23 answers

Fussing at Daycare

My daycare asked me this morning how long I plan to nurse my son who is now 7 months old. My goal was 6 months, but I am doing well with nursing as well as pumping milk for him for daycare. He has been fussy for about 2 weeks as far as I can remember. She said today for about a month and a half, I must have missed something. She feels that the reason she can't calm him is he wants to nurse/wants mom. That may be true, I don't know. Any suggestions if he is crying for mom at daycare?? I don't want to stop nursing for that reason alone, especially if he wants me, yet I don't want him to be miserable at daycare everyday either. He is there 6 hours a day, but in Jan, two of his days will be 9 hours and the other 3 days he will be there 6 hours. Any advice would be great!! Thanks

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I did speak with my lactation consultant as well on this problem. My son has eaten cereal for awhile now. He eats it at daycare in the mornings. He also eats baby food at home in the evenings. I am going to keep nursing. Pumping and bottle feeding all the time is not an option for me. I like how easy it is to nurse, not having to prepare bottles all the time is great. My older 2 kids, I did not nurse. I am going to shoot for a year as a goal. I personally don't think that they should nurse much longer than that. I have been talking with provider, and my son has been going 2 bed earlier, and getting up on his own. He is napping better, and I think that was his problem. Thaks to all

Featured Answers

I can't believe a daycare person would even say such a thing. Tell her to hold him when she feeds him so he can have the close feeling. I know a few daycares that teach the kids to hold the bottle themselves at a very early age, she may be one that does the same. He may just need the extra attention for a few mins a day. If that doesn't work, get a new daycare. I think it is ridiculous that a daycare provider would say that... I know I said that in the beginging but, GIVE ME A BREAK!

More Answers

don't stop nursing! keep doing that as long as you are comfortable, and as long as your son is still interested.
my son stopped on his own at around 10 months. i'm sad, but i'm so glad that he was the one to decide it.
he will adjust to things at daycare, it may take awhile, but he will learn. in the long run it will be good for him!


First I want to command you for breastfeeding while you are still working. I was really offended by your daycare provider asking how long you plan to nurse. I run a in home daycare and I would never ask one of my parents that. I nursed all of my children and I try to help my parents out in anyway possible to make easy for them to cont. nursing. Your 7 month old could be fussy for several reason. He may be teething. Have you introduced solid foods. If not he may be hungry and need the extra supplement. I just had a 5 month old nursing baby that was really fussy I suggested adding lunch of solid and it did the trick. I knew his mom had already introduced food yo him at night. If you have introduced foods to him one could be giving him an upset stomach. I would have trouble believing it is the nursing that causing him to be fussy especially if it just started. All children go thru stages I had a nursing baby that was great even when his mom switched him from breast milk to formula than to milk and at 13 months he became very cranky all the time and it lasted for about a month than it went away. It was just a stage. Don't let your daycare determine if you nurse or not. Sorry I got so long winded I'm very passionate about this topic.

Do not stop nursing no matter what! The daycare needs to find alternate ways to soothe the baby. Obviously the breast is not the only way. Even bottlefed babies get used to certain things with their moms & want only their moms. I can not speak directly from experience as I have only left my children for a couple of hours at a time, but I know as my husband has developed different ways to distract them from nursing such as walking with them, singing to them & offering a drink of water. Good luck & do not stop nursing because of that!

My son started carrying around cloth diapers at about that age. He's almost 15 months and he still carries them and sleeps with them. I nursed for a year, and everytime I nursed him I used one of those to clean up any drips and to prevent and leaks onto my clothes... so I think he associated them with me and with nursing. I'd try something like that before I quit breastfeeding. Also, at 7 mos. my son got REALLY interested in the world around him and didn't want to settle in for nursing... it may be that he's doing the same thing for your daycare provider but with a bottle. At any rate, for goodness sakes, don't quit nursing because of this! Make sure she knows that it isn't an option, and the two of you will have to find something else that works. Good luck! ~A.

I have been a daycoare provider for over 10 years and a lot of my babies have been breast fed. Ask your provider to show you how she holds your baby when he eats. Holding him close in a nursing position may help. Try to gett your provider to feed your baby in the same way that you do. Do you use a soft blanket, or sit a special way? It could also be something very simple like the temperature of the milk or the style of the nipple. Playtex and Avent both make nice large based nipples that many babies like. Nursing is such a wonderful thing, and your milk is great for your son. Don't let this stop you!

Is it that you don't want to stop nursing, or you want to keep him on breast milk? If you want the bonding time when nursing, then I'm not sure what advice to offer; but if you are ok with stopping the actual nursing, then it may be better to keep him on pumped breast milk so he's getting a bottle whether he's with you or at daycare.

