You’ve done it- you booked a trip and are bringing the little one with you, I am so happy for your upcoming adventure! You may be feeling overwhelmed, excited, nervous, stressed… all normal. However, I am here to tell you that traveling with a breastfed baby does not have to be stressful; in fact it can make travel easier (in my honest opinion).
I have flown on 24 flights (and counting) with my little ones while breastfeeding, and realized it is so easy to over pack or bring items you do not need. Keep reading to find my top 5 items you need when traveling with a breastfed baby that will make your travel plans a total breeze!
1. A Comfortable Nursing Top
Dress your “breast” haha! I love a fashionable and comfortable nursing top that looks like a regular top but has hidden openings to allow for breastfeeding. Comfort is especially important when traveling on a plane, a happy mama is a calm happy baby! My favorite brand is Happy Mama Boutique – bonus, a lot of their clothes are made for pregnancy and breastfeeding!
2. Baby Carrier
I do not go anywhere without my Tula (favorite baby carrier), and traveling is no exception. Getting through the airport is a breeze when your little one is happily snuggled close to mama. I also find nursing while in the carrier to be a comfort to my baby while we are in the chaotic new environment that is the airport. Just be aware that most airlines do not allow you to wear your baby on the plane during takeoff and landing.
3. New Travel Toy
The best travel toys for babies are lightweight, mess-free and easily packed into a carry on bag. Does this have anything to do with breastfeeding? No, and while I never underestimate the power of the boob, sometimes your little one needs a fun toy to keep them entertained. For younger children I recommend a teething toy – something they can chew on and play with (my daughter loved her Bubaloo Baby Teether). For a toddler I recommend a STEM TOY – my favorite being PicassoTiles Magnetic Building Tiles. This set kept my toddler occupied on our ENTIRE flight.
4. Sustenance – Food & Water
It is hard to eat healthy at an airport, so bring yourself some snacks mama! Be prepared to nourish your body, after all it is nourishing your baby. I like to bring fruit such as an apple or orange, granola bars, and some delicious lactation cookies. If you need a recommendation for delicious lactation cookies check out BabaBellas.
Flying dehydrates you—a lot. Breast milk is composed of approximately 90 percent water, so it’s important to stay hydrated in order for your body to make milk. Bring your own water bottle and have it filled once through security, this way you do not have to wait for the lackluster in-flight beverage service. I love these Retap glass water bottles, they are sleek and eco-friendly!
Little ones are unpredictable. They may sleep for the majority of the trip or they may feel overstimulated and more fussy. Try not to be stressed, upset, or worried if your baby needs to feed at different times than their usual schedule – you can feed your baby whenever and wherever you need to! Try to approach traveling with a breastfed baby/toddler with a sense of humor and it will help you feel at ease. The confinement of a flight is short lived compared to the amazing adventure that awaits!
** The pressure change from takeoff and landing can bother baby’s ears, try to breastfeed during takeoff and landing, the sucking can help ease the pressure change and alleviate any discomfort for baby**