Are you a new parent who feels like they’ve heard it all about breastfeeding and pumping for daycare? I feel your pain! While there are lots of guidelines out there on how much breast milk to send to daycare.
The amount of breast milk to send to daycare will depend on your baby’s age and how much they feed at each feeding.
For instance, if your infant is 3 months old and feeds every 2-3 hours at the breast, then you could send about 4 ounces (120ml) per providing every 2-3 hours they’re there. At 6 months, it’s 5 ounces (150ml) every 3 hours. At 9 months and up, it’s 4-6 ounces (120-180ml) every 3-4 hours.
I have gotten 4 suggestions for sending breastmilk to daycare, 5 best ways to send breastmilk, pediatrician suggestions and general guidelines on making sure you’re sending just enough (and not too much) milk.
So you may experience a sense of reassurance, peace of mind, and emotional connection, knowing you have practical guidance and support in maintaining your bond with your child.
4 Suggestions For Sending Breast Milk To Daycare
As a general rule, you should send enough for your child to have at least one full feeding while at daycare. It will ensure they don’t go hungry or get sick from missing their mealtime routine.
And if you have more than one child in daycare, keep in mind that some centers may require that each child receives a bottle of breast milk rather than sharing one between two babies.
1. Sizes For Daycare Bottles
The best way to figure out how much breast milk to send for the day is to look at the minimum and maximum sizes for daycare bottles.
Most daycares require your baby’s bottle to be at least 6 ounces, but some allow up to 12 ounces. So you’ll want to calculate how much you need per feeding, then multiply that by how many feedings you will be sent with your child daily.
If you are unsure how much you need to pump, talk with your pediatrician or lactation consultant so they can help guide you through this process based on your baby’s age, weight, and appetite needs. You should also pack extra breast milk if your baby’s needs change unexpectedly.
2. Amount Of Ounces
In terms of ounces, that usually means putting between four and six ounces in each container. It will vary depending on your baby’s age and how much they eat at daycare.
If you haven’t already, your provider should start telling you how much breastmilk they think your child needs at each feeding time or at least give you a general recommendation based on his age.
For example, You have a 16-week-old who is eating about 2 ounces per feeding right now (which means he’s getting roughly half an ounce per hour). If he will be away from home for three hours during his first day in daycare, it makes sense for you to pump about an extra two ounces than usual so that he’ll have enough milk to satisfy him during his morning session there (2+1=3).
If he comes home after noon, maybe there won’t be as much left over because it can break into smaller servings rather than one large one given all at once. Instead of pumping 6+1=7 this time, it would make sense if we did something like 5+0=5 so there’d still be some leftovers for later when Mommy gets back home again.
3. Extra Breast Milk For Unexpected Change
You can send it home with your baby if you have extra breast milk. It is beneficial if your baby is sick. If your child needs more than usual to help them recover, getting that additional supply from the daycare staff may be complex. Having an emergency stash of breast milk will ensure that they have enough nutrition when they need it most!
4. Storage of Excess Breast Milk
If you have a surplus of breast milk, it’s best to store it in the freezer until needed. You can freeze it for up to six months. After thawing frozen breast milk that has been in your possession for less than two weeks, it should still be safe to use; however, if frozen longer than two weeks, discard any ice crystals that form or dark spots on the container after thawing (these are signs of spoilage).
To thaw frozen breast milk, place a container of freezing liquid in warm water and stir every five minutes until thoroughly softened (about 20 minutes).
Use an electric pump to place the tubing under warm running water while pumping away until entirely melted (approximately 15-20 minutes).
5 Best Ways To Send Breastmilk
You can freeze breastmilk in a variety of ways. It is essential to store it properly so that it does not become contaminated or spoiled.
The following information will help you learn about storing breastmilk safely.
- If you send breastmilk in a bottle, use a clean nipple, cap, and ring (if applicable). Fill the bottle with cool water and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
- Open the bottle and check if any bubbles appear on top of the water. If there are no bubbles, then the bottle is safe to use.
- If there are bubbles, throw away the bottle and start with a new clean one.
- If you use an electric pump, clean all parts thoroughly before pumping or storing your milk in them.
- You should also sterilize all bottles and caps before using them for your baby’s feedings; boiling them for 5 minutes works well for this purpose.
You may also like to read: What to Pack for Daycare
Talk with your pediatrician if you are unsure how much you need to pump. Your pediatrician can help determine how much breast milk suits your child and how much to send to daycare.
The first step is ensuring you have enough breast milk for your baby. Talk with your pediatrician if you are unsure about how much to send. You can store extra breast milk in the freezer until it is needed.
If you need to thaw frozen breast milk, place it in a container with cool water or refrigerate it until ready.
Related: Best Bottle Labels for Daycare
How Long Can I Store Breastmilk?
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends storing breastmilk for 6 months in the refrigerator and up to 2 weeks in the freezer. If you have frozen a large amount of milk, you can use an ice cube tray to freeze it into small portions. It will make it easier to defrost small amounts when needed. Be sure that any ice cube trays used are BPA-free!
What if My Baby Doesn’t Take the Bottle? Can I Still Send Them Breast Milk?
If your baby refuses, you can still send breast milk in a bottle. However, you will need to measure out one ounce of room-temperature milk and place that in a small container with ice packs or frozen gel packs so that the temperature stays consistent until it reaches daycare.
How Much Breast Milk Should I Send To Daycare?
The amount of breast milk you should send depends on your child’s age and the daycare facility where they will spend time. Babies younger than 6 months old generally only need one bottle per day, while older babies may need more if they have been eating solid foods for a while.
We hope these tips have helped you understand what kind of breast milk to send to your baby’s daycare. Remember that it is normal if you are unsure how much they need, so do not worry! Before deciding on a plan, please talk with your pediatrician and get their advice on the right amount of breast milk for your child’s age group.