Waaaaahhhhh, I gave to go back to work at the end of August and leave my sweet little 6 month old (he'll be 7months when I return to work) with his (amazing) caregiver. He'll be there along with his 2 1/2 year old brother.
I have never been away from him for more than an hour once or twice. He has not had a bottle and nurses, oh, about 25 hours a day. He doesn't sleep without nursing, so usually I am laying next to him with my nipple in his mouth or wearing him when he sleeps, although occasionally I can sneak away once he's asleep and he'll nap for a bit. His need to suck seems to be high and he's never had a pacifier.
I struggled to BF my oldest because of latch issues, among other things. So he was on formula when I went back to work at 6 months. I am so worried about creating latch issues or bottle preference with the introduction of a bottle. I need advice about everything-pumping, storing, giving bottles, solids, water! No idea what I'm doing.
Ok, so here are my questions. How much expressed milk should I send him with to start? How much do I put in each bottle? I have about a one hour commute to work and LO will be just down the street from work, so he'll be commuting with me. I work from about 7:45 AM-2:45 PM. I am
thinking i should nurse him at the babysitter's house just before I go to work, and again when I pick him up at 3.
How often should I plan to pump at work? My schedule can change from day to day with meetings and crisis that come up (I'm a school social worker) but I'll do my best to pump consistently. I'm a little worried about missing out sometimes but I'll do my best. What is the best way to store the milk at work? My pump came with an ice pack and cooler, is that sufficient? How about washing pump parts? Any tips? The pragmatics are confusing me here. I have my own office but getting to a sink might be hard to do multiple times per day. I have a Medela PISA. Is it best to freeze in bottles, or are those freezer bags better? Do other moms bring prepared bottles every morning or leave a bunch with the caregiver on Monday? I'm sure I can come up with a system but what works for others?
I suppose I need to have DH give LO a bottle before I start? How often should we do this? We have some Playtex drop-ins left from my oldest, and I bought them because the LC said they were best for BFing. Is this still the case or are there better BF bottles now? I have some Advents too. Or is a sippy cup a better option?
My little guy has a tough time sleeping without a boobie, should we be trying out pacifiers? Or should I just send one to the babysitter's to use if needed? Are babies usually willing to take one for the first time at 7 months? What should I ask her to do for naps? I could give her a carrier so she can try wearing him but I don't know if that's too much to ask.
I would love to build up a stash in the freezer, but allergies are complicating things. I'm off soy, dairy, nuts and eggs but the allergic colitis is not getting better so I have a feeling I'll be
eliminating more foods soon. Any advice?
He just started solids this week. How do you balance the bottles of milk with the solids? So far he is not a big fan of solid food but that could change before I go to work. Will he need water to drink? How often should solids be given, both at the babysitter's and at home?
Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!