Has anyone BF a toddler on a plane?

(35 Posts)

Thinking of returning to UK to see family this summer. It's 12 hour flight and 2.2 DS not likely to have self weaned (though it is possible). He is therefore likely to want to BF on the flight at nap time, on waking, when tired and when uncomfortable and bored. He is wriggly, long and tall child and I can't see this going well with a) discretion being a major problem b) likely negative staff and passenger reaction.

If I refuse him BF for the whole flight chaos and screaming will likely ensue - even though we only have BF on the sofa or bed at home these days and nowhere else, he has never gone longer than 6 hours without it.

Help, has anyone BF a toddler on a plane?

MayimBialik Wed 06-Mar-13 03:05:41

I never have I'm sorry but you shouldn't let passenger reaction bother you. They're people that you will see for 12 hours of your life and never again.

I'd imagine staff would be fine and have seen it many times as they will be witness to many different cultures (I'm sure in some countries - Sweden maybe? - extended breast feeding is very very common and so 'long, wiggly' children being BF is a normal sight. Anyhow they are not going to prevent you from nursing your child!

Just try to book a seat with plenty of room - one on a front row would be best.

Goldensunnydays81 Wed 06-Mar-13 03:08:40

I have just come back from a holiday that was 12 hours away and have a ds who is 2.4 although he isn't breasted. On the journey out me and ds sat on a 2 seater seat and dh sat across the aisle on the next row. But it did mean that ds had his own kind of private space where not many people paid much attention to him, would you be able to do something like that?
Just feed him and ignore what anyone else says smile

Thank you (feels a bit braver)

GadaboutTheGreat Wed 06-Mar-13 03:16:52

Perhaps if you can feed when the flight staff aren't busy then there won't be so many people up & about, leaving you to bf more peacefully smile

Try to ignore other people, although easier said than done! (I've not bf a toddler on the plane)

Mondaybaby Wed 06-Mar-13 03:18:48

hi, don't worry about other passengers. Talk to airline and try to reserve an appropriate seat in advance, one with bit more space.

Goldensunnydays81 Wed 06-Mar-13 03:19:58

Also could you get a night flight? That way most people would be sleeping and the cabin quite dark too! And hopefully ds will sleep for you!

SavoyCabbage Wed 06-Mar-13 03:23:57

Will you have more than one seat would be my concern. You wil need to have the physical space.

NoTimeForS Wed 06-Mar-13 03:27:17

I have! It was no problem, honest. DD was 3, I am sure hardly anyone even noticed. You'd be fine! smile

He's over 2 so will have his own seat. He's very vocal about wanting to feed and not discreet either - keeps cling off boob and laughing, fiddling, wanting to change sides every 3 min...night flight one way day flight the other way. Tbh it's going to be a nightmare flight and Bf is one of the few things I can do to keep him quiet. But if I get hassle about it I will feel awful.

I was on a flight with someone who did. No one batted an eyelid and our 2 DC were lauded as the best DC on the flight. Anything that keeps them quiet will be appreciated.

Ooh someone who has done it!
smile notime thanks for giving me hope!

And mrsTP more hope! Thanks

There was a funny MN story though about the idiocy of flight checks. They had this conversation (well the gist of it):

Officious checker: And what will the baby be eating or drinking?
Mum: He is breast fed
Officious checker: So what will the baby be drinking?
Mum: Breast milk.
Officious checker: Where is the milk?
Mum: hmm In my breasts...

Kveta Wed 06-Mar-13 03:54:54

I have - he was 2.6 at the time. It stopped him screaming, so was fine!

SucksToBeMe Wed 06-Mar-13 05:26:40

grin @ MrsTerry!!!

agendabender Wed 06-Mar-13 05:42:48

I have, on shorter ryanair flights, so no room at all! Don't forget that nursing will help your toddler to equalise the pressure in his ears and so ease any discomfort, so be keen to offer during take-off and landing. Typing this while having a morning nurse with my 2 1/2 year old DS. Nice to know you're all out there!

agendabender Wed 06-Mar-13 05:46:00

Oh, and I too have been asked at the X-ray whether there were any bottles in my luggage. I said no, it all comes in me, and the official sang "ain't nothing like the real thing baby!" It was a man, too! made my day.

MaMattoo Wed 06-Mar-13 05:48:30

Ignore people, most very rarely matter anyway.
I have breastfed on a long hail flight before. Had a giant silk scarf that I wrapped around me for privacy and that's about it. I was so busy doing what I was doing that I did not notice being noticed actually. Not that I would care!

weegiemum Wed 06-Mar-13 05:51:02

I did with dd2 - she was 16 months (and walking, talking!) when we flew to Central America. We then flew with her (17 months) to Canada and then (18 months) back to uk. I'm pretty bolshy and brazened it out but I have to say I did get some "looks" and sadly they were mainly from the cabin crew. I thought they'd be happy she wasn't disturbing the entire plane (like ds, 3 and dd1, 5 at the time). Actually, that's not entirely accurate. I'd no bother (and offers of extra drinks, food etc) on the Guatemala-LA leg of the flights. On the more "European" flights, I got offered a blanket to cover up!

Please feed him - I would much rather be on a flight with a toddler being breastfed than a screaming one! It is for the good of everyone on the flight! smile and will help his ears too

Pennybubbly Wed 06-Mar-13 06:00:12

I BF my DS until he was 2.9 years old and during that time, I went back to the UK several times (also 12 hour flights).
Like your DS, mine was tall for his age and whilst not particularly a wriggler, he did move around a little.
I used to wear a big scarf (from Zara, t-shirt style material) that I would put around my shoulders and over the back of his head, then stretch out as necessary so that my boob couldn't be seen.
Although tbh, if anyone had actually wanted to stretch over and gawp, I guess they could have caught a glimpse of exposed boob, but more fool them for looking, eh?!
I don't recall ever getting any 'looks' or disapproving comments from fellow-passengers. Given the alternative - an irritable, unsettled toddler - I would have thought most people would prefer a scarfed head smile

EauRouge Wed 06-Mar-13 07:30:30

I BF both of mine on a longhaul flight (not at the same time, there wasn't enough room!). Eldest was very nearly 4yo, youngest was 19mo. No one noticed (or at least no one said anything) and I was complimented on their good behaviour on the plane grin One thing to watch out for is to make sure their head isn't sticking out into the aisle when the drinks trolley comes round...

Actually I think one of the flight crew did notice me feeding the eldest one but she just smiled.

BranchingOut Wed 06-Mar-13 07:37:33

Yes, when he was 2.4 and quite a tall boy.
Was not a problem. But then I have bf in most places, so it didn't worry me.

I tend to think that so many people are plugged into iPads and headsets on planes these days that there are much fewer people to notice the antics of a baby or toddler.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Wed 06-Mar-13 11:54:12

I think any passengers would prefer you feed than have a screaming child!! I have only bfed a 9ish month old on a plane, not an older one, but no one cared at all.

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