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Old 12-10-2007, 09:28 AM   #1
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Questions about going back to work and daycare...

Everything I read seems to give me different info on how long BM is good for once pumped. I'm trying to figure out the best way to transport bottles to daycare.

My LO will be 11.5 weeks when I go back next week... (I don't want to go!)

Anyways - have no idea how much milk she takes (obviously). She DOES accept a bottle thank goodness.

My questions are though...
How much do I send?
How should I send it - in bigger bottles? Or in a bunch of smaller 4 oz bottles?
Can my LO take the rest of a bottle at the next feeding if she doesn't finish one at a feeding? (Say I packed 4 oz bottles and she only takes 3 oz - can she take that other 1 at the next feeding?)

And... every other kid at the daycare takes formula. Should I write up a little HOW TO for breastmilk? ie: how long it's good for in the fridge, how long it can sit out, how to defrost/how long to keep once defrosted etc... (I'm going to be keeping a few bags of frozen ebm in her freezer for those growth spurt days or in case of emergency where we can't get there right at pick up - think snow storms in upstate NY!)

Anything else anyone can tell me to make next week go smoother with the feeding while she's at daycare? I have a pump and pumping has never been a problem for me... I have a freezer full already.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

The Kid was at a private sitter so no formal daycare there, but he was the only kid that the lady had taken care of that was EBF. I would send a few bottles in his bag and gave her a few to keep at her place and I would send the milk in the baggies. I would try to give her the milk that I had pumped the day before and hadn't frozen yet so that the milk wasn't losing all that good stuff. She also had a stash in her freezer. On days when I hadn't been able to pump as much/hadn't pumped at all the day before (think mondays), I would send along baggies of the frozen milk as well. At least for me, it was easier to have the milk in baggies since it meant that I didn't have to keep as many bottles at home.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:13 AM   #3
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

This is what I know:

In a home freezer BM will keep for about 3 months, in the fridge it is good for 8 days, and it can keep in a cooler with ice packs for up to 24 hours. Also it is good at room temp. for 4 hours. Once it has been dethawed, it shoud never be re-frozen.

I left my dd with g-ma last week (she is 8 weeks) and she only took about 2 oz. I would start out with a 4 oz. bottle and then see how much she takes and adjust the amount in the subsequent feedings. I think 4 oz. is pretty normal for this age.

This is a good link for milk storage guidelines - it's a table that would be real easy to print out and give to your caretaker:

Good luck mama!
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

As a childcare provider, I have taken breastfed babies, so I can tell you what mkes it easier for me. Smaller bottles/bags work best. Make sure your provider knows how to properly reheat and store breastmilk, as it is different from formula. Make sure to label everything with name and date.
I am not sure about being able to save leftovers in the with formula we cannot do that. I usually only heated 2-3 oz at a time and warmed more if needed. And if, for some reason you cannot supply enough breastmilk, make sure to stash some back up formula in the diaper bag.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

Licensed daycares cannot reuse a bottle of milk once it has been drank out of so I would suggest doing smaller bottles. If it were me, I would probably send enough bottles for every 2 hours with a couple extra, just in case LO eats more.

There are general rules for BM at daycares, but it might help to write up a sheet just in case. Especially if some will be left in the freezer and they will have to defrost it.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

I would absolutely print out these handouts for them.

if the milk is fresh (ie not frozen) you can reuse it up to 24h later- if THEY refuse to feed it, insist that they put it back in the fridge for you for later.

I wouldn’t send 4oz bottles. Send 2-3oz bottles. 4oz is A LOT for a bf baby. They eat often. Don’t let your provider dictate when the baby is fed- he should be fed when he’s hungry – and that often means every 2hrs during the day.

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Old 12-10-2007, 12:15 PM   #7
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

i worked at acenter for 3 years, here were our rules (same for bm or formula)

- bottles could sit out and be re-offered for up to one hour after babe started eating, after that they had to be thrown away. if baby ate any at all, they had to be finished in that one hour period. so send smaller bottles- usually 2-3 oz for the really young ones

-babies eat different at a center than at home sometimes. when we were giving orientation to a new parent, we recommended like a pp said- at least 1 bottle for every 2 hours, and a couple extra. after a few days to a few weeks, depending on the baby, we'll be able to see how much hes eating, and it will be easier to know how many bottles to send in, and how much to put in each bottle

and at our center at least, we werent allowed to make/mess with bottles, ao we couldnt have bags that we had to pour into bottles. they had to be labled with the name date and contents
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

My LO goes to an in-home daycare so the rules are little more lax.

At first, assume that she will eat 1 oz for every hour that she is away with you. Then, maybe send some more as extra just in case.

I send 4 - 4 oz storage bottles of fresh bm that they pour into the drinking bottles. She eats anywhere from 12-16 oz a day (until she started reverse cycling last week and now its only 7 oz...ACK!).
I told them that if she did not finish a bottle of FRESH milk, then they can reheat and give to her for the next feeding.
For frozen milk, I ask that they use it first, and do not reheat it.

If you can't send storage bottles, I would start with 2-3 oz bottles so you aren't wasting as much. You'll find a pattern develop over a the first week to month. LO bfs every 2.5 hrs at home, but she goes 3-4 hrs between feedings at daycare cause there's just too much to see!

As PP said, refridgerated FRESH milk can last 8 days. Thawed BM - 24 hrs, Frozen BM can be frozen for 3 months in your freezer, or 6 months in a deep freeze.

Good luck! Its hard going back to work
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:27 PM   #9
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

My son has been at Daddy Daycare since he was 6 weeks. ( my dh wouldn't chuckle at being called "daddy daycare"!)

I did have to tell him how to do the milk. Here is what we follow

I express milk every morning (5am-6am). That fresh milk is used first, lasts for 5 hours room temperature. (I've read anywhere from 4-8 hours). If baby doesn't drink it all....we have given it back to him. If he didn't drink it within the 5 hours..fridge it goes.

Warm it water in a bowl...put bottle in/ or heat a bowl of water in microwave...put bottle in.

FROZEN....I would freeze any milk left over on Fridays. I use the First Years Bags (from BRU and found them to be great).

Frozen milk lasts 3 months (I don't have a deep freezer).
Defrost the milk...warm water....(dh hated doing it...took FOREVER....a few times when our friend watched the baby she said he would go NUTS while she was warming it up!)

Once the milk is warmed/frozen I tell dh he has to use it within an hour.

We learned......freeze no more than 4 oz. You can always pull the milk out 24 hours in advance from the fridge...but it has to be used within 24 hours.

I would send small amounts 2oz. My son is not a drinker! (I take that back...he likes it straight from the tap!)

I would leave 10-14 ounces and that sustained him during the time I was gone. I would basically nurse him from 5pm-5am....he wasn't/isn't the greatest sleeper.

I try to pump at least once during the work day (I didn't today or yesterday). That 4oz bottle plus the 4 oz. I pump in the am usually holds him over.

HTH and didn't confuse you!
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:23 AM   #10
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Re: Questions about going back to work and daycare...

Make sure they use a bottle warmer and not a microwave. My friend's old daycare used a microwave to heat bottles and that is so bad for BM (bad for anything for baby IMO). How have you been freezing it? I froze in baggies and switched to ice cube trays. A regular ice cube of milk would be about 1oz. Definitly do 2 oz bottles to start. My mom watched my eldest and we had so much waste at first. Better to start off with 2 and if she wants more they can heat up more and she shouldn't be freaking since she already has food in the tummy.
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