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Discreetly bf'ing a toddler

(26 Posts)
AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 13:18:16

Any tips on how to discreetly feed a toddler while wearing a Marilyn Monroe-style dress where I have to get my breasts out over the top of the dress to feed him?

Do I just need to drape a pashmina over the top and hope DS doesn't try to claw it off?

I usually use the top up, vest down method and last time I fed DS by getting out my breast over the top of something, DH told me I was indecently exposing myself. blush

I'm going to a wedding on DH's side of the family, where the bride & her siblings were bottle fed because the idea of bf made their mum shudder, so I don't want to be too in-your-face (and I don't want DH to be embarassed!) although I don't mind people being able to see that I'm feeding. I doubt most of the family know anyone else who bf even a baby, and my PiL have stopped discussing DS's bf'ing, which suggests it's moved into the Taboo Topics of Conversation.

DS is nearly 21 m.o. and any feeds will be preceded by him screaming 'Milk! Noooow!'. While he feeds he will keep coming off the breast to chat to me and/or complain that I'm not reading to him like I do when feeding at home. hmm He doesn't like noisy places, large groups of people or strangers trying to talk to him / touch him, so I anticipate him wanting lots of feeds.

organiccarrotcake Tue 27-Sep-11 13:24:41

Tricky one! Last wedding I went to I did have a nursing dress but it was absolutely rubbish - teeny tiny boob hole, no way to do it without exposing myself which somewhat took away its point.

DS was only 8 months at the time but I used a wrap and threw it over my shoulder which he hated, but I managed to keep it in place. I don't know of any other ways of doing it unless you invest in a decent nursing dress with a lift up front, rather than the ones where you move a triangle to the side to reveal a tiny hole.

I suppose practise with a pashmina and see what he does? Can you explain that when you're there, if he wants milk he needs to put up with the pashmina over his head?

OTOH I have a friend who BFs her 2 1/2 YO like that (ie over the top) and actually you can't see any nips or areola. Maybe worth a mirror check before you make a decision.

EauRouge Tue 27-Sep-11 13:30:55

Tuck a muslin square into your bra strap? You can drape it around your DS's face rather than over his head if he doesn't like being covered up. I did this with DD1 at a wedding last week and it worked well. Would have been discreet if she hadn't been yelling "I want booby!" grin

idlevice Tue 27-Sep-11 13:35:00

Is he too old to be distracted by a bf necklace? I was thinking maybe get one to go with the dress & try to explain it's special for the day & he can touch & play with it instead of reading?

AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 13:45:07

Ooh, that's a good idea about the necklace - I might give that a go. I don't normally wear jewellery nowadays but DS does like a twiddle on the rare occasions I do.

I'm reluctant to get something specially as I rarely wear anything other than jeans & trainers so I'm unlikely to get my money's worth. wink DH complained that I'd only worn this dress once but I've recently lost a lot of weight so it'll be nice to give it another outing after I thought I'd never fit into it again.

I think I should definitely practice though - good idea. I'll have a try with a muslin later and see how that goes. The pashmina I've already got isn't opaque but I'll have a go with that and see how DS responds to it before rushing out to get another one if necessary.

grin @ EauRouge. At least DS's word for 'milk' sounds like 'muh', but his screaming is usually hard to miss. hmm

acatcalledfelix Tue 27-Sep-11 13:52:53

I wore this type of dress at my cousins wedding last year whilst bf DS (1 at the time). By then I was beyond caring at people seeing me bf. But, tbh in that type of dress I ended up taking myself off to discreet corners as the only way I could do it was to hoik my boob out over the top which even for me was a leeeetle bit exposing! It was easy enough at the wedding to find nice quite spaces. My family are supportive though, lucky me, and I was offered rooms to go to had I wanted to.

But, a pashmina over the top should be fine? How often does he feed now? Hopefully you can plan it better than you can with a tiny baby

mawbroon Tue 27-Sep-11 13:59:39

Just tell him you are wearing a different dress and no, he can't have milk. He doesn't need it after all.

Hahahahahahahaha. gringrin

Just thought I would get that in before somebody clueless does wink

maygirl Tue 27-Sep-11 14:02:47

Try him sitting straddling your lap rather than in a cradle hold, then it looks like just having a hug, then use hand (yours or his) or a scarf over top of exposed bit of boob. I tend to use DD's cardi sleeve to cover myself, with the back of it wrapped round her, so just looks like she's snuggling in for a nap, & less obvious than a muslin. I can also feed like this while carrying DD on my hip, even more discreet, can move away if people approach, and they just think she's feeling shy! Unless they've overheard the shouting muh peese!

Have fun!!!

AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 14:11:32

Hahahaha yourself, mawbroom. grin Actually, my need not to have a screaming child is even greater than DS's need for milk wink It really is all about the mother...

I often tell him that he can manage to wait a whole 1 minute till I've finished something before I feed him, but he's definitely not conviced (unless I have a train set to hand for distration, and even then it doesn't always work). I keep reading about these children who are happy to wait a few minutes / till they get home / till bedtime but I think they're a different brand of child. hmm

His feeding pattern is unpredictable - normally 4-7 times a day but when teething (like now) or feeling worried at being around lots of people it can be every 30 minutes or even more frequently.

I wouldn't mind quite so much except that half the time in public he bawls the place down unless I am offering bf and then doesn't actually want any milk when I do offer it. hmm Toddlers, eh?

