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Thread: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    Hi All -- I'm just wondering if anyone has advice. I'll be traveling alone with LO next year (she'll be 13-months by then). It's 3 flights w/ 2 stopovers (over 24 hours in the air!) I was only planning on BF for a year but can continue BF through our trip if it will be easier. There's not a whole lot of personal space on a place so nursing discreetly might be challenging. I hate using nursing covers (I have no skills!) but since she nurses to sleep now, this might be helpful(?) Any thoughts?

    Also, any tips about traveling with 1-yr olds would be great too

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    I traveled with DS when he was 11mo and he was overly tired most of the trip. During layovers he was excited about everything, but on the plane he was either whining or sleeping in my arms. The only way I was able to get him to sleep was by BFing. Nursing can also help ear pressure issues if done during take off and landing.

    IMO, keep nursing through the trip because it will probably be the best tool you have to calm DD during all the flights.

    ETA: I planned my travel clothes based on ease of nursing without a cover, using lower cut stretchy shirts or shirts with snap buttons in the front and a nursing tank under. Only once did someone pay a little more that a few seconds of attention to me (some guy across the aisle wasn't oggling, but was watching with some attention, didn't bother me)
    Last edited by @llli*sassypants; November 27th, 2012 at 07:50 AM.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    April 2014

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    Absolutely EVERYTHING is easier if you breastfeed. Nursing is the mothering solution to a cranky baby, a teething baby, a sleepy baby who won't take a nap, a hurt baby, a sick baby, a baby with an ear infection, a baby who just accidentally ingested a hot pepper, a hungry or thirsty baby, a frustrated baby, etc. Replace the word "baby" with the word "toddler" and the last sentence still remains 100% true. This is why you couldn't pay me enough to wean at a year. And I wouldn't even look at a plane trip with a baby if I couldn't nurse!

    Your baby is still really young, right? If so, I'd encourage you not to set hard and fast nursing targets at this point. So much will change in the next few months. I know I thought I'd only nurse for a year, but when that point approached and I saw how much easier nursing made my life, and how much my baby was still a baby and still needed to nurse, I knew there was no way I was giving it up!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    Accidentally ingested a hot pepper? Yowser.

    I just wanted to add that -- though DH is a lot younger -- nursing saved us during a 1.5 hr delay on the tarmac after our flight had landed (no gate for us). We would have had major tears had the bottles and sippies I packed for the flight ran out. Nursing is the best emergency kit you have!
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    Life in general with an older baby and toddler is easier if baby is "still' nursing, in my opinion!

    Here is what made plane travel easier for us when kids were young toddlers:

    Back carrier, like the Ergo. Baby goes in back carrier, everything else goes in the stroller. As long as you can still bring the stroller right to the gate at boarding, this is really convenient.
    Buying an extra seat for baby: Airlines used to charge half price for baby under 2. We always did it. Why, when baby could sit on our laps? Because it gave more room and thus, more perception of privacy and less chance kid would kick, grab, or spit up on person in the next seat.
    If that is not an option, I suggest, try to get an aisle seat. Window would work, but it is really hard to get up and down with a kid and past two people. Of course if your kid is a “jump up and runner” window might be better. Avoid a middle seat if you can.

    Psych yourself up so you feel comfortable nursing. Sit down and imagine yourself on a plane, with someone right next to you. Think about it, you would REALLY have to crane your neck to see that person’s front. So while someone next to you might 'know' what is going on, they are really unlikely to actually see anything. Same with someone across the aisle. Most people on planes pull out their books or devices and concentrate on those to avoid unwanted conversations, or talk to their companions. I know how it can feel as if every one is watching when you nurse in a tight space, but in general and in particularly on a plane, that is really unlikely. If someone is looking and making you feel uncomfortable, stare back and give a big smile. They probably will realize what they are doing and look away, or explain "So sorry, I am a LLL Leader and love to see babies this age still nursing" or something.

    On the other hand, if your kid cannot stop screaming due to the ear pressure, (which is typically relieved great by nursing) people probably will stare. Or glare.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    I agree with PPs that BFing is my go-to tool when traveling with LO! I try to nurse on the way up and the way down to help ease the ear pressure, and in between for soothing or getting the baby to nap. Can't say anybody has noticed me nursing other than the flight attendants patrolling the aisles to make sure everyone has their seat belt fastened, and they always look relieved to see that I'm doing something that they know is going to keep baby happy! (Though I would love it if someone said, "I'm a LLL Leader and love to see babies this age still nursing"!!)

