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Thread: A Million Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    87

    Default A Million Questions

    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!

    Big Brother born 2/2009
    Little Brother born 1/2011

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    dear swmom,
    Although I don't have the answers to your questions, and they are great question, i want to thank you in advance. As a family who interacted on a regular basis with our school's social worker, i have admiration for your chosen profession. i have 2 children who relied on the support and level headedness of the school's social worker.
    not only are your children lucky to have you for their momma, but countless other children benefit from your input as well.
    The details of getting working and breastfeeding coordinated will come to you, and more then likely you already know the answers to your questions.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
    Posts
    1,302

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    Hi mama, I had similar questions when I began with DD at 8mos. Here's what I did: I sent 2oz bottles. I pumped every 2hrs and as she got older went to 3h for 10-15mins. What I got when pumping was what she got. I didn't have more than 3 2oz bottles in the freezer stash, ever, and it was no problem. The crèche had to learn that ebm isn't the same for quantity as artificial milk, and it doesn't spoil quickly: 8h at room temp is ok. That helped a lot to keep the quantity they needed under control, if they tossed milk within an hour I would have had to pump all day long to keep up. After 3 days back at work I switched to from a single electric pump to a Medela Freestyle and it made pumping possible. I also pumped in the morning while putting on makeup. As DD was over 6mos and eating solids she didn't need a hyper-sanitation protocol, I just kept my pump parts in the bag and used then at the next pump session. Every night I sanitized everything in a pot of boiling water and set out ot dry overnight on a clean towel. I washed my hands in the morning and put the pump together then in the bag. When DD went to the crèche she usually cued to bf 2-3x/hr. I sent her without a soother/pacifier. The crèche asked a few times for one but I didn't bring it, they're not good for her maxilofacial development. She learned to fall asleep in a crib there without sucking to sleep. If she was hungrier than usual she ate more solids. Babies are smart and they figure that out quickly. You'll figure out your own rhythm and with a few adjustments you'll both be just fine. It's hard to go back to work but give it a few weeks and you might find that you're happy to regain part of your pre-maternity life, and LO is interested to going somewhere else to play with others. My DD had seperation anxiety for a long time but now she is pleased to go out to the crèche. HTH!
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    Yes, I had the same questions you did when I went back to work. It is very stressful But your LO will be 7 months old! You will only have to pump for 5 months! You can do this! What really helped me was learning that they need only 1-1.5 oz. per hour that you will be away, so for 7 hours aim for leaving 7-11 oz. Personally I left 4 oz. bottles, I know a lot of ladies leave a lot smaller ones., But I was away for 8 hours and Will took 3 4 oz. bottles. That amount never went up. When he was 10 months old it actually went down because he was eating solids well and drinking juice and water from a cup. At 6 months I would not worry about bottle preference, but I may start trying different bottles on your LO to see which one he WILL take. I know meetings and things come up, but try to pump at least every three hours. If you have to be late occasionally it should not hurt. I also learned on here that you do not have to worry about washing the pump parts. I had the portable cooler as well, and I just put that as well as the whole pump in the fridge between pumpings. Then you can wash it when you get home. The milk will not spoil on the parts. The portable cooler was insulated, so I probably did not need to put it in the fridge, but I am a teacher and I did not want it sitting out in the classroom. Then you just take the bottles out and leave them at the daycare at the end of the day and collect the dirty bottles to take home and wash. I pumped first thing in the morning while LO was still sleeping and twice at school. If I came up short I pumped once in the evening or on the weekend.
    Working mom to

    Gabbie 3/8/02 BF 15 months

    Rose 6/5/04 BF 18 months

    Will 10/6/09 BF 22 months and counting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    This is what I did with regard to solids: I specified that his milk be given first and solids in between. The DC gave him his solids when the other kids were eating breakfast and lunch (They had a semi circular table and the caregiver sat in the middle surrounded by little jars with spoons in them giving everyone a bite in turn. It was so cute!) So he got solids twice a day. I told them what to feed him when. As for the allergies, I can't help you there but there is whole forum on here dedicated to allergies. You may want to check it out. I wanted him to get used to the cup so I had them offer it to him frequently and I did as well. But I never gave him anything in a bottle but milk. The cup was for juice or water.
    Working mom to

    Gabbie 3/8/02 BF 15 months

    Rose 6/5/04 BF 18 months

    Will 10/6/09 BF 22 months and counting

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    hi mama! you do have a lot of questions

    i'm just going to give you some of what i do but i recommend reading through the posts here and even breaking up your questions into different posts. you will get more info that way.

    Bottles: whatever works for your lo is best. i hear a lot of babies like the platex drop ins but mine did not. i wish i could have gone straight to a sippy but my lo was too little. i think 6 months is good though.

    Pacifer: my lo hates them ( which i am secretly happy about) but i leave on at daycare because he does not ever fall asleep without a breast at home. i just hate the idea of him screaming for something to suck on when i am not there and if a pacifier can help at daycare thats ok with me. my plan was to just have one at daycare and not use it at home, but the daycare teachers tell me that every time they put it in his mouth he grabs it and throws it across the room good boy. lots of moms use them and bf successfully so i would not be too worried ( i used to be worried so i am one to talk)

    Sleep: i leave a shirt that smells like me and lots of blankets for my lo. he loves blankets. honestly, i know they dont get him to sleep as often as he needs because he is so tired when he comes home. there is not much i can do about this. i have talked with them but they cant seem to get him down for very long.

    pumping: i pump as often as i can. at least every 3 hours. if i know i have to be somewhere and cant pump, i will fit in a super quick pump, even 5 min, just to get something in and it really helps. the PIS is good. i pump into bottles and just cap those and bring them to daycare. if you use the platex then you can pour into the drop ins when you get home at night. if i am going to freeze milk i use the lansioh bags, lay them flat. **if you do freeze i recommend checking for excess lipase, but thats a whole otehr issue so let me know if you want me to go into that.

    solids: i am not there yet but as far as i know solids really are just for play/learning mostly before 1 year. bm will be the primary source of nutrition

    overall, it will come together and the lo will be fine.

    any questions still? your post was long so i know i missed stuff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    You do have a million questions but there's no such thing as a stupid question unless it's one that is unasked.

