Traveling With an Infant
- Feeding the Little Ones
Barb and I have no experience with nursing in
the parks, since we've adopted our sons. Our only personal
experience is on bottle feeding
(which I'll touch on momentarily). However, here is some
collected wisdom that I've gleaned from nursing moms over the
In answer to another question about nursing in
the parks, Adrienne Krock, who writes MousePlanet's popular
in the Parks" column wrote:
>> I am also nursing the baby and have
>> him. Is it suggested to bring in
>> bottles of breast milk to the parks.
I nursed Matthew exclusively for several months
and continued to nurse him occasionally until he was 1 year
old. Again, it was easier to nurse him when he was younger
because he was usually less distracted. I am a person who
has no problem nursing in public. I carried a blanket or two
with me to "Cover up" although depending on where
I was and/or who I was with, this was not always necessary.
I would often find a quiet shady bench to nurse Matthew at
Disneyland. Another option was during live shows. While we
were sitting in the audience, I could nurse him.
One of the reasons I nursed Matthew was because
of the convenience of not having to carry bottles around.
I agree with Brian that carrying bottles will require a system
to keep them cool. Also, when will you stop to pump? One concern
I have for you is how pumping and having to carry bottles
will affect your milk supply and/or your body's schedule for
producing milk. If you are not as comfortable nursing in public,
as Brian said, there are Baby Care Centers in all of the parks.
However, that requires that you be in the "right place
at the right time." Because Disney Parks attract families,
it is not uncommon to see mothers discreetly nursing their
infants out and about in the Parks.
And Carol Koster (email@example.com)
posted the following (included here with her permission):
You'll want to find the Carnation Baby Care
Centers in each major theme park. We weren't able to make
it to Epcot or Disney-MGM Studios, but at Magic Kingdom the
Baby Center is off of Main Street USA. As you face the castle
go right in front of Coke Corner and it's off a courtyard/fountain
near some restrooms and the First Aid station. There is a
cast member attendant there. You can buy Carnation formula
and other products, baby supplies such as extra diapers, pacifiers,
baby toys, I think they sell baby food too. There is a softly
lit room just for nursing or bottle-feeding mothers and their
babies (four rocking chairs in a quaint Victorian parlor-type
setting), a very deluxe changing table room (BIG, *PADDED*
changing tables, more than one of them, with fresh paper spread
on the tables to keep them clean at all times), and a feeding
room with chairs, high chairs, a toddler's table and a TV
tuned to the Disney Channel. They have their own restroom
in there. They have bottled water. They have a microwave and
a stove for heating formula or baby foods prior to feeding.
There is no charge to use this center's facilities. You get
to meet a lot of other parents of babies too, it is very nice
in there. And the air conditioning is "on"! Men
can't come into the nursing room unless the woman/baby they
want to come see are alone, otherwise if there are other nursing
women men have to wait outside in the vestibule. Men are allowed
in the other parts of the center. If you are a breastfeeding
mother and need to use a breast pump the Baby Centers would
probably be the most comfortable place outside your resort
room to do that.
If you are bringing formula or bottles of expressed
breastmilk with you invest in something better than The First
Years small four bottle type cooler which has an insert that
you can freeze and put with the bottles. The insert stays
frozen for only half a day. "Blue ice" which are
blue canisters of coolant which stay frozen for many hours
and does a better job than ice are preferable. You find this
sort of thing in camping stores. We have a small soft vinyl
cooler, and with the blue ice it worked out great.
Mom, if you are breastfeeding be sure to eat
well and drink a lot of fluids.
About eating at WDW with a baby: We brought
Dixie cups and plastic spoons. We'd empty partial jars of
baby food into the Dixie cups and then feed the baby with
the picnic spoons. If the baby wanted more we could pour more
out of the jar into the cup, and if he wasn't hungry anymore
we could just stow the remainder of the jar in our vinyl picnic
cooler with the blue ice in it to use another time without
wasting any. WDW restaurants all have high chairs with straps,
just be aware they are _backless_ high chairs, so your baby
needs to be able to sit upright very well. I understand from
"Barb/gardenia" of r.a.d.parks that there are infant
high chairs you can request in restaurants. I have no experience
with these, only with the backless high chairs. The resorts
will lend you a high chair (backless) in your room as well
at no charge. We only ate at the Contemporary, in our room,
Liberty Tree Tavern and at one of the fast food places in
Fantasyland (Pinocchio?) and everything worked out well. Our
baby wasn't much into finger foods back then like he is now.
I would think a buffeteria would be best for the baby on finger
foods, just strew out a variety of bits in front of him from
your plate. BTW, the backless high chairs do not come with
trays-just belly your baby up to your table and have him/her
eat off the table top. Leave a bit of an extra tip in case
of a lot of mess on the table and the floor. If there is anything
else I can help with let me know. Most restaurants on WDW
property are extremely baby-friendly and accommodating. I
would not bring a baby to Victoria and Albert's or California
Grill because those are gourmet/adult/sophisticated type places,
most of the rest of them should be fine for babies. Again,
if there is anything else I can help with, let me know. :-)
The whole of of Carol's original post (covering
other child-in-the-park topics) can be read on the "More
Now on bottle feeding, I feel like a qualified
expert. We took Allan to WDW several times while he was
still an infant. Here's just a braindump of the things
we learned in those early trips:
We used Playtex-brand four ounce bottles that
use a disposable plastic bag insert. They were
especially nice for when we got into Old Key West and I was
able to make up bottles in advance.
I recommend that you mix your own formula from
powder and bottled water...ready mixed formula in cans is
handy, but is too heavy for traveling. We also found
that Allan preferred (not just flavor, but the results....if
you know what I mean) the powdered mix, since that's what
we used at home. The pre-mixed stuff is just so rich.
Use bottled water for all of the bottles that
you make up (especially if the baby is VERY young).
Our pediatrician pointed out that it would be much easier
for an infant to deal with the trip if he didn't have
to adjust to varying water conditions as we drove cross-country.
In fact, here's a quote from my 1996 trip report when Allan
was just a few weeks old: "We... drove a few miles to
the nearest grocery store to buy some bottled water for the
baby's formula. Barb had noticed a distinct difference in
the baby just in the change from Saginaw's city water to the
Detroit city water that my Mom and Dad have. Apparently those
folks that say that you MUST use bottled water for baby's
on formula on a trip are right."
The choreography for bottle making went something
like this: "After we use the last bottle for the day,
I dump all the bottles, nipples, and so on into the sink and
clean and dry them. Then I put new inserts into them and fill
them up with the bottled water. We add formula (powdered)
as we need to make up the bottles. It's really working quite
well...but I'm looking forward to getting into our Old Key
West home with a fridge, so I can make up the bottles in advance."
I was right about the Old Key West kitchen facilities!
I highly recommend the "Home Away From Home" resorts
if you're traveling with a baby! Having more room for
clean up and having the refrigerator was a tremendous blessing.
We found that taking three bottles of water
with enough formula to mix (we also had a handy formula container
that kept the right amount of formula for three bottles) was
enough for our eight-or-less-hour stretches of park time.
Usually we used two of those bottles for formula and one for
water which Allan sometimes wanted, especially on hot days.
Don't hesitate to use the Baby Care Centers
in the parks for feeding time. It's not critical or
necessary that you do so, because bottle feeding anywhere
you can find a nice, shady place to sit down is fine, but
they are a nice, quiet place to get away from the hustle and
bustle...and that may help your baby to settle down for the