breastfeeding a toddler in airplane / air travel tips

Mary - posted on 09/28/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I'm taking my 16 month old on an airplane trip this weekend; she nurses a couple times a day. However, I'm concerned about her wanted to nurse during our trip, since she is always moving around while nursing (and is likely to expose me to the world!). She can be very demanding about breastfeeding when she's tired and cranky (i.e. before naptime). Any tips on being discreet in an airport/airplane w/ a toddler? Other air travel tips for travelling w/ an active toddler are appreciated! Thanks!

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Jan - posted on 09/28/2009

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take a large shawl & a couple of safety pins with you. secure one end to your shoulder & the other end under your arm. All you'll have to worry about is keeping the front in place! Good luck & enjoy your trip. x

Sigrid - posted on 09/28/2009

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Hi Mary!



Sitting by a window helps, so that you are "covered" on one side. Wear clothes that are easy to nurse in (a button up blouse perhaps... ) so that you are minimally exposed. I found that nursing with my son on my lap in an upright position, with his legs straddling my body was a good position on a plane, because it takes up less room width-wise, and his body hugged up against mine covered almost everything up. I just threw my nursing cover over his head as well. This might be a little controversial... but I gave my son some Benadryl before the flight, and it made him very sleepy, and he napped the whole time.



Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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Megan - posted on 09/28/2009

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I use nursing covers..the new Dr. Sears ones have a lot of coverage around the sides and the strap over your neck so the little one can't pull it down. I agree with Sigrid. I tend to nurse my little ones sitting up in these situations too...nice cuddling, and yet you stay covered and are more comfy in the little airplane seats! My doc told me to try and nurse on take off and landing to equalize the pressure in thier ears. It does seem to help!

Sarah - posted on 09/28/2009

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My six month old already pulls off any type of covering I have in place, so if yours is like that for the plane trip I might suggest one of the nursing tanks that has 'holes' cut out and hidden by a panel. This keeps all but the nipple covered. I've found that having my nipples slip out during a feeding drew way less attention than having the rest of my breast be exposed. Go figure.

Good luck!

Dulce - posted on 09/28/2009

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My daughter is 11 months old and we have flown three times on the airplane already. Does she nurse exclusively? If not, you can give her the bottle or sippy cup especially during takeoff and landing (that's when they get cranky the most--especially landing because of their ears popping--or not popping). As far as being discreet, bring a blanket or nursing cover to cover yourself while nursing. I also always took the window seat. My husband was able to block me somewhat. Also use your husband to walk the aisles with her when you're able to get up. That took out the monotony of the trip. BTW, the last time we traveled (a few weeks ago), I gave her a lot of snacks during the landing process--that distracted her a whole lot and she didn't cry at all about her ears popping (because she was swallowing). Don't forget toys, small book she likes and her lovey if she has one and pillow to lay her little head down when she finally falls asleep! Now changing diapers on the plane, that's another post LOL! Happy travels!

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