Breastfeeding on Vacation

Taking your first trip with your baby is thrilling but also a little nerve-wracking. The packing list, the accommodations, your baby’s schedule – there’s so much to consider. Breastfeeding on vacation, however, should be one of the easiest parts of planning and enjoying your trip because it’s pretty simple. Mom and baby is all it takes!

Breastfeeding On Demand

Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, breastfeeding on demand is the best way to ensure your baby is nutritionally satisfied and your milk supply is not compromised. This may mean a few extra pit stops on the road or sitting down for a breastfeeding break at the airport, but it’s worth it for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding on VacationYou Are Enough

Up to six months of age, and longer if your pediatrician agrees, your breast milk is all your baby needs to eat or drink. Even if you’re traveling somewhere hot (you lucky duck) you do not need to supplement with water under six months. After that, be sure to follow precautions for safe drinking water and introduce new foods slowly, especially if you are away from home.

Carry in Comfort

A sling or wearable baby carrier is one of the best ways to travel with a baby. She’ll love being close to mommy (and sometimes daddy too) and your hands are free. Also, breastfeeding on vacation couldn’t be simpler than when your baby is in a sling. She’s in position, you both have discretion and you can still use your hands. It’s a win for everyone!

Relieve the Pressure

Many moms find it helpful to nurse during take-off and landing during air travel. The air pressure changes during this time can bother some baby’s sensitive ears. Sucking on a breast (or pacifier if your baby is not hungry) can help relieve the pressure and keep your baby calm. Also, the sensation and noises of assent and descent may be frightening so breastfeeding and holding your baby close may comfort her.

Pump with Care

If you plan to bring along your pump, follow the same sanitation guidelines you would at home. Wash your hands before handling your pump, bottles, nipples or storage containers. Sanitize each item with baby-safe soap and water after use. Keep your breast milk chilled in a cooler bag or refrigerator if you will not use it within 5 hours of pumping. Your pump and breast milk should not be a TSA issue when traveling by plane so feel free to carry it on as needed.

Watch Out for Travel Bugs

Travel may introduce your baby to some new germs and breastfeeding on vacation is the best way to combat them. While it’s normal for babies to catch a bug or two this time of year, you can help protect your little one with your breast milk because it’s filled with vital antibodies that strengthen her immune system. Also, wash her hands and keep her close to avoid contact with harmful germs.

Sleep Safely and Soundly

It is tempting to co-sleep with your baby on vacation, especially if you are breastfeeding in the night. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rooming-in but having your own sleep spaces. Many hotels offer complimentary cribs or you can bring along a portable crib. Some are quite small and easy to pack. Remember, nothing should be in the crib with your baby while she’s sleeping. Breastfed babies and their mothers tend to get more sleep on average so you should be able to catch some zzz’s on your vacation.

Have a great trip and happy breastfeeding!!

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and BabyCenter