Thursday, February 09, 2006

Disney with a baby

I have my day by day run down of the trip started but it's on Jesse's laptop and I can't get to it right now so I'm just going to talk a little bit about doing DisneyWorld with a baby. Before this trip, when I would go to DW and see babies I would think "I am never taking a baby to DW!". How quickly things change.

You know what? It worked out pretty well. We had to take a few more breaks during the day so that Elle could nurse but that wasn't such a big deal. Most of the time there was a ride or shop nearby that Joseph wanted to visit so Jesse would take him to do that and Elle would have a snack.

I used all the baby care centers in each park. Magic Kingdom and EPCOT have the best baby care centers. They're large and roomy and have pretty much every baby-related thing you could think of. The nursing rooms in both of them were really nice too. They each had 4 rocking chairs arranged facing each other so that you could sit and nurse and talk with the other mothers in the room. MGM and Animal Kingdom had smaller facilities with tiny seperate rooms for mothers to nurse in. Each place only had 2 rooms! I wonder what it's like when the parks are crowded!

Each time I used the nursing rooms the same thing would happen. I would start talking to the other women in the room and the coversation always went the same. We would discuss how old our babies were and how much they weighed. Then, without fail we would start talking about how awesome it was that we were all nursing instead of formula feeding. It may sound obnoxious but in this day and age when so few women nurse their babies we all seemed to think that we deserved a little pat on the back. I bet I could have used those rooms 100 times and had the same conversations. It was nice.

My only complaint about the baby care centers is that there is only one in each park. If you're not right by it when your little one wants to eat then you're kind of out of luck. Most babies are not going to happily wait while you trudge a half mile across the park so that you can feed them.

So I quickly became an expert at public nursing. (Yes Ben and Gwen, I've become one of those women!) My senses became fine tuned. My eyes could scout out a good, private spot from miles away. My body could twist and bend into shapes that I never knew possible so that Elle could latch on comfortably. I could quickly fashion a blanket (or a burb rag or her sling or even a napkin) into a little tent so that Elle could eat in private.

I only had one negative experience with public nursing. Once, as I was waiting for Jesse and Joseph to get off a ride this fat woman and her four fat kids stood there and openly stared at me. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I was totally covered up! It was obvious what I was doing but it's not like I was standing on a table and spraying milk around. I was being discreet. I didn't understand what the problem was. Maybe they were just hungry.

When we were at Downtown Disney I asked a castmember if there was a place I could nurse and she suggested that I use the bathroom. Yeah, not so much but thanks. How is that a good idea at all?

But otherwise things went very smoothly with Elle. She's a fantastic little traveler. She was happy to sit in her stoller and smile at us and people watch. If you ignore the time we had to spend at the World's Worst Emergency Room Ever with her (more on that later) she was no trouble at all. She ended up being a lot easier to do Disney with than Joseph was (more on that later too!) For now, Elle is napping and I'm going to get myself some lunch. I think I'll eat it in the bathroom.

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