Daycare transitions are tough for many families and if you have been nursing your baby sometimes the thought of not feeding on demand throughout the day can be a huge stressor. How much will my baby need? How much should I pump? How many bottles do I send? What if my baby won’t take a bottle? — All GREAT questions. Answers will vary depending on the age of your child and its important to speak with a certified Lactation Consultant or physician to determine the specific needs of your child.
But these are my top 3 tips to help nursing parents with the daycare transition:
- Take a look at your feeding schedule about 1 month in advance of the day care transition to see where you may be able to transition to different sources of nutrition – whether that be extra snacks, water, pumped milk, formula or cows milk (discuss with your health care provider to determine best option for you) and start a gradual process of reducing daytime feedings if desired. This can help your child adjust to the new routines. You can also ask the provider in advance for a meal/snack schedule to try and mimic the best you can at home.
- Send milk along – you can send breastmilk along if you have already pumped and depending on the age of your baby. It can be helpful to send these in small amounts, 2 – 3 oz bags to avoid wasting the milk. I am a big fan of the pourable spout bags like the TDWOW. It can be challenging to know exactly how much your little one may drink so if we start low, after a week typically your provider can let you know how much we need to send to consolidate bottles. This can also be the same for sending formula. It can also be helpful to send along different options or sippy cups, straw cups, bottles and open cups to see what your little one prefers in their new environment, for a breastfed baby I love the transition to the Lansinoh bottles based on nipple shape.
- Consider Breastfeeding at drop off and pick up – This can be a helpful way to ensure your little one is getting what they need before you leave for work and can also be a nice way to greet them once you arrive back. Ask your provider to time their feedings to avoid having the full once you arrive but either way that comfort can be so beneficial after a long day away from you.
Bonus tip for you mama! — If you have been nursing frequently throughout the day, you may need to pump to help relieve the feeling of engorgement. Our bodies are amazing and they will adjust to less milk removal throughout a weeks time but if you want to pump, using an easy hand pump can be a quick and efficient way to relieve any discomfort you have between your feeding sessions with babe. Its great because we don’t need to worry about bringing along bulky pumps or charging them up! One less thing to worry about!!