Would you feed your baby here?

Now this has been bugging me for a while. And after seeing a friend last week faced with a similar image to the one below when she took her 2 week old to the zoo I was appauled.

So the background, last time I visited chessington it was lashing it down with rain and I wanted somewhere dry to feed my baby. Customer services suggestion? The toilets, now all breastfeeding mothers will know my reaction to that! They then said maybe the first aid centre. In the end we were so soaking wet and pissed off we headed straight home and fed in the car before leaving.

Cut to today I figured I’d give their suggestion of the first aid centre a try. I knocked politely on door and a young chap answered.

Me: hi, I’m looking for somewhere to breastfeed and was told I could in here?

Him: oh well we don’t usually allow that as we’re for medical emergencies, there’s a changing room just next door in the toilet block.

Me: does it have a chair?

Him: I think so.

Me: is it clean?

Him: it should be

Me: is it an ideal place to breastfeed?

Him: I don’t know really.

This is what I came across.


Now excusing the fact that there was no lock on the door so had I wanted privacy I wouldn’t have been able to get it the chair was right next to a bin in a freezing cold room. Not ideal! Off to cafe Nero we tottered for some daddies to get a nice eyeful of boob.

Now what annoys me most about this situation is that 30 minutes away is Legoland. Legoland and Chessington are owned by the same company, Merlin. At Legoland they have got the mother and baby experience bang on! They have a ‘baby centre’ this consists of clean changing facilities, room for buggys, three spacious cubicles with soft comfortable chairs to feed in and a toilet large enough to fit a buggy in. Me and moo love going in there for 20 minutes to escape all the distractions of the park and enjoy a quality feed in comfort and warmth.

Now why can’t the same company provide something similar down the road at their other ‘family’ park? I have a feeling it is because the baby centre at Legoland was probably there before Merlin brought it and so it’s not something they have done, but surely they have seen the success of it?! Every time we go to Legoland there are always mums in the cubicles or changing nappies in there, it’s being used! So why not have one at chessington too?

So go on, would you feed your baby in the above facility?


19 thoughts on “Would you feed your baby here?

  1. There’s no way I’d feed my baby there!

    Come on Merlin – sort it out!

    I can’t believe in this day and age mothers are still being told to use the toilets to feed their babies :0(

    1. It amazes me their lack of knowledge on women’s rights and the fact that their other family park has it so very right! Crazy!

  2. Its disgusting how they thinks its ok to palm us off with a stinky chair next to an overflowing bin! I suffered and still suffer with post natal depression. When i had just given birth to my son in 2006 i used to have really bad anxiety when out and it came to feeding time, this was majorly down to the lack of comfortable available areas to breastfeed in! Big franchises like these really need to cater better for breast feeding mothers.

    Im shocked that they can have 1 place with such comfortable facilities yet another with such poor facilities available.

    Great blog x

    1. That’s the thing isn’t it! It’s ridiculous! I know what you mean about anxiety too. I suffer on and off with it and although I’m pretty ok at the moment there are days when I just want to hide away to feed and places like that do not make it easy! X

  3. I only ever once use ‘facilities’. We were at lunch with a group of ex-colleague male friends and K was 6 days old. I didn’t really know what I was doing yet, and ‘escaped’ to the loo to feed for a good half hour. That was the first and last time. It was the only loo in the restaurant and there were very irate people when I came out :p Can’t win, eh? Since then I’ve refused breastfeeding rooms, and chose instead to use a cover where I could see K. (Uddercovers, a horrible name for a fab cover!) but once I became comfortable, I’d feed anywhere… it just takes a while to get comfy – although in a place like Legoland, having the ability to escape somewhere quiet is a definite bonus!

    Time to get your letter writing on, methinks. I’m sure Chesington can do better than that!

    1. You really can’t win can you! Lol not heard of uddercovers! We have a baby bubu cover and moo hates it!

      Will definitely be writing to them! Especially as at Legoland they have got it so right! X

  4. I am torn between surrendering to my wrap (best buy when 9 months pregnant in November 2008) and just coping or actually fighting the cause. I wouldn’t even require a separate room really but at least a corner table. I have asked that many times and am often met with perplexed stares from waiters, even when there are obviously corner tables available. We don’t need a salon do we! Just a discreet corner please. It’s no wonder peope give up. It isn’t easy. I’m alright about it now but I do remember being incredibly self-conscious with my first. And scared that I was offending everyone – ridiculous when you think about it. It is the most natural thing in the world after all!

  5. I didn’t breastfeed C but that is just appalling.

    My husband has made comments about mums breastfeeding in cafes and why don’t they go in the toilets and I’ve been so angry with him. (He’s not anti bf, he just doesn’t think before he speaks sometimes!)

    You would have thought a family place as big as Chessington would have a more family friendly room.

  6. Have you emailed them the link to this post? If not then I think you should.

    I hardly ever used baby feeding rooms, because they’re invariably small, windowless and stinking of nappy bins. I prefer to feed my baby out in the open, because, well, why shouldn’t I? If anyone’s offended, that’s their problem. I’m lucky I suppose in that I’ve always felt confident about feeding in public – it must be unpleasant for those who don’t.

    1. We usually feed in public but often moo feeds better if we go somewhere quiet which in a theme park is hard to find! I will definitely be writing to them about it!

  7. No way am I feeding in there. To be honest I’m used to feeding in public now, in fact, I’m so used to it now I became an expert in hiding my boob. My friends didn’t even realise I was feeding untilshe focused on what baby was doing!

    Next time, instead of hiding in the toilet (*shiver at the thought of it*, try put on 2 vests, one to lift up, the other stay below, then cover baby’s mouth with the one on the top. Or bring a shawl with you and cover baby up. So much better if you can feed baby while having a cup of tea or something!

    1. Yeah thanks Angela we do often feed in public although I’m still not hugely confident! Moo is more distracted in public which is why we often find a room somewhere! X

  8. I wouldn’t feed there, they need to sort themselves out! When N was little i was advised to feed him in the disabled toilet at a local NHS Centre. mmm it doesn’t seem like many get it right xx

  9. I completely agree with you. No way would I feed there and it is generally a disgrace what baby feeding facilities breastfeeding mums are offered. I’d love to see what some people would think, if you suggested they had their lunch in a toilet. I don’t care about people’s looks anymore and feed in public now. There is no way that I am feeding my child in a room like that… x

  10. I’ve always found the idea of a ‘breastfeeding’ room a little abstract. I seem to remember one at the main complex in center parcs. It was clean and fine but boring and lonely and bleak. I sat on the bench in the middle of the walkway and fed instead.

    Legoland has all of its facilities sorted though doesn’t it – right down to the little toilets for little people.

    1. Yeah Legoland is so kid friendly it’s great! All I need is a toilet with no handdryer so pickle would actually go in! Lol!

  11. I think this is a big disgrace for the park. If you show them the response I am sure they will get you in on the planning of a breast feeding room. Keep up the fight. Breast feeding mums need to be treated with respect. No wonder so many give up at the first hurdle.

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