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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be going back to teaching when my son is about 11 1/2 months old (a little over 2 months from now). M/W/F he'll be in daycare about for about 5 hours per day and T/Th he'll be with my sister for about 3 hours per day. So, for the daycare days I'm a little worried because as of now he's never taken a bottle very well. He did it a little when he was 3-4 months old but lately he isn't at all interested. BUT we haven't been REALLY seriously trying -- I'm wondering if it is even worth it.

My question is... he isn't very interested in solid foods -- he nurses for the vast majority of his nutrition. Is five hours at daycare enough so he'll get hungry if he won't take a bottle? He'll have some snacks, but I'm really not sure how much he'll eat there. If he won't take EBM at daycare, do you think it will be a problem? I just don't want him to get hungry while he's there...


As a side question... anyone start daycare w/ their DC at this age? What was it like? TIA!
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DD went to daycare at 3 months so this might not quite apply as much but she never liked the bottle either and would only drink just enough to get by during the day and then nurse like crazy when we were together. Solids were actually sort of a godsend for me in terms of getting more sleep. I still think she eats more solids at daycare than she does with us at 21 months. At 11 1/2 months why not just offer ebm in a sippy? You can get one of those training ones or whatever. Once I started pump weaning at about 11 months, I bottle weaned too. I just didn't see the reason to continue with something she'd eventually have to stop and didn't like that much to begin with.

As for what to send, if you can get a decent supply of non frozen ebm less than a week before you go back, try sending quite a bit for the first couple of days and whatever is left over can be frozen. That way you can get an idea of what he will drink without having to throw out previously frozen ebm at the end of the day. Nothing more heartbreaking than that. And I would try to send a range of snacks. You might find when he's desperate he may take in more solids than ebm.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AugustineM
he's never taken a bottle very well. He did it a little when he was 3-4 months old but lately he isn't at all interested. BUT we haven't been REALLY seriously trying -- I'm wondering if it is even worth it.

As a side question... anyone start daycare w/ their DC at this age? What was it like? TIA!
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re the first part - what about trying a sippy cup? like the avent soft spout? maybe that would be different enough from nursing that he would be ok with it.

and the second part - dd started daycare three days a week at 18 months old. initially it did not go over well with her - dh was dropping her off at 1 when he went to work, and i was picking her up around 5, so we could have her in nonfamily care for the least amount of time possible. the problem was - that was naptime - so she arrived, and had to lay down immediately. with the advice of her teachers, we tried bringing her in an hour or two earlier so she ate and got to play with the other kids. that really helped.
 

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My daughter will be starting day care in August (because my partner who has been the SAHM is going back to teaching too). We can't send her with EBM at all because she will be in the toddler room and they are not set up to handle bottles or EBM since it is a "bodily fluid." I guess there was a situation where a child drank someone else's sippy cup of EBM and the parents freaked. You might want to ask about sending EBM if you haven't already.

My daughter is also slow to take to solid food but she has been getting bottles of EBM or nursed about every four hours or so (including night). We are cutting back on daytime milk during the week and she is starting to eat more and more solids and nursing more at night. We hope to have her painlessly ready for no bottles or EBM during the time she will be at daycare by August. So, no BTDT advice here, but I am going to be watching this thread for ideas because I am really concerned about doing this as gently as possible.

Good luck!
 

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one thing that most dc providers and directors of centers tell me is that the children eat way differently at dc than at home. i have noticed the same with my dd. i have taken down the recipe and made the SAME at home and she has refused it. so there is a possiblity ur son migth eat well there after transition (which could last anything from 2 weeks to 3 months). most dc's say 2 - 4 weeks. and then u can ask them to supplement with either cows milk or soy milk. its ok even at 11 1/2.

my dd was like ur son at home. hardly ate anything. but when she went to dc she ate really well there.

i will also second the sippy cup or straw cup idea instead of bottle.

now if ur son refuses anything and just eats snacks, but yet when u come home he seems to make up for it, by nursing continuously for a long time then i dont think u need to worry about nutrition.

also in general most kids enjoy the first week or two of daycare. and then they realise what it means and that it is going to be regular. thats when the trouble starts. make sure ur dc allows ur son to bring a lovie like a blanket or soft toy for comfort to help with transition.

my dd started dc at 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great ideas! I realize now that I don't even know why I was considering a bottle... he will drink out of a straw OK, but still doesn't quite understand holding the cup for himself... though I'm sure that will come along quickly. I will ask if they will take EBM at the daycare. If not, he can at least have it with my sister.

