Deskside Babies: Say Whaaaa?

I am all for employers flexing and being creative with their new-parent workers, but full-time infant care in your cubicle? I simply can’t imagine it.

For the first year of our daughter’s life, my husband worked from home most days and cared for Cassie. But when she cried, pooped, threw up, or did your average baby stuff, he didn’t have to worry about his coworkers. Just the dog, and he didn’t care.

Even without the concern of an office environment, Jay had a lot of stress to deal with, juggling conference calls with bottle feedings and client reports with tummy time. I truly don’t know how he managed, but he did, God bless him!

When I try to imagine burping my baby while presenting creative concepts or pausing a crucial brainstorm for yet another round of explosive diarrhea, my brain stops. Can’t go there. How would this be possible?

Tell me, am I being closed-minded here? Would you bring your infant to your office full-time (or even part-time) if you could?

16 thoughts on “Deskside Babies: Say Whaaaa?

  1. No, I would not. I think that would add to the stress of being a working mom. I remember going back to work and thinking “wow, I just completed a whole task without being interupted and I like it”.

  2. The Spunky Mommy says:

    I had a really quiet baby but it’s still a huge demand of time and attention no matter how well behaved – I agree, it would be very hard. I could see up until about three months. But crawling? 7 month old babies have octopus arms. I agree with Erin – more stressful and a break is necessary to do work.

  3. I’d do it of the option were there. At least try it out. I worked at home with an infant, then had to bring in help at 6-8 months (when she was more mobile, etc.). I’m just glad companies are thinking this way and trying to come up with viable options for parents. Seems like big companies are the leaders on this sort of thing. Too bad my small, supposedly “progressive” non-profit organization hasn’t gotten the family friendly memo.

  4. I think it *could* work as long as clients and co-workers were OK with hearing baby sounds in the background. But let’s face it, babies often choose to have meltdowns right when you’re in an important conference call. Wouldn’t it be cool if workplaces had a couple of onsite nannies who could sweep the little ones away if they got fussy during a presentation? On that note, I had a college professor who brought her newborn to class with her each day. When the little one fussed, she just picked it up, latched it onto her boob and kept right on lecturing. You can imagine how some of the guys in the class reacted! Even some of the girls were like, “Um… OK!” I’m all for breast feeding in public places, but when you’re right up there in the spotlight like that, it’s hard to be discreet!

  5. I think it depends a lot on the type of job you hold, too.

    There are definitely jobs where a situation like this would work; and jobs where it wouldn’t work at all.

    Plus if everyone is bringing in their kids, there is going to be a different set of expectations than if it’s just one mom who has a baby hanging out in her cube while everyone else in the office is child-free.

  6. Justice Fergie says:

    definitely not. aside from it being completely disruptive for me, i would imagine it would be perfectly boring for the baby (unless you have a FABULOUS office with big windows, lots of space, a tv, etc).

    my office is great about allowing employees to bring in their child if they are sick or have a day off from school.

    but everyday? i don’t think anybody wins…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, my daughter had colic and screamed more than she slept as an infant, so when I read the article I couldn’t even remotely picture taking her to work at that time…I think it all depends on the child, the employee and the setup- too many variables to condense to a soundbite. And unfortunately, I can really see it being abused…jmho

  8. umm, and still be employed later that day? no.

  9. freshhell says:

    No. Unless, perhaps, I owned a business that lent itself to having a baby around all the time. I worked at home a few days a week for a couple months when both my daughters were babies and neither of them was keen on napping, much less napping on schedule. One had reflux and that is NOT a mess I’d wish to clean up in the office (or anywhere for that matter but at least at home I could throw things in the washing machine). Plus, babies are distracting and noisy which isn’t fair to co-workers. One of the benefits of working in an office is that I DON’T have the distraction of my children (as much as I love them) and nobody beats on the bathroom door while I’m peeing to tell me how lonely they are and how they need milk right this very minute!!
    I believe the staff of MotherWear can bring their babies to work – even the customer service reps. I wonder how THEY do it? Maybe it’s the culture and everyone who works there is cool with it. In which case, why not?

  10. Dare I saw that it sounds to me like these employers are too cheap to provide true infant care and instead allow mothers to bring their babies for free? That’s what it smells like to me when some of these employeers require the mothers to clock their hours on the job versus taking care of their child.

    Besides, offices are filthy places. When was the last time that carpet was shampooed? Or the last time your co-worker cleaned his desk? I shudder at the thought of having my child sitting on a blanket on the floor. Yuck!

    I think that many women would be thrilled beyond belief with onsite, affordable infant care. One that is close enough so that you could breastfeed when needed. That’s something to strive for. Not fighting to have your baby at your desk.

  11. Oh god no. I ran screaming back to work 10 weeks after my most precious child was born, just dying to get some time and space to myself. Work practically became a vacation after I had a kid. I have a great job where I am able to manage my own time, be in charge of my own products – it was so much better than being at the whim of my little slave driver, god bless him! Also, I just don’t multi task well. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on work if my kid was in the room.

  12. While the concept is attractive, I don’t think I’d bring my child to the workplace. For one I’d get absolutely NOTHING done and also, he’d destroy the place and for sure take away all of my concentration!

  13. BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) says:

    I worked from home after I had my second daughter until she was 11 months old. My older daughter continued to go to daycare. That said, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to actually take her into my office every day during that time. That would have required me to actually shower, shampoo, dress somewhat appropriately! By the time she started daycare she was also just starting to get mobile so it was good timing.

    I think it depends on the type of office, but it was much easier logistically for she and I to be at home those first months.It seems like it would be incredibly distracting to bring a baby into work every day.

  14. Nuclear Mom says:

    I couldn’t simply because of where I work, I am a research scientist and often in the lab or in meetings.

    That said though I had a professor in grad school who did this. She had a pack and play in her office and when she had to teach class the baby went into a sling on her or if she was fussy, the office staff took care of her. No one seemed to mind.

  15. selfmademom says:

    I just wrote about this on Work It Mom today! I couldn’t do it… no way, I like my break!

  16. Anonymous says:

    sounds like hell for the mom, the coworkers, and the kid. who wins here?

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