February 2013 Moms

How much milk to leave?

I am going crazy trying to figure this one out. Aislin starts daycare in a couple weeks, and I start back to work on Monday. Dad will be watching her for two weeks, so we have sometime to get this better nailed down, but I'm not even sure what to leave for him, and he's never spent this much time alone with her.

I EBF, and when we've given her bottles, she'll take as much as we give her and then spit up everywhere, so I'm hesitant to give her bottles that are too big. I know the 'equation' is to take baby's weight times 2 and that's how many ounces she needs throughout the day. So that would make roughly 26 ounces she needs, and I'll be gone about 9 hours. In the last weeks, she has been eating literally every 1.5-2 hours, so should I plan on prepping 5x2.5 oz bottles? Or assume that since she eats more from a bottle, she'll start spreading out feedings and leave 4x3oz bottles? I'm pretty sure the daycare says they feed every 3 hours or on demand.

I know that dad can probable figure it out, but I'm really paranoid that he'll feed her more than I can pump at work and my supply will just tank! 

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Re: How much milk to leave?

  • I don't know if I can help but my LO has taken everywhere from 8 oz to 18 oz in the 9 hours I'm away from her. I don't know if my mom is over feeding or if we're in the middle of a growth spurt. I leave the milk in 2 oz bottles. If LO needs more my mom just adds more to the bottle. It works for us because sometimes she only takes 2 oz and other times she wants up to 4. I just have a ton more bottles to wash. You could try leaving more small bottles because you can always adjust later. Or if your LO will stop in the middle of a bottle and you don't mind leaving milk from a used bottle in the fridge you can start with larger bottles.

    And no, I don't manage to pump 18 oz while at work so hopefully this ends before I blow through my freezer stash!
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  • The 2.5 oz. times your baby's weight is actually outdated thinking.  EBF babies less than 6 months old generally eat 24-30 oz per day and my LC told me that I should expect my daughter to eat 12-14 oz while I was away.  There is a great calculator on Kelly Mom to help you figure out how many ounces to leave, but I have found (this is my first week back at work) it to be a little bit of a guessing game.  The first day I left my mom with four 3.5 oz bottles and it was way too much milk - my daughter would get bored after 2.5-3 oz.  Now I leave five 2.5 oz bottles.  She almost never gets to the fifth bottle, but I like having it just in case.  My mom also has access to my freezer stash in case my baby goes through a really hungry spurt.

    My understanding is that you have to be pretty firm with your daycare provider to avoid over eating/milk waste.  You want them to do "paced bottle feeding" so that it takes at least five minutes per ounce to feed your baby.  That way the baby's brain will get the message that they are full before they over eat. Also ask that a bottle not be given just to calm a fussy baby (unless it has been established that the fussiness is from hunger).  Also, many day cares have to toss a bottle once it has been heated, even if your baby only eats 1/2 oz.  If your day care has this policy, you may be better off sending more smaller bottles.

     

  • I have found that my dd takes more from a bottle and goes longer between feedings at daycare. She is about 11 pounds and seems happy with 3 4 oz bottles and I have two frozen bags there just incase she needs more. At home she rarely goes 3 hours between nursing so its definitely different.
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  • My daughter takes on average approx. 14 oz while I'm working.  I leave all of the milk in the bottles I pump into (2.5 oz medela plastic bottles) and then my Mom either gives her those or mixes them together into a bigger bottle.  What she doesn't finish gets put back into the fridge to use for the next feeding.  She was eating every 2 hours before I went back to work and is pretty much still doing that, sometimes she eats a little and sometimes it more.
  • From about 4 months- 1 year I generally sent 4 or 5   3oz bottles with DD1 to daycare (7:30am-4:30pm) Very rarely did she take all 5. She generally took 3 oz every 3 hours or so for a total of 12-14 oz. I advised the babysitter to give her a bottle and then wait a while to see if she was still hungry. She rarely was.
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