For new parents, bringing home a new baby means facing a series of new challenges. As the employer of these parents, you might see a sudden shift in these employees who are facing a new set of challenges at home. Cleaning, cooking, working and sleeping can suddenly seem impossible; then the baby catches a cold. The bundle of joy can sometimes feel like a bundle of stress. Use company communication systems like newsletters and wellness programs to help educate your employees about remaining healthy. Here are a few tips you can share with your employees:
Keep Cleaning Simple
Parents often overextend themselves when keeping the house clean once the baby comes home from the hospital. In reality, they need to have a few cleaning products in key locations around the house. For the kitchen — where they’ll be cooking and baby will be eating — a simple cleaning spray will do. Remember, the entire family will be eating off these surfaces, so while it’s tempting to use a strong cleaner, cleaning residue often remains on the countertop. The Seattle Times recently noted that there are many healthy, sustainable cleaners that’ll fix most kitchen messes.
For the bathroom, it’s a good idea to seek out something stronger. A good disinfectant spray or pre-moistened wipe will help prevent germs from spreading. Keep some bleach in the laundry room. Of course, it’ll whiten those work shirts, but bleach is a powerful, all-purpose germ killer, and when used in small quantities, it can clean everything from cloth diapers to plastic toys.
Pencil in Some Sleep
Nothing helps a body fight infections and heal like sleep. The National Sleep Foundation indicated that sleep deprivation will increase the likelihood of suffering from infectious diseases. Of course, new parents don’t get to set their own sleep schedules — the baby does that. So sleep must be a priority. Consider adding a nap room to the office. You should encourage employees to build a work schedule that’s appropriate for a healthy work-life balance. Something as simple as working from home once per week can dramatically improve an employee’s productivity and dedication to the job.
Don’t Obsess Over Germs
Of course, no one wants their baby to be sick, but exposure to everyday germs will help babies build up a strong immune system. Being sick occasionally is a normal and necessary part of being a baby. Your employees don’t need a sterile house to have a healthy baby. In fact, according to a report published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, exposing a baby to commonplace germs might help them have a stronger immune system for life. As the employer, expect that the new parents will need to adapt to a life that revolves around a baby who might get sick.
New parents have to adapt to an entirely new way of life. As the employer, you should encourage a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Occasionally, that means work won’t come first. Flexible schedules and work-from-home options will help your employees incorporate work and family. Help them focus on simple solutions and realistic goals, so employer, employee and baby remain healthy.
Dylan Murray has an MBA from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Boston University. He is a licensed insurance agent in California, but he works as a professional researcher and writer reporting on business trends in estate law, insurance and private security. Dylan has worked as a script analyst with the Sundance Institute and the Scriptwriters Network in Los Angeles. He lives in San Diego, California, and Marseille, France.