Attachment parenting is a common catchphrase that describes parents who tend to embrace certain parenting practices, including breastfeeding, cloth diapering and baby-wearing (with a sling or wrap). While many attachment-parenting couples choose to have one parent home with the baby, others choose or have the need to work outside of the home. If you are a parent who is trying to use the attachment parenting philosophies, choosing a child care facility can prove a challenge. Here are some considerations and possible solutions to keep in mind.
It is very possible to breastfeed while having your baby in daycare. One popular way of handling this is to pump bottles of breastmilk that are saved in the refrigerator and given to the baby during the day. You (or your partner, if your partner is the one nursing the baby) will probably need to pump milk during the workday in order to keep up your supply and make yourself more comfortable.
It's important to tell your child care provider how to warm the breastmilk. Since breastmilk should not go in the microwave, ask the daycare employees to warm the milk under lukewarm running water, making the water warmer until it is brought up to room temperature (or the temperature that your baby prefers).
You can also begin feeding your baby more often at night, which is convenient for cosleeping families. This will cut down on the number of bottles that your little one will need during the day, and is a good solution for moms who are not able to let down well for the breast pump.
Many child care facilities will not accept cloth diapers, since they present the problem of storing wet and soiled diapers until the parent picks up the baby, as well as more contact with urine, particularly when flat diapers are used . You can ask if exceptions are made for all-in-one diapers, which are one piece, much like disposable diapers. Providing a waterproof cloth diaper bag might also be a reasonable and safe way for you to have the daycare store the diapers until you arrive to bring them home.
If health department regulations prohibit the facility from accepting cloth diapers at all, try different diaper brands to find one that is more cloth-like. You can also try lining disposable diapers with fleece liners (which the daycare can simply throw away) or choosing a more environmentally friendly option, such as Seventh Generation or Bambo Nature brand diapers.
If you are wearing your baby in a sling, it's possible that your child care facility will accommodate this. If not, a home daycare provider might be willing to wear your baby in a sling or wrap. You may need to show the provider how to use the sling; be sure to pass along important safety considerations, too, such as making sure the sling is tight enough and that the baby's back is supported properly.
Attachment parenting is possible when a baby is in daycare. Even if your ideals cannot be followed 100% during the hours that the baby is in the child care center, you can still follow them at home. Talk to your child care provider about the possibilities and be open to compromise. Contact a business, such as The Cottage School, for more information.