    If you don't buy LO her own seat, I've had kind airline employees arrange a seat for me with an empty seat next to me, if the plane isn't full. Never hurts to ask!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*vivsmaman View Post
    Accidentally ingested a hot pepper? Yowser.
    True story. DD was 3 and almost completely weaned. She grabbed a piece of Korean fishcake out of the bowl and ate it, not noticing that it was full of red pepper flakes. She started to SCREAM at the top of her lungs. "My mouf is burning! Ow! Ow! It hurts! OOOOOOoooooowwwww!" I grabbed her and started nursing, and I think that everyone in the restaurant was glad, because DD couldn't scream and nurse at the same time.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    we've traveled a good bit with DS and nursing is SO, SO, SO helpful, as all the previous posters have mentioned. Nothing extra to pack (and packing for travel with a baby is already a hassle) and nothing to fuss with on the plane, in layovers, etc. etc. I think people have noticed me BFing on the plane, but no one seemed to care. And, I agree with the pp who said people will be more happy that you are doing something to keep baby calm than that you are BFing.

    My travel tips:
    1. pack only the diapers/wipes you need for the plane and the first night of your trip (plus a couple more). Buy what else you need when you get there. On the return, pack only what you need to get home (plus a few) and just leave the rest behind. Really cuts down on luggage!

    2. don't bother packing lots of toys. a few small favorites. But, baby will occupy herself with all the new things. Mine hardly touches the toys we bring (though, it is good to have a few).

    3. take something new and novel for the plane. we took a cheap calculator (he loves buttons) and some finger puppets. something you are pretty sure she'll like but that is new to her. but not something that requires a new skill. take a couple books. i think it is really helpful to pack a bag of just things for the baby for on the plane. though this does mean you have to give up one of your carry-ons (unless you buy baby a seat), it makes things a lot more convenient.

    4. are you traveling with someone? if so, it is ideal to get a row to yourself where you have the window and aisle seats, with no one in between. if you aren't buying baby a seat, ask at the desk if they can arrange this for you. maybe, actually, call ahead. i normally hate to ask for things, but this is SO worth it. it gives you more space (which is invaluable), lets you take turns with baby more easily, and also gives baby a choice of vantage points. ours really enjoyed sitting in the middle seat (when we were at cruising altitude and seat belt sign off) and also LOVES to stand on my lap and look out the window. he also likes the aisle seats so he can see everyone. so, having all the options is nice. personally, if i had to travel alone and choose, i would choose window, but that's just me.

    5. someone suggested to me to fly with my boppy pillow. i haven't done it, but they said it was essential for comfort on a long flight with a sleeping baby in your lap. it would be bulky, but i can see the advantage of it.

    6. (and most important)....relax and have fun. be prepared that LO will cry and fuss. she will sleep when she normally doesn't and not sleep when she "should." she'll eat at weird times and wake up more at night. but, you'll love to see the world through your LO's eyes, she'll be stimulated by all the new sights, sounds, smells, etc. and you will build memories that last a lifetime. you'll also see parts of your destination that you'd never see otherwise. (we always try to mix in some park/playground visits with the adult stuff so LO can get some play time and fresh air; i think we saw EVERY single park in vienna on our recent trip and also got to interact with a lot of local families which was great).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Is it easier to travel w/ LO if you're still BF?

    So nursing is better for travelling!! I had no idea about the ear popping perk! Thank you all for responding and giving me such great advice!! Our trip is still a long way from now but knowing that BF will make this trip easier gives me extra motivation to keep at it!

    The travelling tips are awesome! Thanks evolvingmama, lllmeg, and sassypants! I'll definitely use these tips. I'm so glad an Ergo is on my christmas wish list I couldn't afford to buy baby a seat so hopefully the airline gods will show mercy on our departure day...

    mommal-- I LOL'd at your hot pepper story thanks, I won't set hard end dates, never thought of the possibility that I might not wanna stop after a year...

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