May 05, 2008,
S.M. asks from Ogden, UT on April 25, 2008
"Seeking Advice on How to Keep Nursing Your Baby After a Long Trip Apart."
I need some advice. I have a 7 month old boy who I have been nursing since he was born. I plan on nursing him until 11 months or a year. Well I have a bit of a problem. Next month my husband and I are going to New York for 7 days. It is a family trip and we can't miss it. Anyway I have been going back and forth about taking my baby. However I really do not think it would be a wise choice. I just think of the fast pace big city and the long flight and doing the tourist things would not be that great for a baby. So my question is has anyone left their baby for a week and then came home and could still nurse. I know that I would have to take a pump to keep my milk supply up. However is is even possible that my baby will want to nurse when I get home? If I do pump how to I go about getting him to nurse when I arrive home. Anyway any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated.
1 mom found this helpful
H.W. answers from Boise on April 26, 2008
S.M. answers from Denver on April 25, 2008
If he has never taken a bottle, you should start making a transition now. You shouldn't leave the caregive with this responsibilty. At his age, I would bypass the bottle and go right to the sippy cup. Have you started pumping and freezing for the time you will be away? You will need to continue pumping close the the same schedule while you are gone. Also, every child is different, you baby might wean himself while you are gone. Not saying he will, but be prepared for that to happen. If he does wean himself, are you prepared to continue pumping until he is a year or switch to formula? Just a few things to think about:)
I would just take him. If you are taking the other two boys, you are going to have to rest for the 3yr old anyway. I would go prepared with double stroller and sling or backpack. For me it was easier traveling with 7 mo old then 3 yr old. I think there is much more preparation for the other two to keep them entertained.
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C.F. answers from Denver on April 26, 2008
I totally agree with the moms who've said you need time with your husband, and i think it's fine to leave kids for a getaway, but a 7 month old is not a kid, he's a baby, and there's a difference. plus, he's used to being with you all of the time. In my opinion, leave a baby for a morning out or a date night, but for a trip, I would take him. Get a sling and he'll just tag along, sleep when he needs it and nurse too. A breastfed baby should be pretty portable, especially if he's not mobile yet. there will be years ahead for long trips without kids, but while your baby's a baby, his place is with mama, in my opinion. this phase is sooooo short in the big picture. you're busy with three, so it'll still be a break to be with just your hubby and your babe.... i say take him, relax, and enjoy!!
2 moms found this helpful
K.T. answers from Denver on April 26, 2008
First, congrats on continuing to breastfeed and wanting to do so until he is close to age 1. I nursed my son until just after 2 years upon which there was a mutual decision to cease. Breastfeeding is so important in all aspects of development. I personally think it is one of the very best things you can give your child! With that said, I would highly encourage you to reconsider bringing your baby with you. It sounds like you have done a lot of thinking on the matter and want to do what is best for the baby. Truthfully, what is best is being with you. A 7 month old will still easily nurse on the flight (mine usually nursed to sleep at the beginning of flights and slept most of the way). And although things might be a bit hectic on the trip, babies adapt quite well. I just think that 7 days away from a 7 month old seems like a lot to ask of him, especially since you are a stay at home mom and he spends most of his time with you.
As far as your question goes, you likely have a 50/50 chance of him wanting to continue to nurse when you return. Definately pump while you are away and pump on his nursing schedule. Make sure that he only drinks your breastmilk while you are away (no formula). When you return, you should try to nurse him on his regular schedule or whenever you or he want. I would suggest offering to nurse more often than before you left. Just remember not to force it. If he really isn't interested in nursing anymore, he'll let you know. But don't give up too easily. If he doesn't nurse for awhile after you return, continue to pump. He may not be nursing just to tell you that he is upset that you left him, but after a few days he may decide that he really does want to nurse afterall. I would suggest giving it a few weeks and if, after that time, he still doesn't want to nurse you should continue to pump and give him your breastmilk in a bottle until he is at least one year. Afterall, you still hold the best nutrition available to him!!
