School is starting soon and you may be faced with a new parenting challenge: how to balance nursing with a schedule change. Whether you are nursing a pre-schooler who will be out of the home for several hours a day, or juggling nursing an infant while getting your older children off to school, you will need to re-access your routine and make adjustments to accommodate everyone. We’ve come up with some tips to keep in mind as you figure out a new schedule that works for your family.
15 minute rule: If you need to adjust a feeding or nap schedule, do it over several weeks and push up or back the desired activity by 15 minutes at a time. A gradual change is an easier adjustment.
Easy fixes: If you want your pre-schooler to get one last feeding before running off to play with friends, ask the school if you can feed inside the building 15-minutes before school starts. And if you need to feed a younger sibling at the exact time you’re supposed to be in carpool line, arrive early and feed in the car before school lets out. Be sure to wear an easy-access nursing bra or cami to make feeding on-the-go a snap.
Pump & serve: If you can’t change your feeding schedule, offer your nursing tot some pumped milk, either in a bottle, sippy cup or mixed with a snack like cereal or oatmeal.
Make it Work: Sending a child to pre-school should be an advantage for both of you. If the school day is too long for your little one, pick him up early and stick to your routine. Missing the last 20 minutes of playtime may be less damaging than messing up the rest of the day for the entire family.
Watch out, mom: Be prepared for natural changes to occur as activities change. Your little one may surprise you and be completely flexible in her nap or feeding schedule. Watch for signs and follow her lead as new patterns emerge.