Travelling with a little one can be challenging, whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding both can have their challenges when you are on the go. The team at Bow & Rattle have put together some useful tips to make breastfeeding while traveling a smooth ride:
1. Wear comfortable, breastfeeding-friendly clothing and have a coverup handy. Layering is vital when travelling and nursing tanks and cardigans are perfect as they wear and pack easily. You can get quite hot and bothered too when you’re feeding and travelling so it’s good to be able to cool off when you need.
2. If you are pumping too make sure to bring along your breast-pump but also any extra batteries or adapters you might need while you are travelling. I regularly was breastfeeding and pumping as my sons weren't great feeders due to a succession of issues and if I didn’t empty both breasts I would regularly end up with mastitis.
3. Have cleaning supplies ready on the go. Airplane tap water is not safe for drinking or cleaning your pump parts and baby’s bottles. If you are traveling by car, you may not be able to clean your pump parts right away. I found these two products from Medela very hand for when I was travelling – the Quick clean wipes are a convenient way to clean your pump parts without soap and water and the Micro Steam Bags sanitise them in minutes in the microwave and provide storage between pumping sessions.
4. Make sure you can store your breastmilk properly. You want to use containers that are sterile and airtight. It’s best to store in 2-4 oz portions. This wastes less milk and helps to avoid over feeding. Use the handy 6-6-6 rule to know how long you can keep pumped breastmilk. Generally, breastmilk is good for 6 hours at room temperature, 6 days in the back of a refrigerator, and 6 months in the back of a freezer. It is good in a cooler with ice packs for about 24 hours. Always use thawed breastmilk within 24 hours.
5. If you are planning to nurse on the plane usually the best time to do this is during takeoff or landing as it helps to protect your baby’s ears from the changes in air pressure.
6. When traveling by car, it’s important to allow for extra time along the way for breastfeeding stops. Breastfeeding in the car can be so tricky and uncomfortable for both you and the baby so it's good to route plan along the way somewhere you can make a nice pitstop!
7. Stay hydrated. Not only do you lose a lot of fluids while breastfeeding, traveling itself is dehydrating so remember to drink and eat well throughout the day. You'll feel so much better for it after the journey.