CODEINE METABOLISM. AT THIS TIME, THE TEST RESULT ALONE MAY NOT CORRECTLY PREDICT IF A MOTHER'S BREAST MILK WILL HAVE TOO MUCH MORPHINE IF SHE USES CODEINE TO TREAT PAIN. THIS TEST CANNOT SUBSTITUTE FOR A DOCTOR'S JUDGMENT.

MOTHERS AND BABIES GAIN MANY HEALTH BENEFITS FROM BREASTFEEDING. WHEN A NURSING MOTHER MUST TAKE MEDICINE, HER INFANT MAY BE EXPOSED TO SOME RISKS FROM THAT MEDICINE. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AND NURSING WOMEN USING CODEINE OR OTHER MEDICINES TO DISCUSS THESE RISKS AND BENEFITS.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 11:59 AM

Sorry about the all caps but that is the way the announcement was sent out.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 12:00 PM

I just looked at Carla's blog post and it was pretty generic. Basically she said that you need to have a formal policy and that most people are focused on babies crying but if your child is healthy it shouldn't cry all the time and you should hold the baby all the time.

I still wouldn't by into this. I would hate to be HR or the manager to have to write a policy that defines what's a "noisy" baby versus just a baby that cries for food etc. And then to have to be the enforcer - when would the manager get their work done? That and you will always have co-workers that complain about everything - you know the ones - they sit next to you in the cube farm and you cough and they ask you to keep it down :)

Posted by: noname1 | August 24, 2007 12:01 PM

I'd like to reply to some of the comments appearing here. To save space in this comment area, I've posted in my blog at http://www.workingwithkids.org.

Carla Moquin

Hell no, I won't go to your blog. How arrogant and rude of you to use this blog for blatant self-promotion.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 12:01 PM

Hey, I checked out Carla's blog and found this interesting thing from sciencenews.org:

Catharina Svanborg thought that she already knew how remarkable breast milk is. The immunologist had logged hundreds of lab hours documenting ways in which human milk helps babies fight infections. But when the group decided to use cancerous lung cells to avoid the variability shown by normal cells in laboratory tests, Svanborg and her team at Lund University in Sweden were in for a surprise. They applied breast milk to the cancerous lung cells, and all the cells died. Breast milk killed cancer cells.

Now, that's amazing!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 12:03 PM

Hell no, I won't go to your blog. How arrogant and rude of you to use this blog for blatant self-promotion.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 12:01 PM

I nearly busted a gut laughing at this catlady! No Flan for her!!

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 12:07 PM

But pATRICK, doesn't catlady make the flan?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 12:08 PM

"They applied breast milk to the cancerous lung cells, and all the cells died. Breast milk killed cancer cells."

Topically applied? What's the relevance?

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 12:09 PM

Emily makes the flan, and mighty fine it is, too!

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 12:10 PM

I got confused. Sorry. Maybe catlady can get the recipe?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 12:12 PM

Yes, I believe topically applied. It's totally irrelevant to today's topic. I just thought it was amazing.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 12:12 PM

What else would work when topically applied? What's your point?

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 12:15 PM

I don't believe for a moment that these comments are from catlady. They're too grouchy.

Posted by: gcoward | August 24, 2007 12:19 PM

"'If day care centers lead to kids getting day care diseases (and they do), . . .'"

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 09:44 AM

"as opposed to kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade etc etc etc?"

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 10:45 AM

You mean, kids *don't* get day care diseases? Or do you mean, since kids are going to get diseases in kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, etc., they may as well get used to getting diseases as babies? You want them in the shop, with the machines and the noise and the sweat? In the hospital, with the coughing and sneezing patients? Down in the mines, maybe?

Our kids didn't get day care diseases, and when they got to kindergarten, they didn't get shigellosis, giardiasis or amebiasis either, the way some of their friends did who went to day care as toddlers. But YMMV.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 12:23 PM

Leslie has a Blog
(to the tune of Janie's got a gun)

Leslie got a blog
Leslie got a blog
What will she ever do?
When her blogging days are through
What will pATRICK do?
For that matter Matt too?
When they said she starting registration
Did that mean that wit would take a powder too?
But man the trolls had it coming now that Leslie has a blog
That requires a real name too.

Leslie has a blog
Leslie has a blog
What can Scarry do?
To get her whole message thru
When she started registration
Mako almost died
Father of 3 and Father of 4 died too
But It's good for Megan's Neighbor cuz' there is more flan
For true!

Leslie has a blog
Leslie had a blog
What can Fred do?
Talking about breastfeeding is all he knew
When she started registration
Cream of the Crop nearly blew
Dotted went away and Megan followed her too
Lil Husky got screwed like many other do
Emily & Mona's legacy grew
Use the spinach, it is true!

Leslie has a blog
Leslie has a blog (fade out)


Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 12:25 PM

Matt: I've come to find that people with absolutes like you (oh, never should a child be put in daycare) are typically fooling themselves in one way or another.

My kids' have been in and out of schools, home with nannies, whatever, and they rarely if ever get sick. They've been going to playgroups/playdates/the park since they were very very young. I see when parents keep their kids away from others (they may have *germs*) they really are doing a disservice as those kids are the ones that get sick a lot.

