Absolute Best Travel Gear for Breastfeeding Moms
The first time I traveled with a breastfeeding baby was when my daughter was 6 weeks old. Her and I were flying alone from Florida to Virginia. I was so nervous and I had no idea what to expect or what to pack. Over the next 2.5 years, I traveled all over the world breastfeeding. From Budapest to the Amalfi Coast to Montreal and Las Vegas. Whether you are taking a road trip or flying across the world, I have round up a list of the most useful breastfeeding essentials for traveling moms.
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If you are traveling for work or without your baby, check out my blog on How to Successfully Traveling with Breast milk.
Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is KEY for breast milk production. This water bottle has a clip, so it can attach easily to your purse or diaper bag. PLUS, it has an easy, one-hand open which is also really helpful when you’re taking care of a baby. This water bottle collapses to fit into any bag.
Hand Pump: Hand breast pumps are amazing for travel. One of the trips I took while breastfeeding was to Eastern Europe. I knew I wanted to have expressed milk on hand so that my husband could help me at night through the first days of jet lag. However, I also didn’t want to have to worry about burning up an electric breast pump. (see below for a converter to be sure that doesn’t happen) A manual breast pump was a lifesaver for me. I used it when we traveled by car between cities, on the plane and at night before I went to bed! One huge perk to a hand pump over an electric pump is there are so many fewer pump parts to clean and sanitize. For me, it mean’t a stress free pumping experience.
Reusable and Disposable Nursing Pads: As a person who is conscious of creating as little waste as possible, I personally loved using the organic cloth nursing pads. However, I usually only used them on short outings or when I was inside my home because I have a very strong let down and they do not have a plastic protective backing to prevent big leaks from showing through. For travel, I used a mixture of both. During long days out on the town, I used disposable pads to prevent as much breast milk from leaking through to my shirt as possible. At night, I used the cloth ones.
Burp Cloths: Breastfeeding is messy. From the leaking nipple to the dribbling baby to the reflux and baby puke, you never know when you’ll need to wipe something up. These burp cloths have gender-neutral designs for boys or girls and they aren’t solid white, so they won’t look gross once they’ve been soiled a few times. Until you’ve been puked on while flying, you may not know how dire you need these to travel with.
Hakkaa Manual Breast Pump: This little thing saved my life as a breastfeeding mom. While the baby nursed on one side I attached this to the other breast and caught the milk that was expressing. Each nursing session I would be able to collect and store 4-5 ounces that would have otherwise been lost to a breast pad. This is an absolute MUST have for breastfeeding moms.
Boppy Pillow: This pillow is perfect for getting your baby into the proper nursing position. It also helps hold the weight of the baby and takes the strain off the mother’s back. I loved using my boppy pillow to position baby and then have the freedom to be hands free. (with close supervision of course) If you are traveling while breastfeeding, this is perfect for plane and train travel. You can easily nurse your baby and then use the pillow to hold the baby while they sleep. Another alternative is the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow.
Breast Therapy Pads: These pads are amazing for travel. You never know when you will get a clogged duct or need some relief after a long nursing or pump session. These are freezable and they are able to be heated up. Don’t get stuck far from home and in pain. These are easy to pack and will save you in a pinch.
Nipple Cream: Whether you have ever gotten sore or cracked nipples or not, it is a good idea to travel with a small amount of nipple cream just in case. You seriously never know and you don’t want to be stranded in “sucky” situation. Earth Mama Nipple Butter is my ALL TIME favorite. First, I love that it’s organic and lanolin-free. The tub is only 2oz and packs easily!
Multi-Use Cover: I know so many mothers who feel more comfortable covering while nursing. I chose this particular nursing cover because it’s multi-functional. This means that you can use it as a shopping cart cover, car seat cover, nursing cover, or even as a shawl. The fabric on this cover is breathable, so you and baby are getting too hot. The thin fabric also makes it easy to pack into any bag and it takes up hardly any room.
If you are traveling with breast milk, check out my blog on How to Successfully Traveling with Breast milk.
Powercord for the Car: Being able to pump breast milk in the car is a life saver on long road trips. I took a road trip when my son was 4 weeks old. The trip was 14 hours, so I needed to pump and was able to give him bottles while we drove so we could save some time. I do not condone or suggest pumping while driving — only as a passenger or if the car is in park.
Power Converter: I have traveled internationally while nursing babies. While I usually nurse, I do love having my pump with me to express milk for the plane ride or when we are blitzing around some foreign city. If you only use an adapter, your pump will burn up and then you will be stuck with no breast pump. DO NOT let that happen to you. Here is a CONVERTER that can handle a breast pump.
Nursing Friendly Clothes: Who says clothes can’t be nursing friendly AND cute? All of these are nursing friendly. I love traveling in comfortable, cute clothes. Many of these offer a great alternative to the typical nursing tanks because you don’t have to layer if you don’t want to! Save yourself from overheating! Here are several dresses and shirts that allow for easy access for breastfeeding. (Click which outfit you like to shop it!)
Nursing Sports Bras: Have you ever ran through an airport in a regular nursing bra? Yea. Nursing bras don’t have a ton of support. I recommend investing in 1-3 Nursing Sports bras so you can be more comfortable while you travel. Click whichever bra looks the best for you to shop!
Wet Bags: This may not seem like an obvious choice as a breastfeeding essential for traveling moms, BUT I assure you, it is. These bags are absolutely amazing. I used them to store dry/clean clothes, dry breast pads, and dry burp cloths/bibs. Once an item is soiled or one breast milk has leaked all over them, I pull out the dry stuff and insert the wet stuff. (My let down was outrageous and I leaked through shirts and breast pads constantly) These bags have a waterproof liner, so the mess stays contained. PLUS, these bags are machine washable, so easy to keep them sanitized. Win-Win-Win.
Breastmilk Travel Cooler: Do you exclusively pump or do you want to have a pumped bottle ready for the flight or train or long car ride? Want to carry a few extra storage bags? This little bag comes with an ice-pack! It’s perfect to attach to a diaper bag or stroller for on-the-go activities.
With over 2 years of breastfeeding while traveling, I can confidently say that these items will make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Removing the stress off your shoulders of what you will pump with, if you make a mess while nursing, or if you are in a place that uses different electric current. This list consists of everything I actually used when nursing and all of it comes highly recommended. So, get out there and see the world with confidence!
If you need breastfeeding support while you are traveling, here are a few resources:
If you’re pregnant and haven’t started your baby registry yet, check out the Amazon Baby Registry where you can add all of the items listed above!
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