Traveling with a baby involves handling all sorts of highly detailed logistics. Aside from the diapers and clothes, toys and special blankets, pacifiers and safety gear, there is the business of taking breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, dinner and a night time snack with you.
Breast feeding moms have it only slightly easier, but then again you cannot breastfeed and drive. There are perks to having a five year old hold their baby sister’s bottle and sadly, bottle feeding in a public place is still far more acceptable. I have done both over the years. The following tips are designed to help make meal time for bottle fed babies safe and accessible.
Things you need to travel with a bottle fed baby
Disposable bottle liners: This handy invention is especially great for when you do not have a way to wash your bottles thoroughly. Bring more than you think you will need. This means at least one for every meal and extras in case of rips or other unfortunate accidents, like miscounting, extra meals, extended trip, or tears. Keep a trash bag handy for used liners as well.
Formula storage: Resealable plastic bags can keep powdered formula dry and save time while traveling. Measure what you need into each bag, seal and stack in an unbreakable container. Pre-measuring the formula in the bottles may seem like a good idea, until you find clumps where the powder used to be. If you use ready-to-drink formula or single service formula sticks, then you can ignore this tip but be sure to keep the formula in a place where the packages will not be punctured.
Bring water: Do not expect every location along your travels to have fresh, safe water available. I had a rude awakening on one trip when I was directed to use the hose out back to fill my son’s bottle. Um, no, I will grab bottled water, thank you very much. While you can bring containers full of water, you can also avoid mess and hassle by pre-filling baby bottles, securing and then placing in a waterproof cooler bag.
Stock up: My very picky baby only liked a particular style of bottle nipple. When a friend’s dog got into the diaper bag and proceeded to chew on his bottle, I realized bringing extras would have been a great idea. Stock up on little extras to avoid problems. Also bring a bottle brush and dish soap to handle your own clean up.
Plan and preview: Do not make your first trip a cross country one. Short trips with your baby can help prepare both you and your child for eating on the go. Ease into long travel by practicing with day trips and short overnights. Realizing your child needs a plug and go bottle warmer is easier to accommodate when you are still in your neighborhood then when you are in a strange town.
Finally, remember if travel is important to you then you should share the adventure with your children. Taking bottle fed babies along may entail a few more supplies, but the memories are worth it!