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?

Lamazeroo Wed 06-Mar-13 16:36:08

Whoops, I meant uptight, although we were in economy class, so upright is also apt.

Lamazeroo Wed 06-Mar-13 16:34:26

Yes I have, and been bloody grateful for it. Just popped him on whenever he was tired, irritable, bored. On landing and take off. This was UK to Aus and back again, so four bloody long flights. Breastfeeding just made the torture a bit more bearable. He's very tall so would sort of sit on my knee to latch on. I couldn't give a stuff what other passengers thought. My toddler's comfort (and by extension, mine) was more important to me than what some upright wanker might choose to feel about my breast!

Thanks all, feel v reassured

Beamur Wed 06-Mar-13 15:08:10

I fed my humungous 18mnth old DD on a flight to France. No one batted an eyelid. DD was a terribly indiscrete feeder too and would often break off mid feed to wave at people and chat!
It helps with ear pressure and pain too so v good for keeping them happy.

Loislane78 Wed 06-Mar-13 15:03:14

I haven't done it as DD only 7 mo and not flown yet but I'm sure you can be discreet if you want to and no one will really care anyway, they'll all be watching a film, reading, sleeping or queuing for the loo smile

I used to travel long haul a lot for work pre-baby and I can tell you I've seen wayyyyyy worse behaviour from so called business people -and pissed people than anything a toddler/baby would do because they're bored/hungry.

Enjoy your flight smile

Cambam2010 Wed 06-Mar-13 12:49:13

I have fed a 2y 10m old v tall toddler on a short flight. The length of them can be a bit of a problem but you should have at least 2 seats (yours and his) that you can use. Put the arm rest up as far as it will go. I sat in the middle seat of 3 so that there wasn't a risk of head banging either the window or the trolley aisle. It did mean that the man on the aisle side had my sons head resting on his arm, but he was off duty cabin crew anyway so it wasn't as if he had paid for his seat!

TBH my biggest issue was with my son kicking the seats in front (when not BFing) and the moaning old man muttering about having to put up with it for the entire flight.

I bf dd1 when she was 23m on a 4hr flight. She was the size of a 3 yo and very chatty. I had no problems though she did not have her own seat which was ridiculous considering the size (and weight) of her! thanks to ds and dh being sat next to us I could manoeuvre into a relatively comfortable feeding position without disturbing other passengers.

I went on to feed her on the coach from the airport to the resort as well. yes bfing my toddler was fine, her throwing up however... blush that was frowned on!

HardlyEverHoovers Wed 06-Mar-13 12:13:45

Have done this no problem, used a scarf to preserve my modesty. Passengers will be happy with anything you do that keeps kids quiet, and unless there is a stranger right next to you, they won't notice anyway.

KatherineKrupnik Wed 06-Mar-13 12:08:05

Yup at 2.2 & 2.6. Anticipated travel was one of reasons I kept breastfeeding! A very useful travel tool. Go for it.

TwitchyTail Wed 06-Mar-13 12:01:35

Agree that other passengers would rather you strip naked and cartwheel up and down the aisle for the entire flight duration than have to listen to a screaming child. Don't give it a second thought.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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!

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.

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!

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

grin @ MrsTerry!!!

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

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

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...

And mrsTP more hope! Thanks

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

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.

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