5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Returning to the paid workforce, study or just going out for the night. Discuss issues related to leaving your baby with a carer here

5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby Mia2015 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:41 pm

I'm going back to work in 3 weeks and my daughter (5 months old) has been in day care since 23rd of Feb, 2x a week. She's fully breastfed at home and occasionally bottle fed (breastmilk) 1x or 2x a week.

The daycare center has suggested to start bottle feeding her at home because today i had to pick her up early as she wasn't feeding on the bottle (breastmilk). I still would like to feed my daughter through my breast for another 7 months (1 year Breastfed goal) and worried on how she will be once i start feeding her through bottles. I've never fed my daughter through a bottle and will be my first. Her father and relatives only feeds her. The last 1.5weeks she took the bottle and just last week Thursday and this week she has been fussy. She is teething too.

If we are to start feeding her through a bottle at home, how many times a day or week? Its hard enough to be pumping breast-milk for day care, now i have to pump for when she's home. Should i take daycare's advice and bottle-feed my daughter at home? Or keep doing what we've been doing and this is cc to fix?

My husband suggested to continue breastfeeding my daughter and he'd bottle feed her a little bit before bed time, then i would top her up with my breastmilk (boob) and in the morning he would feed her (bottle).

How did everyone go with pumping more breast-milk, if im to produce 2x 8hr day per week (cc) and 2x bottle feed per day (home)? Currently pumping at 4:30am (80-120ml) then 40ml at around about 7am. I only pump 2x a day.
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby snowie » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:32 am

I'd like to suggest that daycare has not the first clue about breastfeeding and the efforts needed to 1) express breastmilk and 2) the impact on a breastfeeding relationship that bottle feeding can have especially when the breastfeeding is going well in the first place. In a baby's mind being bottle fed by mum (when she has the breasts) is world's apart from being bottle fed by another person, be it dad or someone else.

I'd be inclined to let daycare deal with the feeding issue by giving them some resource material, there is a care givers guide on the ABA website. You are entitled to have your child looked after in the manner in which you desire, and they should be accommodating of that especially with such a little baby. The centre should be guided by the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) which is a document that covers birth to 5 years old. Perhaps this is mentioned in your centre's documentation - how does their suggestion to bottle feed at home match in with the EYLF which is underpinned by Belonging, Being and Becoming? http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/National-Quality-Framework-Resources-Kit/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

Some babies will accept breastmilk from a regular cup (little newborn babies can feed from a cup too) or a sippy cup. Alternatively, you might be able to pop in to day care for a middle of the day feed if you are working close by. I know some mums who have done this and it's worked well for them.
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby Monicat » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:08 pm

Exactly what snowie said and in addition I would be making a formal written complaint to the daycare (and the larger corporation if they are owned by a big chain) This is absolutely overstepping the boundaries of a daycare worker, No you should not start feeding your baby bottles at home to make their lives easier, just no. Keep doing what you are doing and breastfeed at home as normal. I am actually appalled that they even feel like they had the right to make that suggestion to someone.
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby breastfeedingisnormal » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:25 am

How very frustrating for you. I am still surprised how often the breastfeeding is blamed for a totally unrelated problem. I remember my daycare asking me to stop breastfeeding because my son was stroppy, didn't want to be put down and didn't want to take a bottle all day. Turned out he had a urinary tract infection and wasn't well. Once it was treated, he was back to his old happy self.
It's very common for babies of this age to prefer to wait for mum to get home from work than to take a bottle. What usually happens is they feed more frequently when mum is around. Sadly, this often means more frequent night feeds but if you offer very frequent feeds from the time you get home until the time your LO goes to bed for the night, you can sometimes avoid waking for feeds.
If your LO is five months old, she'll be starting family foods around the time you go back to work. That means daycare will have lots of other options if she doesn't want a bottle. They can offer her soft finger foods (avocado or steamed sweet potato or tender grilled chicken strips or yoghurt or hommous or water), and as others have suggested, her milk can be presented in a cup rather than a bottle.
If you don't want to tart offering bottles at home, you don't have to. Daycare can find other solutions. That is what you are paying them for.
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby Nedsmum » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:34 pm

