Traveling with a Baby: The Real Deal with Celine Brewer
Interested in traveling with a baby? Here, Celine Brewer shares her tips and recommendations for a wonderful trip.
Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where are you from? Where do you currently live?
When not travelling, I am a mompreneur. I spend my time trying to tire out my two-year-old and dragging along my two-month-old on all of our adventures. Anytime the kids are sleeping, I am on my laptop trying to grow our business, Baby Can Travel. We are from Canada and live in Calgary, Alberta. On weekends, we do our best to get out to the mountains and get our kids outside.
Where did you travel while nursing? What was the purpose of the trip? How old was your child at the time?
We took our daughter on her first trip to Barcelona at three months old. We felt strongly about continuing to travel with our children, so we planned our first trip as soon as we felt comfortable. We followed up our Barcelona trip with visits to New York City, New Mexico, London, and Paris when she was between 10 and 14 months old. Our daughter was exclusively breastfed up until we introduced solids at six months and I nursed her during each of those trips. We just completed a week in Sedona, Arizona with our daughter and our son, who is two months old and exclusively breastfed.
In your destination, were there particular nursing areas that you recommend/don’t recommend?
Time can be limited when travelling with children, so I always recommend making use of downtime to feed your baby, when possible. If you stop for lunch, that’s a great time to feed your baby as well. My other recommendation is to find a park with a nice bench in some shade. Obviously, this isn’t always possible but if you have to stop you might as well enjoy some beautiful scenery! Some obvious ones are Central Park in NYC, St. James’s Park in London, and Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, but if you pay attention it’s easy to find great spots to stop and feed your baby!
What sort of reactions did you get about your nursing? Did you feel comfortable/uncomfortable nursing there?
During our first trip to Barcelona, I was a new mom who didn’t have the easiest start with breastfeeding so I chose to use a nursing cover. I did not get any negative reactions on any of our trips. I felt completely comfortable nursing on all of our trips. I had spent some time researching the general attitude towards breastfeeding before each of our trips, which helped my comfort level. My comfort level grew as I witnessed other women openly breastfeeding.
Is there any nursing/pumping gear that you recommend for traveling?
To be perfectly honest, my daughter refused a bottle so I didn’t do a lot of pumping in the 16 months that she was breastfed. What I do love is multipurpose items, so I always recommend having a lightweight blanket that can be used as a nursing cover as well. I wrote an entire blog post about all the uses for my favourite blankets!
If you were traveling with your child, what were some kid-friendly highlights? What were some of the challenges in traveling with your child?
Paris has some wonderful play areas near all of the major attractions, which made it so easy for us to see what we wanted and still give our daughter some time to play. For Barcelona, a visit to the aquarium followed by some time at Barceloneta beach is sure to make any kid happy! Again, parks like Central Park and Kensington Gardens are a wonderful place to let kids of any age burn off some energy.
The biggest challenge we had was making time to see everything we wanted to see. Travel with children is at a much slower pace and for now, that’s just something we accept. As our daughter enters toddlerhood, we need to give more consideration to her and what she would enjoy doing. Thankfully, we all love the outdoors, so our recent hiking trip to Sedona was a perfect fit.
Sleep is another big challenge. Though every child is different, we found that trying to stick to a routine similar to at home ensured we were all getting sufficient sleep. This makes for much happier little travellers!
Are there any tips you’d give someone else who is considering nursing in your destination?
My recommendations are to do a little research on your destination to understand any cultural considerations and to be respectful based on your findings. It is your right to feed your baby, but I believe strongly in being respectful to other cultures when travelling.
Top photo credit: AI_HikesAZ