‘Bring your baby to work day,’ every day
New parents, for the most part, eventually approach the decision of either staying with their baby or going back to work to earn a paycheck. But today, hundreds of companies are helping mothers and fathers with that choice by allowing them to do both.
More than 200 organizations across the country currently allow babies on the job, according to Parenting in the Workplace Institute.
"We've really seen an increase in the last year or so since the economy's been getting better," said founder Carla Moquin.
Parents are typically the ones who push for these types of programs, but the participating businesses can benefit as well.
"It builds retention, it increases employee loyalty and customer loyalty," Moquin said. "It encourages parents to return to work earlier than they otherwise would."
Companies comprised of three to 3,000 employees are joining in the trend, Moquin said, including government agencies. The Washington Department of Health instituted a policy earlier in August allowing babies at the office all day Monday through Friday.
Few organizations allow kids of any age. The majority limit the age range to 6 or 8 months, which is around the age many babies begin to crawl.
"Some companies specifically limit it to babies who are not crawling because the liability risks are much lower when you have a non-mobile baby, and the feasibility is much higher," Moquin said. "There are cons if you don't set it up right."
Written policies can address controversial issues that may pop up with a baby in the office, such as disruptive crying or disposal of soiled diapers.
UPDATE: Responding to this report, Jessica Rae-Beyer from Galloway said she has been bringing her baby to work at a yoga studio for the past several months. "My daughter is now a month shy of a year and is very popular with the local yoga community," she said.