If they only started daycare a couple of weeks ago, then it's quite likely they are in the period where they tend to get a bit unwell...I have worked with babies as small as 3-4 months in a long-day-care setting for the past 5 years and we find the new babies do maybe 3-4 weeks maximum before they start to come down with whatever (usually minor) illnesses are going around. I would agree that your childcare has no right nor is it professional for them to undermine breastfeeding by recommending bottles at home. At 4-5 months babies, breast or bottle, do go through rapid developmental changes and one of the typical behaviours is a more distractable or more fussy behaviour when feeding (plus, sleeping often gets difficult)...
As a management issue, give than it is 'early days' I would not worry about having to pick the child up early (especially if the carers know you are available) - some parents I work with want to know there is an issue and pick their baby up at the first sign of anything unusual, other parents would prefer if we never called them or called them only if it's life-threatening....and yet our carers handle the babies individually and do their best to apply consistent rules about illness, parent notification etc. How many hours was it between feeds with the carers ? Is the baby being offered anything else (formula, water, finger food, puree) ?
It may be worth a call to the breastfeeding helpline to debrief and discuss your specific needs. There are lots more questions I would ask a parent or one of my staff to resolve these sorts of questions. Starting with, how long/for what reason are mother and baby separated, what is the baby having over a 24 hour period, is the baby otherwise very strong and healthy. What is their normal pattern at home ? What is the normal pattern in childcare? Where are we up to with the settling-in process (I generally tell parents deliberately to not change anything at home 'in preparation' for childcare, but instead to be prepared that things may change once the child is settled in with new routines, and the older they get the more options we have for food/drink/routine).... etc etc etc...
If the carers really have a baby that is highly resistant to being bottle fed, they also have possibilities of giving a small cup, spoon feeding, syringes or sippy cups, different sorts of teats, different positions... I would also say that in my experience the rate of breastfeeding is extremely low, and even more so with parents in childcare, so the carers may have very limited experience with a breastfed baby - my second child was in childcare at 16 months and was still breastfed and I taught his childcare team just about everything they knew about breastfeeding and managing a child in a childcare centre who was never bottle-fed... Now in my professional life I have worked with a few babies who were very resistant to being bottle-fed and we did have to find other 'creative' solutions. It was possible to introduce appropriate solids from 6 months and to also mix formula milk or breastmilk into their preferred solid food (here where I work in Switzerland the usual choices are making a rice or oat porridge or soup with purees...we don't usually use commercial baby food...
If it's only 2 days a week I would expect the baby to make up for any skipped feeds or more distracted eating at childcare with frequent feeding overnight and on the days you are together with your baby, and this would far outweigh the days. I have worked just once out of I would say over 100 babies 4-12 months who absolutely refused bottles, was extremely underweight and undersize, and who we did not feel comfortable with keeping in our care as the mother needed full-time care 5 days a week. After 2-3 months the mum found a good reliable Nanny and the baby was cared for in the home, and I met the mum around 12 months later and she did not regret the decision - but that was an extreme case as the baby was already very underweight and under the care of a concerned Paediatrician....
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby Mia2015 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:55 am

Hi all, thank you for all the comments and advice :) They have been a great helped. Since coming home last week Thursday she has been fed on a bottle during the week & weekends (2x a day at home). During the week it would be like 40ml and i would top her up with a boob and if she is being looked after/ after church we would feed her 80ml.

I just dropped her off today to CC and stayed there till they fed my daughter. She was crying the moment they held her and did not want to feed at all. I suggested for them to sing "Old McDonald" as my husband does this as of late. It took a couple of goes and she has finished 80ml of golden breast-milk through a bottle. I also suggested to them to go into a less noisy area when feeding her so she is not distracted as she tends to stop and look around her environment.

I have a BIG decision tomorrow or within a week, there's a child care centre 10-15mins (CBD area) near where i work. We have a tour tomorrow to checkout the place and ask more questions. The benefit of changing her day care now means i can breastfeed my daughter (lunch and late afternoon), pick her up quicker if required and they provide nappies. The downside to it is that we will be paying more a week and its a new environment for my daughter.

I dont know if i should give the current daycare another go as they now slowly got the hang of feeding he. I didn't mention it before but when i picked her up last week they DIDN'T clean her up properly which i made a complaint. 1 of the mothers in playgroup i go to said she changed daycare as she has feeding issue at the same daycare (Breastfed babies).
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby breastfeedingisnormal » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:19 pm

Sounds like there would be many benefits associated with switch.
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Re: 5 months old and going back to work in 3 weeks!

Postby Nedsmum » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:38 am

Similar feeling here - just from how you describe it... I think having a childcare closer to work also minimises the amount of time that the child has to be at childcare, if you have a shorter working day, which is perhaps a more child-centred strategy (but more hassle if you have a day off but still want the child to go to childcare).. I worked 5 minutes walk from my son's childcare and I could always 'detour' if I had something to do, but it was nice to be able to work right up to the time and then quickly pick them up, rather than needing to leave work early knowing that I'd have to commute first to get the child from childcare... so sort of more 'streamlined' than having them near home but then having to commute...
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