Leaving your baby for the first time can be difficult on a mom. Choosing the right baby sitter or day care to entrust your child to is a big ask of any parent. But above that, preparing meals for your child can become tricky in this new routine shift. If you’re making the transition from maternity leave to work and are not sure yet how to handle a day care or sitter, here are a few tips to help you ensure that the feeding part of this transition will be sorted.
Before Signing Up, Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask pertinent questions to the day care. This is, after all, your baby’s well-being in question. Here are a few things you will need to know before signing up to the nearest day care:
- Is the day care familiar with bottle feeding?
- Does the day care in question make use of a bottle warmer?
- Are the staff fully aware that they cannot heat breastmilk in a microwave?
- How are the feeding utensils such as; bottles, nipples and cups cleaned?
- How will your milk be stored?
- Is freezer storage an option and would they be able to store additional freezer bags of your milk to allow for more feeds?
- Do they allow moms to feed before leaving their child and/or during their lunch break?
Once you have answered all of these questions to your satisfaction, the next step is to compile a feeding schedule.
The Playgroup Feeding Schedule
When you decide on a playgroup, the next step to take is to compile a feeding schedule. Take into consideration when you would realistically be able to feed your baby, and when the day care or sitter would need to. Ask the playgroup if they have allocated feeding times and build your schedule on this. However, also ensure that their schedule does not compromise your child’s eating pattern. For example, if you fetch your baby at 17:00 and wish to feed directly after getting home, ensure the day care knows not to feed your little one two hours before collection time. Once you have completed your schedule, take it to the playgroup in question and discuss the feeding times with them. See if they will be able to accommodate your time sheet and that they fully understand it.
Expressing Your Milk
Once you have agreed upon a feeding schedule, the next step will be to determine how much milk you will need to express. Be sure that if a freezer option is available, that you pump enough milk and store it into freezer-friendly bags to deliver to the day care. Ensure that you have a transport bag which will cater to your travel needs. Furthermore, be sure to label your feeding bottles and freezer bags with your baby’s name, and the date the milk was expressed on.
Now you have a plan in place, be sure to action it. Should the day care centre be unwilling to accommodate you, know they were not the group for your baby.