Infant Feeding Over the Holiday Season
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
Ok, we know that we might be getting a LITTLE ahead of ourselves here, but the holiday season can sneak up QUICK and we wanted you to have this knowledge in hand before you might need it!
We know that travelling with little ones is a whole different ball game and usually needs a little bit more planning than before they were around!
First of all, with any baby, it’s a great idea to feed them before hopping in the car. This usually makes them happier in the car for longer periods, and may even facilitate a car nap! You can schedule your trip around when they might nap the best, or whenever works best for you. Even if it’s not their “regular” feeding time, try to give them a bit of a snack before you get going.
It’s recommended to give a baby (and you!) about a 15-20 minute carseat break about every 2 hours. This helps to prevent any sore little muscles and bones, and can prevent a dip in blood oxygen levels. For the great information about safe carseat travel at the holidays and any time of year, check out Safe in The Seat:
This two hour window usually will line up nicely with your baby’s need to feed - but of course, if they are showing signs of hunger sooner, you can pull over to a well-lit rest stop, or onto a side road with your hazard lights on, and feed baby there.
If you are bottle feeding, ensure that you have enough formula prepared, or have several bottles of sterilized water so that you can prepare your formula on the go. As winter travel conditions are present, consider having a few extra bottles ready to go just in case you get stuck or travel takes longer than planned.
Check out these guidelines for safe storage and handling of expressed breastmilk.
And if your baby likes a warm bottle, consider how you’ll warm it up for them. Before you go, you might want to pack a thermos or two with hot water so that you can pop a bottle in for a few minutes before giving it to your baby. Of course, be careful when you’re doing this so that you don’t burn yourself or your baby, and always test the temperature of your bottle before feeding your baby.
If you’re feeding at the breast, be sure to have your breastfeeding pillow within reach if necessary, and always travel in a soft, supportive bra. Be mindful that long periods of time with pressure on your breasts caused by a seatbelt or underwire bra can cause issues leading to plugged ducts, so just be sure to shift your weight every once in a while and definitely take advantage of those every 2 hour breaks to feed at the breast and keep your milk flowing. Never take your seatbelt off while travelling in a moving vehicle!