February 15, 2010,
J.M. asks from Poughkeepsie, NY on February 14, 2010
How Much Breastmilk Do I Send to Daycare?
My 3 month old will be attending daycare soon. I'm not sure how much she's eating, so how much do I send to daycare and will it be enough?
E.Y. answers from New York on February 15, 2010
I would bring in one 3oz bottle per feeding time plus a couple extra 2oz bottles. My breastfed daughter really wasn't a fan of drinking from a bottle, but the caregiver could always warm up another 2 oz bottle if my daughter did well with the first one. I felt I had to do a lot of making up for lost ounces during the evening and early morning, though. Good luck.
M.T. answers from New York on February 15, 2010
For a 3 month old, I'd say to send 4 ounces per feeding to be on the safe side. Often babies will eat less at daycare and nurse more when home with mom (reverse cycling). Send more than you think baby will need, and make sure they always have a few extra bags in the freezer. After a few days, daycare should be able to give you a pretty good idea of how much she is eating during a typical day. Good luck!
A.A. answers from Chicago on February 14, 2010
I do daycare and have taken care of lots of breastfed babies. If you are producing a lot, are you able to send a number of frozen bags of milk? Maybe make each bag 4oz? Then the provider can just let them defrost one at a time and see how hungry baby is and not waste. They defrost pretty fast submerged in a cup of warm water so baby won't be starving. If she eats every three - four hours she can kind of anticipate when she will be hungry. Make sure to let her know not to microwave it and how long it is good for once defrosted, left in the fridge, etc... if she isn't already familiar with breastmilk. Hard to remember back to 3mo, and every baby is different =) Also you may want to just do some bottles for a day before she goes to daycare so you can get an idea (pumped), but remember it can change day to day. Good luck!
S.B. answers from Kansas City on February 14, 2010
every kid is different. My dd was on formula, and I sent bottles already made up for however many times she was eating in a day, generally. She was on a fairly good schedule and it was easy to judge. Perhaps you should try bottle feeding a couple of times, to guage how much she's eating, plus to get her used to a bottle.
E.R. answers from New York on February 15, 2010
At about 3 1/2 months old, my baby seemed to need approximately 4 ounces per feeding. But the best advice my daycare gave me was to document a couple of her days and see when she usually nurses, how long, when she napped, and how long she napped. That way they had a pretty good feel for her day and could better anticipate her needs. Good luck!
A.P. answers from New York on February 15, 2010
While working at a daycare, the breastfeeding mothers would send in 4-5 4oz bottles. That was usually good.
I.G. answers from Seattle on February 14, 2010
I had pumped some milk ahead of time for reserve. I remember that for the first week I gave them two bottles more of frozen breastmilk than I thought she would need. They had a freezer to keep it frozen, so it would not go to waste. After a week I had an idea about how much she would eat and gave along only the exact amount. It is possible that your baby will start drinking less during the day and make up for it mornings, evenings and nights. My daughter did - and I did not mind the extra boob time.
D.W. answers from Gainesville on February 14, 2010
Check out kellymom.com There is a way to calculate based on the baby's weight and how often they eat during a 24 hour period the approximate amount that they would bottle feed breastmilk.
M.P. answers from Chicago on February 14, 2010
You could always do a couple feedings by bottle (of breastmilk) a few days before daycare to gauge how much she's eating. It will require more work with pumping and bottle feeding but it might be worth it for a day to get some peace of mind. I suggest giving the daycare provider an extra bag or two of frozen milk to keep in the freezer, just in case there is a spill or mishap you won't have to worry your little one is going hungry. Good luck with the first week of daycare - it can be an emotional time but it can also be a great experience for the kids, if you're happy with your provider.
A.P. answers from San Francisco on February 15, 2010
It's always better to have more than enough. I based this off of how many times I nursed him in that same time period. Because I would nurse him 3 -4 times in a 8 hour period I sent 4- 4 oz bottles with him at that age. Sometimes he would eat it all and sometimes I would have a bottle left over. I would use that bottle at night and pump again to keep the supply up. It wasn't long before I changed it to 3 -6 oz bottles. Pump pump pump!!!