Thanks to new policies being tested at two Washington state agencies, the sight of a baby falling asleep on a conference table or bouncing on a swing may become as common as a stapler, the Kitsap Sun reports. Recently, the state's Department of Health allowed new fathers, mothers, and legal guardians bring babies between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months (or until the baby can crawl) to work. The trial went so well, the policy was made permanent in July. Now, ABC News reports that the state's Traffic Safety Commission is following suit with its own pilot program. "It was really exciting to know that I wasn’t going to have to be bringing her to day care after eight weeks of being on maternity leave," says a mom at the traffic safety office. "Having this extra time with her just meant the world to me."
Officials say these programs allow parents and infants to remain together for bonding and breastfeeding in the child's vital early months. And other benefits are cropping up: A Department of Health employee, for example, credits the policy with allowing her to come back to work because she wasn't ready for daycare. At the traffic safety office, employees see improved productivity and morale, and note that heated work discussions cool off quickly in the presence of a cute baby. Thankfully for any non-baby-lovers, the traffic-safety policy requires exceedingly fussy or sick babies be taken home. But "we haven’t had to do that yet," says an agency spokeswoman.