September 2014 Moms

How many bottles should I send with baby when I go back to work?

I'll be going back to work in a couple of weeks and I have no idea how many bottles I need to send with her. I will be pumping. I usually work an 8 hour shift and she eats every 2-3 hours. I was thinking 4 bottles but I really am new to all of this!

Also...do you pre-fill the bottles or just bring the storage bags with the breastmilk?

Re: How many bottles should I send with baby when I go back to work?

  • We sent one more bottle than we thought she would need, just in case I'm running late or she's super hungry. We pre filled and labeled her bottles. I don't want some other kid getting my milk by mistake or the staff accidentally spilling a bag.
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  • I send a pre filled bottle for every two hours starting with the first hour I'm gone so if you're gone from 8-4, I would send 5 bottles.... One 4oz bottle for 8, 10, 12, 2, and 4. I was giving him 3oz bottles but uped him an ounce when I went back to work.

  • My LO had never had a full bottle at home before (I would occasionally pump a little & give him an ounce before nursing so that he was used to the bottle) so I was really unsure about it when I went back to work. I nurse him about 615 or 630 am then we leave for our hour commute at 7 am. I pick him up about 530. I send 3 4oz bottles. He takes all of those and doesn't spit up or act hungry after them. I send the bottles prepared so she doesn't have to mess with my breast milk & I've sent her a couple extra frozen bags to keep in her freezer in case he has an extra hungry day or something spills. Oh in case it helps, he weighs about 11 1/2 lbs
    sapphires-and-diamondsJanisBaby14
  • I'd ask your daycare how they want them prepared. In our state, daycares are not allowed to mix formula or do anything other than warm it up, so we send prepared bottles every day.

    As for how many, we were sending BM for our first daughter. Generally, breastfed babies drink around 24 oz in a day, so I added up number of bottles + number of times nursing and divided 24 by how many times she ate. So, if she got 4 bottles and nursed 4 times, she should need 3 oz per bottle. We'd then send the four we expected her to need and 1 extra just in case.

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  • I am so confused as I breastfeed all day but DH gives her a 5oz bottle at night of my pumped milk that she finishes.

    Off BC, NTNP since June 2011

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  • With DD1 I sent enough bm for 5 - 3 oz bottles. DC would keep any extra for the next day. They also had a freezer where we could keep a small stash if needed. She was there from 7:15-5:00 or so.
  • I'd give 1more than you expect jic, esp at first you can always taper back after a few days. I'd pre-fill so it's just the way you want/less handling.
    Lilypie - (JLjB)


  • I'm a SAHM, but worked in childcare with infants prior to DD being born. If it was me, I'd leave the BM in the storage bags if I already had a stash of them frozen. If I was pumping and sending it in fresh then I'd pre-fill the bottles. I think 4 bottles should be good for the amount of time you are going to be gone, but I'd recommending sending 5 the first day just to be sure. Also, sending in some extra frozen BM in case of an emergency (milk gets spilled, you're late with a pick up, baby is extra hungry, ect) is a good idea.






  • Kellymom.com recommends 1-1.5 oz. for every hour. My LO won't finish more than a 3 oz. bottle at a time right now. Could you do a test run a couple days before you're returning to work?
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  • Thanks for all of the suggestions and experience! Definitely gives me a good starting point and makes me a little more at ease!
  • lbonga1 said:

    Kellymom.com recommends 1-1.5 oz. for every hour. My LO won't finish more than a 3 oz. bottle at a time right now. Could you do a test run a couple days before you're returning to work?

    This. My LC recommended an ounce for every hour we are apart.
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  • I've just gone back to work part time I the office and part time at home. The first day I sent 3 3oz bottles with a back up bag to keep in their freezer. I feed her around 630 right before I leave, and she eats every 2.5-3 hours. So she's been getting on a good schedule of eating around 9, 12, and 3 apprx, which is when I try to pump. She always leaves a little bit in the bottle, and some of my bottles have been closer to 2.5 oz so that seems to be about right when she eats 8-9 times a day.

    As a warning she was quite fussy those first nights I was back at work, and wanted to eat every 2 hours or sooner when I got home.
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