5 Feeding Tips for Traveling With A Newborn
Traveling with a Newborn? Springtime is coming! For most families, this means travel. And if you have a newborn in tow, this can sometimes be a lengthier (and difficult) process. I’m often reminded of the trips we took with my son while he was a newborn. It isn’t easy, but here are a few things I learned along the way through some trial and error.
When preparing for long distance travel destinations, consider these tips that I used, for those long trips in the car…
1. Plan Extra Time for Feedings
I exclusively breastfed my son, but this applies to everything – breast, bottle, or tube. You must allow a certain amount of time for feedings. It’s important to know your baby’s routine, and plan accordingly. If they feed for an hour (every hour!), and the drive will be at least two hours long, then you have an idea of a timeframe.
Plan to strike out early. My son cluster fed like clockwork so we left an hour early, and after the first session, he would be good to go until we reached our destination.
2. Comfort is Key
Because we chose travel by car, I tried making things as comfortable as possible for me, and my newborn baby. Snuggly blankets, a neck pillow for Mom, space arranged in the back seat for optimal room (avoiding claustrophobia) – whatever it takes to ensure you and your child will be comfy during stops. Traveling is hard on babies, and the easier you can make it on your baby (and yourself!), the better.
3. Get Out of the Car
We are lucky enough to live right on the Georgia/Florida border so we never encounter snow, unlike some parts of the country, even early in springtime. If possible on a nice weather day, consider parking at a rest stop with a nice picnic area, and vacate the car. It will help you to refresh yourself and stretch your legs. It will also give your baby a different environment for a short period of time. My son was always a very active eater, and he enjoyed looking around until the “milk sleep” took over. Plus, being outside the car for a bit should help you, and your partner, from loathing the car ride to the cousins who just have to live 3 hours away.
4. Make a List of Supplies and Check Twice
Lists are super handy for all the little details. Make sure you have everything you will need for feedings, and at least one extra item (if possible) on hand such as bottles, nipples, nursing covers, breast pads, and gas drops. It’s also helpful to pack backups of anything that can get dirty, or can’t immediately be reused without proper cleaning. You may not find yourself stopped at a place that has access to water and soap or that you will feel comfortable cleaning your baby items with, and you don’t want to add more time to your trip washing things.
Pack just enough (not everything!) of the necessities that will get you to your destination. When you arrive you can sterilize and clean your supplies. When baby needs to eat, baby needs to eat! And you’ll want to get back on the road ASAP.
5. Take it Easy
Traveling is hard on anyone, especially if you’re stuck in a car for a few hours with your newborn baby. The less stress you endure with the preparation, and execution of your trip, the better the ride will be for your child. Children feed off their surrounding energy – if you are calm and collected, it will rub off on them! So relax as much as possible, take moments to stretch your legs and smell the roses (or, at least, fresh air as opposed to the little tree freshener hanging from the rearview mirror), and make life easier on yourself by not rushing. The ride will be a lot more enjoyable for you, and baby!