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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Comments

Kath

Sorry to hear about all your troubles! Embarrassing pumping episodes seem to be a rite of passage for the working mother, if that helps at all. My first week of my tenure-track job, a colleague knocked on my door, and I scrambled to put everything away, only to find that he had a question of history trivia for me.

Babies get used to daycare routines and home routines, so I wouldn't cave into the providers' pressure to change your m.o. at home. I often found that my baby would fall asleep in the crib at daycare, while he would only fall asleep nursing for me.

We used cloth dipaers at daycare. We had to do have a cover for every diaper we brought. (Yikes, we had to shell out a lot more money for covers!) The provider would simply remove dipaer and cover together, put them in a plastic bag, and we'd bring them home with us at the end of the day. Every once in a while they threw one out by accident, but overall, it worked. If you don't want to fight that battle, though, that makes sense.

Avent bottles are great.

Hang in there! These things are hard, but they will pass.

robert

Ignore that teacher. My wife has been taking care of babies and toddlers for twenty years, has a degree from Bank Street in Infancy and we have two kids of our own. It ain't easy, sure, but I tell you one thing-- unless they are sick or going through changes because of disruptions-- babies are going to sleep most of the day. It's a common misconception about sleep in infants and toddlers that you have to keep them awake to get them to sleep. Untrue. "Sleep begets sleep." Unlike older kids and adults, who get exhausted when they get too little sleep, babies and toddlers tend to get more wired when they sleep too little. Letting babies and toddlers sleep does not disrupt them and letting them nurse at their own pace is a biological necessity. Listen-- daycare is just a hard place to learn to sleep, it's not because you are letting your little one get the sleep she needs. Also, I recommend the book "A Mother's Circle" by Jean Kunhardt. Excellent book by a woman who runs wonderful mother's groups in NYC. Addresses sleep, daycare, work, nursing in a comforting, realistic fashion through the words of mothers themselves in the groups.
Best of luck-- this too shall pass.

Ancarett

Oh, hang in there! You're going through such a tough time and it makes me recall my own crises, most dramatically sitting in my cold basement in front of the computer, a wakeful infant nursing in my lap while a toddler played behind me, frantically attempting to finish writing the last three chapters of a correspondence course manual that had to go to the editor by the end of the week and the printers right after.

Gah! Parents of young children do the impossible at least once every day: I'm firmly convinced of this.

Can you get someone to help shovel things out with the snow or just hunker in at home?

J

My daughter stopped taking a bottle when I went back to work. Just when I thought my husband was going to have to feed her with a medicine dropper or I would have to quit my job, we tried the playtex bottles with the rubber nipple (rather than silicone) and suddenly she took it with no problem. Fast flow, too, even though those are for older babies, she liked it dripping down her chin. I think she didn't like how hard the Avent and other silicone nipples were, and how hard she had to work to get the milk out. Anyway, it may be worth it to try those if you haven't. It was recommended to me by the hospital LC.

As for the daycare thing, it does get better. It really does. There will come a time when T will light up when she sees the daycare providers in the morning, and when she will have "friends" at the daycare that she likes to play with (or parallel to for a while at least). But it is tough. I cried quite a bit in that first month. Good luck to you, hope that it gets better soon!

Shandra

Can you take the runaway time and just hole up at home and breathe and nap/nurse however you want for a few days, and address it next week? Whatever you do I hope it goes ok.

And now I actually have experience to share: my Noah (born Aug 21) is a slow nurser too. I asked my lactation consultant about it and she said some babies like the comfort and that it's fine. But if it was too much, a pacifier could be substituted after 20-30 min of nursing, since he's bigger. Since I have the luxury of a year's leave I haven't tried it, but maybe it would help at daycare?

Also, a dropper or a cup sometimes work better for pumped feeds, if the daycare would do that.

Academic-in-Exile

Oh dear. Been there, done that and I feel your pain. Slow nursing.. pah! Babies eat the way they want to eat and it's really none of the daycare's damn business how she nurses. Try different bottle nipples. Avent worked for my first baby, but the second would only take Evenflo. It's worth a try. Try to feed her a bottle when she's sleepy and isn't thinking about what she's doing. Try the faster flow nipples. The daycare really need to be a little more flexible with you over this.

You can do it. You really can. I worked and pumped and breastfed both of mine until they were practically in college.. well, ok, til they were nearly 2, but you'd think that from the way people looked at me when I told them. Hang in there. Both my children love their daycare so much and they are smart and happy and well-socialized.

~Ex-Professor

Nutty Librarian

Hello from Bloomington! Did the hat make its way to you? Sorry to hear that the teachers at your daycare are inhospitable to cloth diapers. Part of the reason we picked the daycare that we did (in addition to its being the only one in town backed by the university's resources---the others, no matter how high their fees, frequently find themselves on the verge of going broke and count on the parents to bail them out) was their "Sure, no problem!" response to the cloth diaper question.

I'm afraid I have to report that when my son was 15 weeks old and I went back to work, he started doing most of his nursing during the night. He's over a year old now, and he's slept through the night only once. Ever. If I go to bed by 8:00, I can avoid feeling homicidal the next day. Doesn't always happen. Anyway, my breastfeeding book (working mother, nursing mother) says this is is a common phenomenon. But hey, at least Tabby would be taking in adequate nourishment!

Hang in there!

arb

Well, you are brilliant! It sounds like you have an awesome freezer stash! So, ignore my damning of those Medela bags. Seriously, a good backup supply in the freezer is a wonderful thing to have for your peace of mind. I am teetering on the brink of exhausting my meager one this coming week if I am not careful. (I have actually started taking fenugreek to address this problem and it is working great.)

