Breastfed Infants in Home Daycare

Breastfed Infants in Home Daycare

The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous to baby, mom, and you (the daycare provider!). Let’s look at how providers in the CACFP can be reimbursed for promoting breastfeeding and receive training on infant feeding and transitioning infants to solid food.


Breastfeeding-Friendly Home Daycare

How to set up a lactation area in your home daycare.

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    Are you a CACFP childcare provider who has resisted adding infants to your roster due to the challenges of meeting the requirements for feeding infants?

    Does it all just seem so overwhelming and too challenging to add them in?

    Well, due to exciting changes and revisions in the USDA’s feeding guidelines for infants (CACFP Memo 11-2023) within the CACFP system, you may want to revisit the idea of welcoming infants to your facility.

    These changes focus on breastfeeding, the feeding of expressed breast milk, and transitioning babies to solid foods. These new standards are not only beneficial to the infants and their mothers, but they are also beneficial to you as a CACFP caregiver.

    Before we discuss how these new guidelines can benefit you, let’s take a moment to review the undeniable benefits of breastfeeding to an infant and his or her mother.

    Benefits Baby

    Both the AMA and the CDC are major proponents of breastfeeding. Their guidelines state that the most ideal, best breastfeeding practice would be providing breast milk exclusively for the first six months of an infant’s life.

    The USDA promotes breastfeeding stating that research suggests that breastfeeding lowers an infant’s risk of certain infections and diseases, including:

    • Ear infections,
    • Asthma,
    • Lower respiratory infections,
    • Diarrhea and vomiting,
    • Childhood obesity,
    • Eczema,
    • Type 2 diabetes,
    • Childhood leukemia, or
    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

    They also state that breast milk is one of the best things to aid an infant in their growth and development. Remarkably, breast milk even changes to meet the infant’s needs as he or she gets older. Breast milk is rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as well as other ingredients that help an infant grow healthy and strong.

    Benefits Mom

    Baby is not the only one whose health is improved by breastfeeding – Mom, too experiences health benefits as mothers who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of the following:

    • Breast cancer,
    • Ovarian cancer,
    • Type 2 Diabetes, and
    • High blood pressure.[1]

    Moms who work outside the home typically return to work between six weeks and 2 months after giving birth. Providing strictly breast milk for Baby for the first six months means Mom will need to come to your daycare facility to breastfeed, or she will need to supply you with expressed breast milk or, a combination of the two.

    If Mom herself is able to come to Baby for breastfeeding on her lunch or other break, this can be very beneficial in alleviating anxiety that both Mom and Baby may experience as Mom transitions back to work.  Any extra time spent with Mom is extremely beneficial to Baby, and if that time is spent breastfeeding, it is all the better.

    This all sounds very beneficial for both Mom and Baby, but how does this benefit you, the daycare provider?

    So glad you asked.

    Benefits You (Daycare Providers)

    1. Reimbursement for Breastfed Infants in the CACFP

    The CACFP program is so fiercely committed to promoting the benefits of breastfeeding that not only can you be reimbursed for feeding the infant expressed breast milk provided by Mom, you may also be reimbursed when Mom comes in to personally breastfeed Baby herself. Yes, you can be reimbursed if Mom breastfeeds even though it doesn't cost you anything! This is a win-win-win situation – for Baby, Mom and you! Check here for more information on the CACFP guidelines for feeding infants.

    2. Training for Providers with Breastfed Infants in Their Care

    But, the CACFP program doesn’t stop there. They have worked to develop a very thorough training curriculum to help you understand not only best practices for infant feeding within the CACFP program, but also how best to transition Baby to solids within the parameters of the CACFP system. This information can be invaluable as you enter the phase of experimentation where you work to discover which foods and what amounts are well-tolerated by Baby. Check it out here. Please note that this program is currently under revision but is still available for use.

    3. Supporting Moms + Long Term Rewards

    The transition back to work can be not only emotionally challenging for Mom, but making the extra effort to continue breastfeeding may feel overwhelming or pointless to her.  A little extra encouragement from you may be all she needs to stay the course.

    Providing a space for mom to breastfeed or pump is a practical step you can take to encourage breastfeeding in your care. A lactation area doesn't have to be an elaborate room - in fact, there are just a few things that are essential. Download the checklist at the bottom of the page. 

    Finally, because breastfed babies are generally healthier with stronger immune systems than formula-fed babies, you could, in all likelihood experience an overall healthier daycare facility by encouraging new moms to continue with breastfeeding as they transition back to work.  Fewer illnesses, quicker recovery times, etc. benefit everyone.

    Take some time to familiarize yourself with the program, the benefits of it and of breastfeeding.  Be an advocate for breastfeeding and a cheerleader for those moms who are willing to put in a little extra effort on behalf of the health of their child. After all, aren’t healthier, stronger children the ultimate goal?  As a well-informed CACFP provider you are perfectly positioned to play a pivotal role toward achieving that goal.


    Breastfeeding-Friendly Home Daycare

    How to set up a lactation area in your home daycare.

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.


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