Having to travel with your breastfeeding little one can feel overwhelming. But knowing the benefits that your angel will derive and the peace of mind you will get, you need to make some prior planning to ensure you sail through with your road trip.
Breast milk will help provide your baby with comfort, as you will not disrupt their schedule due to your trip. And in addition to providing the ideal nutrition to your baby, breastmilk will also help to keep your young one hydrated.
Traveling with frozen breast milk by car will also ensure you do not have to worry about unclean water supply or sterilizing bottles as you will be fully prepared to provide your young one with their safest food and drink.
But we all ask ourselves how to travel with breast milk by car, right? Read on to find out how with a little planning and strategic packing, your road trip can be smooth with your baby fed and content with milk to spare.
Challenges Of Feeding Your Baby On A Road Trip
Traveling with your baby is a daunting task, especially regarding feeding. And while there are some easy tips and tricks for correctly and simply feeding your child, it does have its fair share of challenges.
Some of the challenges include the following:
You will need to feed your baby on demand:
Your road trip might make your young one uncomfortable, making them want to feed after short intervals. You need to follow their lead and feed them as they demand.
Your baby might be uncomfortable feeding in new environments:
Is your young one comfortable being fed in noisy public places or using a breastfeeding cover?
If bottle feeding, you will need to plan your cleaning and hygiene supplies:
Cleaning their supplies can add stress as you figure out how to clean and sterilize your baby bottles while moving.
Advantages of Pumping and Feeding When Travelling
You must pump to keep up your supply if breastfeeding and traveling with your baby. The good news is that you can safely express yourself on the move and transport breast milk.
This is possible as many breast pumps can be battery operated, but ensure you carry enough batteries! Others have a built-in rechargeable battery making them portable as all you need is to plug them in charge when needed.
1. It helps create a bonding time with baby
When traveling with your baby, stay close to them if you have another person who can drive. Interact with your little one as much as possible, and after you have made a stop to nurse your young one, do not rush to put them back in their seat.
Instead, hold your young one for a little longer, talk, sing, rock, or cuddle them. Baby is in an unfamiliar place, so comforting them is more important than ever. This will also make your little one feed more efficiently.
2. Helps stick to your regular breastfeeding schedule
Whether breastfeeding or pumping, you should maintain the schedule your baby feeds typically at. This helps keep things most comfortable for you and your baby while allowing you to maintain your supply.
3. Helps in building up milk supply
Pumping after each nursing session to store away a few ounces at a time will help feed your little one when you are exhausted or dehydrated. Traveling with your little one will take a toll on you and might even reduce your milk supply.
4. Helps you to get organized
When traveling with a breast pump, you must pick the right bag to store your pumping kit and accessories. And since you will be carrying it in your carry-on bag, be mindful of the size. It should be big enough to fit everything you need and small enough to fit under your seat.
5. Helps you store freshly pumped milk on the go
One pumping session will likely end up with more milk than your baby can immediately consume. If it is a long road trip, you must pack plenty of ice packs, bottles, gel packs, and a water-tight cooler. These are the accessories you need when traveling with breastmilk.
6. It offers you options.
Combined pumping and breastfeeding will be helpful, especially if your travel is busy and about sightseeing. You can find yourself in a place where breastfeeding is uncomfortable, making pumping easier.
Essential Tools For Transporting Breastmilk
“I can’t wait to pump!” said no mum ever. But we all know that expressing and feeding from a bottle can be handy. Some of the reasons that might lead you to express milk include the following:
- You are sick and do not feel well enough to breastfeed
- You want to store some breastmilk in the freezer
- You have swollen or engorged breasts
- You need to clear a blocked milk duct
Expressing is more comfortable in a more relaxed and private place with a glass of water in handy. You can express yourself by hand, with a manual pump, or with an electric pump.
Here we have rounded up some essentials to help relieve the stress of pumping while traveling.
1. Hands-Free Breast Pump
While in transit, the one thing that can be a real head-scratcher is where to pump from. Finding a clean space like your kitchen counter is a tall task.
