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Thread: bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

    so i go back to work one week from tomorrow - 4 hour days for 2 weeks then back to my 8.5 hour days. I am struggling to decide how to leave breastmilk for my husband and MIL who will be watching R. I work until 7pm two days/week and in the afternoons/evenings she tends to cluster feed a lot. we only have 5 bottles and i don't want them to have to listen to her scream while they heat up bottle after bottle, but i don't want a lot of milk to be wasted if i make the bottles too big. i was thinking a 3oz bottle for every 2 hours. there will be more in the freezer they could thaw if needed but i will talk to them about overfeeding. here are my questions:
    1. once heated how long is a bottle good for? if she only eats half can the other half be given an hour later?
    2. does anyone have experience with returning to work and cluster feeding? how likely is it that this pattern will change when i go back to work anyway?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

    Well, I have experience with returning to work with a baby that wanted to be latched about 23 of every 24 hours a day! Realistically speaking, even when not "cluster feeding" per se, my daughter was nursing--and swallowing milk--about every 45 minutes when I returned to work just before her 5 month birthday. For us, this pattern continued for many, many more months after I returned to work. No way to know how long your baby will want to keep cluster feeding, really, but it's possible it might continue for a bit!

    What I chose to do was leave many smaller bottles, for all of the reasons you have mentioned above. I left six 2 oz bottles every day for our 9-9.5 hour separations. That's what tended to work best for us. My mom was a rockstar about paced feedings. She did an excellent job of really making those feedings last so that my daughter had a bottle experience very similar to the nursing experience she had with me. I also purchased a $20 rapid bottle warmer that heated the milk in about a minute, which was faster than my mom could warm the milk under warm water or any other method. So...I'd ask, is there any way you can get more bottles? I really think that will help. Honestly, just in terms of ease of cleaning, pumping, storing, etc, I was happiest having a three day supply of bottles! (Yes, that means I have 20+ bottles! Six for the baby to use that day, six to pump into at work, six waiting to get loaded into my coolers to take to work the next day.)

    Once heated, my understanding is that the bottle is fine to be handled the same way you'd treat any expressed BM at room temperature. I was comfortable leaving bottles out for 4 hours. I was also absolutely comfortable with a half eaten bottle getting used for a second feeding, if for some reason she didn't finish it. If my caregiver thought it was going to run longer than 4 hours before she finished her bottle (which never, ever happened), I told her to put the bottle back in the fridge.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Murray, UT
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

    My DD also likes to cluster feed in the evenings, but for us, it seems, that when I go to work in the evenings and she gets a bottle she gets more from the bottle and goes longer between feeds. She is 2 months old and gets 2-3 oz in a bottle every 2 hours or so.
    -Arin

    Sealed for time and eternity to Chris on 08/26/10
    Mom to Ezra 06/24/11
    and Rebekah 12/27/13
    Proudly

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

    Default Re: bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

    I agree with sonogirl, if it's not too much of a financial outlay, I've found it does help to have lots of bottles and pump parts. One mom on here said that she has five sets of pump parts, one for each day of the week, then washes everything on the weekends. And I think having the flexibility to give frequent small bottles without having to constantly wash can help maintain the breastfeeding style of bottle-feeding without driving baby's caregivers crazy!

    A lot of daycares are really strict that once baby has started the bottle, anything left over has to be thrown away. Personally I have felt comfortable reheating/reusing milk from earlier in the day, or even, to be honest, the previous day. Different moms have different comfort levels about that but good advice I've read on here is that milk is a food, so use your common sense and handle the milk as you would other foods and do what you feel comfortable with. Baby won't drink bad milk. Since you have family members watching baby you have more flexibility.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

    Well we did get a few more of the bottles she eats from but I am still going to leave a 3 oz bottle for every 2 hours for starters. Headed back in 2 hours, wish us luck! Thank God I get to start with half-days.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: bottle logistics for a baby who eats every hour

    Good luck! And that is really nice that you get to start with half-days. Hope everything goes well.

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