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breastfeeding and going out(43 Posts)
Hi all, I'm a ftm to a 10 day old and could use your advice. I feel I really need to start getting out of the house but I'm also breastfeeding and he doesn't have a schedule yet so I can't predict when next he'll want food with more than a few seconds notice when he starts moving his mouth, followed by very loud crying shortly after.
I know lots of places have areas for breastfeeding and have read women also use cafes or changing rooms which I'm fine with, but what I can't quite figure is how to make it there in time before he starts crying as he is proper screaming.
Do you just let them scream for minutes while you find a place? If you pop into costa for instance you can't really just sit down without a drink but equally can't stand in a queue with a hungry baby? I've just not got a clue how to handle it.
I didn't breastfeed but can't walk and make a bottle and feed a baby. If we were out and needed a feed without warning and I was on my own I just sat down and sorted him first. I didn't get any problems at all. One cafe owner came to ask if I was ok I just apologised and said I would buy something as soon as I could and they were fine with it!
Try not to worry too much i think it'll surprise you how much people in terms of commercial settings will accommodate you these days.
Good luck and congrats on the little one!
I'm also an ftm with a now 13 month old. I breastfed, and still do in the mornings and found the same thing difficult to begin with. My lo always fed off both boobs so I usually just took him somewhere where I could feed him and fed him first to settle him a bit on one side then once he was settled sorted myself and ordered a drink or something then fed him on the other. If you don't feed on both sides could you try feeding just enough to settle before settling in for a proper feed once your in a more suitable position. Most places I think understand the situation and will accept that your priority is feeding your baby. They will also probably appreciate that your baby will be quieter more quickly if you can feed first.
Thank you both for your messages, that's reassuring and helpful.
The bit I'm still struggling to visualise is the time between first baby cues and finding somewhere to settle. With my little one I've currently got about a minute before he goes into full crying mode, which I feel often wouldn't be enough to find a place if you're walking on high street for instance.
So, really interested in how other mums handle this - do you just let them scream for minutes while you find a place?
Buy a breastfeeding top. I suggest something like this for a FTM and still figuring out how to do it discreetly -
I bought a couple of these and they’re fab, nothing on display and super easy to feed in public with zero skin showing.
I know those early days are difficult. My LO is 7 weeks now and much more predictable and going out is much easier.
You’ll find baby won’t scream for food soon and you’ll be able to tell they’re hungry before they meltdown.
Also a sling is great! Nobody knows you’re feeding in a sling if that bothers you.
I bought quite a few B-shirts for breastfeeding. They're a bit more expensive but absolutely bril coz you can wear them on their own or underneath other tops. They've got loads of new colours out now so I'm a bit upset I don't need more.
In answer to your question about timing I just had to let him cry for a few minutes while finding somewhere suitable to feed. I really think that it's the only option apart from never leaving the house again.
Just feed him wherever you are, that’s the beauty of it, you don’t have to go to a special area or make up a bottle.
My DC2 is 13 weeks old and I’ve fed on a bench in a bird garden at a stately home, in a field at a kite festival, at a race course, in many restaurants and pubs (including a working men’s club), at the doctors, dentist and opticians, in my large office, my husbands small office, church. Seriously anywhere you need to is fine.
Also lots sat in the car when we’ve either when she simply won’t last another second.
DD1 never latched, so had expressed milk in a bottle so it’s the first time I’m negotiating feeding directly.
I literally just sat and fed whenever she wanted it! Sat on a wall while out with the dog, a grassy hill, cafes, pubs, hospitals. The first few times I was a bit worried but after a while it went away for me.
Honestly I've never had anyone bat an eye at me, I found people didn't care as much as I thought they would and I was worried over nothing really.
Yeah you have to let them cry till you find somewhere. If I go to Costa u stand in the queue and pick baby up and jig him and try and soothe till I get my drink. If he's utterly furious I'll latch him in the queue. Mines 15wks old x
It's ok to let them cry while you get sorted. I've got a 2wk old and she is very demanding compared to my DS and wants feeding as soon as she wakes otherwise all hell breaks out.
Yesterday I had to use a random chair in the middle of a shop to feed her for a good 20mins and abandon what I was doing as I knew I couldn't get anywhere else without a major fuss.
It will become easier I promise. Like the other posts I find BF tops really useful and more discreet but each to their own. Good luck xx
I can't stand actual breastfeeding tops but what are handy are the breastfeeding vest tops you can get in h&m-they have like a built in crop top bit and I wear one of those under a normal top
Problem is it's a bit too hot at the moment for double layers
Once the feeding gets a bit easier OP you can literally just plonk yourself down anywhere; last week I parked myself on a pile of doormats in Dunelm because DS was throwing such a wobbly-a member of staff gave me a funny look but meh whatever-better that than a screaming baby
Your never really more then a minute from somewhere you can stop, maybe not an ideal place but a bench or something. Vest under a baggie t-shirt will cover quite well (one up, one down) but in time you will probably just stop worrying.
Maybe for the first few times plan to go somewhere you will feel comfortable or arrange to meet friends if that will help you feel more confident.
Some people can feed in a sling whilst carrying baby for ultimate convenience. I never really got on with it due to high waist / droopy boobs combo, but friends have loved it.
I breastfed my babies everywhere- park benches, cafes, libraries, etc. Only on occasion did I use feeding or changing rooms (more when baby was bigger and feeding was more cumbersome). I think all women should feel confident feeding in public and doing this normalises this and helps others do the same. I never had a negative experience.
