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Thread: introducing cows milk at daycare

  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    Default introducing cows milk at daycare

    Hi, can anyone share their experiences with pump weaning and introducing cow's milk during the day? I've pretty much got the pump weaning thing figured out--I nurse at lunch time (and will continue to do so for a while) and some days I still pump once in addition to that but many days recently I haven't pumped at all and have relied on my freezer stash for bottles. My DD turns 1 next week and I have enough pumped milk to get her through that week and the following week even if I don't pump another ounce.

    They offer milk at snack time and lunch time in a sippy cup to the older kids in her classroom. My DD does pretty well with water in a sippy at meal times. Should we just put some cow's milk in a sippy and see what she does with it? Or should we do the whole process of mixing breast milk with cow's milk in a bottle? I will say she will NOT take a bottle of cold breast milk and the one time I tried, she would not take breast milk in a sippy cup.

    I've also heard here that if she's nursing frequently at home, she doesn't need any cow's milk. She nurses upon waking, at lunch time, when we arrive home, nurses to sleep, and usually (but not always) once overnight (we co-sleep). That's not counting the drive-by sips she takes in between chasing the cat around the house like a maniac. So I'd say she gets 5 feedings of 3-4 oz of breast milk fresh from the tap each day. She also eats 1-2 servings of cheese or yogurt almost every day. I have nothing against cow's milk at daycare and I would like her to have it if she wants it, but if she doesn't drink it, would she be OK with just water as a drink at school? I will also bring this up with her pediatrician who she sees the week after her birthday, if it is looking like she's not into the cow's milk. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: introducing cows milk at daycare

    Yes, she will be fine with water if that's what she prefers. If she's nursing 3-5 times a day/night you don't need to replace expressed breast milk with any other milk, and it sounds like you've got that more than covered. My daughter stopped taking bottles at school when she was about 13 mos old and never did drink the milk they offered her. I wasn't concerned because she nursed frequently when we were together. She's six now and still doesn't drink milk- she just doesn't like it. But she eats plenty of dairy so I'm still not worried.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: introducing cows milk at daycare

    Sounds like you've got the dairy covered. I don't think you need to have her drink it, but if you want her to for whatever reason, it's just like other solids. You offer it to her in a cup, if she wants to she'll drink it, if not she won't. She may not like it initially, maybe she'll take to it later. I wouldn't mix it with the breastmilk. Because if she doesn't like it your precious BM goes to waste. And it's fine to give her water with her solids.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: introducing cows milk at daycare

    Thanks to both of you. I talked with her teacher today and we decided that the plan would be that we'd try it in a cup and go from there. I'm not worried about her starving to death if she doesn't get cow's milk for a few days while we're trying it out. If she consistently refuses, we'll discuss with the pediatrician and go from there, but I think she's getting as much milk as she needs from me and she's a champ with all kinds of nutritious solid foods. It just makes me nervous because she'll be going from 2 3-4 oz bottles at daycare to zero. Should I have them cut that back gradually? Smaller bottles just as often, or just offer one bottle instead of two, and then none? More than anything, I feel bad for her that she won't get her bottles of EBM at daycare, but I guess all good things must come to an end.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: introducing cows milk at daycare

    You might leave some small bottles in case she has a hard time with the transition. Or even regular sized bottles and just have them not offer unless she's really persistent asking for them. I got lucky, my daughter just started refusing them so there was no 'bottle weaning.' Other kids need some time to get used to the idea.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: introducing cows milk at daycare

    I like the idea of the small bottles too. Like maybe 2 ounce bottles. So she gets her comforting taste of BM if she wants it. But I agree with letting her ask for it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: introducing cows milk at daycare

    OK. I have still got in the freezer about a weeks worth of milk that won't be used before her birthday. So if I have her teachers start offering her smaller, potentially less frequent bottles when she seems like she wants one, while also offering cow's milk in a cup at meal and snack times, it might even last 2 or 3 weeks. If she doesn't end up drinking that milk, maybe we will use it on the rare occasion when we leave baby with grandma at bedtime. She might still be interested in a bottle then. We have it in a deep freeze so it should be good for quite a while.

    Thanks for the advice mamas!

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