Rhode Island legislators are considering a bill that would allow mothers who are breastfeeding their infants to bring those children to the theater and other live performances for free.
House lawmakers at the General Assembly approved a bill Thursday to permit free admission to shows for children under 1 year old if they are being breastfed by their mothers. The Senate has yet to approve it.
Most attractions - movies, zoos, etc. - do not charge for babies, and often not for children under 2 if they are lap children. If they are not taking up an extra seat, and not really partaking of the entertainment, they shouldn't have to pay. But I don't see the point of anyone legislating this. The free market tends to take care of this quite well - if you make me pay for my baby to take a nap in his stroller in your museum, I'm just not going to be giving you my money, and neither will any other parent with good sense. And to do it in such a way as to specifically reference breastfeeding. I mean, are you going to have to prove it? How would that work?
All babies - not just breastfed ones - need to be close to their mommies. Perhaps bottlefed babies even more so, since there is no biologically mandated closeness to foster the attachment. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever leave baby with a sitter and some EBM and go out for a few hours; I'm just saying that as a society, we should think of the mother-infant pair as one entity rather than two.