And I do have a friend who tells me how her precious ones never get sick. But they do, and often. She's just fooling herself.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 12:27 PM

Sorry if I violated an internet taboo by referencing my blog--since Leslie's post is about my work, I just thought it might be useful to explain a bit more of my perspective on structured vs. unstructured babies-at-work programs.

Carla Moquin

Posted by: carlamoquin | August 24, 2007 12:28 PM

My sister had a pack 'n play that had a "bassinet" attachment that she used for the first few weeks with her new baby. The nice thing was you could take the attachment out and it became a regular play pen later. You might want to look for something like this that way you aren't wasting money on something you won't use long.

As far as babies in the work place:

I found their website very busy which made it difficult and annoying to read.

Babies don't belong in the work place, they belong either at home or in a care facility while the parents are at work. IMHO, this is a "band-aid" solution for lack of better maternity/paternity leave policies in place.

As far as animals in the office, I say no to this one as well, unless they are fish. Not only are some people allergic to animals, but they could be a liability issue. Even the nicest of pets can "snap" one day and what happens when Fido bites a client? Then you are paying medical and legal bills.

Work is work, you are there to get a job done and be professional. If you can't get along with other coworkers and solve problems without animals, then someone needs to be fired. Go home to be with your children and pets.

Posted by: meredithneale | August 24, 2007 12:28 PM

I'd like to know exactly *what* jobsites Carla thinks *are* appropriate for babies. So far I haven't seen one comment that had such a place. And the university office didn't count, because the peons were taking care of the baby, not the parents.

And, at what age does this so-called Baby At Work end? The kid gets to come to work until it's ready for kindergarten?

Posted by: scarlett_85 | August 24, 2007 12:33 PM

"I'd like to reply to some of the comments appearing here. To save space in this comment area, I've posted in my blog at http://www.workingwithkids.org."

Posted by: carlamoquin | August 24, 2007 11:45 AM

Dear Carla,

Don't worry about saving "space in this comment area." There's room here for 30-line songs, and 75-line FDA warnings. There's room for ranting, too -- you should have seen "Cleavage" day on "On Balance," and even the Antichrist (666) has been known to post here frequently. So there's plenty of space here for you to reply to some of the objections to babies in the workplace that we have seen today. Bring it on.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 12:39 PM

Matt,

That was a 31 line song!

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 12:42 PM

Does the 75 lines count the extra spaces between paragraphs? I want full credit here.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 12:44 PM

How can I have an entertaining lunch when no one is posting? I keep hitting refresh and...nothing. *sigh* do I have to go back to work?

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 12:44 PM

and Hax is slow as molasses today.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 12:45 PM

altmon1234

you did not like my 3 songs today?

anon

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 12:45 PM

When my first child was born 8 years ago, my DH and I had to fill in a gap of 4-5 weeks before we could get her into daycare and we couldn't afford to lose the income. So we worked split shifts at work (I'd go in early, work until lunch while he stayed home and then we'd trade). But we did some some overlap issues and each of us ended up bring in the baby to work for a few hours. Because we did it only periodically, it worked. BUT I had an office with a door and he would bring her in during the late afternoon/early evening hours to minimize disruptions.

We realized that not everyone would be thrilled with a baby in the office and tried to be sensitive to that. But thank god our offices were willing to work with us during this time. And I will honestly say that I would not have liked to have her with me full-time. She was a fussy baby. But a colleague of mine, who had a much better baby, regularly brought hers in during the same time. She managed to get everything done and we'd see her trekking around the halls with her daughter in her arms. Was she viewed as "unprofessional"? No - because she had a stellar reputation and managed to keep up with her work while the baby was with her. But then, she was, and still is, an overachiever.

Posted by: dwisbeck | August 24, 2007 12:46 PM

Yes, they were good, but we need MORE over here. Everyone's out today. I have no one to talk with. I can only do so many pivot tables before I go berserk!

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 12:46 PM

altmon1234,

Sorry, I would have put you in my song but it is hard to rhyme with Altmom 1234. Now I have to go to work.

Later!

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 12:49 PM

babies in the workplace works in very small environments where everyone has an office door they can close. I've seen it work in non-profits with a headcount of 6 or fewer and no walk-in client traffic. That's about it. It still depends on how demanding the baby is, and how well the parent can focus.

For what may be the first time in the history of this blog, Leslie raised a family-balance topic in a gender-neutral manner. It's a shame that many of the men who used to post here have been driven off in the meantime by woman-centric topics.

Posted by: gcoward | August 24, 2007 12:51 PM

Sorry if I violated an internet taboo by referencing my blog--since Leslie's post is about my work, I just thought it might be useful to explain a bit more of my perspective on structured vs. unstructured babies-at-work programs.

Carla Moquin

Posted by: carlamoquin | August 24, 2007 12:28 PM

Carla, if leslie has room for bababooey incessant nuttiness, she has plenty of room for you too. Just be prepared.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 12:56 PM

and Hax is slow as molasses today.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | August 24, 2007 12:45 PM

at least you appreciate the Post's two great contributions to the workday: Leslie for amusement and Hax for truth.

Posted by: gcoward | August 24, 2007 12:57 PM

MATT hopefully your kids won't end up like the martians in WAR OF THE WORLDS...........

