Sharing is Caring

If your family is anything like mine, you want to seize the opportunities that you have to take trips with your littles because those opportunities are far and few between. My husband is a teacher so we have 3 opportunities every year to take a vacation: Summer, spring break, and Christmas break. Since we met we’ve been “planning” a trip to Washington, D.C. that just never panned out. We decided last summer to just DO IT. Yes, Peyton was a tiny guy last summer. Three months old at the time of our trip, actually. A lot of people wouldn’t have even attempted that…but we knew our next chance would be when Peyton was 1…and a 1 year old in D.C. is a trainwreck. A heavy trainwreck that can run (haha). At least going with Peyton this small he slept most of the time and we just carried him around in the Boba all day. At the time of our trip Noah was 20 months old, so we brought both the stroller and a second Boba so that he could either be carried around or strolled around (or walk. It was so hot, he didn’t always want to be in the Boba). Anyway, that’s the background story! We were crazy and took a 3 month old (that was breastfeeding) and a 20 month old (that was not breastfeeding) to Washington D.C. in August for a vacation. :)

So, how did I manage to make it through 5 days in D.C. while breastfeeding? I got really comfortable with breastfeeding in public. I didn’t have a choice. There was no way for me to keep chilled breastmilk with me all day unless I hauled a pump around the city with me and tried to find private places to plug it in and  use it all day. And then wash everything at the hotel room every night so I could use it all again the next day. Some people might find that way more desirable than breastfeeding in public. Not me. Option 2 would have been to try to find a private place to breastfeed every time my baby was hungry. Again, not really possible (most of the places I fed Peyton were outside), and I wasn’t willing to inconvenience myself and my family that much. (I don’t do breastfeeding in bathrooms. Disgusting). SO. I did what I had to do: Bought a nice, lightweight cover…and fed my baby when he was hungry. Just like nature intended :)

You thought it’d be much more complicated than that, right? Hah. Nope! No tricks, no little secrets…just realize that your baby is hungry and there’s nothing stopping you from feeding him right then and there except your own self consciousness.

And by “right then and there”…I mean…..
<-----Natural History Museum (I'm on
                                                                              the far right on a bench).
<-----Hard Rock Cafe
<---Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol 
<-------D.C. Metro 
<-------National Mall
That’s right. I breastfed at most of the major tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. Not because I was making a “statement” and “sticking it to the man,” but because my baby was hungry. Imagine that!  And you know what? Nobody even noticed. Nobody around me said a word. No, “Mam, can you go somewhere private to do that?” Nothing. People smiled, people walked by, people generally didn’t even know what was going on. So, take heart, breastfeeding mamas. Just because you hear horror stories about moms being  singled out for breastfeeding does not mean it happens often and it does not mean it will happen to you!
So, my advice in a nutshell for those of you that are nervous about going on a trip with a breastfeeding baby: 

1. Get a lightweight cover (if you prefer to be covered, as I do. If you don’t care about being covered then go for it!).

2. Make sure your travel partner is on the same page as you. If they are embarassed about what you’re doing then it won’t work and you’ll be embarassed too. You’ll be much more confident  if you have someone on your “team” with you. 

3. Don’t worry about what’s going on around you. Find yourself a comfortable place to sit and do what you need to do!

4. Know the laws of the town you’re traveling to, and be prepared to pull them out (the laws, silly!) if someone tells you that you can’t breastfeed in public. Again, I think the MAJORITY of the time nobody even notices what you’re doing, especially if you use a cover. Don’t expect anyone to call you out, because they probably won’t. 

*Shoutout to my husband who thought it was funny to take all of these pictures. It started out as a joke…him taking a picture of me without noticing what I was doing. And then it just got to be a running joke the entire trip to see how many different places Peyton insisted on eating.*

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