Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Misadventures in Baby Sitting: WWYD?

Picking up Little A from daycare, I pause to coo at the newest kid there, a bright-eyed baby who is perhaps five months old. The baby sucks fervently on a bottle. I ask Susanne, the owner/operator, if the transition is going well for the little one.

"She had a good day," Susanne says as she cradles the baby and smiles at her warmly. "I'm just so THRILLED she's finally taking the bottle! The first couple days can be hit or miss for babies who are used to the breast alone."

I nod, remembering that particular hell when Big A started daycare. Just then the mother of the new baby enters and the baby throws off the bottle and lunges for mommy with a joyous chortle. I say hello but must turn back to my brood rather than make more small talk. Big A holds her sister's beloved blankie over Little A's head just beyond reach, and Little A is ready to poke every finger through whatever orifice she hits first. I separate and haul both kids toward the door, tossing a goodbye over my shoulder.

When my head is turned toward them, I watch as Susanne asks the new mom if she can give the bottle to someone else. "It's seems such a shame to waste it!" She says. And next moment, another child who happened to toddle by is happily guzzling the beverage.

I'm curious: What would you do?


Julia said...

I wouldn't mind someone else having my milk. In fact I have given away a lot of it when Monkey was a baby and I was making way more than she needed. But in this situation I would be worried about two things: (1) hygiene-- what if my baby, who already had her mouth on the bottle, left behind some germs the other kid wasn't exposed to before? and (2) how do the other kid's parents feel about him/her consuming someone else's milk? I know I don't have any of the diseases that can be passed through the milk, but why should they believe my say-so? Did they give their consent previously to a meal like that?

Beruriah said...

I can add nothing to what Julia said - not cool, I think.

Ann said...

Hoo boy--I think we can agree it's not the best thing to do, but how to handle it? I think I would take Susanne aside and explain my reservations, saying that the other mom should have a say in whether her child is drinking someone else's breastmilk.

I'm sure she'd probably say it's no problem. The hard part is, how much do you like this daycare, and what extent are you willing to go to to make sure the right thing gets done?

Marie-Baguette said...

Yikes! It is breast milk, LOTS of diseases can be transmitted:
"A woman would not be a suitable milk donor if:

* She has a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis
* She or her sexual partner is at risk for HIV
* She uses illegal drugs
* She smokes or uses tobacco products
* She has received an organ or tissue transplant or a blood transfusion in the last 12 months
* She regularly has more than two ounces or more of alcohol per day
* She has been in the United Kingdom for more than 3 months or in Europe for more than 5 years since 1980
* She was born in or has traveled to Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria"...
I would be livid if someone fed my boy someone else's milk. I did not even want to get a pump from a friend because I am so paranoid about diseases.
Tell the mothers!

Which Box said...

Yikes. This seriously grosses me out, though I'm trying to think logically that breastmilk is so good, and has anti-bacterial properties. But no, sorry.

Even though they recommend not doing it, we saved bottles from one day to the next. So didn't work through my frozen stash too quickly, and it was all fine. If I was the mother, I'd have taken the bottle with me.


Anonymous said...

I would make a big deal over that. In fact, I was angry when I saw the teacher in my kids' daycare serving the toddlers yogurt out of the same bowl with separate spoons.

There are strict health rules they have to abide by at daycare. In fact, in my state, they can't give a baby his own bottle if the base of it has touched the floor. Obviously overly strict, but the idea is to keep the spread of disease to a minimum.

Rosepetal said...

I agree entirely with what Julia said.