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Thread: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

  1. #1

    Default Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    I have been breastfeeding my baby for nine weeks now. Unfortunately I have to return to work when she is 14 weeks old. I am very anxious about this as I wish to keep up the breastfeeding until she is six months. My baby girl takes the bottle and I also have a supply of milk I have been freezing.
    I am lucky to have found a childminder in the same housing estate as me and I will be able to go home to feed my baby at 12.30 each day. I will be dropping her off at 8.15am and collecting her at 3pm with the exception of Wednesday when I will collect her at 5pm.
    Hi met the childminder last week and she asked me what routine she is in. At the moment I feed her on demand. The childminder also wanted to know what time she napped at. I was very anxious as she is in no routine at the moment. Although I return to work in five weeks,the childminder suggested getting her into a routine from now (she is 9 weeks) and feeding her with the following times from now;
    6.00am breast
    8.00am breast
    8.30am drop off at childminder's house
    10.00am bottle
    12.30pm go to babysitter's house from work and feed her
    3.00pm breast
    5.30pm breast
    8.00pm breast
    11.00pm breast
    4.30am breast

    My baby weighs 14 lbs 7 oz and is quite a hungry baby. At the moment she may feed every one to one and half hours sometimes she goes longer however she would have smaller feeds rather than one large feed. I understand the childminder's point of view that the routine will be good for her in the transition when I return to work. Does anybody have any tips on this? I would really appreciate them. Also I am worried that the childminder will heat the breastmilk too warm. I will have the frozen milk thawed in a bottle for her to reheat. Is a bottle warmer okay to use when reheating it?
    Any tips or advice on the transition back to work would be much appreciated.

    Thank you:-)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    I wouldn't bother getting her in a routine now, it will only stress you both out and when she transitions to her babysitters house the whole routine will fall apart anyway. It is best for breastfed babies to be given smaller, frequent bottles when away from mom because it more closely mimics the nursing pattern and is less likely to interfere or cause problems with nursing. Here's a great article you could share with her about how to bottle feed a breastfed baby. A bottle warmer can be used, but I always thought it was easiest to just place the frozen or cool milk in a cup full of warm water. The only major no-no is that you don't heat it in the microwave.

    If you feel your caregiver isn't going to be flexible with you, it may be worth looking into other options. You are paying her to care for your child the way you want your child cared for; she should be the one listening to you tell her how it is going to work.
    “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
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    Welcome to the forum!

    Often babysitters/childminders/daycares want kids to be in a routine or even on a schedule (which is, by definition, a lot more rigid than a routine) before the baby starts with them. It's a lot easier for the daycare provider to know what to expect and to do when the baby is forced into some sort of very predictable pattern.

    BUT IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO GIVE UP WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY IN ORDER TO MAKE THE CHILDMINDER'S JOB EASIER!!!!! Making your baby wait until some artificial time interval has passed before she can eat- that's a ticket for mutual misery. Your baby won't understand why you are refusing to feed her, and you're going to have to listen to her cry until it's "time" for her to eat. Worst of all, schedules can wreck a mom's milk supply, because supply is created and maintained by demand. Any time you space demand out to some artificial interval, you run the risk of supply responding by dipping too low.

    I suggest continuing to do what works for you and your baby. Feed her when she wants when you're with her. Most breastfed babies prefer frequent small feedings to infrequent large ones, and feeding every 1-2 hours is completely normal, and not an indication that your baby is excessively hungry. Your childminder should be aware of this, and should be prepared to feed your baby on demand, rather than on a schedule. If she doesn't like this, find a different childminder.

    It may help to leave many small bottles (think 2 oz) instead of just a few large ones. That way the will be less chance of your baby being overfed, and less chance that you will be asked for increasing amounts of milk. The childminder will also have to pause the feeding in order to reach for another bottle, and that pause is a chance for the baby to assess how hungry she still is, and maybe stop eating if she is feeling pretty full.

    The childminder should be willing to discuss bottle temperatures and warming strategies with you. Make sure she doesn't warm bottles in the microwave, as that can lead to uneven heating and pockets of scalding milk. It's not necessary for her to warm the milk at all, as many babies will take a cold bottle with no trouble. As far as I know, there's no reason not to use a bottle warmer on breastmilk if your baby prefers her milk warm.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    Agree with PP. The routine suggestion seems to be something to make the caregiver's life easier, not necessarily something that will make things easy for you or the baby. Schedules and breastfeeding don't often go very well together--for some women, it can very rapidly lead to a diminished supply. Not to mention a very fussy baby, who doesn't understand why he can't eat when he's hungry!

