Communicating with Your Childcare Provider

You have chosen the people who will care for your baby in your absence. As parents, it is your responsibility to communicate your baby’s needs and your expectations clearly to the person who is caring for your baby.

It can be uncomfortable to assertively instruct experienced childcare providers on how to care for your baby. But, this is your baby. Nobody knows your baby like you do, not even a seasoned childcare provider. You are helping both the baby and the childcare provider by offering detailed guidance on your baby’s unique needs, likes, and dislikes.

Also, whomever is caring for your baby should look to you for guidance on how you want your child to be cared for, not tell you what your baby needs or how you should feed your baby.

Consider this childcare experience to be practice for your first parent-teacher school conferences. You know what’s best for your child, you are your child’s best advocate. The teacher is there to give you feedback on what they notice about your child when they are caring for them, not tell you how to parent.  Perhaps you aren’t feeling too confident as a parent, and that’s ok. Keep moving through that discomfort and speak assertively anyway.

If childcare asks for more milk than you’ve been sending

  • When a childcare provider asks you to send more milk, they may or may not ask in a sensitive, curious way. You find yourself feeling triggered or upset by the request.
  • Before responding to the request for more milk, pause, breathe and check in with yourself. Ideally, your child care provider is providing reflections on your baby’s behavior rather than telling you what to do. If they don’t provide you with much feedback on your child’s behavior, begin by responding calmly with curious questions about your child.
  • “What are you noticing that makes you think he needs more milk?”
  • “After which bottles are you noticing this behavior?”
  • “What are you doing to try to provide nonnutritive sucking time to the baby along with nutritive eating time?”
  • “How long does it take for baby to finish a bottle?”
  • Can you please take some notes about what you are seeing this week and we can discuss the possibility of me bringing more milk?  Thanks!
  • Consider that the baby may actually need more milk 
  • Ask yourself:
  • Has baby dropped an overnight feeding?
  • How many times in 24 hours  does baby nurse when we you are home together on the weekend? Does baby still seem satisfied after nursing?
  • Are you pumping more than baby is eating at daycare- aka can you afford to send in more milk?