Toddler Nursing Under Cover

July 6th, 2010 by Dionna | 27 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Nursing in Public, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Video/Interactive Posts

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Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.


Why don’t I cover up while nursing my toddler in public?1

My main reason is currently about 3 feet tall, 31 lbs, and only climbs underneath a blanket for a game of hide & seek.

Allow me to demonstrate2:

Why breastfeed past infancy?

It’s healthy for kids: Nursing toddlers have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers.

It’s nature’s vaccine: Some of the immune factors in breastmilk actually increase in concentration during the second year.

It’s healthy for mamas: Breastfeeding beyond one year can significantly reduce a woman’s risk of certain cancers.

It’s normal: The median age of weaning throughout the world is between ages three and five years.

It’s natural: A toddler does not see a breast as sexual, nor should anyone who happens to view the nursing relationship.

It’s a child’s right: In all but 3 states, a woman’s right to nurse in public is protected by state law. There is also a federal law protecting nursing dyads.

Every time you nurse in public, you are inspiring others, demonstrating that breastfeeding is normal and natural, and helping make breastfeeding past infancy the norm.

So here’s my call to action: breastfeed proudly, regardless of your child’s age or where you happen to be sitting. Let’s work together to make breastfeeding in public (and breastfeeding past infancy) the norm!

Do you nurse your older child in public?


Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days:
July 5 – Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World
July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child
July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.
July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives
July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

  1. Many thanks to Allison at Goofy Mama, whose “Nursing Etiquette” video inspired the one featured here today.
  2. No, Kieran is not picking my nose in the beginning of the video. He was merely touching it. Tom and I got a good laugh out of that one.

27 Responses to:
"Toddler Nursing Under Cover"

  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    Well, yes. Yes, I do. :)

    Love the video! That was hilarious, and exactly the reaction I’d expect from a toddler. Mikko has never taken well to having a blanket put over his head while he’s trying to eat!

  2. Yes I do. My 19 month old milk monster asks for milk whenever and wherever we may be. He’d been NIP since the day I brought him home and I didn’t see a reason to stop because he was a certain age. As for a blanket, Dorian pulls the blanket off of other nursing moms and babies.

  3. Monica

    You rock! That’s too funny! Amanda thought so too! :)

  4. Ah, I love it! The kids were watching when I played the video. They all asked, “Mom, why did Dionna put that on Kieran’s head?” And then they heard Kieran ask the same thing. :)

  5. Rebekah C   RCThoughtfulMom

    LOVE it! Excellent video! I’m definitely passing that around!

  6. That video was great! My toddler is down to nursing once, maybe twice a day, when he first wakes up, but I cannot imagine him tolerating a blanket over his head.

  7. Hee! That was really cute.

  8. Our Sentiments   oursentiments

    That was so cute! I wish I had conversations I get fits. Your child is so adorable!

  9. Lisa

    I fully understand the point. I was about 11 when I saw this for the first time. Sort of freaked me out! LOL My daughters al nurse BUT they do use a light weight, 100% breathable cotton cover-up. They do REALLY well with this and would not nurse without it. So, for those that CAN be so bold as you…GREAT!!! For those that can not, I don’t think they should be made to feel ashamed. If the child is trained from birth, covering up will be just as natural as not covering.

    We are also believers in YHWH (Hebrew for God). We take the Word literally. So, if it says Mat 18:6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. Then I have to be concerned there as well. I know of men that have major issues with perversion. They would be caused to sin in being exposed to the freedom of no cover. SO, again…someone choosing to be their brothers keeper should not be made to feel ashamed.

    I DO think that promoting the breast feeding is a HUGE thing for not enough do it!!

    I did think the video was very CUTE!!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Hi Lisa! I also believe that if a woman feels more comfortable using a cover, she should use it. I don’t condemn covers, I just have a problem with others telling me that I need to use one. It is the mother’s choice, not society’s.
      I disagree that I should cover up so as not tempt someone else. First of all, it is our society that has sexualized the female breast – not God. Further, people have temptations with all sorts of things, I can’t shape my behavior so as not to tempt every member of society. There is a great response to this argument from a Christian man on peaceful parenting. It’s good!

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts!

