To expect an exception for bf baby?

(1000 Posts)
PatchItUp Wed 05-May-21 14:41:16

I have a 2 month old baby who is exclusively breastfed. Today I’ve got a hairdressers appointment for the first time in months and I’ve been really looking forward to it. I’m having cut and colour so may be a few hours. I’d expressed some milk and my DH is going to try giving him a bottle for the first time.

I mentioned when I arrived that this was the situation and that if he refused the bottle, my DH would bring the baby in to be fed then take him away again. I’ve done this in a different hairdressers with my older children before with no problem.

The receptionist said there was a no children policy and therefore I wouldn’t be able to bring him in. I was a bit shocked and reiterated that he is very young, exclusively bf and couldn’t be left hungry if he wouldn’t take the bottle. She said she would check with the hairdresser.

Hairdresser came and said much the same thing - no child policy, if we make an exception for you we have to make one for everyone and customers will complain. I said again that I understood a no child policy to prevent toddlers running around or making noise but this would be a small baby coming in for a feed and then out again. She said she would check with the manager.

Manager heard and said from across the room ‘there’s nowhere for you to go’. By this point all the customers are listening and I felt really conscious and upset about being argued with by three different members of staff. I was fairly sure that this was illegal refusal of services but not totally confident so I said ‘I don’t need to go anywhere, he’ll just be on my lap, have a feed then go again’. They all again said it’s company policy, they can’t make any exceptions. The manager said ‘what’s the percentage chance he’ll need to come in?’ And one of the women said ‘there’s a good chance he’ll just take the bottle so why not take the risk?’ I replied I couldn’t take the risk that he wouldn’t take it and would be left screaming and hungry and not allowed to come in.

Eventually the manager reluctantly agreed that he could be brought in if necessary but it was clear they were really unhappy about it and it’s soured the experience for me massively.

When I checked on my phone it seems they’re acting illegally in refusing services to a breastfeeding mother, although I guess they could argue it’s down to chemical hazards (although this wasn’t mentioned at any time as a reason).

So - was I being unreasonable? And would I be unreasonable to complain later on?

I know some people will say I should have just left but my hair is such a state!! And I’ve been really looking forward to having it cut and having a few hours to myself.

OP’s posts: |
Happycat1212 Wed 05-May-21 14:43:00


BonasthatBonas Wed 05-May-21 14:45:27

@PatchItUp I think YABU. You are making the choice to go when it’s inconvenient to you re breastfeeding. Now they have accommodated you don’t complain if you baby gets blasted with hairdryer heat or cries as it’s noisy or has bits of hair all over him / potentially swallowing some via haircut. Or are you expecting that the hairdresser will stop cutting your hair while you feed prolonging your appointment time? And What about washing out dye if that needs to be done just as your DH brings a screaming baby in?

BonasthatBonas Wed 05-May-21 14:46:23

Plus potential for bits of dye dripping on your baby. Just a whole ton of hassle for a business that has been closed nearly a year to accommodate you!

MatthewHBpig Wed 05-May-21 14:46:25


I've been in your shoes baby wise but would not expect to have an exception made for me.

When my kids were little escape to the hairdresser was literally escape.. I'd be pissed off if someone had a baby present against policy.

It's not really got anything to do with legal rights about feeding.

Their rule is no kids. That includes yours I'm afraid.

doadeer Wed 05-May-21 14:47:24

Hmmm I wouldn't have booked this unless I knew my son took a bottle. Can't you postpone it till you know? But I also think it's unreasonable of them to make such a fuss. I wouldnt go back to that salon as I hate confrontation and it would have made me feel upset and uncomfortable there.

Wolfiefan Wed 05-May-21 14:47:28



EL8888 Wed 05-May-21 14:47:38


Aprilshowersandhail Wed 05-May-21 14:47:38

I would have The Rage if my costly hair appointment was invaded by a baby.
Bf or not, your dc and your feeding /child care arrangements are your business not mine...
Don't make them so.

skirk64 Wed 05-May-21 14:48:05

YABU. It's not discrimination because they are not refusing service to a breastfeeding woman, they are merely insisting that all customers follow the rules which have been set up for everyone's safety and comfort.

