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Thread: Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk

  1. #1

    Default Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk

    My daughter is 4 months old. I went back to work at 10 weeks and she went to daycare at 12. Yesterday I got a note from her caregiver saying she's been sad the last few days when she finishes her bottle and maybe I should consider giving more milk.

    I drop her off between 8:30 and 9am with 3 bottles containing 3-3.5oz depending on what I pumped the previous day. She usually eats every 2.5 hours there. I usually nurse her on my lunch break and pick up around 5 p.m., so she only eats two bottles while I'm at work.

    I've never been able to pump more than 4 oz at a time, even taking fenugreek, and 2-3oz per session is more typical. I'm lucky to get 4 once a day so being asked for more milk is discouraging. I use a PISA, replaced membranes and noticed no difference in output.

    When I nurse, I usually pump 2-3 times a day and get about 7 oz, or what she takes in the two bottles. When I don't nurse, I still only get about 8 oz, which makes me 2-3oz short for the next day. I pump in the middle of the night if she doesn't wake up and pump before bed (usually only getting 1 oz then) to make sure I have enough and keep my supply up.

    She nurses well and seems to be growing. I'll find out at her 4-month checkup next week what percentiles she's in but she probably weighs 12.5 pounds (up from 6lbs 15oz at birth.)

    My question is - should I increase the amount in bottles? (I have no idea where I would get this milk from except the freezer.) Or should I make smaller bottles and instruct to feed more frequently, like every 2 hours? Or something else?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk

    When daycare says your baby is sad it could be she just needs to be burped or something. Not necessarily hungry. After 3-3.5 ounces, which is a very normal amount for a baby, you can't just call any discomfort of the baby "hunger". I think you are doing great and feeding your baby enough, assuming diaper output is good and baby is gaining weight nicely.

    I would not dig into the freezer stash for this because your body won't get the message to make more. And it looks like you don't even need to make more since you are getting decent amounts when pumping.

    Maybe baby just wants to suck after finishing the bottle. Would you use a pacifier?
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk

    Many providers are used to feeding formula which is given in larger bottles. They think 3.5 oz is a tiny bottle and see, the baby is crying, therefore it's hungry. I have had this convo with my nanny about 5000 times.

    I think breastfed babies cry after they finish the bottle because the feeding is suddenly over. If the baby stops after you talk to her or distract her, she is not hungry. If she is gaining well and not crying hysterically between feedings, she is fine. Giving in on the requests for larger bottles will put you under a lot of stress. I would avoid doing it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk

    What do they mean by sad? Crying? fussing? frowning?

    And what do they do about it?

    Stress, which is also unhappiness, is a normal biological response that both mother and baby experience during separations from each other. So the job of the day care is to encourage tons of bonding behavior between their charges and the staff, so baby forms the secure bonds that make him or her less stressed/sad when mom is not there. Not guilt a mom into sending more milk than the baby needs, which will only result in baby being over fed and undermine moms confidence that she can nourish her child. It just really makes me angry that this is being done to you.

    It sounds like you and baby are separated for about 4 hours at a time, is that correct? (since you are able to nurse on your lunch break, which is really great)

    IN that case, I think baby being fed one normal sized bottle of between 2 and 4 ounces over 4 hours, assuming baby nurses shortly before being dropped at day care and shortly after being picked up, sounds entirely appropriate. BTW, Why are you sending 3 bottles if baby only gets two? What happens to the third bottle?

    What if instead of three bottles you sent two 3 ounce and two 1 to 1.5 ounce for them to use as a topper as needed? Feeding small bottles more frequently may help, but again it seems to me baby is already getting a bottle about every two hours- two hours after you drop baby off, and two hours after your lunch...or do I have the math all wrong?

    Would it help do you think if you nurse baby after arriving at daycare in the am, and/or at the day care when you pick baby up, to shorten the amount of time between meals?

    Of course it is vital that bottles are given via paced feeding. This will allow baby to eat (suckle) at a normal pace rather than being rushed. Baby may be full but just need more time sucking.

    Discuss with the day care how to comfort and care for your baby without feeding her. Maybe your baby would do well being worn, or held and sung too, or cuddled and chatted with, for a time before/after/during each feeding.

    See: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk


    Sorry, but that sounds like a way to make you feel guilty. It would have been one thing if the caregiver had said that the baby still seemed hungry after finishing her bottle. But sad? Maybe that was just poor word choice on the caregiver's part, but please don't let that word eat at you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Daycare says baby is sad, wants more milk

    Thanks, everyone. Seems the "sadness" only started last week and it's only immediately after the feeding. I'm going to ask how long the feeding takes and suggest offering a pacifier to get that suck. Her caregiver is really sweet and posed the question in a really nice, caring way so I can't be upset but I also can't magically make more milk! lol One of her babies is breastfed but I think his parents add rice cereal to his bottles.

    I send 3 bottles to cover the whole day in case I can't get away from work to nurse. I take that bottle home and bring it back the next day. She was waking up at 7:30 but last week started waking earlier, at about 6:30. On those days, I feed her twice before daycare - once when she wakes and once in my office before walking her 4 blocks to daycare. She typically eats every 2.5 hours at daycare but they'll feed her after 2 if she seems extra hungry, which happens from time to time.

    I had started with 3oz bottles but added more because she finished them and they said she still seemed hungry. So I have a feeling if I sent topper bottles, they would always get used.

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