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 12:58 PM

Fairfax County Public Schools used to have (about 10 years ago), a day care within the school. Students (pregnant and not pregnant) would be trained by day care professionals on child care, and teachers could leave their children there and they would be cared for. But then the school system decided every student in the system should be preparing for college and not other technical training. It's not only sad for the students but for the teachers who had a great way to care for their own children as well as taking care of the students they teach as well.

Posted by: time2bail | August 24, 2007 12:58 PM

Fairfax County Public Schools used to have (about 10 years ago), a day care within the school. Students (pregnant and not pregnant) would be trained by day care professionals on child care, and teachers could leave their children there and they would be cared for. But then the school system decided every student in the system should be preparing for college and not other technical training. It's not only sad for the students but for the teachers who had a great way to care for their own children as well as taking care of the students they teach as well.

Posted by: time2bail | August 24, 2007 12:58 PM

Convenient, yes. Do you really think this was good care, or merely adequate care? I can't imagine any parent putting his child in this daycare other than for convenience. Getting a free haircut from a trainee at the local community college's hair tech program is one thing. Offering your child up as a training subject risks something alot more important than your hair.

Posted by: gcoward | August 24, 2007 1:08 PM

Hmm. This topic really has me sad today because I really like the idea of giving as many options to parents as possible. The more I think about this one, though, I can't think of it as a viable option in most situations.

I looked at the Babies at Work website in hopes that it would answer my questions about their claims of increased productivity (unfortunately it didn't really, aside from a few anecdotes from supporters who felt that parents always figure out how to get everything done - which, of course, as a parent of two young ones I'd like to believe!).

The site and blog brought up new concerns for me, unfortunately. Especially how they recommend a policy that gives management the option to rescind if it doesn't seem to be working. It makes sense on paper, but what if I've been planning to take my child to work and then I'm told my baby is too loud and I need to find daycare sooner than I was anticipating (imagine trying to find good daycare in two or three weeks, which would probably be the case in such a situation). Also, as was mentioned previously, what manager wants to pull the plug? And if one baby is perfectly noiseless, and another is always crying - ouch!

As for daycare and germs: when my second child was born, I kept my toddler away from just about every other kid we knew for several weeks because my hubby had just left for the Mid-East and I didn't want sick kids on top of everything else. Yep, let me tell you how well isolation worked: in the three weeks we all stayed away, my toddler had his two worst illnesses ever (including a trip to the emergency room at 4am with a terrifyingly high fever).

Germs are everywhere!

Posted by: nicole | August 24, 2007 1:11 PM

How can you have meetings when there are kids in the office? Do you just bring the kids? I vote no, unless the kids are old enough to scribe at the meetings.

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 24, 2007 1:17 PM

"shigellosis, giardiasis or amebiasis"

I am not trying to argue with you, but where the heck did your friend's children go that they got these kinds of diseases?

The most common diseases that I ever saw in a day care setting (I worked at one and my daughter goes to one) were flu, strip throat, Rota virus, and RSV. Now, if you have a pre-mature baby, I suggest that baby not go to day care until it is determined by your doctor that he is healthy, but really, most of these disease can be transported home to the baby from mom or dad or grandma or grandpa.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 1:18 PM

I vote no, unless the kids are old enough to scribe at the meetings.


qoute of the day. I would add to that they should be able to run and get lunch!

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 1:21 PM

"'shigellosis, giardiasis or amebiasis'"

"I am not trying to argue with you, but where the heck did your friend's children go that they got these kinds of diseases?"

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 01:18 PM

I don't know precisely. I'll have to ask our friend what kind of day care her son was in when he got the shigellosis. Someplace in Baltimore, I know. See, the most common types of day care diseases are the intestinal parasites and the respiratory infections. For the intestinal parasites like the three I mentioned, one kid puts his hand in his dirty diaper, plays with a toy, puts it down, crawls away, and another kid crawls over, picks it up and puts it into his mouth. That's all it takes.

"The most common diseases that I ever saw in a day care setting (I worked at one and my daughter goes to one) were flu, strip throat, Rota virus, and RSV." (Irishgirl)

These are the respiratory infections. You can get them in school as well as in day care, as several posters have pointed out today. But the intestinal parasites -- ¿how many kids get them in kindergarten or later?

"Now, if you have a pre-mature baby, I suggest that baby not go to day care until it is determined by your doctor that he is healthy, . . . " (Irishgirl)

Well, we had a premature baby first. Maybe that's why we were so worried with all of them. Again, there are respiratory infections and intestinal parasites, but it might seem best not to use the term, "day care diseases," on a blog like this because it touches a nerve. At any rate, we're all hoping your baby reaches full term in good health.


Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 1:33 PM

I'm all for onsite childcare, but for me, it's unfathomable to bring a baby to work. As those who work out of the home have mentioned, it's difficult to do both--and home is a much more ideal environment than the workplace.

I can't even begin to imagine the liability issues raised in this scenario...the issues with coworkers have already been raised. It's absolutely not fair to subject coworkers to a crying baby. And yes, babies need a lot of attention and this is a distraction to the mother, if not the coworkers nearby.

