Bringing a newborn to the office? Even new mom Nicole Norris questioned it.
"We were kind of a little skeptical,” said Norris, the mother of five-month-old Alaina, “but it’s actually worked out really well.”
Alaina is the 41st newborn to come to work at a state Department of Health office since the “Infant at Work” program started as a pilot project in July of 2015.
Qualifying employees could bring their newborns, from six weeks to six months old, to work with them.
The program has been a “pleasant surprise” for Department of Health Human Resources Director Courtney Dutra who said they have not had any complaints from employees about the program or any crying babies disrupting the workplace.
“Our employees are responsible,” said Dutra. “When baby’s not having a good day, they’ll take the baby home. It’s a flexible program so there’s the option to telework from home.”
Nine other state agencies now allow babies in offices, including the Department of Transportation and the Department of Labor and Industries.
“It’s good for both of us,” said Norris, who said Alaina gets plenty of positive attention from co-workers when she’s not napping in her car seat or the bouncy chair under mom's desk.
“We get to spend extra time together,” said Norris, “which was really important to me during these first few months.”