Worried About Working

Even though most mothers of infants and toddlers work outside their homes, many parents fret that spending time away from their young children may affect their children negatively.

Research on more than 1,000 mothers and babies by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care shows that how much time a mother spends at home or at work has less impact on her child than the quality of their time together.

The group’s study also has found that high-quality childcare has many benefits. It aids young children's thinking, language and learning skills, especially in children at risk for delays. Childcare and preschool are also where most children find their first friends. Stable and lasting early friendships appear to ease the move to formal schooling and improve performance in first grade.

This may also be accomplished by an attentive stay-at-home parent who encourages her child to socialize. Connecting with other at-home moms and their children through meet-up groups or at local libraries, hospitals or community centers will provide a child with social interactions that spur development and provide opportunities for friendship—between moms as well as kids.

The important thing to know is that your baby can thrive whether you are at home full time or working outside the home.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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