I've had to bring my daughter to work on occassion, but that was ages 8-11, not an infant. And I have my own office, which makes it easier.

Posted by: pepperjade | August 24, 2007 1:39 PM

"Again, there are respiratory infections and intestinal parasites, but it might seem best not to use the term, "day care diseases," on a blog like this because it touches a nerve."

How condescending, Matt. Using an inaccurate term doesn't "touch a nerve" - whatever that means - it's merely inaccurate. Most of us try to discuss topics, in particular medical topics, with some level of precision. Moreover, you and others who speak as you do out of ignorance, are kidding yourself if you think you dodged some sort of bullet because your wife stayed home.


The problem with discussing medical topics without precision is that it leads some readers to think that maybe there is a subset of illnesses that their children will not encounter elsewhere in the known universe, including while they are visiting with cousins, in the nursery at church, at your sister-in-laws house for a birthday party, or at the grocery store with a SAHM. Anywhere kids encounter humans they might encounter a germ. That includes at your house on Sunday afternoon with your family members. If your children are so unsupervised, and their diapers so poorly secured, that the scenario you describe occurs, the problem isn't "daycare" it is inadequate care and an untrained provider - whether the provider is your mother-in-law or an employee at a childcare center.

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 1:40 PM

TOT Alert: Baby Carrots in some states recalled:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3517347

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 1:44 PM

No, no, no, MN, you don't get it!

Matt, his wife and kids live in a one-family biosphere up in Aberdeen, into which no germs ever find their way.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 1:49 PM

TOT Alert: Baby Carrots in some states recalled:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3517347


Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 24, 2007 01:44 PM

That's what those parents get for not feeding their children pb&j sandwiches, along with scarry and I, for dinner, LOL.

catlady - *smacks forehead* - how could I have forgotten?

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 1:53 PM

No, no, no, MN, you don't get it!

Matt, his wife and kids live in a one-family biosphere up in Aberdeen, into which no germs ever find their way.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 01:49 PM

LOL, i just had this image of MATT in a haz mat suit typing one of his 250 line posts..................

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 1:53 PM

At any rate, we're all hoping your baby reaches full term in good health.

Thanks Matt.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 1:55 PM

pATRICK, do you suppose they raise their produce in sterile media, and have a double-lock decontamination unit at the portal? I'm thinkin' Bubble Boy here ;-)

And yes, MN, I figured it'd only slipped your mind for a moment.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 1:58 PM

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 01:58 PM

His kids in haz mat suits kicking a soccer ball back and forth in their biosphere, wife in the kitchen whipping up a meal in her haz mat suit...lol

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 2:02 PM

"LOL, i just had this image of MATT in a haz mat suit typing one of his 250 line posts.................."

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 01:53 PM

You want a 250-line post?

Like, I made up the term, "day care diseases," out of ignorance. Parents who are really interested in minimizing the impact of these diseases on their children can check out the following article by Dennis Clements, MD, PhD: "Day Care Diseases: Why they spread so fast -- and what to do about them" at this URL:

http://www.newsforparents.org/expert_day_care_diseases.html

With respect to two of the three intestinal diseases that I mentioned earlier today (two parasites and one bacterium), here is what the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has to say:

"What is Shigellosis?

Shigellosis is an intestinal illness caused by infection with Shigella bacteria.

Who gets Shigellosis?

Anyone can get shigellosis, however, it is most common in young children 1 to 4 years of age. Children who attend day care centers are at greater risk for acquiring this infection from other children. Others at risk for contracting Shigellosis include homosexual men, institutionalized persons, and foreign travelers to certain countries.

How is Shigellosis spread?

A person becomes infected with Shigella by swallowing the bacteria. This can occur when an individual eats or drinks contaminated food or water, or has direct contact with an infected person who has poor personal hygiene.

What is Giardiasis?

Giardiasis is an intestinal illness caused by infection with a parasite called Giardia lamblia. The infective form is called a cyst, a stage in the parasite's life cycle which allows it to survive in the environment, primarily fecally contaminated water. Infection is acquired by swallowing cysts. . . .

Who gets Giardiasis?

Anyone can get giardiasis, but it is more frequently found in persons living in institutional settings for the developmentally disabled, individuals in child care settings, and travelers to areas with poor sanitation. Anyone who drinks untreated surface water, such as water taken directly from ponds, lakes and streams, is at increased risk of acquiring giardiasis. Transmission of giardiasis has also been documented in male homosexuals. Pets may also harbor Giardia.

How is Giardiasis spread?

A person becomes infected with Giardia by swallowing cysts of the parasite. This can occur when an individual eats or drinks food or water contaminated with Giardia cysts, or through direct contact with an individual infected with Giardia who has poor personal hygiene."

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 2:04 PM

I wonder if it affects the quality of her flan...

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 2:05 PM

Matt, you DO know that modern over-cleanliness has been found to be a cause of more people being susceptible to more germs than before? Seriously. Not that I'm advocating deliberate slovenliness, but there needs to be *ta-da* some balance.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 2:08 PM

Matt, you DO know that modern over-cleanliness has been found to be a cause of more people being susceptible to more germs than before? Seriously. Not that I'm advocating deliberate slovenliness, but there needs to be *ta-da* some balance.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 2:08 PM

I wonder if it affects the quality of her flan...

