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NIP question!

1546 Views 31 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  sciencemama
I was just curious how many of you nurse in public and if so how do people respond to you?! It seems like in our society (at least where I am from) if you nurse a child past the age of 1 it is unacceptable to nurse in public. I just wanted to know how you all deal with this? With my next child I want to try CLW but have been curious about nursing in public. Any advice would be great! Thanks!
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1) In deference to others, I do nurse discretely, although I draw the line at hiding beneath blankets. I dress fairly modestly and just lift my top as little as possible.
2)I do not care much if other people are upset by me taking care of my childs NEEDS.
3)You will find that as your child gets older, they will not want to nurse in public very often, as they are very interested in what's going on around them.

Refuse to be discouraged by the naysayers! If we all nip more, it will help it to become more normal .

My first child weaned at 3.5. bothoof my boys at around 4 or so, currently nursing my 3+ dd who looves her nursies.
Thanks so much for the advice!!!
My son rarely wants to nurse in public because he is distracted by everything. If he ever does ask for it and really want it, I just find a comfy place to park myself and nurse him. I usually try to angle myself so there is a bit of privacy just because he has a tendency to pop off and look around. Overall though, I don't worry about other people. I know that the more often they see older babies nursing, the more normal it will seem and the less future mothers will have to fight for it.
I really have not needed to NIP with DS since he was 2, as the others have said, he is very "busy" when we are out and does not think about it. If he did ask, I would offer his cup of water, and that would satisfy him most of the time. Otherwise, I knew he was getting tired, and would head home so we could get him a nap.
I nurse wherever and whenever my dd needs it. She's 19 months now. I often nurse walking through stores. I often nurse sitting on a bench in the park or mall. I have not yet had a single negative look or comment.

I don't think dd has NIP since she was just over 2. We never had a negative reaction though. She does wear her still nursin' shirt often and we always get positive responses. Well, except for one lady that scowled at us but it took me a while to figure out why we were receiving a dirty look.
In regards to what people think about you NIP: You wouldn't believe how well a nursing mother blends into the crowd! For about a second your nipple is exposed to get your little one to latch. For that entire second you don't normally have people staring at you. Afterwards either. People care less about what other people do than we think sometimes.

Think about this: How many women have you noticed NIP?
The only two times that I got any negative reactions was when dd#1 and I were flying by ourselves and the plane was delayed by 5 hours. She was exhausted and sobbing. I was visibly pregnant with dd#2 at the time (dd#1 was probably 21 months old). I wound up nursing her so that she'd go to sleep and a few of the other passengers in the terminal glared at me, but I'd rather be glared at than have a screaming toddler and I bet that they'd rather fly with a nursing toddler than a screaming one. I do think that my being pg made a difference in the reactions.

The other time I got a strange look was when dd#2 was about 2 and decided that she had to nurse at Walmart. She started yanking down the top of my shirt and yelling "mommy juice!!"

All and all, I'd say that, unless your child is super loud about it like that, though, people won't notice and the child (usually) can wait when s/he is older, as others have mentioned. We got down to mostly nursing at sleepy times and when dds had been injured, so it was mostly a comfort thing as they were older. That usually wasn't in public.
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My oldest turned 3 in January and still NIP. I would honestly prefer not to now, and try to redirect him, but we're often out in the evening and since he quit napping he has a cranky period and really needs to nurse. I don't let him fidget and try to keep it as discreet as possible- something I don't worry about with my baby or when Julian was a younger toddler. I never minded NIP anytime, anywhere until he hit about 2.5 (at which point I was visibly pregnant, as well). I refuse to nurse both boys at once in public because that involves pretty much removing my shirt.
Nobody has ever said anything to me in public. Family members have commented on how weird it is to nurse a toddler, but they get used to it.
I also will still nurse DD (now 3) in public if she needs it, usually if she's very upset or hurt. I will often try distracting her if I think it will work. I also often will limit how long she NIPs, but only when I know she'll be ok with it. I agree with hottmama though, I won't tandem nurse in public, I like to be discrete about NIP and I have not yet discovered a way to do that nursing 2.
In terms of what other people think, I've had a few positive comments and a few strange looks, but mostly people ignore it or don't notice.
Ha, re: tandem nursing in public: Picture this, I'm about 25, exhausted, middle of the night at the airport after flying from the west coast to Toronto.
I'm sitting on one of those really comfy hard plastic airport chairs waiting while hub finds a cab. In my lap, dd age 2. something and ds age around 5 mos. both nursing together. That was 11 years ago.
I only nursed my DS in public a few times after he turned 1, the last time being around 18 months, but he didn't ask for the most part, either. If he did, I usually suggested we wait until we were home and he was fine with that. I was pretty chicken about being a toddler-NIP advocate, but I'm determined to be braver this time around with my DD, who just turned 1. If she wants to, we're gonna!
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5 in May and still NIP

