EBF, BLW, separation anxiety and returning to work in 12 weeks....starting to worry...(12 Posts)
This is my first post. My DS is nearly 9 months old (first child), we have EBF so far, no bottles, and nearly 3 months in to BLW. I'm returning to work in 12 weeks time (4 weeks of that is holiday and moving house just before i go back so really only 8 weeks to get on track) and beginning to get worried! The BLW is slowly getting there but DS doesn't seem to be consuming all that much so he is still definitely around 80% BM, his weight is absolutely fine so no worries there. He is very reluctant and inconsolable if he goes to anyone but me and DH, how will he go to his gran and childminder Tues-Thurs?? It's hard to imagine. Sorry, rambling on a bit....
I guess my key Qs are:
Should I try to give him formula as a middle of the day feed so he gets used to having that while I'm at work? Does he need it? Will he reverse cycle? (Where do I begin since be hasn't had a bottle, tried with a little CB water but no interest whatsoever! Would love to express but find it such a faff!) any suggestions on formula, anybody used organic ones?
I want to carry on with BF until approx 1 yr so will do this around work, has this worked well for anyone?
Will he get there with the BLW? Any other BLWs out there that have a similar story?
Will his separation anxiety ease? Can't imagine leaving him for 9 hours at a time at the moment, he gets so worked up.
Wondering (and probably overthinking and making myself feel bad!) whether this separation thing is due to our parenting style. We are, and very much enjoy being a close little family unit, we have co-slept since day 1 and intend on continuing with this for a good while to come. We didn't live near family for the first three months, during which time DS fed every 1-2 hours (at night too) due to his tongue tie we had resolved at 12 weeks old, though he's continued to be a snacker but thankfully not so frequently! So is it just his character or circumstance and should I stop feeling bad about it? I don't think I'm going to do anything dramatically different with our next child (whenever that may be,) anyone have any strategies for this? Ways to say goodbye or do I just disappear quietly? Shorter periods to begin with? Any suggestions welcome
Thank you for reading...
My DD is 9.5months and I returned to work yesterday.
I haven't got any advice on breast feeding as DD has been formula fed since 6.5 months.
For my return to work I knew my mum would look after DD on the Mondays, so for the last month my mum has come over on Mondays, to spend time with us. For the first Mon she just came over for cuddles and to play with DD. and then over the following weeks, I would busy myself elsewhere in the flat, and then my mum took her out for a walk etc. on the last Monday before I went back to work-I went out for a couple if hours.
Yesterday was my first day back at work, and DD was absolutely fine. No tears or anything. She was happy and they had a lovely day.
Not sure if any of that helps. Good luck.
That's a lot of questions! I'll try to answer some of them. I was in exactly your position 5 months ago.
First of all, let me say that it all worked out far more smoothly than I'd anticipated.
Formula - I don't know about different kinds of formula but I expressed daytime milk for DD until she reached 1year old (about 6 weeks after my return to work) at which point she began to drink normal full fat cow's milk. I still breastfeed her now in mornings, evenings, through the week and at weekends (16 months old) as it still suits us both. No supply issues.
Separation - first few times I left DD with the childminder I slipped quietly away as I didn't want to make a big fuss and upset her. Lately I've been able to wave bye-bye and she has actually waved back . She was very very clingy with the childminder for the first month or so - would not be put on the floor to play. And she cried quite a few times when I handed her over in the morning. When I arrived to pick her up in the evenings she would practically throw herself at me and demand a breastfeed (no matter how hungry / not hungry) immediately. She still does demand the breastfeed straight after work - it's like a reconnection ritual - but she is very settled with the childminder now, goes to her very happily, and plays independently and with the other children whilst in cm's care. It took an adjustment period but she really is a happy, confident little girl now, and very relaxed about the care setting.
BLW - I was terribly worried about this because DD hardly showed any interest in solid food before about 10 months, and even then what she ate wouldn't sustain a flea. In fact, I needn't have worried because once she was out of the sight of my boobs all day she miraculously became far more interested in solid food. Five months on and she eats well at almost every meal and has snacks too. And still breastfeeds - a lot!
Hope it goes well for you OP - I truly believe that the anxiety we feel about returning to work and how our DC will manage is far greater than the actual problem. I'm sure you've chosen your baby's care setting with great thought and care, and she will be extremely happy there after an inevitable settling in period.
Oh, and the co-sleeping ... I find it's the one thing that keeps me sane. Without it, I'd be spending about 4 hours out of 24 with my DD on a working day (and I work full time 5 days a week). With co-sleeping I get to spend more like 14 hours a day with her. Co-sleeping is my saviour.
Aaargghhh just typed really long reply then accidentally cancelled it!!
