Many people worry about traveling with a breastfed baby. In truth, though, it is much easier to travel with a baby you are breastfeeding than it might be to travel with a baby who is bottle fed. One of the great things about breastfeeding is that you need no supplies in order to feed your baby. With bottle fed babies, you need formula, bottles, sterilization supplies, warming supplies, and a host of other products. With breastfeeding, your milk is always at the right temperature. It is always ready to go for both you and your baby. Moreover, nursing provides a source of comfort for your baby while you are surrounded by unfamiliar places and things.
If you intend to travel by air, try to nurse your baby while you are taking off and landing. This can help to ease the pressure in your baby’s ears. You know how to pop your ears. Your baby does not have that luxury, but nursing will give it to him. Be sure to pack an extra set of clothes in your carry on for both of you just in case your luggage is lost or you need an extra set of clothes if the baby’s diaper leaks. Remember that you will want to wear a top that is easy to adjust for nursing purposes. You might also try to keep a light blanket with you for privacy as you nurse. You may find that you get a bit dehydrated during air travel. As a result, try to drink plenty of water and juice to ensure your milk supply does not get interrupted. One more note about air travel: safety experts say it is just as important to put your child in a safety seat on a plane as it is in a car. You may find that it is possible to nurse your baby in the seat while you remain buckled up as well.
If you intend to travel by car, be sure to allow extra time for your baby to feed. You will need to stop to feed your baby. It is both unsafe and illegal to ride in the car with your baby in your arms. As a result, if your baby needs to be held, stop and take a break. If your baby handles sleeping in the car well, try only driving at night to keep their schedule interruptions to a minimum.
Even the best travels can exhaust both you and your baby. Try to add plenty of time in your itinerary for some relaxing and unwinding. Your baby will tend to get a bit over-stimulated, so build in some quiet time for the two of you. Remember that your baby may demand to nurse more frequently because of the unfamiliar situation. Meet your baby’s needs to the best of your ability. You might also try to bring along a few familiar toys and sheets and blankets from your house, as they will smell familiar to your baby.
Traveling with a breastfed baby can be a pleasurable experience for both of you if you make the appropriate preparations ahead of time.