    At 6 months, the probability of your LO taking a pacifier is very small. IME, that's something that a baby either will or won't take, and that usually starts early. You can offer, if you want your LO to have a comfort object, but don't be shocked if he won't take it. And that's OK.

    For naps, I have found that my sitter is somehow always able to get my LO's to sleep without needing to nurse. The dynamic is different for the sitter (like it is for a daddy looking after the LO's) and yet, baby nurses just fine with mama. Nurse when you drop off, nurse when you pick up. I did babywear a baby I watched a few years ago, but some sitters won't do it. Doesn't hurt to ask, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work for your LO and your sitter.

    I went back to work for 4-6 hours when my third baby was about that age, and I found that pumping 1-2 times was totally enough to maintain my supply, keep my comfortable and have enough milk available for baby for the next time I work. That said, I wasn't working every day. Knowing what I know now, I woulud shoot for about every 3 hours for pumping.

    Pumping logisitics: the little cooler your pump came with will be fine. In fact, BM is fine at room temperature for up to 10 hours! I don't even keep an ice pack in with my BM at work because I know I'll have it in the fridge in 4 hours or so (I only have time to pump one time at work, but I just work weekends). I do put it in freezer bags, but that's because I EP and I store a lot of milk. When I was nursing and pumping, I stored it in bottles unless I needed to freeze it. It's good in the fridge for up to 8 days (unless you have a lipase issue!). I don't wash my pump parts. If I have time, I put them in the fridge (not at work though -- they stay in my bag). If not, I wipe them with the Medela wipes and put them back in my bag. At night, I put them in the same cooler I keep my baby's milk in for overnight, where they are fine. ETA: and if you forget to wipe, or you don't have any, it will still be OK!!

    1 to 1.5 oz per hour, generally, is what a BF baby will take. Mine have all maxed out at 4 oz. Once in a great while, this last baby of mine -- who is fed BM via a cleft feeder -- will decide he needs 5 and he takes a lot of milk per day, but that's not very often and sure not the norm.

    Bottles...all individual. Each of mine have used a different bottle, and honestly, with my third, we had the best luck skipping bottles mostly. There was just one he took, so the sitter used it for a few weeks and then we went to sippy cups for him. He was old enough and sitting well enough by the time I went back to work that it just wasn't necessary.

    Solids...I tend to have the sitter skip them. I'm not comfortable with the sitter feeding my babies solids when they are first learning. I do baby-led solids though, not purees, so I'm really watching closely when my kids have their first solids. I don't trust that job to anyone else because I know I can ignore my older kids, but the sitter can't ignore all the other kids to focus on my one. But once they are doing well with one type of solid, I will send bits of it for her to offer at mealtime with the expectation that it will NOT be eaten. I look at solids as play for the first year, at least, so I don't get hung up. However, I have found that as baby is closer to 12 months, they don't want milk at the sitter's. It's more fun to eat there so we end up moving to just nursing at home usually around 12 months (but I'm not working FT -- if I was, I'd handle it a bit differently and send milk for at least 12 months, if not longer).

    Since you have allergies to contend with, I wouldn't bother with a freezer stash. What if you end up cutting something out and it's in the freezer stash? Instead, focus on having enough for the first few days and a little extra -- like if you spill it -- and then pump for the next day's bottles.

    I offer water in a cup just for practice. If they are thirsty and under 12 months, I'd rather they have some BM. Over 12 months, we offer both. And I never offer juice or water in a bottle either.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    Thank you all so soooooo much! I feel better and this information is extremely helpful. I did find those Medela wipes so I'll probably wipe off the parts between pumps with those.
    Also, my husband gave LO a bottle of pumped milk on Sunday and he took it with no problem. I guess we'll keep doing "maintenance" bottles for now and when we get really close have bottles more often if that sounds right?

    Esthervegan, thank you for the nice words about school social workers. I'm glad your kids were able to get some support when they needed it. I truly believe I have the best job in the world...which makes it far easier to return to work for sure!

    Big Brother born 2/2009
    Little Brother born 1/2011

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    I wouldn't think you would have to have bottles more close together. When you get that close you want to spend as much time with your baby as you can, IMO. That's good and encouraging that he took the bottle easily. I would just continue to give him one every now and then. Someone gave me a pack of the Medela wipes and I used them until they ran out but I was too cheap to buy another I have nothing but respect for school social workers. I know that as a teacher I am only too glad to refer a kid with complex problems and more often than not my excellent social worker will come up with a solution that I never would have thought of!
    Working mom to

    Gabbie 3/8/02 BF 15 months

    Rose 6/5/04 BF 18 months

    Will 10/6/09 BF 22 months and counting

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: A Million Questions

    I wouldn't think you would have to have bottles more close together. When you get that close you want to spend as much time with your baby as you can, IMO. That's good and encouraging that he took the bottle easily. I would just continue to give him one every now and then. Someone gave me a pack of the Medela wipes and I used them until they ran out but I was too cheap to buy another I have nothing but respect for school social workers. I know that as a teacher I am only too glad to refer a kid with complex problems and more often than not my excellent social worker will come up with a solution that I never would have thought of!
    Working mom to

    Gabbie 3/8/02 BF 15 months

    Rose 6/5/04 BF 18 months

    Will 10/6/09 BF 22 months and counting

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