Comes in a hands-free breast pump that will fit directly into your bra without any attachments. A hands-free breast pump will let you pump discreetly with your clothes on wherever you are.
2. A Nursing Cover
Nursing ponchos are not just handy when breastfeeding in public, but they are also great for providing extra coverage when you need to pump in public.
You will need a nursing cover that drapes over your shoulder and will cover your front and back for maximum privacy.
3. A Leakproof Bra
If you plan to pump while traveling, a leak-resistance nursing bra will be a game changer. Mainly because your body is in a milk-making overdrive, leakage is inevitable. But the last thing you want while on a trip is a milk-stained cloth.
And while there is the option of stuffing nursing pads inside of bras to absorb any leaks, you will have to continually swap out the soaked pads for fresh ones. Remember that the outline of the pad can sometimes show through your cloth.
4. Travel Pump Cleaning Kit
Ensuring that your pump parts are clean is crucial to safely pumping milk for the baby. You should wash your pump kit with soap and water immediately after every use and allow them to air dry. This is no biggie at home, but it can be challenging while on the road.
5. Quick Clean Pump Wipes
Clean pump wipes will be handy if you are not in a safe place to wash your baby’s pump. The wipes should be unscented and alcohol and bleach free.
6. A Cooler Bag
After you have expressed, you will need a cool place to store your golden liquid. If you are staying at a hotel, you can call ahead and ask for a room with a mini fridge. A cooler bag will help keep your milk safe until you are in the hotel, as it is great at keeping breast milk cold when traveling.
A baby bottle cooler is excellent because it does not require any ice packs, as it features patterned cooling technology built inside the bag. You only need to ensure that you freeze it overnight, as it does not require any ice packs in transporting frozen breast milk.
7. Bottles to Collect Milk
Some breast pumps come with one or two milk collection bottles with lids attached to the pump’s flange. But more than these might be needed, especially if your trip is long.
It is necessary to purchase additional bottles to ensure that you can express yourself comfortably. Having enough bottles ensures that you have the best way to transport breast milk.
Good Travel Breast Pumps
Here is a scoop on the best portable breast pumps from moms who have used them:
Best Cooler For Travelling With Breast Milk
One of the essential items to travel with for your liquid gold is a lightweight, insulated, durable cooler with enough storage. A quality cooler answers your query about how to keep breast milk frozen when traveling.
Here are some of the best coolers to take your pumped breastmilk:
With one of the above-mentioned car coolers, you will no longer worry about how to keep breastmilk frozen on road trips.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s):
If you are traveling, your liquid gold can be stored in a cooler insulated with ice packs for up to 24 hours.
Pack a little thermos of hot water if you need to warm a bottle of breast milk when traveling. You can also opt for portable bottle warmers.
You will need to use a well-insulated cooler that will hold your milk. Line its bottom with newspapers and place your milk in the cooler. Fill any extra space with newspapers and put them on the top.
Place frozen gel packs or ice blocks on top of the newspaper and seal your cooler with duct tape. Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight or in a hot car, which might accelerate defrosting.
Yes, it is safe to feed your baby cold milk.
We hope this guide will help our breastfeeding mamas feel more confident continuing their chosen path even when they’re on the move.
More Baby & Toddler Travel Tips
Helping you feel confident as you hit the road with your little ones, you may also like to read next:
- How early can you hit the open roads when you’re road tripping with your baby? Our top road tripping tips for traveling by car with a newborn
- Keeping little ones entertained, these are the 20 best road tripping toys for a baby
- Worried about what’s happening with your bub while you’re driving and they’re up back? When to use a baby monitor in your car vs simply using a mirror
- How to stop your baby overheating in summer and keep them cool in their car seat
- Why you should NOT wrap your baby in too many layers in the winter – tops tips for keeping babies warm in car seats for colder climate travel
- Is your baby becoming a tot? Our top tips for road tripping with a toddler, plus some super fun car trip activities for toddlers to keep them engaged.
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