Monday, April 7, 2014

Breastfeeding on a Road Trip

Only a few weeks after Little Man was born we went on our first family road trip to Mississippi. Actually, it would technically be our second trip since the first time LM we didn't find out til after we got there that I was pregnant! This second time was quite a bit different though.

Long before LM was born I knew I wanted to breastfeed him. I knew it was the best thing for him, and since I was going to be a stay-at-home Mama there really wasn't any reason why I couldn't do this for him. I am very blessed to have a baby who eats well and doesn't have any problems with breastfeeding!

Because I was still new to the whole Mama thing and still trying to figure out how to breastfeed and do other things I decided it would be best to bring along bottles, the hand pump, and bibs for LM to wear. We didn't want to make any more stops than we had to so I figured I would pump, put it in a bottle, sit in the backseat and feed him and then we'd make a stop so he could be burped. Over all this method worked out great for us!

Beforehand I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as feeding times went. I estimated three feedings on the way down and three on the way back, so naturally I packed the small diaper bag with sets of three so I didn't have to worry about washing out anything until we got to our destination. For modesty's sake, I also brought along a nursing cover I made so I could pump in privacy.

In the photo you will see quite a few things. I'll go through it all and explain why I brought it along on our road trip (top left to right, to bottom left to right):

Burp Cloths. I brought 4 of these along with us. I used these to dry off after pumping, and of course, to catch spit-up when burping Little Man.
Small Diaper Bag. I wanted to keep all the pumping & feeding supplies in one place so that they were a) easy to find and b) not mixed up with everything else. Using a small diaper bag worked out perfectly. It was a bit tricky getting everything to fit, but I only brought what I thought was necessary.
Bottles. I brought 3 5oz. bottles and one 8oz. bottle. I thought I would use the 8oz. bottle to store extra milk in, but turns out I didn't use it at all. The 5oz. bottles are what I used to feed LM while in the car.
Nursing Cover. I brought this to wear while pumping so I could stay modest. It worked out pretty well, though when we were coming back I didn't really use it since it was night time and there were rarely other cars around and when there were you couldn't see anything anyway.
Medela Hand Pumps. I have one 'pumper' and three pumping bottles. I brought it all so I wouldn't have to worry about washing stuff out when we stopped to get more gas or to eat. This worked out great! I also brought the lids for the bottles in case I wanted to keep the milk stored there instead of using the 8oz. bottle. Using the lids worked out better in the end than transferring the milk.
Walmart Sacks. I used these to put the used pump accessories in once I was finished with them so they wouldn't leak in the diaper bag and get everything else wet or dirty. Another option might be gallon ziplock bags.
Wipes. Because we were in a car driving down the road I was worried about spilling milk. I did have a small spill when transferring milk from the pump to a bottle and these came in handy then!
Bibs. I put a bib on LM each time I went to feed him so it could catch any milk he spit out or that dripped from the bottle. This was a great idea and a smart one too!

I used everything I brought with me for the breastfeeding while on the road kit except for the 8oz. bottle. My son was about 3 1/2 weeks old when we made this trip. I estimated feedings on how often he had been eating in the current 8 hour period (it's about 8 hours from our home to where his family lives). I figured he might eat 3 times on the way there and back. He actually only ended up eating twice on the way down because he slept most of the ride, but I did end up pumping 3 times. I'm very glad I brought enough of everything so I didn't have to reuse anything unless I wanted to (like a bib or burp cloth).

While on a road trip there's always the option of pulling off the road and feeding your child without pumping, but we wanted to keep stops to a minimum and honestly this worked out a lot better than I expected. Hopefully if you're a breastfeeding mama and are considering a road trip this post helped you!


  1. Brings me back to the days. Fortunately I rarely had long road trips with my own little man. The longest were five hour trips to Maine and I needed the rest stops as much as he did. Nicely planned! I will share this with a friend who is taking a rather long trip to Colorado next week.

    1. Thanks for sharing! We have family in several states and they're all 8 hour+ road trips. :/


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