Justmuddlingalong Wed 05-May-21 14:48:28

Today I’ve got a hairdressers appointment for the first time in months and I’ve been really looking forward to it.
As I'm sure are all of the other customers.

MatthewHBpig Wed 05-May-21 14:48:37

Discrimination card gets waved FAR TOO FREQUENTLY these days

PatchItUp Wed 05-May-21 14:48:42

@BonasthatBonas so I shouldn’t have my hair cut for as long as I’m breastfeeding?

I promise not to complain if my baby accidentally swallows my hair confused

OP’s posts: |
PercyPiginaWig Wed 05-May-21 14:48:57

There is a difference between not allowing you to breastfeed if they would allow bottle feeding on the premises, and having a no child policy.

If there is a no child policy, then YABU.

The time to ask was when you made the appointment as they then could have (for example) offered you a very early or late appointment if they were willing to be flexible with their policy.

A place that doesn't allow children at all is not discriminating. They may well have customers that go there for that very reason.

On a practical note feeding your baby would potentially increase the appointment length when timings are tight and impact on other customers. Even if you say carry on they may not wish to.

I am hugely pro breastfeeding but I think we need to separate out what is actually discrimination and what is not, in order to secure the rights for breastfeeding mums that are available in other countries with higher breastfeeding rates.
Anywhere that suggests a woman goes to the toilet to feed or is not allowed to breastfeed just because of the method of feeding her baby deserves to be vilified.
That doesn't sound like the case here.

Globaluser Wed 05-May-21 14:50:26

Erm yabu...

NamiSwan Wed 05-May-21 14:50:41

I'm going against the grain here versus previous posters but I think Yanbu, it's a 2 month old baby.

what customers are going to complain about this? Its clearly not the same as bringing in a small child for the whole of your appointment.

What actual risks are there having a 2 month old baby in the hairdressers for the 10-15 mins it takes to feed?

I'd just take my business elsewhere tbh.

Throwaway999 Wed 05-May-21 14:50:44


CocktailOnion Wed 05-May-21 14:50:44

Given the people are receiving cancer diagnosis alone (including teenage children) due to covid protocols, I would fully expect a hair do appointment to be taken alone , adding a baby and dh fetching and collecting baby is 3 people in the salon when there only needs to be one.

HectorHalloumi Wed 05-May-21 14:50:48

Just go to a hairdressers that does allow DC. Why do you think you are special??

MatthewHBpig Wed 05-May-21 14:51:01

Not about not having hair done whilst's about waiting until child is old enough to reliable go a decent gap between feeds!

You really are being precious. There are tonnes of us with bad hair needing a cut. You aren't different to many others

bananaboats Wed 05-May-21 14:51:26


LifeIsFullOfKumquats Wed 05-May-21 14:52:45


FilthyforFirth Wed 05-May-21 14:53:03

My god you are being so unreasonable. Why do your needs trump everyone elses? A haircut is a luxury not a necessity and as a private business they can set whatever rules they want.

I would be so mad if my baby free time (I just stopped bfing my 6 month old) was invaded like this. You arent the only one who has been waiting months hmm

Trixie78 Wed 05-May-21 14:53:25

Gosh I'm going against the grain here it seems but I think the hairdresser's handled that dreadfully. No bother would be caused to anyone by a baby having a 10 minute feed on your lap FFS! Are mothers just supposed to stay at home for months/years if bf? Give your heads
wobble the lot of you. 🤔🤔🤔

OP cancel your appointment and go somewhere else who understands their customer's needs, you deserve this to be a relaxing experience xx

GintyMcGinty Wed 05-May-21 14:53:35


The policy applies to all children so no discrimination.

It's crap customer service so I'd pick a family friendly hairdresser next time.

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