We have been traveling with our daughter Zoe since she was five months old. We have been lucky enough to be able to breastfeed consistently throughout Zoe's young life. Although that saves us a lot of hassle, no bottles to carry and clean, no formula to buy, breastfeeding while traveling comes with its own set of headaches.
The main issue is simply our own insecurities about nursing in public. Most people will have heard stories of some horrible person saying something very impolite to a breastfeeding mother. Once you have a baby of your own you cannot help but recall those stories. These combine with the insecurities of being new parents and make you very unsure of yourself.
We have breastfed Zoe in more places than most. Thus far no one has ever said anything negative. Not one thing. We have however received plenty of smiles and the occasional thumbs up, which is really what we should have expected.
To help encourage any new parents out there who might be feeling insecure about feeding in public or who might even be putting off travel because of the need to feed regularly here is a collection of photographs of some of the many places Zoe has been fed.
These are not all great photos but they document our journey. This is also not an exhaustive list of everywhere Zoe has been.
Perth is actually our home town but we thought we would include it as this is where Zoe was born. Parks, playgrounds and toddler play areas are extremely common around Perth. Lakes are less common but we happened to be near one when hunger struck.
Being Australian we had to take Zoe to the beach. Australia is not a particularly cheap place so it pays to make the most of the free things to do in Perth. It is not a big sacrifice when the West Australian coast is so beautiful.
Edinburgh In Scotland
Tanya and I have both been to Edinburgh multiple times prior to our one month stay with Zoe. Because of family ties I have been visiting Edinburgh for many years and have the photos to prove it. The main problem when nursing in Scotland was just finding somewhere warm and dry to sit.
Calton Hill is one of the many scenic spots that give great views over this spectacularly beautiful city. We were very lucky with the early winter weather and its was pretty consistently dry even if it was rather chilly.
This is in the National Museum in central Edinburgh. This was honestly the first available seat that we came across.
Glasgow In Scotland
We only spent a few days in Glasgow. Here we are at the People's Palace, a museum and large greenhouse dating back to 1898. The greenhouse is a delightfully warm place to get out of the drizzle and cold wind.
If you visit Glasgow and catch the Glasgow subway, be warned that they really prefer you to keep your pram folded up for the entirety of your trip.
Although London is not our favourite city, one thing London does very well is museums. They are numerous, fantastically large, housed in some really beautiful buildings and are typically free. This is London's Natural History Museum.
Another museum. This one is called The British Museum. It is home to the Rosetta Stone. We showed it to Zoe but she was not noticeably impressed.
We were lucky enough to spend three months getting to know Barcelona in Spain. Nursing in public seemed to be well accepted. We saw a few other mothers doing it and no one batted an eye when we did.
Part of the reason we spent so long in Barcelona was because it turned out to be the most family friendly place we have come across. Despite being winter it was dry and far warmer than the UK. Good footpaths and elevators are just about everywhere making using a stroller very easy. Short term apartments for rent in barcelona are easy to arrange so we rented three different apartments, each for a month so we could get to know different parts of town. Ordering food in Spanish was occasionally tricky but we always fumbled our way through and got fed.
Barcelona has quite a few wonderful gardens scattered around. This is one we stumbled on by accident while waiting for a bus.
Then dad got too close with the camera and distracted everyone.
The below is a park in Horta. Tanya prefers an area called Clot but Horta was my favorite of the three areas of Barcelona we stayed in. Situated in a hilly area away from the center of town it just felt much more Spanish somehow.
Cafes are plentiful around Barcelona. This specific photo was taken in a cafe in Badalona before digging into hot chocolate and churros.
Another cafe. This time we had cafe con leche (coffee with milk), hot chocolate and a magdalena. Magdalenas taste something like a dense almond cupcake with no icing. Many cafes are attached to a bakery and you can get a coffee and a pastry for a couple of euros.
Most of Barcelona felt quite safe. Here we stopped in a small side street while walking home after a big day of exploration.
Breastfeeding in public is much less common in Malaysia. Most Malaysians drive a great deal and I am told that nursing mothers will go hide out in their car when they feed. We generally stuck to our accommodation or mother's rooms in shopping centers so nursing outside was not very common. That means far fewer photos in Malaysia than in Barcelona despite us having spent twice as long there, approximately six months in all.
This was taken by a lake in a quiet park in Kuala Lumpur. The photo does not do justice to the stifling humidity.
The balcony of an apartment in Penang we stayed in had a lovely view and plenty of breeze to keep the heat at bay. The temperature and humidity barely drop at all overnight. The European chill we had experienced started to appeal.
Zoe has been to Bangkok twice although both times were only for a week each. This is Tanya listening to a speaker at TBEX Asia, a travel blogger convention that happened to be on while we were nearby so we went along.
The pram you can see in these photos is the Babyzen Yoyo. It has a bassinet attachment for early on and the forward facing chair reclines enough to make naps in the pram comfortable. Although we have since switched to the more toddler-centric, incredibly lightweight Pockit Stroller the Yoyo was fantastic when Zoe was younger especially when combined with a Snoozeshade. Both are carry-on sized so you can take them right onto the plane when you fly.
Traveling with a baby and breastfeeding while traveling has been a wonderful experience. The pace of our travel is slower. Naps are frequent and playgrounds now sometimes take priority over another museum, temple or castle. We have however enjoyed it immensely. Sadly, owing to the inevitable passage of time, traveling with a baby has turned into traveling with a toddler. It is a whole new ballgame, one we are now busily learning to play.