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Breastfeeding is very important for a baby whether it is in the house or outside. According to the NHS, it reduces diarrhea and vomiting in babies, it reduces chest and ear infections and it also reduces the chances of children becoming obese and also developing type 2 diabetes as they grow.
Is your baby starting daycare soon and are wondering how much breastmilk to send to daycare for them? You are in the right place. Actually, the hardest part is knowing how much breast milk to put in each bottle for the baby. This depends largely on your baby’s age and size. According to Comotomo, babies from 0 – 1-month-old can drink 1-3oz of breast milk per feeding and this will be for every 2 – 3 hours. Check out the chart below for a clearer understanding.
How much breastmilk to send to daycare for 3 – months old?
For example, if have a 3 – months old baby, the number of breast milk to send to daycare will be 3- 4oz per bottle per feeding. If the baby will be in the daycare for 6 hours, and they feed once in every 2-3 hours, you need about 3 bottles of breast milk. However, you can add an extra bottle in case the baby needs more.
Now, most daycares have a breast milk policy you must adhere to. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Daycare breast milk policy
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy care model childcare health practices, expressed breast milk may be brought from home if frozen or kept cold during transit. Fresh breast milk must be used within 48 hours, freshly expressed breast milk must be used first and the temperature of the refrigerator used to store the breast milk must be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
So, this means that you can send your breast milk either frozen or freshly expressed to your baby’s daycare.
How to prepare frozen breast milk for daycare
If you plan to send frozen breast milk for daycare, you have two options. You can send it as it is – frozen, or thaw it and send it as a liquid. To send thawed breast milk to the daycare, you need to put it in the refrigerator overnight, so that in the morning when you are ready to send it to the daycare, it would have been thawed.
Secondly, if you are pressed for time, put the breastmilk bag in a container of warm or lukewarm water to thaw or put it under lukewarm running water. Don’t thaw or heat breast milk in a microwave, it can destroy the nutrients. If you decide to thaw breast milk in the refrigerator, you need to use it within the space of 24 hours.
Once the breast milk is out of the freezer, you need to use it within 24 hours. If it is warmed or at room temperature, it needs to be used within 2 hours. Avoid refreezing breast milk after you have thawed it.
Below is a chart showing the breast milk storage and usage guidelines.
Source: Breastmilk storage guidelines
How to prep bottles for daycare
Now that your breast milk is ready. You need to put them into bottles. Some of the best bottles for breast milk are –
1. Dr. Brown’s bottles
Dr. Brown’s bottle is one of the most popular bottles for breast milk and formula. It is an 80z size baby bottle that is great for daycare uses. The nipple is shaped like a breast, which makes it easy for babies to quickly latch unto it.
2. Avent baby bottles
The Phillips Avent bottle is also one of the best bottles for daycare. It helps to reduce feeding problems like a baby taking in gas, reflux, and colic issues. The Airfree vent in the bottle makes it easy to feed babies in an upright position. It is easy to clean and is BPA-free.
3. Comotomo bottles
These Comotomo bottles come in a pack of 7- piece sets. There are two (2) 5oz and two (2) 8oz bottles and three (3) different nipples. It has a breast-like design that makes it easy for babies to latch and anti-colic vents that allow milk to flow consistently.
Now that you know the right bottles to use for breast milk, you need to label them appropriately to avoid mixing up at the daycare. Below is how to do it.
Labeling breast milk bottles for daycare
There are two ways you can label your baby bottles of breast milk for daycare. One, you can use masking tape to write and paste on it. Secondly, you can get custom labels with baby names and paste them on the bottle. The best option is to use custom labels. Below are some of the best custom labels for baby bottles available on Amazon.
Custom Labels for baby bottles
1. The original write and reuse baby bottle labels for daycare
The write and reuse baby bottle labels come in a set of 6 bottle bands and one free dry erase marker. It fits around all baby bottles, it is BPA-free, waterproof, dishwater, microwave, and freezer safe. All you need do is to write on the label, allow it to dry, and wash it with soap and water to reuse. It has spaces for name, date, and content which is great for bottles of breast milk for daycare and home use.