OP you sound just like me a year ago! Went back to work when DD was 9mnths. Am a teacher so had 4 weeks work before summer hols. Also was able to pick her up & be home by 4-4.30.
BLW - my DD didn't eat much, in fact went through phases of not eating much until 18mnths. Don't think it matters if you're breastfeeding. You'll probably find she eats more in day if you're not there!!
EBF - I introduced water in sippy cup at around 6mnths & never bothered with bottles or formula. Health visitor said fine to go all day without BM if giving plenty of calcium eg cheese yogurt.
I reduced day feeds a bit - say one at 8am & one at 2pm by the time I went back. Then when I started work it was 7am & 4-4.30. She didn't miss the feeds if I wasn't there, but I literally had to strip off & feed her the minute we got home!!!
With the childminder I built up slowly over a period of 3mnths, visiting a few times & staying with her, then leaving her an hour a few times, then half a day, and a full day the week before I went back. She was always fine!! 12 weeks is plenty of time for you to do the same!
Try not to worry, it will be fine!!
Also, I don't think separation is to do with your parenting style at all! I think your style will help him grow up feeling secure & loved. He just wants to be with you & DH at the moment which is perfectly normal. My DD was the same!
Continuing to BF around work until 1 is def doable! I ended up continuing past 1!! DS will adapt. I still fed DD during day at weekends & had no problems. Never leaked at work ( although wore breast pads at first in case!!)
Similar situation here too!
As someone else pointed out, its not your parenting style at all. All my kids have suffered with it, and I've parented them differently. First born I very much tried to do routine and go with what my HV told me [skeptical] and yet he was my clingiest baby! You're just doing now what your baby wants, and what is natural. Good on you.
I ebf for 7 months but let other half feed her EBM from about 4m to get her use to a bottle, sometimes she had it sometimes not. If I was about she messed about much more. I tried every bottle and ended up with TT closer to nature. You couldn't try giving him EBM or formula once a day to get used to it? I went back to work at 7.5m and worried like and she'd not feed but if she was hungry she did. I still bf now when she needs it, usually first thing, maybe once in day and dream feed. Her dad always does bath and then gives her formula / EBM at bedtime. Is their little thing they do! I use aptamil, although at moment using dairy free one as she's become allergic to diary following illness.
We blw and she still throws a bit on the floor (she's 9m now) but she enjoys feeding this way, and eats everything We do. He will get there, it takes time. I pack sandwich fingers, cucumber sticks and yoghurt with lots of her favourite snack things so if she hasn't had milk then she can nibble.
I'm lucky (or not so) in that I work shifts, so try and work around OH so we don't need to rely on childminder much. It does mean I'm tired as I do a lot of nights, and don't get to sleep much the next day. When we use the childminder its for 5 hour blocks at the most. She's been fine going, I just skip away quietly. I think if he can see you its worse.
You'll feel guilty whatever you do, its being a mum but it'll all slot into place, try not to worry.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my many questions everyone! Feel so relieved and very reassured to read your experiences and advice going to have another go with expressing/cooled boiled water and various drinking vessels and hopefully DS will take to one of them, and have faith in the BLW and trust that he'll get there in his own time. Sounds like you're all doing amazingly well! Thanks again!
Re the drinking vessel, my DS was 10 months old when I unexpectedly had to go into hospital and had no choice but to stop breastfeeding. DS refused every type of bottle/cup (EBF until then). I was really worried about him and then discovered he could drink using a small straw
Best of luck!
Just wanted to add as my situation was similar to yours.
DC now 2.5 but I went back to work at 8 months.
She was EBF, and BLW. She always refused a bottle and I sent formula to nursery for the first month and she never did have a single mouthful. What worked for us was sending petit filous instead, she would have one at 'milk' time morning and afternoon. I didn't realise till several months later that they spoon fed them to her, but it did no harm and she continued BLW at home, and a mix of BLW and spoon fed at nursery but with no pureed food.
I BF till just after a year, morning and night, it was a wonderful way to get back together after I got home from work. I had dropped night feeding at 6 months and she didn't go back to it though I understand some babies do. She did plenty of night waking though!
She had a really hard time settling at nursery, it was heart breaking, she is a very cuddly, affectionate child and she hates new environments - still does. It took 8 weeks for her to stop being utterly miserable, we only kept going because I couldn't give up work that quickly = would have had to pay back maternity pay which we had spent!
Now, she LOVES nursery, it is her second home, she misses it if she doesn't go, and has a best friend who is like a sister. So nursery is now a great attachment. And she is still a very cuddly, affectionate child, sounds like your DC is too.
Best of luck for the next few months.
Thank you upsydaisy33! Hoping it'll all work itself out. DS ate a whole Cauliflower cheese floret today which we got very excited about! Ah, the little things
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