    • Rebekah C   RCThoughtfulMom

      I would think that repressing breastfeeding and perpetuating the idea that breasts are for sex only and that breastfeeding is so dirty it should only be done in private would be far, far greater of a “stumble” to be concerned about than the pervs who will BE pervs no matter what you do.

      Just a thought.

    • Cynthia

      I have to respectfully disagree that a child can be “trained from birth” to allow being covered up. About 5 months ago, my 8-month old daughter began to protest about ANYTHING over her face. I cannot nurse her under a cover. Also, my husband and I have to be super quick when changing her clothes. She melts down if even her onesie stays over her face for what she considers too long.

  10. I love this video! Thanks for making it!

  11. I wish I felt comfortable nursing my older children in public, but I don’t. I’m not worried about pervs – but I do not want to expose my 5 year old boy during our special time to the ridicule and shock that is the reality of our society.

    I feed my 2.5 yo in public in familiar places or if she really needs reassurance.

    Luckily and naturally, children at 5 don’t feed often, and at 2 not so often either. I wouldn’t want to take this barrier on alone (although I suppose I am to a large extent simply by feeding the 2.5yo!) I don’t know anyone else personally who has a 5yo still wanting to feed, but if I had a group of 3 of us I’d organise a public exposure :-)

  12. Lisa C   edenwild

    Thank you for the laughs from the video. I’ve never seen a toddler nursing under a blanket (at least, not that I was aware of). I guess some people manage it, but I really wouldn’t want to try.

  13. That was a great video! I don’t nurse my toddler in public, mostly because she has self-selected nursing around naptime and nighttime. It is nice that other mamas nurse their toddlers, though. I started feeling like one of the only ones!

  14. Melissa   vibreantwanderer

    Love it!! Thank you for this!

  15. Maman A Droit   MamanADroit

    Super-cute and funny video. And doesn’t every nursling point to his mommy’s nose while he’s nursing? Lol. Mine loves it if I make a funny noise (usually “honk”!) when he grabs my nose.

    My mother-in-law I guess always used a blanket and basically told me to too, but I couldn’t keep it from falling off(I have such voluptous breasts I had to use one hand to support my son’s head and one to hold my breast off of his nose so he could breathe!) and Baby always hated it. I think using a cover/blanket is really impractical for moms who need both hands and/or need to see what they are doing, especially at first. Like moms really need one more thing to make breastfeeding hard!

  16. Melodie   bfmom

    When I did a review for a Bebe Au Lait nursing cover I had to use my toddler for a test subject. She thought it was pretty fun, like she was inside a tent or a cave. But it was certainly a game and other than that time (shh!) I’ve never used it since.

  17. Fia   fiafour

    Love it! My daughter would definitely think I was playing peek-a-boo, too.

  18. Casey   CBerbs

    :) I’m pretty sure that past about 2 or 3 months there would be no chance of either of my children having stayed under a blanket. Without a blanket, I can nurse pretty comfortably. With a blanket, I got frustrated and my boys got no milk because they were too distracted by the blanket. Thanks for the demo.

  19. Beate

    Awesome! I nursed all my kiddoes until they gradually weaned, which meant nursing for more than 15 years straight ;-) My youngest is now six and when she needs some comforting she still will rest her hand on my breast as she sits on my lap. Living in a city that is known for the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country wasn’t always easy, but I know that my willingness to breastfeed in public did plant some seeds and for that I’m grateful.

  20. leigh   marvelouskiddo

    thank you so much for posting this. i do nurse my 3 year old in public, but i have to admit that lately i have been feeling somewhat self-conscious doing so. i needed the reminder that my child’s needs and rights are more important than what other people might think. i also completely agree that as nursing moms we have a responsibility to normalize breastfeeding by being open about it. great video!

  21. Liz

    Love the video, that is great!

  22. lou

    i love it – so humorous and touching at the same time. lovely! i sometimes struggle with my 27 month old still breastfeeding all the time (underline that a few times) and being the only one of my peers who’s still doing it – it can feel lonely.
    your video has helped me connect with why i feel it’s so important. thanks!!!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      I know just what you mean Lou – Kieran is still an enthusiastic nursling, even at 32 months. I couldn’t imagine having gone through these toddler months without breastfeeding :)

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