I fully support all ways parents feed their babies. This post is on how to navigate breastfeeding while in public and while traveling in general and also specific locations that may be more comfortable at Walt Disney World Parks. More information on bottle feeding and pumping while at Disney can be found on our Baby Care Centers post. Also check out the Rides with Younger Children series for information on breastfeeding on rides at each of the Walt Disney World Parks, start here at Magic Kingdom.
In all 50 states, women have the right to breastfeed anywhere they are legally allowed to be; therefore as long as you are legally able to be where you are anywhere including Walt Disney World, you may breastfeed there. Just recently, Elodie was having an epic meltdown because she needed to breastfeed and I stood in the monorail line with no cover and breastfed her right there standing up because I had nowhere more comfortable or quiet to go. So if you feel like you can and you want to, you can literally breastfeed anywhere! But here are some tips to make it easier and more comfortable.
Where can I breastfeed and stay cool? Especially in the summer and with babies that can’t regulate their temperature well, it’s imperative to get out of the sun and heat as much as possible. Taking breaks to breastfeed in the Baby Care Centers or other air conditioned places can really help. You can breastfeed when you eat your meals which often have air conditioning and shade. There are a few other spots that are air conditioned and have seats like the lounge area when you exit the Character Spot in Epcot but they can be harder to find especially when you have a hungry (and maybe crying) baby. In the cooler months, any shaded bench will do and there are many little corners that have benches that feel a little more private
Will I miss a lot of time with my family? You can breastfeed on rides and not miss time with your family! Especially when Elodie was little, the Carousel of Progress was on one of my go-to breastfeeding places. It’s air conditioned and about 20 minutes where you can watch a classic show and baby has plenty of time to breastfeed. I’ve breastfed on most rides including People Mover, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean (I always wait until after the drop), Spaceship Earth, and even the Safari, and in many of the shows like The Little Mermaid, Lion King and Nemo. It’s comfortable, I’m able to stay with my family and friends enjoying our time together and there’s usually plenty of time for baby to breastfeed on at least one if not both sides. Some are loud and even though babies can go on any rides without a height restriction, some can still be bumpy or have a drop so it may be best to plan ahead if you are not familiar with the ride already. Check out our Rides and Shows with Younger Children Series for more information on which rides may be more comfortable for breastfeeding.
What should I do if I want to breastfeed in lines and while walking? One option is to breastfeed in a baby carrier. By loosening the straps of a carrier and with some practice, you can breastfeed on the go or in lines. If you have a young baby, it is especially important to make sure you have practiced this and are comfortable doing it because it is not only challenging but it is also important to make sure there is proper support for safety. When I breastfed Elodie in the carrier until she was about 6-8 months, I fully expected to have zero use of my hands but it did help me because the carrier supported the rest of her body while I supported her neck and helped her latch. After she was around 9 months, I could easily breastfeed with either one or both hands free. I am now able to breastfeed while standing and walking too but it took both her having more strength and me having more practice for us to get there. See my on babywearing and join my Facebook group for online help with babywearing and breastfeeding.
What if someone says something to me? This was something I was worried about in the beginning but never happened to me. I was ready to state my legal right to breastfeed if I needed but have never needed to yet. I did get a few looks that were slightly uncomfortable a few times and my mom once stared a woman down until she stopped because she appeared to be trying to take a picture of me breastfeeding during the Beauty and the Beast show. There are many people of many cultures from all over the world at Disney Parks and so it may be unfortunately something someone may encounter: the dreaded negative breastfeeding comments. But I encourage you to know your rights, have friends and family on board to support you and to breastfeed your baby the way you choose because: your baby, your choice and also literally exactly what breasts are intended to do: sustain life through breastfeeding! The Breastfeeding Coalition of Florida has the handy print out of the Florida law and I’ve placed it at the bottom of this post.
What if modesty is important to you? I personally am not extremely modest but I’m also not extremely comfortable showing too much either. I find that either breastfeeding clothing (shirts or dresses that have slits in them) or using the two shirt method (then you can still do matching family shirts too!) both work well for me. You can also carry and use a breastfeeding cover if you feel more comfortable with that or choose to always breastfeed in a private location like the breastfeeding rooms located inside each park at the Baby Care Centers.
Still have questions or want to know more about the two shirt method so you can still wear your matching “Minnie” and “Mini Minnie” shirts? Join our Facebook group Traveling with Little Kids and we will help you have a magical time with your little ones!