5-month old trouble eating at daycare - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 09-20-2013, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5-month old daughter has been in daycare for two months and she is eating very little throughout the day. She is exclusively breastfed and I provide pumped milk for her. She will only take about 5 or 6 oz from bottles during the day and then nurses a lot in the evening and wakes at least 4 times a night to nurse. She will take bottles readily from myself, my husband, or her grandmother at home. I don't know if the problem is a trust issue or maybe the daycare setting is just too loud and distracting. The strange thing is, she will patiently wait for me to get there to nurse her and she will not cry or fuss even though she is hungry.

I am feeding her at drop-off and pick-up. I was also visiting at lunch, but the staff asked me to stop this to see if it would encourage her to eat from the bottle and not wait for me (this hasn't worked). I take Wednesdays off work so she is not at daycare more than two days in a row. The daycare has suggested starting her on solids to keep her full, but she doesn't seem ready for this.

This has gone on for the two months she has been at daycare and we have tried all types of different bottles and asking the staff to take her outside or somewhere quiet to nurse (they try this as much as possible, but have other babies to tend to). Now that I am back at work four days a week, the sleep deprivation is very unsustainable. She sleeps at night, but wakes up every couple of hours to nurse and then goes back to sleep. She is on the small side of the growth chart, but within normal limits.

Has anyone else gone through a similar situation, and if so what helped? Thank you.
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#2 of 7 Old 09-20-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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This is called reverse cycling. There is a good article on feeding babies when mom is working at Jack Newmans website. He is a Toronto Canada breastfeeding support doctor who is just amazing.

http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-WFBW
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#3 of 7 Old 09-23-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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I am sorry I don't have advise for reverse cycling, but I wonder why the daycare asked you to stop coming at lunch? If possible, I would go to nurse her at lunch. It would be one extra feeding during the day, and if she takes two small bottles between dropoff/lunch and lunch/pick up she would probably nurse a little less in the evening. I went to my DD's daycare for the first 9 months at lunch time, the providers didn't mind at all (one less baby to watch, one less bottle to give and most of the time she would pass out for a nap! and for me it was one less pumping session!!!). They were pretty pushy about having her start solids way before 6 months, best advice I could give for that is to gently tell them to would like to wait.

Also, I noticed once my daughter his about 6-7 months I was able to night-nurse more. I felt more comfortable dozing while she nursed at night.

Good luck!!
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#4 of 7 Old 09-23-2013, 10:45 AM
 
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I agree adding back in the mid day visit would probably help.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-24-2013, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaT View Post

My 5-month old daughter has been in daycare for two months and she is eating very little throughout the day. She is exclusively breastfed and I provide pumped milk for her. She will only take about 5 or 6 oz from bottles during the day and then nurses a lot in the evening and wakes at least 4 times a night to nurse. She will take bottles readily from myself, my husband, or her grandmother at home. I don't know if the problem is a trust issue or maybe the daycare setting is just too loud and distracting. The strange thing is, she will patiently wait for me to get there to nurse her and she will not cry or fuss even though she is hungry.

I am feeding her at drop-off and pick-up. I was also visiting at lunch, but the staff asked me to stop this to see if it would encourage her to eat from the bottle and not wait for me (this hasn't worked). I take Wednesdays off work so she is not at daycare more than two days in a row. The daycare has suggested starting her on solids to keep her full, but she doesn't seem ready for this.

This has gone on for the two months she has been at daycare and we have tried all types of different bottles and asking the staff to take her outside or somewhere quiet to nurse (they try this as much as possible, but have other babies to tend to). Now that I am back at work four days a week, the sleep deprivation is very unsustainable. She sleeps at night, but wakes up every couple of hours to nurse and then goes back to sleep. She is on the small side of the growth chart, but within normal limits.

Has anyone else gone through a similar situation, and if so what helped? Thank you.

You are doing some great things to help your dd through the day care experience! :joy

 

I agree with many other Mamas that the "starve her out" advice the Day Care Center is giving you (that's why they don't want you coming at lunch, the whole "If she gets hungry enough, she'll eat.") is very prevalent in some places. As a Lactation Consultant and an AP Mama I don't subscribe to that idea.

 

I do agree that you should reinstate the lunch time visits.

 

Reverse cycling is really common. Babies are smart. I think what they think is, "She isn't here during the day, she is here at night, so I'll sleep while she isn't around, and eat when she's available to me." There isn't any way to stop reverse cycling, but you can work along with it, as you have been doing. To a baby, Reverse Cycling makes perfect sense: make the most of Mama's time at home.

 

But, as for your question, yes, I'd reinstate the lunch visit, keep Wednesdays off and keep in mind that it isn't uncommon for many babies to just take enough milk at Day Care to keep them hydrated and just wait until Mama is around to get what they need for that day.

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#6 of 7 Old 09-26-2013, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the helpful information! I did add back the lunch time visit, and it actually seems to encourage her to take more from the bottles. She's still waking up a few times at night, but not as bad as before.
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#7 of 7 Old 09-27-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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Oh great, that's good news!

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