What could be easier than traveling with a completely breastfed baby? All one needs is mom, an extra change of clothes for everyone and some diapers. Breast milk is always with you in a clean container and at the correct temperature. There is no need to wonder if any prepared formula has been stored at the right temperature or if the baby will be bothered by a different water supply. When breastfeeding, mom filters the water and keeps the milk at the right temperature. While breastfeeding may make traveling with a baby easier, there are some things to consider before you travel.
Plan your driving time around baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule.
If your baby doesn’t really have a schedule you may find that he/she sleeps longer when the car is moving. If this is the case and you have a car adapter or battery pack for your pump you may be able to pump safely while someone else is driving. You might want to have a bottle or two of pumped milk to feed to the baby while he/she is strapped in the car seat. Moms should never try to breastfeed while someone else is driving. You could hurt yourself or your baby in a crash or quick stop.
Stop more frequently than you might if you weren’t traveling with a baby.
Parents should stretch every hour or so and the baby should be removed from the car seat every few hours to feed and stretch his/her legs. The need for your baby to breastfeed may help to slow your pace and your enjoyment of the travel time.
Breast milk is the original comfort food.
You may find that your baby is interested in feeding more than usual while you are away from home. Breastfeeding is security as well as food and new people and surroundings upset some babies. Most breastfed babies are better able to adapt to a new environment with mom there to provide food and comfort.
Traveling without your baby? Don’t stop pumping.
If you will be traveling without your baby you can pump your milk and have it shipped home on dry ice or take it with you on the plane. Make sure that you check the rules of your airline for the amount of milk that you can take with you, but you have the right to transport at least some of your pumped milk for your baby.
Travel while your baby is young to prepare you for travelling with a toddler.
A breastfeeding baby is very portable and travel isn’t quite as easy with a toddler. Get some practice traveling while your baby is young and you will probably find it easier to keep traveling through the toddler years. Remember, that the longer you breastfeed the easier the traveling will be.
Have fun on that next family trip!
Have a good memory about traveling with your baby? Share your story with other moms.
Need to speak to a lactation consultant? Call Phyllis at 215-453-4594