Well at least you know there is no chance of Shigellosis or Giardiasi.......

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 2:09 PM

No swimming in ponds or lakes and no pets for MattInAberdeen.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 2:09 PM

When I was pregnant with my son, for my job I was temporarily stationed in a cube farm in a big federal building. The woman in the cube next to me brought her granddaughter to work for a few days because her daughter had a snag in her child care arrangement. It was a pretty deserted corner of the cube farm and the baby (maybe 2-3 months old) was quiet and slept most of the time, so I don't know how many other people even new the baby was there.

So I think whether bringing a baby to work will work depends on the baby and the office setting. If your baby has colic and you don't have an office where you can shut the door, forget it. But if your baby is calm and quiet and you don't have a lot of meetings, it can work fine. I agree with other posters who've pointed out that it would help moms breastfeed longer and that has clear public health benefits and reduces absenteeism due to sick kids.

That website said babies can be at work until age 6-8 months when they start to crawl. I disagree and think that by age 4-6 months, a baby needs a full-time caregiver. By 4 months a baby is aware of his/her surroundings, starts grabbing (or reaching for) things, and needs a lot more stimulation than the average cube and occasional co-worker visit can safely provide. Older babies at work might be OK as a short-term temporary solution but overall the better workplace benefit for families is on-site day care.

My son started day care (in that same big federal building, where I will start a new job soon) at 5 months and that is a good age to start. He wasn't afraid of strangers so he got along great with his teachers. His classroom had a separate, darkened crib area and the main area was full of more toys than my DC rowhouse could ever fit. I was amazed that even the baby classrooms did "projects" like playing with dirt to learn about plants and finger-painting. I think having so much to play with and explore also helped my son learn to crawl sooner than if he would have if he were just with me all day, whether at home or in an office.

Posted by: alisa_in_dc | August 24, 2007 2:11 PM

ugh! Ate my post and it was a good one too.

I was just saying we should lighten up a bit on Matt. We all have things we are afraid of that may or may not be rational.

Although the hazmat posts did make me laugh because the thought of someone doing that is funny.

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 2:15 PM

Please, can we just let those of us at work do WORK? Why do you insist on bringing your home life to the office and imposing it on the rest of us? Is there NOTHING you won't do to have work impose on your life? I'm not interested in having to listen to a crying baby, having you go off every 20 minutes to attend to your baby, and having to pick up the load as you spend half of the day babysitting. If it's a nursery at the office that is one thing, but having your baby in the cubicle next to me is a "NO NO."

Posted by: RBCrook | August 24, 2007 2:15 PM

"No swimming in ponds or lakes and no pets for MattInAberdeen."

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 02:09 PM

And no more hand-dug, 12-foot well for us, either. E. coli from surface water got into our well (and the wells of everyone else on our road between I-95 and Md. 7), and made us sick. It didn't make the baby sick, because he wasn't drinking the water. It took a year and a quarter for everyone on the road to have wells drilled 80 feet deep, below the rock layer and free of surface runoff.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 2:16 PM

Matt, do you live near a farm? That sounds bad.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 2:17 PM

Matt, what is your general take on existentialism, vis man's position in the universe?

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 24, 2007 2:23 PM

"ugh! Ate my post and it was a good one too."

Posted by: Irishgirl | August 24, 2007 02:15 PM

OK, Scarry, here's a tip: Type your posting into something like Microsoft WordPad. Copy and paste into the "Comments" window. Do not click on the "Submit" button. Rather, always click on the "Preview" button and read your posting. If at the bottom it says, "Posted by: Anonymous" instead of "Posted by: Irishgirl," then your post will be "eaten" and not appear on the blog. What you have to do is click on the "Click here" button. You may be asked for your WaPo username and password again, or you may not. Copy and paste your posting again into the window. Click "Preview" again. Once your posting appears with "Posted by: Irishgirl" on the bottom, it probably will not be eaten. No guarantee here -- just a tip.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 2:24 PM

I was just kidding him, MATT is not a bad guy.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 2:24 PM

Matt, what is your general take on existentialism, vis man's position in the universe?

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 24, 2007 02:23 PM

Now that is just evil.......

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 2:28 PM

Irishgirl, There's an easier way. Type your post in the Comments box as usual, then block and Control-C copy it before hitting the "Submit" button. If WaPo eats your post, just Control-V paste it in and resend.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 2:28 PM

My DD age 5 was a loud and fussy baby. Cute as a button but did not nap, sleep, or eat well. She needed Mommy and a lot of love the first year.

She has done well in onsite day care and we had our last lunch today before she starts kindergarten on Monday. She has a lot of colds when she started day care at age 2 1/2 but very few as she got older and was used to being around other children.

Posted by: shdd | August 24, 2007 2:40 PM

Matt, what is your general take on existentialism, vis man's position in the universe?

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 24, 2007 02:23 PM

ProudPapa, you are a cruel, cruel man.

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 2:45 PM

"Matt, do you live near a farm? That sounds bad."

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 24, 2007 02:17 PM

We used to live across the road from a 200-acre farm, with cattle part of the year and corn another part of the year. That's when the E. coli affected everyone on our side of the road.

