6 Feeding Tips for Traveling With a Baby

traveling with a baby

Traveling with a baby introduces a whole new level of adventure to your journeys. Among the various challenges, maintaining a healthy feeding routine on the go is paramount. How can you manage your baby’s meals on the move while also dealing with potential baby spit-up and other issues? Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, here are some practical tips to help you navigate feeding your little one while traveling, ensuring a smoother experience for both of you.

1. Keep Your Feeding Routine, But Consider Time Zones

Sticking to your usual feeding schedule is super important when traveling with a baby. Babies love knowing what to expect, and keeping things consistent helps them feel calm and happy, even when everything around them is new and different. Try your best to feed them at the same times you do at home.

Things can get a bit trickier if you’re heading to a different time zone, but some planning and flexibility can help you both adapt:

Gradually Adjust Before Your Trip: If possible, adjust your baby’s feeding times gradually a few days before your departure. Shift feedings by 15 to 30 minutes toward the new time zone each day.

Stay Flexible: Once you arrive, be flexible with feeding times. Your baby’s internal clock might take a few days to adjust. Offer feedings based on hunger cues rather than sticking rigidly to your usual schedule.

Keep Nighttime Feedings Quiet: If your baby wakes up for feedings at night due to the time difference, keep the lights dim and interactions to a minimum to encourage them to go back to sleep after feeding.

Stay Hydrated: Travel, especially by air, can be dehydrating. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure to drink plenty of water to maintain your milk supply. For babies, offer regular feedings to keep them hydrated.

Seek Comfort in Routine: Apart from feeding, try to maintain other parts of your little one’s routine. Familiar bedtime rituals and naptime routines can provide comfort amidst the change.

Consult With Your Pediatrician: Before your trip, it might be helpful to talk to your baby’s pediatrician for personalized advice, especially if you’re crossing multiple time zones or have concerns about your baby’s feeding and sleep schedule.

2. Be Travel-Ready by Planning Ahead

Traveling with a baby means planning ahead. Consider these strategies for a more peaceful and hassle-free getaway while keeping your little one well-fed and nourished.

Pack Enough Food and Snacks: Bring more breast milk, infant formula, baby food, or snacks than you think you’ll need. Delays are common, and it’s better to have extra. Keep in mind TSA guidelines for carrying liquids if you’re traveling by air.

Pre-Measured Formula: If using infant formula, pre-measure it into bottles or a formula dispenser to save time and reduce mess. For breastfed babies, consider a portable, battery-operated pump if you’re pumping.

Cooler Bag for Storage: A cooler bag with ice packs is essential for keeping breast milk, formula, or perishable snacks fresh during your journey. You can store prepared infant formula in a cooler with ice packs for up to 24 hours as long as the bottles stay between 35 and 40 degrees, the equivalent of refrigeration. After 24 hours, discard any unused formula. Formula that has been outside of the cooler for more than two hours should also be thrown out.

Hydration: For babies over six months, packing a spill-proof sippy cup is important, particularly in warm climates or during air travel where cabin air can be dry. Those under six months may require more frequent breastfeeding or bottle-feeding sessions to maintain hydration in hotter conditions.

Research Your Destination: Know where you’ll be able to purchase baby food and supplies at your destination or along the way. This can help lighten your load and ensure you have access to essentials.

3. Consider Snacks That Are Easy to Clean Up After

If your baby has started on solids, packing less messy snacks can be a game-changer. This keeps your baby happy and simplifies clean-up, making your travel experience more enjoyable. Here are some ideas:

Diced cheese

Cooked or diced vegetables

Teething biscuit


Always supervise your baby while they’re eating, and ensure the food is appropriate for their stage of development and any known allergies. Talk to your pediatrician about any dietary concerns.

4. Ease Flight Take Off and Landing Discomfort by Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding

Changes in air pressure during takeoff and landing can be uncomfortable for little ears. Feeding your baby during these times can help lessen this pressure, making the flight more comfortable for them. Whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, sucking and swallowing can help equalize ear pressure and soothe your baby.

If feeding isn’t an option, a pacifier may also help reduce ear discomfort by encouraging swallowing and sucking actions.

5. Burp Your Baby Regularly

Regularly burp your baby during and after feedings to help ease gas and release trapped air. This is particularly important when they’re consuming their meal in different postures or being held differently than usual due to travel constraints.

Don’t Forget Baby’s Feeding Accessories

The right tools can make all the difference. Remember to pack all the feeding accessories you’ll need, including:

For Breastfeeding:

Breast pump (if you’re pumping)

Storage bags or bottles for expressed milk

A portable cooler to store expressed milk

Nursing covers for privacy

For Bottle Feeding:

Bottles and nipples

Sterilizing equipment for cleaning bottles

General Supplies:


Bibs/disposable bibs

Plenty of baby wipes for easy clean-ups

A changing pad

Age-appropriate utensils if your baby is eating solids

Hand sanitizer

Extra clothes for baby and shirts for you, in case of spills or spit-ups

Travel high chair

Sippy cups, if age appropriate

Happy Baby, Happy Travel

Traveling with a baby might seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation and these feeding tips, you can enjoy your journeys together with fewer hiccups. Remember, every trip is an opportunity to create beautiful memories with your little one, so embrace the adventure!

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