There’s more to breast milk than essential nutrition. And you wouldn’t want your child to miss on the antibodies and all the vital nutrients just because you’re traveling. Besides, changing diet and stress associated with traveling may take a massive toll on your kid. So, the best way to travel with a kid who relies on breast milk is to travel with the breast milk itself. But how and where do you start? Are there storage hacks you should know prior? Stay tuned.
Traveling while breastfeeding may be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time mom and haven’t gotten the hang of it. Finding a sweet private spot to pump or breastfeed your little one may be challenging. What’s more, knowing the best way to pack and store breast milk to ensure it’s fresh and at its peak quality may seem hard to fathom. The good thing is that here’s a how-to to travel with breast milk in a diaper bag, whether by plane, car, or train.
Tips To Keep Breast Milk Fresh When Travelling
Rules that apply to breast milk when traveling through an airport are not the same as other liquids. The Transportation Security Administration reports that “formula, breast milk, and juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage. Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs, and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk, and juice are allowed in your carry-on.”
Here are tips to ensure your stored milk remains fresh while travelling:
- If your trip takes less than four hours, you can travel with breast milk at room temperature without coolers or freezers. Breast milk stays on the shelf (room temperature) for four hours before the need to refrigerate it. However, take caution to ensure the milk is not in contact with direct sunlight or the room is hotter than 77degrees Fahrenheit.
- Storing milk with ice packs in an insulated cooler keeps the milk cool for 24 hours.
- Fill breast milk storage bags or bottles no more than three-quarters full. This is to allow space for expansion.
- Remember to label the breast milk with the date pumped. This way, it would be easier to start using older milk.
- If you’re traveling with frozen milk, thaw it in a container of warm water or place it in the fridge for 24 hours.
How To Travel With Breast Milk In A Diaper Bag
It is safe to carry breast milk in a diaper bag when traveling. To do start by:
Don’t just throw breast milk in a diaper bag with every other thing in there and think you’re good to go. No! As with everything, proper preparation is crucial in ensuring success. So, before handling the milk, begin by adequately washing your hands and the milk storage containers with warm soapy water and rinse well. You don’t want your breast milk to be contaminated and spoil your trip.
Using a hard plastic bottle with a screw cap as your storage container is more recommended than regular plastic storage bags or formula bottle bags. The latter two can leak milk easily into your diaper bag and soak the rest of the bag’s contents. And a plastic bottle without a screw cap can easily spill milk into the bag.
Once you’ve filled the milk, label the containers distinctly. Labeling removes the confusion of which bottle to start using and which one not to use when.
Fresh breast milk doesn’t stay fresh forever in diaper bags, and how long you can store it depends on the storage temperatures. Breast milk can last for 10 hours at 66 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. An increase in temperature to 79 degrees decreases the time to 4 to 6 hours. Breast milk can keep fresh if stored at 60 degrees or lower for 24 hours.
So, how can you keep your breast milk fresh if you’re traveling overnight? Here are a few suggestions:
- Place the milk storage bottles in an insulated lunch bag and add an ice pack on top. Then place the insulated lunch bag with milk and ice packs in your diaper bag. The milk will stay cool overnight.
- Or, you can place the milk storage bottles in a Ziploc bag and fill the bag with ice. Next, wrap the Ziploc bag with towels and place it in the diaper bag. The milk will stay cold.
A diaper bag carries everything you and your baby need – not just milk, diaper rash cream, and diapers.
You can pack extra pacifiers or an extra bag to keep dirty diapers anytime your little one needs a change. Or additional shirts for you whenever you leak breast milk and need to change clothes.
Moreover, you can carry a baby blanket to keep your baby warm and allow some privacy when breastfeeding or pumping. Disinfectant wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer can also come in handy when you want to wipe clean the changing surface.
When storing breast milk in diaper bags to take on a plane, be keen to follow the Transportation Security Administration guidelines. Transportation Security Administration lays out the same rules for transporting breast milk as liquid medications. So, ensure you are not green and know what’s required.
When packing breast milk, place it near the top of the diaper bag. This way, it would be easy to display it to security officers for screening.
It’s crucial to declare that you have breast milk for inspection. Security officers may need to examine any container having 3 ounces and above for explosives. Make sure you don’t pack more breast milk than you need to reach your final destination to avoid wastage.
Traveling with a kid who breastfeeds is not easy. But it’s not rocket science either. You only need to decide on where you’ll store the milk. Then do your homework to know how well to keep the milk to ensure it remains fresh and at its peak quality. Remember to learn about airline guidelines for onboarding planes with breast milk and adhere to them to avoid any inconveniences.