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Quick’n'Easy Nursing on an Airplane

nursing on an airplane

Nursing on an Airplane may be trickier than normal breastfeeding!

When I was a new mother, one of my most anxiety driven moments was the first time I had to nurse in public.  It was a beautiful afternoon so I’d decided to walk to a local bookstore with my baby, right after we’d finished nursing.  I figured that gave me at least two hours but of course after only a few minutes in the store he decided he was hungry again and started crying inconsolably.  I was overtired and didn’t know what to do.

Luckily, there was a book signing there that day that was full of women who noticed my distress.  They were very supportive and told me to just go ahead and nurse in the store.  This was before the whole ‘nursing in public’ movement became so popular but these kind women even offered to block anyone from a private area I found.  (Many continued thanks to them.)  Because of this spontaneous show of support, I became a comfortable with NIP (nursing in public).  One thing that I still found challenging though, was nursing on an airplane when my lil guy would no longer accept a nursing cover.

And we flew a lot.  We’d been on more than a dozen airplane rides (just the two of us) by the time he was 2.

Nursing on an Airplane

Does your baby try to pull off anything that’s covering their face?  If not yet, they might when they’re older or in new, hot environments like a plane that has just taken off.  And how about those nursing tanks… not much coverage with most of them.  You can still have a little privacy when nursing on an airplane.  It’s easier than you’d think.  Just remember to…

  1. Book a window seat and
  2. Bring a baby blanket.
nursing on an airplane

Nursing on an airplane without a nursing cover is easy!

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  It is.  On take-off and landing (and any other time your baby is hungry during the flight), simply…

  1. Unclasp the tray in front of you.
  2. Place the corner of the baby blanket in the top corner of the tray and then fasten it back closed again.
  3. After you get the first end secured, run the other end of the blanket through your bra strap.
  4. Your automatic breastfeeding curtain is now in place.  Discreet nursing on an airplane may now commence. Haha

I know, it sounds silly and simple but a lot of anxieties about traveling with children have pretty simple solutions that may not come to mind immediately.  This method of nursing on an airplane just provides a quick curtain that allows you to tend to all of your babies needs with both of your hands, in cramped flight quarters.  In truth, though, most airlines will go out of their way to help a mother and some even have special Baby on Board policies to make your flight comfortable.

Do you fly with your infant? Do you have more tips for nursing on an airplane? We know different things work for different moms so we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

About Susan D

Curious Mind, Adventurer Heart... Susan D is a frequent traveler and the mother of an (amazing) toddler boy, Ian. They often travel together, just the two of them, (daddy doesn't have the travel bug as often) and hope to inspire others to travel more with their kids.
At the age of 3, Ian has been to 18 countries with mommy, and on over 30 airplane rides. They love to visit family, friends and interesting places all over the globe and are excited to share their great adventures, mishaps, and tips for traveling with kids with you! Traveling with children is rewarding and an education that should not be missed.

3 comments

  1. Great tips. I managed to nurse without a cover, and only the occassional baby-induced boob flash a handful of times. lol Glad to see more nursing moms being assertive!!

    • Yes, I’m glad the ‘trend’ of NIP has caught on in the last few years. :-)
      Nursing without a cover works for many moms and I’m glad it worked for you!

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