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Smart Back-to-Work Tips

Wake up 30 minutes before your baby usually does. You'll be groggy at first, but you'll be able to fit in a shower, put on your makeup, and get almost-dressed with no distraction.

Don't put on your last layer until you're walking out the door. Slip on an old button-down shirt over your clothes to protect your outfit from spitup until then.

If your baby's in daycare or you've hired a sitter, perform a spot-check and stop by unannounced. If you can't get away from work, ask your husband or a friend to report back to you. It'll reassure you.

Don't forget to take care of you. Make it a habit to reward yourself regularly  -- whether it's a weekly chocolate milk shake with lunch or a daily call to a close friend.

Have a plan C. As you know by now, life with a baby is unpredictable. Imagine: You have an important meeting, your regular sitter cancels at the last minute, and your husband is out of town. What to do? Have a relative or friend on deck, or keep the number for an on-call sitter service handy.

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