A little over year ago was the first time I felt a bit more self conscious about NIP. We were travelling and had the nightmare delays and cancelled flights and DS was nearly permanently latched and not content to stop and I was so touched out and on a crowded flight.

That said, not a person has said anything to me. I don't even look to see how others are reacting......... that's the beginning of a dialog I do not wish to start.

He usually does not ask when we are out, like others have mentioned, he is far more interested in other things that are going on, so this is not the norm. Sometimes, I ask DS to wait if it seems reasonable.... ie we ate lunch out today and after paying the bill and getting ready to leave he asked to nurse and I asked him to wait. (I realise that this is more about not wanting to hang out in a hard restaurant chair when we are all ready to go home.)
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Originally Posted by paxton25
how do people respond to you?!
They don't! I've had absolutely nobody say a single thing to me.

I'd say more about my POV but you can just visit my site & get an earful of that! LOL
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I have had the same experience. People don't say anything to me about NIP. I NIP both children, 3.5 yrs and 1 yr (not at the same time....I'm like the pp that said she couldn't find a discreet way to do it and still feel comfortable...). What I find is that I generally focus on my nursling and ignore those around me while I nurse. Sort of like I'm in this oxytocin induced bubble.
It is just me and my kiddo (well, really, kids...the non-nursling is usually climbing all over me at the time
) .

I have noticed a few stares as I came out of my bubble (maybe half a dozen at most) over the past 3.5 years of nursing, but no one has said anything to me, save one elderly gentleman who went out of his way to encourage me to keep b'feeding her when dd was about 6 weeks old. I have just ignored the few "was she doing what I THINK she was doing with that preschooler????" stares I've gotten.

That said, I've gotten more self-conscious NIP my 3.5 yr old lately. I limit her nursing length just b/c it still bothers me sensation-wise to nurse her. It is a compromise that we are both cool with. She still NIP a good bit. She is quite spirited and get overstimulated easily. By the time she is in my lap to NIP, everyone around knows what we are doing b/c she gets loud and insistent very fast. So that unsettles me a bit. But I still NIP if my first try at a distraction does not work for her, no matter how self-conscious I feel at the moment. And once I'm in my bubble it no longer matters anyway.

Sorry for the novel. I ramble when I am tired. LOL!
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my dd stopped asking in public around 18-20 months. she did nurse on planes-- most recently when she was 2.5. We had our own row so that was pretty discreet. BUT when she was 22 months we traveled without dh and an older man sitting right next to us had no idea what we were doing. His elbow kind of bumped her head and he patted it, saying "oh i hope i didn't wake her up!" not realizing that she was nursing to sleep. People often just see what they expect to see, kwim?
ds is 32 months old- he does not nip too much- he has no prob pulling up my sjirt when company is here tho....
at a dr.s office when he was 2 he was freaking and i had on a rather tight shirt no blanket for him and he was pulling up my shirt- so i just did it nd looked at a magazine. i know men in the room saw my boob- and i was embarrased- but i tried everything else- i did not mean to be embarrased but by ds's actions- it just was.
i did alot other times no biggie- at all- but that stuck out. our bf relationship went downhill with my pg with dd- we have not worked that out yet.

Originally Posted by sciencemama
my dd stopped asking in public around 18-20 months. she did nurse on planes-- most recently when she was 2.5. We had our own row so that was pretty discreet. BUT when she was 22 months we traveled without dh and an older man sitting right next to us had no idea what we were doing. His elbow kind of bumped her head and he patted it, saying "oh i hope i didn't wake her up!" not realizing that she was nursing to sleep. People often just see what they expect to see, kwim?
Same thing has happened to us!
Same story dd rarely asks, but if she does i try to accomodate her. If it's like today in a chapel( we were at a funereal service) I asked her to wait. She actually forgot about it.If she was distressed I probably would have taken her out to the car.It wouldn't have been appropriate to nurse a three year old in there.I wonder, however if she were an infant...i wouldn't have hesitated!
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