Child Care

Choosing Child Care for Your Breastfed
Infant

Choosing child care for your baby is a
very tough decision for many mothers, 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 options, you will want to select a child care provider who supports
your efforts to breastfeed.

Another consideration is how
convenient the child-care location is to your workplace. In-home child care has its
advantages. But some mothers find a care provider close enough to their workplace that they
can drop in during work breaks or at lunchtime to breastfeed. Some mothers are able to have
their care provider bring the baby to them at work. When your commute time between the
child care 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 familiar with proper
    storage, thawing, and warming of breastmilk?

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

  • 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 appropriate. Propping
    is linked to choking and a greater risk of ear infections. Also, the social
    interaction during feedings or mealtime can be as important as obtaining food.

  • You may plan for your baby to be
    fed by an alternative feeding method. This might include cup-feeding, finger-feeding,
    or syringe-feeding. If so, ask if the care provider is willing and able to continue
    this practice with your child.

Educate caregivers about SIDS (sudden
infant death syndrome)

  • Offer your baby a pacifier for
    sleeping or naps, 
    if he or she isn’t breastfed. If breastfeeding, don’t
    introduce a pacifier until breastfeeding has been firmly established.

  • Use a firm mattress (covered
    by a tightly fitted sheet). 

  • Don’t place infants on a couch or
    armchair for sleep.

  • Don’t share your bed with your
    baby. 
    Bed sharing is not recommended for twins or other higher
    multiples.

  • Don’t use infant seats, car
    seats, strollers, infant carriers, and infant swings for routine sleep and
    daily naps.

  • Don’t overbundle, overdress, or
    cover an infant’s face or head.

  • Don’t use loose bedding or soft
    objects.

  • Always place cribs, bassinets,
    and play yards in hazard-free areas.
    Make sure there are no dangling
    cords, wires, or window coverings. This reduces the risk of strangulation.

  • Don’t use alcohol or illegal
    drugs, and don’t smoke while caring for babies.
     Don’t allow the baby to be
    around anyone who is smoking.