Back to work: Your baby's first visit to caregiver

Make a Practice Run to Day Care

Gather all your things for work, including your baby's day-care bag, pack up the car and take a trip to day care. Make sure that you allow enough time in the morning (especially if you live in an area with commuter traffic) to drive to your baby's care facility, get your baby settled into day care, and then drive to work. If you run through this routine at least once before returning to work you will be better prepared for the "real thing."

Have Your Baby Stay with the Caregiver

Plan to have your baby stay with your caregiver for a few hours each day to help ease the transition for you and baby. Not only will this ease the transition for your baby and get her used to a new atmosphere, it will give you a little time to get organized during the day and adjust to time away from your baby.

Ask for daily reports from your caregiver and take notice of your child's behavior and temperament when you pick her up. If she seems particularly fussy or consistently out of character from her usual moods, you may have to find another care provider.

Introducing the Bottle

If your baby nurses well and you feel confident in your milk supply, you can introduce the bottle in week six after birth. Before this time your baby is still learning to nurse at the breast and switching back and forth from breast to bottle can confuse a young baby, since artificial nipples require an entirely different sucking pattern. If the bottle is introduced too early, then, your baby may become frustrated at the breast and will soon be reluctant to nurse at all. If you are having problems introducing your baby to a bottle, read Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Kathy Kuhn's helpful tips.

It is very common for breastfeeding moms to go straight to cup feeding and bypass the bottle altogether. There are many "sippy" cups available on the market that you can use to ease into cup feeding. Expect cup feeding to be a bit messy at first, so be patient.

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