Yes I have nursed Destructo in many a parking lot, gas station, rest area park bench, and even a handful of wineries. (The one winery owner will forever have my repeat business as she heard I was attempting to nurse my 2 1/2 month old son in the parking lot in the car in July and she had me come inside and do in their break room and nurse him on the comfy cozy couch and even asked if I wanted some water.)
Our first long distance road trip was when Kai was 2 1/2 months old for our family vacation. Mr. Destructo didn't get to go because with me still on maternity leave and the bills from having a new baby, he really had to stay behind and work. :( It was about a five hour trip and we stopped half way on the way there, but drove the entire thing on the way home.
|Snug as a Bug in a Rug|
When Kai was 3 1/2 months old, we made a ten hour car trip (that actually took 13) to visit my grandmother who wasn't doing so well. I wanted to make sure she got a chance to meet her grandson before she passed away. Both of these trips were easy peasy. Kai was still eating every 2-3 hours at this point so we would just drive until he was hungry, stop, I would nurse him and let him stretch, a quick diaper change and on we would go. It was especially helpful that it was summer so I could nurse him anywhere outside without having to worry about him getting cold and he was still young enough that he was sleeping a lot of the day.
|Me, Great Grandma, Destructo, and Grandpa Destructo|
The next big road trip we made was when he was not quite 8 months old. My grandmother passed away and we had to make a spur of the moment trip the day after Christmas to attend her funeral. I knew that this trip wouldn't be as easy as he was quite active at this point and hated confinement. We kept him up longer than when he would normally take his second nap of the day around lunchtime and fed him and I nursed him right before we left. He slept from 1 when we left until 6:30 that evening. He woke up starving and screaming and so we stopped for dinner and I nursed him in the car in the freezing cold parking lot. Winter road trips suck by the way.
We then drove the rest of the 11 hours all in one swoop without him waking. We got there at 2 AM and Destructo was wired. I couldn't even nurse him to sleep. Luckily my parents were there and my mom got up with him since she knew we were exhausted.
|Dressed up in my suit|
The drive home was awful though. We did it during his morning nap and he slept for two hours, but woke up to nurse. At this point, he was still nursing about every 4 hours. The drive took 14 hours and it involved lots of tears and stopping because he just didn't want to be in the car seat anymore. Plus he wasn't walking yet and he wasn't even crawling yet. He rolled everywhere and wanted down so badly in restaurants, but you can't really let your baby roll around on dirty restaurant floors. Gag. I just did the best I could and sat in the backseat with him when necessary to entertain him.
We also made two other trips as a breastfeeding duo but he was 14 and nearly 16 months old by this point so I don't count those since he is down to nursing only first thing in the morning and occasionally when I get home from work by this point.
On all these trips, I also brought my pump with me since I normally pumped after his early morning nursing session. I also would pump if I had to be away from him for any longer than normal period such as my grandma's funeral. That way I didn't have to worry about my supply tanking. I just kept the milk in the fridge and carried it home on ice and then froze it.
Here are my tips for a breastfeeding road trip:
1) Drive as much as you can while the baby is sleeping. We would get gas and snacks etc when we had to stop to let him eat that way we could drive while he slept.
2) Make sure to leave room for a cooler if you are going to be transporting milk back.
3) Bring your pump just in case.
4) Rest areas are great for stopping to nurse as most have nice little benches or picnic tables. I would always find one out of the way and just turn my back to everyone. (Kai would not nurse under a cover.) If I had to nurse in a parking lot, I would usually just sit in the back seat and have Mr. Destructo park in the back of the lot.
5) Wear easy to nurse in clothes and make sure baby is wearing easy to change diapers outfits. I always found it easier to change Destructo right on the car seat since a lot of bathrooms didn't have changing tables or were filthy.
6) Add a couple extra hours to the trip since you will have to make stops as often as baby normally eats.
7) Finally, enjoy the ride. Under one year road trips were by far the easiest ones we have done yet. When we went to the beach in October, we listened to 9 hours of fire truck sounds coming from the back seat. You know in between the screaming and crying to be let out of his car seat.
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