And it could have been even worse. The farmer wanted a zoning "special exception" to sell off the 35 acres directly across from us to someone who would put an auto junkyard there. For the zoning hearing in the Bel Air Courthouse, we hired Elwood V. Stark, Esq., to represent us. We could not afford expert witnesses, but Woody made fools out of the junkyard man's experts, especially when it came to PCBs and other pollutants leaching out of junked cars and into the aquifer. Woody also put me on to argue law from the witness stand: The case of Schultz v. Pritts, 291 Md. 1, 432 A. 2d 1319 (1981) had been decided during the one and a quarter years while we waited for our new well to be drilled. It sets out what I call the "Four Questions" standard for denying a special exception: Why is this junkyard in this industrial zone more harmful than the average junkyard in the average industrial zone? (cf. 291 Md. at 115). The answer is (and Woody argued it for us after the hearing in a legal memorandum) that this "industrial zone" was across the street from a road full of residences, whereas the other junkyards in Harford County are either pre-existing uses (before zoning) or else they are on US 1 and US 40, which really look like industrial zones with no homes across the road. The hearing examiner, Barbara K. Howe (later a Circuit Court judge), bought our argument and denied the special exception.

Not only was there no junkyard -- the farm itself is now gone! The old man who owned it passed away, his sons did not want to farm, so they sold all 200 acres to Beechtree. Beechtree is an 18-hole public golf course. Now, instead of runoff from cow dung, we get half a dozen free golf balls on our lawn every week. (The two 40-foot fir trees protect our windows.)

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 2:46 PM

Matt, what about all those chemicals used on the golf course grass? For anyone downwind from their application, even a little breeze could waft them your way.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 2:52 PM

p.s. take your information where you will, but the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services wouldn't be a source I'd consider particularly credible. Between its failure to conduct statutorily required health inspections of 5 out of six state-licensed abortion clinics, and its inability to find any evidence of cancer clusters in one or more neighborhoods bounded by 4 Superfund sites, it seems to be a bit overwhelmed.

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 2:53 PM

"Matt, what is your general take on existentialism, vis man's position in the universe?"

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 24, 2007 02:23 PM

Existentialism is bunk. It's un-American. It's something out of Europe, out of the Secular Humanist Institute of Theology.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 2:53 PM

"Matt, what about all those chemicals used on the golf course grass? For anyone downwind from their application, even a little breeze could waft them your way."

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 02:52 PM

That's probably no worse than living in the suburbs next to neighbors who have ChemLawn treat their lawn. I don't think the chemicals would get from the grass all the way down 80 feet to the aquifer. But you're right: we wouldn't want little kids playing on that front lawn.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 3:00 PM

That's probably no worse than living in the suburbs next to neighbors who have ChemLawn treat their lawn. I don't think the chemicals would get from the grass all the way down 80 feet to the aquifer. But you're right: we wouldn't want little kids playing on that front lawn.

Not healthful for the wildlife, either.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 3:05 PM

Not healthful for the wildlife, either.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 03:05 PM

Somehow the Canada Geese and the Fierce Urban Squirrels don't seem to mind.

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 3:07 PM

anon at 12:30ish

I just had to write and say I loved your tune. Thank you, but I can't get it out of my mind now! I did go away for a while when things were way too intense, but things are back to snafu now.

on topic: I did take my babies to work back in the day when they were babies. We're talking a while ago! But I had an office where I could shut the door. They were also good sleepers. The time spent in the office would be cut short when needed so as to not be a bother to my neighbors. One learned to walk by holding onto the locks on the lockers outside my doors. memories....

Posted by: dotted_1 | August 24, 2007 3:10 PM

dotted, I think the key is that good-sleeper part. Those of us who didn't have babies like yours and scarry's (sleeping through the night from day 1? who knew this existed?) are aghast at the thought because, with our kids, it would not have been possible to get more than 45 minutes here or there of sustained thought. You, reasonably, wonder what the issue is . . .

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 3:15 PM

thank you Dotted.

I had another parody composed to the tune of "The Thrill is Gone!" but I just could not bring myself to desecrate that great blues song!

(no, Matt and pATRICK, you were not in the lyrics of this one!)

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 3:21 PM

Shout out to Michael Vick today

From "Shakedown Cruise" by Jay Ferguson

"They treated you like a dog but you're only human!"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/24/AR2007082401044.html?hpid=topnews

In documents filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback said he helped put dogs through test-fighting sessions as recently as April and agreed with co-conspirators to kill dogs that didn't perform well.

Posted by: anonthistime | August 24, 2007 3:31 PM

"'Matt, what is your general take on existentialism, vis man's position in the universe?'

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 24, 2007 02:23 PM

Existentialism is bunk. It's un-American. It's something out of Europe, out of the Secular Humanist Institute of Theology.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 24, 2007 02:53 PM"

Touche. Who'd have thought that Matt's shortest post would be on the thorniest issue? Matt totally wins this round. :-)

Posted by: laura33 | August 24, 2007 3:34 PM

I can imagine few better songs to get stuck in your head at 3:30 on one of the last summer Friday's of 07.

