Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Travel With A Breastfeeding Baby

God bless all of you who are traveling with infants and small children for this holiday -- I am not in that group of brave souls. Don't get me wrong. I'll travel anywhere with my kids, and have. Even as the sole adult. But to do it when the rest of the free world is on the road just adds a bit too much stress for me to handle. Gotta know your limits!

That's not to say that you won't have a great time, but in case you're a little nervous about either the trip or the destination (at some point, your baby will need to eat in front of a roomful of relatives, here are some random thoughts:

  • Assume that some boob (pun intended) will have a bit too much wine and say something totally inappropriate about breasts and/or breastfeeding. Maybe that's just my family -- but in case it happens to you, a beatific smile is always handy. Feel free to think bad thoughts on the inside. The other option is to say that yes, you hope to wean soon, so that your breasts can go back the work nature intended, selling beer.
  • Nursing on a plane will save you from (most of) the screaming that babies seem conditioned to do in aircraft. Of course, since you're crammed in like sardines, you may be next to someone who doesn't appreciate your fine mothering skills. And, if you're in first class, be prepared to be next to Barbara Walters or someone else who thinks nursing makes them "uncomfortable."
  • Both of the above situations will be abated if you just remind yourself what a good mom you are. And that you have a right to be in the room (or, in the first case, the plane). If those fail, read about other people's reactions here and keep some funnies in mind from here.
  • (By the way, if you have miles, use them for upgrades now before baby needs his own ticket!)
  • Use a sling, both for travel and for family gatherings. Keeps all those germy hands and curious eyes away. And yes, I apologize for all the mothers of older kids who look just like petri dishes to you and who want to touch the baby. Remind them that stroking the top of a baby's head gently feels just great. And if they touch his little hands, smack 'em! (Just kidding.)
  • Lastly, dress appropriately. Meaning, you don't need to disrobe to feed a crying infant. Here is a fabulous new shirt from Japanese Weekend, but we have lots more!

Have a great trip!

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