In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for new moms to feel a bit of pressure to get back to work quickly. Whether you plan on returning to the office or are simply desperate for a second income, packing up the baby and hitting the road once your little one is ready for solid foods can seem like your only option. If you want to breastfeed past your child’s first few months, traveling during that period might be challenging and stressful. After all, there’s nothing quite like being on the road with an infant in tow to serve as a constant reminder that they need your milk if they’re going to survive!
Fortunately, with some preparation and planning, you can still breastfeed during those long road trips without putting their life in danger. Keep reading for useful tips on how you can successfully make it through those travels while still giving them your milk when they need it most.
Make sure your baby is safe and secure.
It’s important to start by making sure that your little one is safe and secure during those travels. If you are breastfeeding, then you probably don’t want to rely on a car seat as a means of keeping them secure. It’s best to keep your baby in your lap throughout the trip, with their car seat serving as a barrier between them and the steering wheel. This way, they’re still close enough to you that you can easily feed them when they need to be fed without putting them at unnecessary risk. If you’re breastfeeding, you may need to have a car seat anyway, so you can just put your baby in that one, and keep them in your lap. If you have a car seat that your baby can sit in, it’s best to put it in the back seat so that you can keep a close watch on your baby during the trip.
Prepare your own food and bring snacks.
If your baby is breastfeeding, this is one of the best times to bring your own food and snacks. This way, you can be sure that you’re eating food that you know is both safe for your baby and good for you. This can help you avoid feeling exhausted and worn out by the trip, and keep you energized and healthy enough to keep up with your little one. If your baby is eating solid foods, it’s best to prepare your own food and snacks while you’re on the go, as well. That way, you can make sure that they’re getting the right nutrition they need while also avoiding any potential contaminants that might be in commercially prepared food. Bringing your own food and snacks can also help you save money at the same time!
Keep a diaper and wipes supply on hand.
Many new mothers forget to bring a diaper and wipes supply with them on the road, but this is something you definitely don’t want to overlook! If your baby is breastfeeding, you’ll have to change their diaper a lot. That’s because breastfeeding babies tend to pee a lot more than their bottle-fed peers do. If you don’t have a diaper and wipes supply with you, you’ll be stuck running to a store every few hours to restock. This can be extremely inconvenient, especially if you are traveling a long distance and trying to be on the road for as short a time as possible. Avoiding this hassle and bringing a diaper and wipes supply with you can be the difference between an enjoyable road trip and one that leaves you frazzled and frustrated.
Bring a small pillow and blanket for breastfeeding.
If your baby is breastfeeding and you’re traveling during their first few weeks, you may find that they need a small pillow and blanket to feel comfortable. This is particularly true if you’re breastfeeding during the winter when taking your baby out in the cold can be incredibly unhealthy for them. Bringing a small pillow and blanket with you can help your baby get comfortable enough to finish feeding quickly and efficiently. Learning the best breastfeeding positions while traveling is a big bonus too. This can be extremely helpful if you’re traveling to another state or country and you don’t have time to waste. If your baby’s comfort is your top priority, you may want to make sure that the pillow you bring is washable. While it’s important to keep your baby cozy and warm, you don’t want them to get sick from a dirty pillow.
Plan to travel during naptime or late at night.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you may want to plan your road trip for the times that your little one is likely to be sleeping. After all, it’s much easier to feed your baby when they’re sleeping than when they’re wide awake, crying, and demanding to be fed right away. This can also help you avoid certain issues, such as your baby becoming hungry and cranky while you’re on the road and feeling the urge to feed them sooner than they’re ready. Planning to travel during naptime or late at night can also prevent you from getting bored, tired, and frustrated while driving. That’s because your baby will almost certainly be sleeping at those times and won’t be causing you any trouble!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
While it may seem like you’re being a burden to those around you, you’re not above asking for help so that you can breastfeed your baby on the road. If you’re breastfeeding and you’re on the road, you need to be sure that your baby is getting fed frequently. It can be very difficult to feed your baby while you’re driving, especially if they are in their car seat. If you’re breastfeeding, you need to pull over as frequently as possible so that you can feed your baby and make sure they’re getting enough milk. If you’re driving alone, it can be very difficult to find the time and location to feed your baby. That’s why it’s important not to be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
Breastfeeding your baby is a long-term commitment, and it’s important to be prepared to do so even when you’re on the road, traveling long distances, or in situations where it’s inconvenient to nurse.