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you'll be sorry someday

The thrill is gone
It's gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although I'll still live on
But so lonely I'll be

The thrill is gone
It's gone away for good
Oh, the thrill is gone baby
Baby its gone away for good
Someday I know I'll be over it all baby
Just like I know a man should

You know I'm free, free now baby
I'm free from your spell
I'm free, free now
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's over
All I can do is wish you well

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 3:35 PM

maybe, laura, but this reminds me of George W. He sets expectations so low that when he exceeds them, it seems like a victory, LOL.

Posted by: MN | August 24, 2007 3:37 PM

Nope, Laura.

What is, is.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 24, 2007 3:43 PM

, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that Republicans are abandoning the president, which has dropped his job-approval rating below 30 percent -- his lowest mark ever in the survey.

But he isn't the only one whose support is on the decline in the poll. Congress' approval rating has plummeted eight points, bringing it below even Bush's.


Just for some BALANCE......

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 3:46 PM

Even matt saw that for the set up it was................

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 3:47 PM

Matt,
LOL when you wrote about your zoning issues...I live on the west side of the same county, where (as you know) it's pretty much ALL farms, and everyone has a well. In the spring, the farmers manure the fields and there are people who just love that 'natural' farm smell -- and who cares what runs off into the groundwater. And then there are the people who rely on wells for drinking water, and have CHEMLAWN applications. They don't seem to realize that there is a decent chance that the chemicals might get into MY well, if not theirs. Duuh!
I'm amazed and impressed that your lawyer actually got the farmer's junkyard plans derailed.

OT from yesterday on children's lit:
I have a LOT to say, but all I will say is most little boys love Where the Wild Things Are. Roar, gnash, roll and rumpus when you read it.

On topic:
Babies IN the office?! Are you people NUTS?! How do you get anything DONE!? On-site daycare, very good. Babies on the desk, not very good. Same with dogs, cats, gerbils, birds (especially birds) and anything that's not a fish. And the fish are only ok if I don't have to feed them or clean the tank. And I have a cat and a dog, and I had babies once upon a time.

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 24, 2007 4:09 PM

Various questions that have been raised:

1. What about sick babies?

Day care is often considered a breeding ground for germs due to so many children being there (since they have weaker immune systems than adults). If a baby is coming to work, it's easier for mothers to continue breastfeeding (if they are) and babies are exposed to less of the nasty germs, so they tend to get sick less frequently. When they're actively sick, though, yes, the parent needs to either take a personal day or find another alternative for that day.

2. What if the baby cries too much and the company says it's not working?

The companies with active baby programs generally make it clear that the parent has to have alternative options in place before they can start bringing the baby, and there's usually something like 3 days notice the company agrees to give the parent before the parent has to move the baby to alternative care. A BIG key to this working is flexibility, though.

3. Wouldn't this only work in small companies?

Actually, many of the companies that allow baby programs have several hundred employees (I have yet to find a huge conglomerate with a baby program yet, though), and it has worked well for people with offices and people in cubicles. In the bigger companies, there are more coworkers to stop by for very brief moments to say hi and smile at the babies, and this is one reason that work babies tend to be so content--they love the social interaction. It's kind of a "distribution of care" model--to a limited degree. Parents still are responsible for the babies' care, and coworkers are still expected to get their work done (they can't spend hours playing with the babies).

4. Won't this be a huge liability risk?

Nearly all companies with baby programs allow the babies to come until they reach 6 or 8 months or are crawling---whichever comes first. A baby that can't move under her own power is a MUCH lower liability/safety risk than a crawling baby or older toddler/child. In nearly all companies with baby programs, parents sign a waiver form and sign a form stating that they are solely responsible for their child's care and well-being. The company does not accept responsibility for the child's welfare (aside from providing a basically safe work environment like it does for all its employees), which dramatically lowers liability risks.

5. This wouldn't work in every job.

I'm not advocating this for all jobs--of course a factory job or manufacturing facility is not going to be feasible or safe. But there are many different industries (nearly all are office or cubicle-based) in which this does work really well---and assuming that it works for the parents, coworkers, and executives in a company, I think it's a valuable thing to try. Some companies actively cross-train and let employees in more hazardous jobs temporarily move to a desk job when their babies are young so that they can take advantage of the program.

6. What about people who don't want to be around babies?

Many companies have "baby-free zones"--if someone is really distracted by a baby or just doesn't like the idea of being near one, the company offers to relocate them during the baby's time, or else moves the parent to a better area.

Need to get back to work--I'll post more later tonight.

Carla


Posted by: carlamoquin | August 24, 2007 4:22 PM

MN,
Actually, I reasonably believe taking your baby to work can only be done IFF you consider the needs of others first before the needs of you and your baby. All this setting up of baby-free zones is just too much...way too needy imho. The right of your baby to cry ends at the ears of those needing or trying to work.

coconut rum and guava/mango juice is calling me on this hot afternoon!

Posted by: dotted_1 | August 24, 2007 4:37 PM

Have a nice weekend, DOTTED has inspired me to go make myself a rum and coke.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 4:50 PM

pATRICK - I didn't know you were a rum and coke man!

The things we find out about people here!

Posted by: dotted_1 | August 24, 2007 4:51 PM

Dark rum pina colada by the pool (now that I don't mind keeping some liquor in the house -- I figure a bottle of rum will last a couple of years, unless I have a party).