I was never very successful with breast feeding, and I admire those who are. I didn't have enough no matter how often or long I fed or pumped with either of my little ones. Even tried the reglan routine...

Anyway, in my opinion, I wouldn't be quick to blame his inconsolabilty on the breast feeding entirely. So many things upset little ones at this age (teething, etc.). So if you feel strongly about it, then stick with it, as it may be entirely something else he's dealing with. Is he on cereal/solids? If not, he may just be hungry and the milk isn't enough for him. Whatever you chose to do about the actual nursing, try to keep him on breast milk as long as you can. Good luck to you!

My first suggestion would be to consult a lactation expert, and or your pediatrician.I would do both. My daughter, 8 1/2 months, went through a similar stage. Only it was here with me. She was just hungry. She was not getting enough to eat. We started feeding her smaller amounts, more frequently and that fixed it. Now she's back on track with the 3 meals and snacks/breastmilk. I'm also a little concerned about your day care provider. She should have said something much sooner and doesn't appear to be PRO breast-feeding. Maybe it's her that he doesn't want. Sorry that might be harsh, but I got a little upset when I read that. Hope this helps a little. Take care!

I really commend you for nursing. Don't stop because of this. I am a provider as well and I had a parent that nursed their child the whole 12 months and there was no problem. Her child received her milk through the bottle fine. Good luck!

my 4 mo never really comfort nurses, but when she needs to do something like that I hold her really close in the cradle position and give her her binky. I agree with the sending a shirt that smells like you and then maybe your dc provider can use it as a blanket and hold your child very close like that.

If your daycare is not supportive of your breastfeeding, I would suggest finding a new daycare. Maybe your child simply doesn't like it there and you need to find somewhere with a better fit. Your daycare should be supportive of your wishes and how you want to raise your child. And, we know breastfeeding is best, the longer you can, the better. Believe me, I know from experience that if you don't stand up for what you want and you know your child wants, you will regret it. (I know from experience) Listen to your child, their intuition is usually right!

Continuing to nurse your child for as long as you can IS the best thing you can do for your baby. Do not allow this daycare worker to make the correlation between your childs fussiness and breastmilk. That is ridiculous! I am sure that your baby does want "mom," but breaking that bond for the benifit of another person is not the right decision and it may not even help! Your baby may be fussy for other reasons. Maybe your child is not comfortable around this daycare worker. Speak with some of the other people who work at the daycare and maybe delicately suggest that someone else tries to calm him. I would also speak with a lactation specialist before making a decision that you feel pushed into by someone else.
When my son first started daycare they had a hard time conforting him, because he used nursing as a way to confort himself, but he adapted to the new situation and has gotten better at self soothing, and he still drinks breastmilk at daycare that I pump at work.
I know that you want your baby to be happy, but I really don't think this daycare working knows what she is talking about on this one. Please get another opinion maybe even ask your pediatrician or pediatric nurse before you make your decision.
Good luck!

Is he eating cereal and other foods yet? My son became really fussy around 5-6 months while nursing and I had to start supplementing him. It's hard to know what's making him fussy when you don't know exactly what's going on with him. If it truly is because he wants to nurse, you could switch to just giving him bottles all of the time and pump. This way you don't have to stop giving him breast milk until you're ready. Studies show benefits up to 1-2 years (majority of benefit was up to 1 year). I tried to hang in there and only made it to 7 months, but if you're doing well with it, there's no reason to stop!

Good luck

My daughter is 10 months old and still nursing. She goes to daycare 5 days a week for 8 to 10 hours. She has her fussy days like any other child, but I do not believe it is because I am nursing. My daughter fusses when I drop her at daycare, but then settles down once I leave. If your child is drinking out of the bottle at daycare and getting the breast milk needed, it seems a stretch to say that she is fussy because she is still nursing. She may be teathing or going through a growth sprit and wants to sleep more. I believe nursing is wonderful for your child and you should continue with it if that works well for you. Let your daycare provider know that quitting nursing is not an option for you and you believe that you can work together on the fussiness. At one point my daycare provider attempted to tell my my daughter did not like breastmilk and would do better with formula. It has been a number of months since then and she is nursing wonderfully.

I believe that all children go through a fase where they are very attached to mommy. Many go through this fase between 5-7 months. You should not have to stop nursing in my opinion for a fase your child is going through that your day care provider doesn't want to deal with. Have you tryed sending him to day care with a durty peace of your clothing (like a sweat shurt)and wrap him in it to eat. Your smell might be enough to calm him. And have confidence that this is just a hard fase for him and he will get better. As much as it hurts us moms they get better at being away from us.

if he does drink from a bottle well but just wants you - try to send a t-shirt or something that you wore recently with him to daycare so that he can cuddle that while drinking from his bottle

Maybe you can get him a lovey (some type of special item that he can cuddle with that goes with him). If you not wanting to stop nursing is it because you enjoy the bonding time, or since it's going well, why not keep it up..If so, do feel propelled to stop because your daycare provider isn't sure what to do. If your not sure about stopping because you "see the end in sight" and maybe there's a little of that fear that "this is the last time" floating around, just remember that there will be many more firsts to enjoy.