Thanks for ideas about the transition too, and making that easier. That's the part I'm most nervous about.
 

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If he's Ok with a straw, try those Rubbermaid boxes with the flip up straw.

My DD started in dc at 12 months. She had been at home with DH since 10 mos, but decided at 11 mos that she just wasn't interested in bm unless it was fresh from the tap. He tried everything and was pretty persistent. It didn't matter if it was in a bottle or cup or whatever, she just waited til I came home.

I was still cosleeping and my DD was a power nurser, so I did not need to introduce a replacement for bm. She was still nursing a minimum of 8x in 24 hours, even on work days. We just made sure that she had lots of other fluids - mostly water, a bit of diluted juice, mild herbal teas work too - while I was gone. If you are only apart for 5 hours, and your DC is still nursing lots, I really wouldn't worry about it.

DD has never been a big eater of solids, but the staff at the dc were shocked to hear me describe her as a picky eater! ITA with PP - don't discount the peer pressure of being in care. I've been offering my DD watermelon for years now, and just the other day she decided she'll eat it since a friend from dc offered it to her! At this age, most daycares are also gently starting to introduce some routine around meals, so that helps too. Anyways, I now know that even if she will only eat the same meal at home every night, she gets a good amount and variety of foods at daycare. Its also been good to know that she was getting her baseline nutrition from bm even if she was not eating a lot of solids.

HTH!
 

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Ashley - my DS started day care full time at 11 1/2 months. (He's now 18 months). I had your same fears. I couldn't BELIEVE how great he did!! You will be amazed.

He would not take any kind of bottle (I tried many!) and he'd had a sip or two from a sippy cup here and there, but nothing that made me confident he could survive all day without me! (He wouldn't even take a sippy / bottle from DH when I wasn't home). He nursed frequently and had tried solids but was not really interested in them. To make it worse, he had never been left with anyone except my mom twice for an hour in his entire 11 1/2 months. Needless to say, I was a *little* stressed that week before going back.

I got a couple of "soft spout" sippy cups, (I used Nuby brand, with two handles on either side for ease of holding). I sent EBM, two full cups each day. I gave the DCP written instructions (and told them) that they needed to hold the cup for him, and to please offer it to him every 2 hours as that was how often he had nursed prior to daycare. I also advised them that they could try offering it to him without the lid (open top) if he didn't want the sippy cup. I called every 2 hours those first days to make sure they were offering it to him!

(Needless to say, I was also freaked about him napping there as he's always only co-slept and always only nursed to sleep.)

The first day, they just kept offering and in total he drank 1/2 of one cup. Turns out he saw the other kids eating and wanted food instead! So he ate a good breakfast and a good lunch (solids) his first day! He nursed like crazy when I picked him up, ate a bit of dinner then slept like a baby (I think he was exhausted from all the great activities he got to do all day).

His second day he drank one whole sippy cup of EBM! From his third day on he was drinking 2 full sippy's of EBM a day - no problem. (He would still nurse when I picked him up, then after about a month, he'd manage with taking a sippy cup in the car and nursing when we got home - by 15 months he started just nursing before bed). He ended up doing fine!!

It really is amazing - it's like they know it's different and that you are not there, so they just go with the alternative. He also took a more active interest in solids b/c he saw all the other kids eating! For the record, I was also pleasantly surprised that he slept 2 hours in his crib his first day at daycare, and has every day since. Still won't at home, but they are different at daycare!!! I know everyone says that but it really is true.

