This post is a guest post by the Sainsbury’s Finance Blog team. Please see full disclosure at the end of this post.
Travelling even a short distance in a car with a baby can involve juggling a whole load of equipment, and a certain amount of hoping for the best. A long journey brings the added challenge of having to feed your baby on the way – so hereâ€™s some advice to help.
To help keep the whole experience as stress-free as possible for baby (and therefore everyone else), stick as closely as possible to their usual routine. Your baby might not be able to tell the time yet, but they have a very reliable internal clock, and having their expectations met on time helps to keep everyone calm and relaxed.
How to feed your baby
There are several options for feeding your baby during a car journey.
- Breastfeeding: This is the easiest option as you wonâ€™t need to pack any special equipment or worry about getting the temperature right. You canâ€™t do it on the move, however, as it would mean taking the baby out of their car seat – which is both unsafe and illegal.
Should the idea of breastfeeding your baby in a succession of unknown public venues make you uncomfortable, plan ahead. Make sure you are wearing easily accessible clothes and offer milk to your baby whenever you stop even if they don’t seem hungry. You’ll need to plan stops every couple of hours to feed and/or change nappies.
If you think you might need to feed between stops, or you prefer to express when out or about, you can bottle expressed milk and store it for up to 24 hours in a cooler bag with ice. To warm it up, you could either take a flask of hot water and a bowl, or ask service station staff to heat it for you. If you do the latter, always check that the temperature is right for your baby before attempting to feed them.
- Formula feeding: An easy travel option is to purchase travel packs of ready-made formula at the chemist.
To prepare powdered formula on the road, fill a flask or two with hot water, pack some sterilised bottles and teats, and prepare small packs of pre-measured powder. Bring extra powder along: service station staff should be only too happy to refill your flask en route.
- Solids: If you want to give your baby a snack to chew on while travelling by car, make sure that an adult is sitting next to them. If this isnâ€™t possible then give them a teething ring instead, or something else that doesnâ€™t involve swallowing, as there is a danger of choking if they are unsupervised. If hunger is getting to them, pull over somewhere safe and allow them time to eat.
If there is someone present to supervise the baby, food such as rice cakes, fingers of cheese, or slices of apple are nutritious and relatively mess-free. For freshly made meals along the way, bring food your baby is happy to eat at room temperature and that are easy to mash, such as banana or avocado. Or you could make up pots of their usual food before setting off, and reheat these when needed.
Author Bio: Kath Morgan writes about a whole host of motoring topics, including family travel, car insurance and safety concerns. An avid traveller, she spent many years living abroad and understands the lure of the open road only too well.
Disclosure: I was offered this post as part of my membership of the Sainsbury’s Finance Family Blogger Network and have not been paid to publish it. As part of my membership, I received a Sainsbury’s gift card but this did not obligate me to publish a post. I have chosen to host this guest post as I feel it gives useful information.