1 mom found this helpful
J.L. answers from Salt Lake City on April 26, 2008
I will probably be the most unpopular mom on the block for saying this, but I think you should either not go or take the baby with you. I think it's too hard on a 7 month old to figure out why mommy has disappeared for so long. 7 days is like forever. I have left my babies under 1 year for an overnight trip, but I think longer is too much for them to handle. They shouldn't have to learn how to "do without" at that age, especially if mom is main source of nutrition as well as comfort. New York will still be there in a year, and in 2 years, and in 5 years, etc. You baby will be fully dependent on you for only a few months more. Being a mom means making sacrifices, and most often it means giving up opportunities and activities we would love to do. You stay at home to give them the best of you, your time and energy and love. This baby has seen you most of the day for almost every day of his life. Don't quit now. Don't abruptly leave for an entire week. I don't think it's worth it. Many people feel differently than I do, and I do hope things work out well whatever you choose. Best of luck.
1 mom found this helpful
C.N. answers from Salt Lake City on April 26, 2008
I work full time from my home office, however my job does require some travel (about 7 times a year). Anyway, with my first, and I will do this with my second, I breastfed for a little over 12 months. Knowing I was going to have to start traveling (anywahere from 3 - 7 days)I started pumping and storing milk when my first was six weeks. I pumped an extra three times a day to keep up the supply. I was more worried about our little one not wanting a bottle so we had my husband give her a bottle each night with the breast milk, while I pumped (in a different room of course). This created enough milk supply for her while I had to travel - and then some! There was really never an issue with her breast feeding when I returned. She took to it right away. It was a bit of a aping lugging a breast pump everywhere. I think that is the biggest inconvenience as you have to keep up with the same schedule of when you actually feed your baby. This meant getting up in the middle of the night and early morning to keep in line with the times I nursed our baby girl. It is dfinitely worth it though. I do not think you will have much trouble with your baby still wanting to nurse. Just make sure that you are never the one to give her a bottle. THis way she/he always associates you with actual breastfeeding. Good luck!
A.G. answers from Salt Lake City on April 26, 2008
I've done it several times, just be sure to have a great pump!! Each time I returned I had no problems getting her back to breastfeeding, she was just glad to have me back! Good luck.
A.L. answers from Colorado Springs on April 25, 2008
I went on a buisness trip for 6 days, froze milk before I left and did alot of pumping on the trip, a little uncomfortable at times. When I got home he picked up like I hadn't even left.
C.M. answers from Denver on April 26, 2008
Take your baby!! My daughter's first trip to NYC was at 5 1/2 mos (Then again at twelve mos) and she did fine. My husband and I had to do a little adjusting according to naps, but it was no big deal. Long day at the museums - bring a stroller and carrier. Sometime your baby will snooze others he'll be taking it all in. Having the baby along also kept our pace much more sane than normal!
If you don't take him take a pump, and pump and dump.
J.S. answers from Provo on April 26, 2008
I lived in Utah and was buying a house in preparation of moving to Florida. I took my 11 month old and left my two girls with Grandma. I nursed him as we took off (for the ears) and he fell asleep and slept the first leg of the flight. We got off the plane, walked ate actual food (him baby food) and got back on the plane, nursed as we took off, and he slept the rest of the way. It was so easy. For #4, he did not nurse. Trust me...finding a spot to pump is NOT easy. You have to find more seclusion and either tote batteries or some for of electricity. Babies are easy to travel with (and frankly they don't hurt your relationship with your husband as others have stated)...it's the talking 2 and above kids that hurt relationships! With baby's you can put a front load or back load carrier and they love to watch the sites. Bring baby food in a jar and your set. Baby's are SO easy to travel with that I would never consider doing anything else with them. As far as your other kids, if you make a big deal about why they are staying and baby is going, so will they. When I was traveling every other week for a week to Florida to look for a house, my kids were excited to stay at Grandma's because the baby was "going to be bored and they didn't want to sit in the car like the baby all day long" so they stayed and played! You are running the chance of your baby not wanting you afterwards, so you will have to decide as you know your baby the best.