2. Baby bottle labels for Daycare
The baby bottle labels for daycare are a pack of 6 baby bottle labels with dry erase markers and a piece of cloth. There are spaces to write the name, time, and content of the bottle. It is durable, and reusable as you can erase the write-up with a wet cloth, wash and reuse it again. It is stretchy, so it fits all types of baby bottles such as Comotomo, Philips Avent, NUK, etc.
3. Multi-color baby bottle labels for daycare
The multi-color baby bottle labels come in a pack of 6 different colored labels and a free marker with a magnetic cap. It is easy to write on the surface and also clean with water to reuse. It is BPA-free, dishwater, and microwave safe too.
How to Pack Breastmilk for Daycare
Now that the breast milk and the bottle are ready with labels, it is time to pack the breast milk for daycare. To do this, you need a bag to transport them to the daycare. The best bag to use is the cooler bag so that the temperature will be maintained till they get to the daycare. Below are two of the best cooler bags to use. They are available on Amazon too.
1. Meichoon Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag
The Meichoon Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag is one of the best breast milk cooler bags. It helps to keep your breast milk cool and fresh. It has a big capacity and can carry more baby essentials such as diapers, wipes, onesies, and bibs in addition to breast milk bottles. It is great for daycare, hiking, travel, and even shopping.
2. NCVI Breastmilk Cooler Bag with Ice Pack
The NCVI Breastmilk Cooler Bag with Ice Pack can contain up to 6 bottles of breastmilk and up to 9 ounces. It can keep breast milk fresh and cool for up to 12 hours. Aside from storing the bottles, it also has spaces for other baby essentials. Check it out now.
You can put the breast milk bottles in the cooler bag in the fridge overnight with the ice pack in the freezer, when you are ready in the morning, remove the bag and add the ice pack in the cooler and take it to them to the daycare.
Daycare wants more breast milk
Sometimes daycares require more breast milk for the baby. What do you do when a daycare wants more breast milk for your baby? This is especially frustrating if your milk supply is low. There are two reasons your daycare provider can request more milk. It is either they are overfeeding the baby or the baby is a big eater.
If the problem is overfeeding, the first thing you can do is to find a way to educate them about paced bottle feeding. Print out the information and give it to them. You can also change the bottle nipples to preemie nipples that have extra slow flow. That way, you can control what comes out of the bottle.
Secondly, if the problem is that the baby is a big eater, you may need to find a way to supplement the breast milk with (formula) powder milk for the baby. But then, the provider needs to find a way to calm fussy babies down without necessarily giving them more milk.
Formula at daycare breast milk at home
Can you choose to feed your baby formula at daycare and breastfeed them at home? This is especially important if you have been breastfeeding while on leave and it is time to return to work and you don’t like to pump as much. Also, it is a consideration if you produce less milk than your baby drinks in a day. Supplementing with formula at daycare is possible if you are facing the issues raised here. You can just breastfeed in the early hours of the morning and at bedtime.
When to stop sending breast milk to daycare
Luckily for most moms, breastfeeding is not forever! It has to stop at some point. The question is when to stop sending breast milk to daycare.
A research study by the FDA notes read that “Breastmilk meets the requirement of a milk substitute and can be served to children over the age of 12 months.” So, after 12 months, you may need to start supplementing with other forms of milk such as cow’s milk. But the DOH-CACFP: Policy Memo Number 162 – Fluid Milk and Milk Substitutes, Questions and Answers (02/12) reads that”
“Mothers who wish to continue providing breastmilk for their babies over 12 months of age can do so without having to submit a medical statement. Breastmilk is a substitute for cow’s milk in the meal pattern for children“.
So, what most moms do is reduce the number of bottles and add breast milk to a sippy cup. You can reduce the number of breast milk bottles and add cow milk to supplement the remaining. Do this gradually until you completely wean the baby off breast milk and bottles.
The content above perfectly answers the question “How much breast milk to send to daycare?” and much more information is also provided. How much have you been sending to daycare and how do you pack it? Let’s know your thoughts in the comment.