If he's only there for part days most of the time, maybe if he's there a bit longer will give him more familiarity with the people there.

J....it sounds to me like the daycare is trying to have you and your son bend to their rules, makes it easier for them...he just needs more cuddling...babies who are breast fed always prefer Mom's nipple over any bottle nipple but they will adjust when they are hungry and likewise he will adjust when he starts to learn that mom will be there, just not all the time...you are probably paying good money for the daycare to take care of your son and they should give you good care for your son...I really think if they would just give him some extra cuddle time he would get used to being away from mom, he will have to get used to it eventually anyway...don't let anyone make you feel you must bend to their rules, he is your son and if you and he enjoy breast feeding, and it is definently good for him, then you shouldn't have to give it up just to please the daycare...when you do stop nursing him he will not like that either but when he gets hungry enough he will take the bottle, all babies are like that, they learn and adapt.
Grandma in Iowa

It's probably not the nursing, it's probably just separation anxiety, which occurs at this age. Don't let your daycare determine when you decide to stop nursing--go as long as you can. It's so good for both of you! I would try everything else before you stop nursing--how about leaving a photo of you with the daycare, or a blanket that you both go to sleep with at night (get two of them!). It could also be that he is getting hungry for real food--maybe the daycare could feed him more often and bigger servings. Or just a better variety of foods. Hang in there--again, don't let them determine when you will stop nursing!! It's your decision.

There are so many other reasons why he could be fussing. Teething, growth spurts, seperation anxiety are all things that babies go through around seven months old. If nursing is going well and is something both you and your son enjoy, by all means, continue. It is so good for your baby and for you as well.
My son has a small blankie that he carries everywhere with him that gives him so much comfort. I started him on it when he was a couple of months old by laying it on my shoulder everytime he nursed and by his head as he slept. It is not much bigger than a washcloth and is machine washable and super soft. Toys r us has them for 7 or 8 dollars.

Hi J.
Everyone has given you great advise and I believe too that you should nurse as long as you can. I just want to put out a warning to you. I worked in a daycare for 2years and the things you see are really bad,staff being changed out to cut labor,staff not holding the babies,bottle proping. So maybe take another look at your provider and maybe pop in a few times unexpectaly and check to see if your provider is up to standers.I run an in home daycare now and only have two little ones in my care,my be you need a at home mom that can give your baby more personal care! Good luck and always trust your motherly instinct!

I've done daycare for nine years and have only had one baby that had a hard time with the nursing because mom wouldn't use a bottle to for breast milk at daycare, only a sippy cup (she was only four months). Otherwise, I've had several babies that have dealt with it well. How long has he been in daycare? Hasn't he already been taking the bottles of breast milk for some time? I wouldn't blame it on the nursing. I would hate for you to stop nursing early, just to find out it's teeth or ear infection, or sepereation anxiety. Maybe it's the provider? Are they just not bonding? Try other solutions first before going that route. Good Luck!!

I can't believe a daycare person would even say such a thing. Tell her to hold him when she feeds him so he can have the close feeling. I know a few daycares that teach the kids to hold the bottle themselves at a very early age, she may be one that does the same. He may just need the extra attention for a few mins a day. If that doesn't work, get a new daycare. I think it is ridiculous that a daycare provider would say that... I know I said that in the beginging but, GIVE ME A BREAK!

I have been a daycare provider for almost six years. Currently, I have two infants. One is breast fed, the other is formula fed. Both of our infants are very content and happy and take the bottle well. You may want to ask your provider if she is consistent with the bottle/nipple she is using. Maybe your child is ready for the faster nipple. Also, your child may be ready for cereal during the day. If you have not started cereal yet, I would check with your doctor to see if it is okay. Then, begin at night for a week or so and see how that goes. Then, add a day cereal feeding and work up to having your provider feed your child infant cereal for breakfast and lunch. Around eight months, your child should be ready for baby food along with the infant cereal and breast milk.

From my experience, it is quite common for babies to become fussy around this time. They want to be on the move which makes them a little frustrated. Their sleeping patterns tend to change around now and their appetites start to grow. So either add your cereal to the day or ask your provider to try an extra bottle feeding. It may be that your child is just hungrier.

Your child is always going to want you when you are away from them. However, your provider should be able to comfort them in that regard efficiently without your child being fussy all day for that reason. I think your child is just growing into their next stage and that takes some time so be patient.

Good luck.

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