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Thread: Help with Daycare Schedule

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Help with Daycare Schedule

    Hi! This is my first post here. I'm really struggling with balancing nursing my 8.5 month old at home vs. solids and bottles at daycare, and I'm hoping to get some advice (thank you in advance!). We're starting a new daycare in a couple weeks so I have the opportunity to give them a schedule that hopefully works better for all of us, but I'm not totally sure what that is.

    Here's what currently happens on a weekday (although it varies quite a bit still...I wish I could give you a better daily schedule but it's in flux. They just tried to change it up a bit yesterday so I'm not sure what that will mean!)

    Nurse before daycare at 7:30 (he is there from 8:30-4:10)

    3 5 oz bottles at daycare, every 2-3 hours

    2 meals at daycare, usually 1-2 pouches or jars of baby food

    Last bottle at daycare is between 2:30 and 3:45 or so, pickup at 4:10

    Nurse once after daycare and before bed

    Sometimes has solids for dinner (1/2-1 pouch), sometimes not

    Nurse 1-2 times during the night (usually 1)

    The reasons I'm not sure if this is working are that a) before adding solids he was sleeping through the night and now he's not, b) he nurses terribly after daycare and before bed, and now usually wakes up 2-3 hours after going to bed to nurse, so I know he's hungry from not eating well in the afternoon and c) it's frustrating when they feed him a 5 oz. bottle at 3:45 PM when I'd like to nurse him at 4:30 when I get home. At home eats every 3 hours or sometimes even a bit longer, although I have no idea how many ounces he's eating and he also naps much better at home than daycare, so that might play a role. His night schedule is about the same on the weekends, though, and he still doesn't nurse well in the afternoons or evenings. I'm ok with him waking up, but I just want to make sure he's getting enough food AND that eating too much (?) at daycare isn't affecting his afternoon/evening nursing.

    My idea was to tell the new daycare to give him a bottle every 3 hours, which would mean he would get 2 bottles while he's there vs. the 3 he's getting now. I was thinking of upping them from 5 oz. to 6 oz (or just leaving it at 5 oz. and seeing how it goes). That would mean he's getting less ounces total but I was hoping then he would nurse better after daycare. I am just concerned about him being hungry since I don't have a clue how much he eats when he nurses every 3 hours. I guess another other option would be to decrease solids and hope he starts nursing better, although I've tried that on weekends with little success. The third option I just thought about would be trying to keep the bottles every 2-3 hours and decreasing the amount to 4 oz (or 5 oz first after 3 hrs, then 3 or 4 after 2 or 2.5 hrs, then 3 after 2 hours). I'm not sure if he'd be mad at the decrease, though!Any thoughts anyone might have are much appreciated!

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Central FL

    Default Re: Help with Daycare Schedule

    Are they doing paced bottle feeding at daycare? 2-4 oz is a normal size feeding for a breastfed baby so if a baby is being pushed to finish 5 oz bottles plus eating solids that could really make them not as eager to nurse when with mom.

    How is weight gain?
    If you are really concerned about if he is getting enough to eat, you could try a weigh feed weigh for a few of your nursing sessions if you can get your hands on a good accurate baby scale (perhaps have an appointment with an IBCLC or do it at the Dr office for a weight check, just remember for normal weight checks you should be doing them all on the same scale in the nude or at least always in a clean diaper of the same kind but for a weigh feed weigh you want the baby dressed for the before and after weight and don't change the diaper between the weights since you are trying to figure out how much the baby took in at the feeding.)

    But really, if baby is having normal wet and dirty diapers and weight is in line, then I doubt he is going hungry.

    I know many moms will do more solids at daycare and reserve time together with baby for nursing (this also makes it easier for mom to keep up with pumping since if baby is being overfed bottles at daycare baby won't want to nurse as much after and it becomes difficult for mom to keep her supply up and to provide enough bottles.)

    Definitely make sure the new daycare doesn't feed right before you come pick up. Many moms actually don't do schedules but instead have them do demand feeding with small 2-2 1/2 oz bottles and 1 oz top ups if baby is still hungry instead of sending larger bottles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Help with Daycare Schedule

    Definitely sounds like your baby is being overfed. 15 oz PLUS all the solids is a bit much, I think. Instead of 2 larger bottles, I think they should feed three times, but smaller amounts.

    FWIW, my baby is at a babysitter for 10-5 and he eats a 5 oz bottle and 4 oz bottle with no solids. I need him to nurse well at home to keep my supply up. He is always sent with a jar and pouch and finger foods in case he wants to eat solids, plus she has spare bags of my EBM so I know he'll be ok if he wants more.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Help with Daycare Schedule

    Hi mama!

    I would suggest that it sounds very much as though your baby was being overfed with bottles at your previous day care. The general rule of thumb is that baby needs 1-1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation. 15 oz of milk over a not-even-8-hour separation is averaging 2 oz of milk per hour--that is a LOT of milk. Plus solids on top of that? It's a wonder your baby has an appetite or desire to nurse at all outside of the daytime!

    Like PP mentioned, an average feed for a breastfed baby is 2-4 oz. So I would suggest that the 5 oz bottles you were offering were already kind of large, and I would not recommend increasing the bottle size any further. I would, in fact, recommend that you DECREASE your bottle sizes, and try to move more toward that 1-1.5 oz/hr intake target by encouraging your new provider to utilize paced bottle feedings, more frequent feeds, etc.

    Many moms also specifically request that their daycares do not offer anything other than a small 1-2 oz. "topper" if baby is hungry within an hour before mom is due to arrive, which will help with your post-work nursing session.

    I would also suggest to not look too hard at your baby's night wakings as a source of information about how well fed he is during the daytime. Babies wake and nurse for many, many, many reasons over the course of their first year. Hunger is only one of those reasons. Other reasons are thirst, comfort, reconnection with mom after workday separations, teething, separation anxiety, developmental leaps, and so on and so forth. I definitely do not think the increase in night wakings is related to baby not being fed well enough at daycare, in other words.

    Good luck, mama!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help with Daycare Schedule

    Thank you all so much for your responses! It's really great to get reassurance that my instincts about overfeeding are likely correct. We had a teacher conference with the new daycare today and they said they'd really like me to be as specific as possible when it comes to his eating schedule. I think what I'll do, then, is plan on the following:

    7:30: nurse
    8:30: solids at daycare (maybe just 1 pouch instead of the 2 they're giving him now)
    9-10:30 is usually nap #1
    10:30: 4 oz
    11:30 solids (1 pouch)
    12:30: 4 oz
    1-2:30 is usually nap #2
    2:30 4 oz
    4:15 pickup

    I've struggled over and over with his current daycare about bottle size. Today I finally just sent only 4.5 oz in each bottle anyway...I'm hoping that will ease him into going down to 4 oz regardless. Again, thank you all so much for your support. So many of my friends are giving their babies 8 oz bottles of breast milk, and even my pediatrician (who is a lactation consultant) at one point mentioned 6 oz so it makes it hard to know what to do. Fingers crossed!

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