EauRouge Tue 27-Sep-11 14:15:01

Tell me about it, DD1 has spent most of today telling me that she can't wait, it's too hard grin

witchwithallthetrimmings Tue 27-Sep-11 14:18:12

I think i would (and have) feed in the loo. your lo will want your (sole) attention more than anything and if you go to the loo, read him a story and give him a feed he may accept being told "later" or being distracted

blackteaplease Tue 27-Sep-11 14:22:51

I too would go for the straddle position, I feed dd (21 mo) like this with a boob over the top and unless someone is sitting right next to you they can't tell.

Does ds take a dummy? Can you use that to stop the shouting until you get to somewhere discreet to feed him? ie a quiet corner, not the toilet.

AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 22:40:00

I've never managed the straddle position, but DS is 99.6th centile height and I'm not that long in the body which is probably why. If he sits on my knee, his head is above my shoulder!

Thankfully the screaming is usually in response to me saying 'in a few minutes' rather than 'yes, we're trying to find somewhere to sit down so you can have milk'.

AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 22:46:16

Sorry, that sounded a bit negative - I forgot to add a thank you for the suggestions. smile

(DH was very pleased to see the dress out again when I tried it on today so that was a success at least)

TruthSweet Tue 27-Sep-11 23:09:25

If you wanted to borrow a bfing dress I have two that were made for me by MIL (dark mauve/pink and a very dark blue/purple). Nowhere near as glamorous as a Marilyn dress but they do have 'discreet' feeding openings.

Trouble is you'd need to be a 18-20. If you are then I'm happy to post to you for you to try on.

AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 23:18:06

Thank you Truth smile, that is really kind but I'm afraid I'm a different size.

The dress is really out of character for me, not just in being glam - last time I wore it was the first time I'd worn a dress since our wedding 6 years before!

TruthSweet Tue 27-Sep-11 23:36:56

Angel - I'm quite glad you are a different size (for your sake that is!)

Would a (i'm loathe to suggest this) poncho or even a sling work? You can get some very glam slings now (perhaps DH could carry DS for a bit so he has mummy/daddy contact but you get a break?).

AngelDog Tue 27-Sep-11 23:47:02

Aaw, Truth, that was unnecessarily negative about yourself <tsk tsk smile>

Yes, it might be worth taking the sling - I've never managed to feed him in it, but it would be a good way of helping him feel more secure I reckon - he likes being cuddled up close. smile Not so sure about a poncho...

My current plan is to try feed him as often as he asks to avoid the shrieking. Last time we were out in a crowd of people I got really angry with him not being happy to wait a few minutes blush and I handed him over to DH to take away elsewhere, but I had to relent when I saw his utterly hysterical face. (He does normally love DH but not when he wants milk.)

Thankfully the time of the wedding is nicely after his normal naptime so that's one complicating factor dealt with.

And it might be worth taking his trains and a few bits of track. I can always tell he really needs milk when he spurns the train for my breast. hmm

blackteaplease Wed 28-Sep-11 09:41:34

Good luck, hope you have fun and it's not too stressful

TheRealMBJ Wed 28-Sep-11 10:19:40

It's a tough I one. I would probably also opt for taking him somewhere quiet (have done so myself in the past). It's just easier for me to not have to be 'discreet' and to be able to allow him freedom to practice his gymnastics. It also doesn't help that I am 37 weeks pregnant and so feeding him in public dies tend to raise eyebrows.

Is there anyone sympathetic you could ask to help you set up a private/quiet space ahead of time? Perhaps explain that DS gets over stimulTed easily and might need a 'time-out'?

organiccarrotcake Wed 28-Sep-11 10:47:54

Loving some of the answers grin. It's definately all about the mother grin. Especially when they do that thing where they latch, then hoik their head round 180 degrees to see what's going on behind them.

I borrowed a gorgeous silk sling from a friend for a wedding (forgot that!). It got loads of attention - it really was stunning - and I could feed in that (but I'm practised at sling feeding). As you say, if you're not very good at sling feeding it might not work.

Looked nice though grin although I was desperately worried about dropping my dinner on it!

Cosmosis Wed 28-Sep-11 13:28:31

I have a cream pashmina thing I bought for exactly the same reason, you are welcome to borrow it if you want? PM me if you do smile

squiggleywiggler Wed 28-Sep-11 14:34:25

I've tried feeding DD (19 months) under a pashmina and she just pulls it off.

What I've found works is a light cardie with the top button or two done up. She can't get it off and it does similar thing to the vest/top combo by covering your chest and top of boob.

If you don't have one, maybe you could borrow or get one from chartity shop - if you just wear it to feed doesn't matter what it's like.

I'd second going somewhere quiet - more so DS isn't distracted and doesn't keep popping on and off like mine does.

Maybe bring a secret stash of haribo and overdose all the other kids on them just before DS feeds so everyone is too busy looking at the little horrors bouncing off the walls than noticing your quietly feeding angel grin ?

organiccarrotcake Wed 28-Sep-11 15:28:53

And yet again I'm wishing that MN had a "like" button, squiggley grin

AngelDog Wed 28-Sep-11 20:04:43

Thanks, Cosmosis.

I love the Haribo idea, squiggley!

I think we'll aim to arrive early to scout out the venue for somewhere quieter. It's all in one place which makes it easier.

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