What amazed me was how quickly and easily he adjusted. I think our babes hold out on the sippy cup/bottle because if you are available, they'd rather have the real thing. But it's like they know you are not there, so they shrug and say "ok, guess I gotta get the milk this way". I also think the fact that it's a new environment almost makes them open to doing new things.

A few things I did do to help make it easier though...we kept offering a sippy cup almost every day for about 2 months before he started day care. He never wanted it with one exception - we went to Disneyworld, we took a chilled sippy of EBM to the park. It was HOT and we just kept offering it. Finally, he guzzled it down. I think he was distracted and thirsty, and he just wanted a cool drink. He was 10 months. Anyway, that was a turning point as we knew he *knew* how to drink from a sippy at least! I've also heard that you can offer it without the valve the first few times so they get the idea that EBM comes out of the spout.

We also explained to DS what it was, why we were giving it to him and that he'd have it at daycare if needed, then explained that first day dropping him off what it was. I think at some level they really do understand.

Starting DS in daycare at 11 1/2 months was the best age IMO. He was interested enough and able to explore all the new stuff, but wasn't yet fully into separation anxiety mode (like he is now!).

You will be amazed at how well your DS will do. He will not starve himself. If he is really hungry or thirsty, he will take something and it will be instinctual to "suck" on a bottle or sippy if he's that thirsty. Since it's only 5 hours, he may wait and nurse when he sees you (he is physically able to go longer than that without food/drink, many babies go 10-12 hours through the night with nothing at that age). Just ensure your DCP is offering him something regularly, be open with your DS about what is happening and that he can have some "nummies" from the cup if he wants.

They really do fine. Even my extremely crunchy AP home-schooling sister, (mom to 4) who was very suspicious about my poor DS going to daycare and being "damaged" there said to me the other day how great he is doing, how happy he seems, how much he's thriving, etc. She admitted that she had been watching for a change in his personality, sure she'd see some sign that daycare was causing the evil she suspected, but she said he honestly just seems to be loving it! And he is. We still nurse throughout the night and co-sleep, which I think helped him adjust quickly.

One other thing we did was ease him in to daycare, with 3 visits where we stayed with him, then increasing how long he stayed each day during the first week to work up to a full day by the end of the week.

Remember it takes a village to raise a child. In this day and age, let your DCP be part of your village. Your DS will do great. YOU might have a nervous breakdown, but he'll do great.


Kathy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kathy -- Thank you SO much. Reading your post made me smile and alleviate many of my concerns. It's so nice to hear from someone who started daycare with a DC of the same age. I appreciate it!! And I think it's a great idea to ease him in by visiting and staying with him. I plan on doing that in August for a week or so. THANK YOU!!
 

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Another solids-at-daycare story--my 7-month-old expects breastmilk straight from the tap from me, and doesn't like to accept solids when I try to feed him. I have to time it just right--not too soon after nursing, or else he's not hungry and is totally uninterested, but if I wait more than an hour or so, he thinks it's nursing time again and yowls until I give it up. But he eats anything they give him at daycare, anytime.
 

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Wow, you've gotten dome good replies, so I'll make this short.

I went back to work when dd was 11 months old. 3 days at a dayhome and 2 with family(a perfect ballance in our situation). Before that she nursed EVERY 2 HOURS. But at other people's houses she eats more solids simply because they are what is available. When I am around she drinks a lot of milk to make up for it.

Your baby will probably be fine with solids and your milk when you are there.
Another thought- If you don't have to introduce a bottle, I wouldn't- you just have to get them off of it eventually.

gisele
 

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I am just going to add that your DC will do just fine at daycare. My DS started daycare at 11 months and it has been the best experience for him. He will eat things at the providers that he will NOT eat for me. He barely eats solids when he is with me but I don't worry since he eats wonderfully well at daycare. The funniest thing I have found is that there are things that he eats for her but not for me and vice versa. He is still nursing at night so I don't worry about the nutrition.

I also vote for the sippy cup- my son has moved on to cups with straws. You will be amazed at what peer pressure can do at daycare (I don't mean negative peer pressure either).
 
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