Too bad about the daycare worker's thoughtless comments. Even if they were true, which they are not, well, how exactly would one address a "too slow nurser"? Maybe a teeny tiny riding crop with which you could gently lash your dilly-dallying baby's behind? Get along now, little nursling!!

rachel

Very briefly, before baby screams: Been there, done that, it's horrible, and my heart goes out to you. In the end, in spite of common wisdom, we found that there wasn't a difference if I or anyone else offered the bottle. He refused it for 3 weeks - letting him cry was no good (well, it's not like we tried that long - maybe skipping one feeding), I was back teaching and desperate - and then, with no warning, suddenly he gave in and everything's been OK since. Oh, except that wehn he's sick he'll go back to refusing the bottle again: somethign to keep in mind.

Moxie

This just sounds hideous. I'd say go to california, because Granolaton just sounds awful right now. "Break" the baby? How is that useful or reasonable?

If you want to do cloth but they want more like disposibles, consider doing a pocket diaper like a Fuzzi Bunz or Wonderoo). The experience for the people diapering is exactly the same as using cloth, except they chuck it in a bag for you instead of the garbage.

Also, if you're doing the whole trying-different-bottles thing, try the Nuby. It looks and acts like a sippy top, but is soft like a nipple. Some babies (mine included) who won't take a bottle will take the Nuby. i think it's because they think you're not trying to trick them with a bottle. Maybe. Anyway, it's $2 and I know they have them at K-Mart.
http://www.netkidswear.com/12oznunogrcu.html

GiBee

I noticed a few posts ago that you are BOILING to sterilize your bottles and nipples... I have a lifesaving suggestion ... get an Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer. They are under $30, and WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!

My SIL had to evacuate her home for 24 hours because her husband MELTED the nipples he was boiling, and the home filled with toxic fumes!

I really have found this to be the easiest and most convenient way to sterilize bottles.

I got the steamer as a shower gift, and have found it to be totally invaluable. I absolutely LOVE it. It's so easy, fast, and it works so well.

I tried the dishwasher, but you (I) have to wait until the dishwasher is full prior to running it, or it wastes a lot of money. I also tried boiling, but it took so long! I'd rather spend the time with my boy.

Using this steamer is so easy! I wash the baby bottles with hot water and dish detergent to be sure that all the milk is out of them, rinse them, and then sterilize them in this steam sterilizer by putting them in the sterilizer, adding seven ounces of water, and putting them in the microwave on high for five minutes. (the amount of time you use varies on the wattage of your microwave.)

Just a warning, though ... The steam that is generated to sterilize the bottles is very hot, and you can scald yourself if you're not careful.

I hope you give it a try. I can honestly say, it's my favorite baby item, and I use it all the time. LOVE IT!!

Rachel

If you have to put disposables on the babe, try rice paper inserts to protect her wee bum from chemicals.

Mommyprof

I'm sorry that things are so hard...leaving Offspring was the hardest thing I have ever done. I did the "moonlight cow" routine for the whole first year to have enough milk for the demand at daycare. Agree with previous posters about trying several different types of nipples and about not boiling. I used the dishwasher and just bought enough that I didn't have to wait for a full load.

Best wishes.

Emma Jane

Scattered responses: Gibee, I'm using the Medela microwave bags for normal sterilization. (I wasn't even doing that very often until I started maybe having a bit of a thrush issue, which went away when I got more serious about hygiene.) Beaker actually started using them for his nebulizers last year, and they're about as easy as the Avent. I do one good hard boil when things are newly bought, 'cause the member of the household who knows more about the chemistry of plastics tells me to.

While the clothes washer is fine, the dishwasher doesn't work, indeed hasn't worked since before we went to California last spring. (Yes, the kitchen is still a construction site!) I think at this point it just needs a drain hookup. Once it is working, dealing with all the plastic will be much, much easier.

Moxie, thanks for posting about the Nuby; I knew you'd mentioned something on your blog. We're all over the pocket diaper thing already (she's outgrown her small FuzziBunz, and now has medium Happy Heinys for overnights and trips—Wonderoos are too complicated for me), and that's what I would have brought in, if they were at all willing.

So far on the bottle front: warmer is better. She's intrigued by vaguely feverish milk. And higher flow rate might be better. When she's in a good mood, she can treat the bottle like a toy—sticks (the correct end) into and out of her mouth. Sometimes looks like she's sucking, and I've even seen a few bubbles... but, half an hour later, only half an ounce is gone.

When she was six weeks or so, and taking bottles happily, we had a little accident with the late night pumping—she woke up hungry right after I'd pumped. So I've seen her power down 5 ounces in ten minutes.

I don't know if she's ever in a good mood at day care yet.

Izabela

Hmm. I'm not sure that I like this childcare. 'Breaking the baby' and nursing too slowly? How the hell does one speed up nursing anyway? I always thought that about an hour per nursing is pretty much average.
You have every right to find these comments to be off. Not that they are bad carers. But if it feels wrong to you, and there are options, listen to your gut instinct and do something else. It is supposed to be somewhat hard, but this sounds blasted traumatic.

Sarah

Seems like I'm about two weeks ahead of you on returning to work (Spencer was born 8-27-05). He's adjusting pretty well and I suppose I am too -- I just miss him terribly.

He did fine with one Avent bottle a day until he hit about ten weeks -- then forget it. Since I was going back to work this wasn't negotiable -- we had to figure it out.

We tried about five different bottles/nipples and finally had luck with the wide Dr. Brown's bottles with a number 2 nipple. Bottles still aren't his favorite, but he drinks three a day while I'm at work and then is up every three hours to nurse in the night.

It is hard enough to go back to work with a baby who cooperates so I really feel for you. Hang in there, she'll figure it out.

Sarah

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