Reducing the number of items you take out with you for baby’s needs seems an impossible task. If travelling by car it can be helpful to have a container in the boot where you can keep a stock of items – nursing pads, baby wipes, nappies, spare clothes, muslin, bibs and anything else you and your baby use. That way you can stock up your carry bag as you need to and not worry about running out. Just be sure to re-stock when you are running low!
When travelling in other ways whether the train, plane or bus you may need to consider carrying baby’s items in a backpack or a bag with a long enough handle to go over your shoulder and across your body so your arms are free to handle baby. You may want to think about a bag that will carry both your items and baby’s so you can minimize the amount of baggage you have.
It’s a good idea to keep baby’s bag stocked in between trips and to check it often to ensure you aren’t low on items so that you won’t need to purchase and carry extra items when you are out.
If you will be out locally, check with friends, family, or healthcare providers about where the mum and baby change rooms are as well as breastfeeding-friendly spots where you can comfortably feed baby. You are likely to find these spots specially designated “breastfeeding-friendly cafés”. If you are traveling away from home, a local contact may be able to help you identify some of these key areas. Depending on where you are going and how you are travelling, you may take baby’s pram or you may wish to use a baby carry. Some slings allow easier access for breastfeeding as well as carry them or if you want more privacy, you may wish to use something light to cover you and your baby whilst breastfeeding, such as a muslin or a small scarf – just make sure baby’s face is not covered. Wearing clothes that are comfortable and loose fitting will help you adjust them to feed your baby easily. Test whatever cover you are using or clothing you are going to wear to ensure you feel comfortable. Whether you are using a cover or loose clothing, be sure baby’s nose is clear so they can breathe easily.
Our biggest piece of advice: stay calm about feeding in public and remember to focus on your baby. Some may stare or even feel compelled to say something but know that you are caring for your baby and it is no one else’s business!
Remember, it is your right to feed in public and you shouldn’t have to hide. Check out the Maternity Action website for further information.