No Holiday from Breastfeeding
Feeding an infant on vacation needn’t be a problem
Among the many benefits of breastfeeding, add travel convenience to the list. You’re always ready to feed on demand, without the hassle of sterilizing equipment or worries about water purity. Just be aware of any cultural sensitivities in your host environment and nurse discretely if that’s a concern. Despite recent media hype about a woman being kicked off a plane for breastfeeding, you have a legal and ethical right to feed your child wherever and whenever you deem necessary.
If you pump, note that breast milk can be stored in a cooler bag on ice for up to 24 hours. If it’s an electric pump you’re using, don’t forget to factor in voltage differences abroad before you pack it along.
If you formula feed, make sure you can buy your preferred brand at your destination or bring enough supplies with you. Ship ahead, if that’s more convenient. Some babies are picky about change, and being away from home is not a good time to test whether he or she will take to a new taste.
If your little one is not that picky (yet!), traveling with ready-made formula that doesn’t need to be refrigerated is most convenient. If you use powdered or concentrated liquid formula, pre-measure it ahead of time so you can simply mix it with water right before a feed. If water quality at your destination is questionable, stick to bottled water or boil it first.
Ideally you’ll have access to a kitchen where you’re staying. A sink, fridge and microwave will help you with preparing, cleaning, sterilizing and storing bottles (and breast pump parts, if using). Many hotel and motel rooms have a fridge or at least an electric kettle and a bucket of ice you can use. A thermos and a cooler bag can help you with warming and short-term storage when you’re on the go. Make sure you pack a bottle/nipple brush and some dish soap for cleaning.
For travel convenience’s sake, disposable bottles and liners help eliminate the need for sterilizing, and if you can get your baby used to drinking room temperature milk, you can eliminate the warming up step too.