I agree with others that wesring a vest under a loose top helps a lot. But it can be hot in summer! I tended just to have a muslin on hand to cover sny exposed skin for privacy. Seraphine sells done feedi g tops and dresses that are teally practical, but actually vest top under t-shirt or jumper was my go-to.
I agree with pps that you should get baby settled as a priority. If I was in a cafe I would feed my baby before ordering if she was getting fussy. This is way more discrete and less annoying than attracting attention with a crying baby at the counter. So many times I wished cafe staff would take my order at the table and give table service while I was feeding but they are mostly oblivious!
Many shops on the high street have feeding rooms, too. On my high street Boots, JOJoMama and HofF have these. But- if they are busy your problem is not solved so I just tended to plonk myself down on a bench or find a comfy cafe.
Good luck with everything. I loved breastfeeding my babies. The more you do it out and about the more comfortable you will feel. Most people are supportive.
It took me a while to get the hang of feeding everywhere and anywhere. I would also suggest a feeding top until you become more practiced. The best ones I had we’re the striped jojo ones (can get on eBay for a lot less money). There’s nearly always a bench or somewhere to perch. And lots of cafes are very sympathetic if you go and feed first and then order after baby has been fed. Once some lovely waiters even gave me a free cuppa (I was clearly there just to feed). All the staff were male so I was kinda surprised they were so sympathetic! Despite all the negatives you hear about most people IME either love to see a baby being fed/don’t notice or care where you feed. They’d much rather you feed first than have a screaming baby.
I think you just have to work out whether you are more comfortable to whip out a breast and feed her while you walk to somewhere comfortable to sit or more happier to comfort her by holding her close or talking to her while you get to a bus stop with a bench or a patch of grass you can sit on or if you're lucky a nice cafe.
A sling can work well, especially for a quick feed while you get to somewhere more comfortable. Lots of slings allow this, e.g. ring slings, stretchy or woven wraps or ones with buckles or ties. It just wants to be nice and adjustable and stay on well when it's dropped down low enough for the baby's mouth to be level with your nipple.
I have a 7 week old baby. He is my third. I breastfeed, and will just find anywhere to feed him when he is hungry. Sitting on the grass/bench/cafe/pulling over the car. Most of the time he feeds after he sleeps, so I will be thinking about where will be when he wakes up. The first few weeks are hard, as the baby is so unpredictable. Just take it easy. I would never attempt a shopping trip to central London etc with a new born, but a walk to a local park/cafe/friends house is manageable. Tbh i preferred staying home as much as possible. It gets much easier after 6ish weeks.
DS fed very frequently untill about 5 months and I had to get out everyday for my sanity as the was a very difficult newborn. Tbh I just fed where ever I was. If I was walking somewhere and he needed fed- find the nearest bench, I had him in the summer so would mostly just find anywhere to sit down 😂. Walking round the shopping centre, find nearest seat. Like others if I was in a waiting in line in a cafe and he was kicking off then I’d sit down feed and then by something after. It’s okay to let them have a moan for a few mins tho while you wait.
Ideally if he needed a feed I’d try to get to a cafe if I had enough time but it wasn’t always the case. I wore easy access tops so I could feed whenever, where ever. If you wanted to be a bit more discrete then then you could use a Muslin to cover or I think you get specific breastfeeding covers aswell. A normal blanket would do aswell. Also, do you have a sling? A lot of the wrap style slings have a specific feeding position, was a life saver for feeding on the go at times!
Best advice would be don’t worry about it, just get out and deal with it as it comes
This is so useful! My baby is six weeks old and I’ve been having exactly the same dilemma as OP.
Can I ask how everyone got baby nicely latched on without flashing nipple at everyone? Under a scarf? I’ve ordered a couple of breastfeeding tops but can’t see how you’d shield yourself at the beginning.
Basically babies head is in the way of anyone seeing very much while you latch them on.
The trick with latching with minimum exposure is to have a loose outside layer so you can reach inside that to undo bra/move any other clothing first. Then you can lift the top layer just as you move the baby into place. You'll quickly get the knack of it - though you'll probably lose any inhibitions about having a momentary bit of flesh visible just as quickly - the instinct to satisfy your baby is pretty powerful, and I've fed anywhere I could sit down. Feeding in a sling is so easy once you have the hang of it as you don't even have to stop!
Can I ask how everyone got baby nicely latched on without flashing nipple at everyone?
I just decided not to care. I actually dislike the whole 'be discreet' thing. It kinda implies you are doing something wrong if someone might catch a glimpse of nipple or breast. And you're not. There are times it is difficult to get a baby to latch. Mine had feeding problems. It took could take a lot of persuasion to get him to latch on. When they get older they get distracted by what is around them. Mothers should still feel comfortable feeding in public, even if someone might see a bit of your breast, if that is what they want to do.
My ds has a habit of unlatching and having a good look around mid feed at the moment. The chap at the next table to me in costa this afternoon got a bit more of an eyeful than I intended as a result, but tbh, I don't worry too much about being discrete. They shouldn't be looking in the first place, and feeding my baby is far more important than worrying about offending someone's sensibilities.
Incidentally costa will bring your drink over to you if you ask them to, and usually offer if you have a pram with you, so I often go in there, order, and start feeding while I'm waiting, however my ds can be cajoled into waiting a few minutes when hungry. I've found mostly that a few minutes of juggling and patting and rocking can usually buy you time to get to where you need to be but obviously it depends on the baby.
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