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Choosing Childcare for Your Breastfed Baby

Choosing childcare for your baby is a very tough decision for many parents, especially for a first child. In some cases, the parents can arrange their work schedules so that one of them is able to stay home with the baby. Others are able to ask a grandparent or other trusted family member to provide care. If you don’t have these choices, you will want to select a childcare provider who supports your efforts to breastfeed.

Another consideration is how convenient the childcare location is to your workplace. In-home childcare has its advantages. But some parents find a care provider close enough to their workplace that they can drop in during work breaks or at lunchtime to breastfeed. Some birth parents are able to have their care provider bring the baby to them at work. When your commute time between the childcare provider and your workplace is shorter, you and your baby spend less time apart. You can then make time for more direct breastfeeding. This means fewer pumping sessions may be needed.

The following are some questions you may want to ask candidates when choosing a care provider for your breastfed child:

  • Are they trained in correct handling, storage, thawing, and warming of breastmilk?

  • Do they have refrigerators or freezers where your breastmilk can be stored for later use?

  • Do they provide a specific area for breastfeeding or pumping? Is the area private and comfortable for you to use? Is it sanitary (not a bathroom)?

  • Are there certain times they allow you to come in and breastfeed your baby?

  • Do they support breastfeeding?

  • Has their staff received training in breastfeeding support and promotion?

  • When and how often will they feed your baby? Will they feed your baby based on their hunger cues or a set schedule?

  • Will infant formula or solid foods be offered to your baby? If so, when will they be offered?

  • Will they let you know when you need to bring in more breastmilk?

  • What is the method for feeding young babies? Is a baby held closely for bottle feedings? Young babies can’t be expected to hold a bottle, and propping bottles is not safe or correct. Propping is linked to choking and a greater risk for ear infections. The social interaction during feedings or mealtime can be as important as obtaining food.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Mary Terrell MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
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