    Baby can, and really should be cue fed, even with bottles while you are separated! My caregiver has always done just that with my baby, and it has worked out wonderfully.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    I agree with PPs. There is no reason a caregiver cannot let baby eat and sleep on demand. My son was in a daycare and all the babies were fed and slept according to their own rhythm. And with my younger children my nanny has always let them eat and nap on demand. Think of it this way: probably the most important quality in a caregiver is for her to be RESPONSIVE to baby. A caregiver who insists on a rigid schedule is saying that she is either unable or unwilling to observe baby, know baby, and respond to baby's needs. My nanny knows my children's most subtle cues inside and out for when they are tired, hungry, cranky, need some calming down time, or are ready for playing and stimulation.

    As far as bottle warmers, my son's daycare did use bottle warmers for the babies that liked their milk warm (as PP said, some babies don't care, but others are picky), whereas my nanny used the warm water method.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    BUT IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO GIVE UP WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY IN ORDER TO MAKE THE CHILDMINDER'S JOB EASIER!!!!!
    Yes. This, 100%.

    Also, babies develop totally different expectations for other caregivers than what they have for mom. Other caregivers will find things that work for them, and you do the things that work for you, and the two can be complimentary and coexist without undermining each other.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    Thanks so much for all your advice, unfortunately I cannot find another childminder. As it was so so difficult to find her already! Most childminders will only take infants six months and over where I live. I have no family members nearby and my husband has to work too.

    Thank you for informing me about the bottle warmers being okay I will certainly ensure that she doesn't use a microwave.

    The childminder does seem like a lovely warm woman who is a mother herself. I think she is worried because it's the first time for her to look after a breastfed baby and she bottle fed her own children herself too.
    She also has to collect another little girl from playschool at 1:30pm every day so I think she is worried that my daughter will be hungry when she walks her down to school in the buggy to collect the other child. She doesn't drive. That's the main reasons why she wants a routine. However as you have mentioned schedules and breastfeeding don't often go very well together. Perhaps I should leave my daughter to her as soon as possible to do a trial before I hire her?

    Also, any advice on how can I ensure that my daughter will be hungry for her 12.30 and 3.00 feeds (when I will be with her)?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    She also has to collect another little girl from playschool at 1:30pm every day so I think she is worried that my daughter will be hungry when she walks her down to school in the buggy to collect the other child.
    Do you have a baby carrier? A lot of babies thrive on physical contact, and will be soothed by it even when all else fails. And if the childminder was carrying your baby in a sling, she would be able to reach baby and give her a pacifier or even maybe a bottle as she walked.


    Perhaps I should leave my daughter to her as soon as possible to do a trial before I hire her?
    I think that's a good idea. I don't know if you have to strive for doing it as soon as possible, but it's a good idea to see if baby and caregiver match well.

    Also, any advice on how can I ensure that my daughter will be hungry for her 12.30 and 3.00 feeds (when I will be with her)?
    Make sure the childminder is prepared to give baby a very small bottle or a pacifier in the hour prior to your arrival.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    My daughter has trouble getting up her wind and has some reflux too. I have a baby sling and I asked her if she would wear it to keep my daughter upright after she has fed her. She SEEMS happy to do that. That's a good suggestion, I could ask her to wear the sling when bringing her to school to collect the other child. The only problem would be when it is raining. It does rain a lot here and winter is soon setting in. At least the buggy has a rain cover!

    I could leave my daughter with her from 8.00am until 12.30pm for a morning or two to see how it goes. She would need a bottle or two. How many ounces do you think I should put in each bottle? I don't want her to be overfed. I would feel happier having the bottles ready rather than the childminder defrosting milk or heating a big bottle as I would be afraid she would waste the precious milk especially as she is unfamiliar with breastfeeding. Unfortunately I have frozen my milk in 5-6 ounces.

    Sorry to be asking so many questions, but I want to feel I have considered all possibilities. If I were to arrive at 12.30pm for a feed and my daughter was having a nap. Should I wake her? Or would it be better just to express at the childminder's home and then return to work?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Returning to work and breastfeeding. Baby 14 weeks old.

    Rule of thumb for amount of milk to leave is 1.5 oz per hour of separation. So, if you leave for 4 hours you're looking at 6 oz of milk. I'd package it in bottles, already thawed- take one of those 5-6 oz frozen portions and let it come up to fridge temperature overnight. Then put the milk in 4 bottles. 2 bottles of 2 oz apiece, and 2 bottles with 1 oz apiece. The 1 oz bottles are "chaser" bottles- if baby finishes 2 oz and wants more, the caregiver needs to reach for that second bottle.

    If baby's sleeping when you get to her, I'd try waking her and seeing if she'd nurse. A lot of babies will nurse even when half-asleep. If she won't then you pump.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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