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Thread: Leaving baby for three weeks

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  1. #1

    Default Leaving baby for three weeks

    When Elizabeth is 9 months old, I have to go on tour and leave her for three weeks. I am building up a stash (I have over 400 oz now, which sounds like a lot, but it's really only 10-15 days of milk for a 9 month old, and I need 21 days) and will potentially have the opportunity to use dry ice and mail some milk home while I'm gone. In a perfect world, she will come back to nursing when I get back home, but if she doesn't, I plan to continue pumping and have her exclusively drink breast milk until she's one. She takes bottles well.

    My questions:
    Should I go cold turkey and nurse her up until the day I leave, or wean her gradually from the breast? I think if I wean her, the likelihood of her returning to nursing is lower, but I feel like cold turkey (suddenly no more nursing) may be a little cruel and hard for her to understand.

    Has anyone ever done something like this and had the baby come back to the breast? There is no way she can come with me, so bottle-feeding for those three weeks is the only option.

    Has anyone ever shipped milk across the country? Any advice on that?

    TIA!


  2. #2

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    I don't think you need to completely wean her from the breast but I would have whomever will be caring for her start to give her bottles of bm too so she can get used to that. Personally I would keep nursing her up until you leave, though.

  3. #3

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    How often does she get bottles now? I had to leave two of my kids when they were babies for business trips but just 4 or 5 days tops. They were in daycare full time normally so they had bottles daily no problem just not from me. They did fine with bottles while gone since I wasn't there as an option to nurse. If she rarely gets bottles now, I might give them more often but not all the time. I've never shipped milk. The trick for traveling with milk though is to not freeze it. That will only work for the last week though. I just kept it in storage bags in a fridge then used a soft sided cooler on the trip home. I had several flat ice packs and mixed them in with the milk bags laying flat in the cooler then froze the milk when I got home. Otherwise if the milk is frozen and defrosts on the way home it would go bad or need to be used immediately.
    ~ Shannon
    Michael, Married October, 2003
    Jessica, June 2005 ~ Kyle, September 2007 ~ Michaela, March 2010 ~ Abigail, June 2012


  4. #4

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    I don't have any experience with this, but I would probably nurse until time to go. She won't understand why she's getting bottle and not boobie when you are still around. She's probably figured out already that she gets bottle when you aren't there.
    Vicki 39 DH45 SD12 SS9
    DS Hudson Sept 23, 2009!
    DS Trevor July 29, 2012!
    "Fat babies have no pride" - Lyle Lovett

  5. #5

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    I would nurse up until you leave. I'm also going to say that you can ship your milk on dry ice through any shipping company. Costly, but worth it. Also, she may take less milk at 9 months than you think. She will be on solids 2-3 times per day by then and eating finger foods most likely.

    Mommy to Piper 6/5/09 and an 11/2011
    Make a pregnancy ticker

  6. #6

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    Thanks, moms! Good advice.


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