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 24, 2007 4:52 PM

Another good one: kahlua in a vanilla milkshake. A friend from college and I used to have our own happy hour on Friday, and we would get vanilla shakes from Roy Rogers and add the kahlua -- yummy!

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 24, 2007 4:54 PM

Off-topic: The only rum drink I like is a dark and stormy, although your pina colada doesn't sound too bad, educmom!

On-topic: I think I concur with those advocating flex-schedules, working at home and on site day care as more generally workable solutions. I can see how it would work in some situations, and I don't think the fact that it is will only work for some is a reason not to do it when it does work. But assuming that you have to prioritize given the limited actual and political resources that can be dedicated to work life balance, I'd go for the policies that are more broadly applicable.

Sort of on-topic: My son got sick a whooooole lotta times when he started daycare, way more than he had in the year plus he was home. It was four or five months of him catching every germ that went around. Now he rarely gets sick, having built up his immunity. I figure it has to happen sometime.

Posted by: LizaBean | August 24, 2007 4:58 PM

I really am out of here. But there is nothing better than a cold rum and coke in the summer time.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 24, 2007 5:01 PM

LizaBean - my sons had the same experience. They developed good immune systems early. None of their experiences were bad, thank goodness! I think it is a pay me now or pay me later kind of thing. At some point, we all have to develop immune systems.

Posted by: dotted_1 | August 24, 2007 5:06 PM

Dotted, exactly. And all we had is run of the mill cold/flu stuff too. It was a pain, as my husband and I got most of what he got too, so it felt like we were running our own clinic for a while, but I think we're all the stronger for it now!

Posted by: LizaBean | August 24, 2007 5:43 PM

Babies shouldn't be brought into the workplace. I work in a cube farm, and recently one of our people brought her new baby in. Work ground to a halt as half of the office lined up to hold the baby. One group leader was holding the baby for over half an hour while fending off every attempt to get her to go back to work. (We were on deadline.) By the time mom and baby left, most of us were rooting for the mother of all explosive diaper accidents to happen to that particular group leader. Even when they're calm, babies require a lot of effort to care for. Even in a soundproof office with a door, you can't be considerate to your co workers and get a full day's work in while caring for the baby. When at work, you have to work. Baby care is a time consuming job in itself, and I can't see a good way to be as productive as you should be at work while caring for a baby at the same time.

Posted by: kitefencer | August 24, 2007 6:23 PM

Fred's Quote of the Day
(Educational Division)

goes to :

Matt in Aberdeen

"It's something out of Europe, out of the Secular Humanist Institute of Theology."

The Creepy Van (tm) with Hula Girl will not quite get to Aberdeen but you can come down to N.O. anytime for your ride! Missed ya' when I was in Aberdeen a few weeks ago. We met Dr. William Atwater there.

I am glad you reminded me of that famous European Institution of Higher Learning. Does it have a consortium with the Sam Houston Institute of Technology. Can you take any Special High Intensity Training in either one?

Posted by: Fred | August 25, 2007 12:25 AM

Fred's Quote of the Day
(Runner Up Division)
(aka, out of the fire into the frying pan division)

Dotted receives honorable mention for explaining her life is back to what passes for normal to wit: "but things are back to snafu now."

And to you, anon song writer, anons seldom win esp. when they diss me!

Posted by: Fred | August 25, 2007 12:34 AM

Thanks Fred! Now I know there is honor to be found in snafu

I bet all of us can describe our lives in one word---"snafu"

Posted by: dotted_1 | August 25, 2007 1:10 PM

This is late, I know, but I was thinking about this over the weekend and these are my problems with this kind of policy.

1. Taking care of a baby really is a full-time job. Between about 2 and 4/5 months I was able to get some work done at my computer with my son in a sling (at home), but it was anything but focused - and he was a pretty good baby.

2. I think longer maternity leave or adequate on-site daycare are both better solutions. To me being "allowed" to bring your baby into the office for a few months is in no way addressing the real needs of new parents.

It's another one of these "work-life balance" initiatives that often ends up just making women (mostly) feel that somehow they don't have it together because after all the office is "friendly" to "alternative" arrangements - ones that don't cost anything and don't really work. Sure, as an emergency stop gap for a few days - great.

But as a daycare substitution? It just seems to me that what would happen would be that my quality of work would likely slip, and then I would be as effectively mommy-tracked as I would be in a part time position.

Posted by: shandra_lemarath | August 27, 2007 8:29 AM

"We are more fortunate than a lot of people here and do not consider ourselves heroes in any way. We just hope in our own small way that we can make life better for others."

Posted by: A.A. Camp | August 27, 2007; 7:00 AM ET

Good for both of you. This is what everyone who walks out into the world through the Class of 1880 gate should do: Heed the gate's inscription, "Depart, to serve better thy country and they kind."

I second your kind words in last Friday's blog about Dr. William Atwater, the curator of the Museum. He is a kind, intelligent and helpful man who has helped me out in the past. It is a pity that his Museum will be moving to the Petersburg, Virginia area in the next few years, but the Museum is there to serve the students at the School. When the School (my alma mater) moves, it will not be long before the Museum follows.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 27, 2007 5:09 PM

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