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Thread: Leaving 11 month old for a week

  1. #1

    Default Leaving 11 month old for a week

    Hi everyone!

    At the end of the month my DH and I are going on a week-long vacation and leaving our son with his grandparents. Counting travel days it'll be 7 days total. I've never been away from him for more than a night so I'm starting to have some serious anxiety about it-- I just want to make sure I leave enough frozen milk and that my supply doesn't diminish while I'm away.

    At the time we'll be leaving him he'll be three weeks shy of a year. I'm a wahm so I don't know exactly how many oz he drinks a day, but I read on here that a 9-12 month old should get about 16-24oz/day. So if I aim to leave about 18-20 oz, would that be enough? Or is it okay if I leave less since he's almost a year and eats solids three times a day? I'm just so fuzzy about the whole thing!

    Also, to keep my supply up when I'm away should I just pump whenever he would usually nurse? Thankfully I've never had any issues with low supply (although I had oversupply/OAL for the first three months) but I'm just nervous about being far away and losing my supply and not being able to do anything about it. And of course I'm afraid that he won't want to nurse when I get back..

    Any help to ease my worries would be wonderful. Thanks ladies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,259

    Default Re: Leaving 11 month old for a week

    Unfortunately it IS fuzzy how much milk a year old baby would normally be eating. I am not sure there is a definitive, because of course at this age a baby could be almost fully solids fed (I would not recommend it but it's possible) to still basically exclusively nursing. I am not sure who said 9-12 month old 'should' be getting 16-24 ounces per day. That seems potentially low to me if the 9-12 month old is still mostly living on breastmilk.

    But even if it's 16 ounces only- Over 7 days, that is 112 ounces! Is that even something you would be able to pump at this point? How against formula are you? Would you prefer your in-laws gave baby formula or more solids to make up any shortfall? Is baby getting bottles, sippy, cups? Are they clear on how to bottle feed so as not to overfeed, and on safe milk handling to avoid waste? Those are the kinds of things you want to get clear with them before hand.

    I suppose putting trip off or taking baby with you is off the table?

    Pumping-If you want to keep your milk production up, I would think, pump at least every 5 hours, or think of it as 5 times a day(?) If this is not often enough, your body will probably tell you. I am not sure how often baby nurses, if it's much more than that you may need to pump more often just for your own comfort. It depends on your body.

    I would also suggest, bring pump replacement parts like extra membranes, and batteries as well as power cord. And learn hand expression as an emergency back up.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 9th, 2013 at 12:07 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Leaving 11 month old for a week

    He's never had formula so I'm not sure how he would feel about it, but I'm certainly not against it if they run out of milk. So I suppose that's always a backup! But that's what I was confused about, since he's so close to a year I wasn't sure if he would need that. He takes a straw cup and bottle with no problem. Both sets of grandparents have kept him for varying lengths of time during the day since he was born, so I'm not worried about them knowing how to handle milk, although of course this time I'll have to be clear on how extra important it is to be careful and not accidentally waste any.

    I should be able to pump that much-- I have enough for two days right now (if I'm aiming to leave 18oz/day), but that's why I was wondering about whether or not it's okay to leave less. I only have a manual pump right now, which has served me fine so far, but I suppose it would be smarter to rent an electric pump for the trip?

    And it's just a vacation for DH and I since we haven't had time away in forever, but we can absolutely come home early if we need to.

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Leaving 11 month old for a week

    18 oz sounds low to me. My LO took to solids enthusiastically but a 11 months she was still drinking 12 oz of expressed breast milk during the day and nursing quite a bit morning/evenings/nights, so I'm guessing she was overall getting about double that. Usually a year is when the shift starts occurring from breastmilk being the primary source of nutrition, to breastmilk being complementary to solids. But this is a gradual process, not a sudden one - so as lllmeg says, most breastfed babies are still relying heavily on breastmilk at a year, and I think it's better to think in terms of that than to assume that solids will make up the difference. If formula is your backup plan, then you might want to make sure LO will actually drink it before you go. I think renting an electric pump will make your life easier - if for no other reason, it's faster and you don't want to spend your vacation manually pumping! And it will be easier to maintain your supply, and make sure you don't get plugged ducts etc. Are you planning on bringing the pumped milk back with you? If so, are you staying in a place with a fridge, and do you have a plan for transporting the milk back?

    I've traveled for work a number of times (most recently when LO was 13 months and 17 months) and so far babies have always nursed enthusiastically when I got back. On a recent similar thread on this topic, lllmeg pointed out that if baby refuses to nurse when you get back, think of it as a nursing strike rather than weaning, and react accordingly (ie back to breast techniques). And make sure that leading up to the trip, you aren't inadvertantly sending baby weaning signals, ie continue to nurse/offer frequently, limit pacifiers/bottles, etc.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Leaving 11 month old for a week

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll definitely look into renting a pump, and I'm especially happy to hear that he should be happy to nurse when I get back.

    (This is where I read the 16-24oz thing, btw.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,259

    Default Re: Leaving 11 month old for a week

    Wow that's an old thread! So it was something someone's pediatrician told her. Ok.

    Have you tried doing the calculation on kellymom? That may give you a ballpark. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    I also think you need not worry too much. Even if 18 oz is less than the amount of milk your baby is used to getting, a baby getting 18 ounces of breastmilk a day for one week is not going to starve or even close. An 11 month old being taken care of by doting grandparents may very well eat more of other types of food as well.

    As a backup, you can leave some formula OR consider if freezing and shipping home some of the milk you pump while you are gone is practical. Many moms who need to be away from baby for business trips will do this, as well as mothers donating milk. And you may only need to do it once, mid week say. If you do an online search for "Shipping Breastmilk" you will find many guides for doing this.

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