Many mothers wonder how to keep a baby happy while out and about in the summer and especially while traveling for vacations. Vacations are supposed to be a time for a family to spend time together and relax. A cranky, hungry baby and an exhausted mom aren’t exactly two components of an enjoyable vacation. Families with babies who are breastfeeding may need to do a little extra planning to be sure everyone has a great time on vacation. Here are some summer tips for the breastfeeding family:
Remember to keep well hydrated!
Fluids are always important, especially as the weather gets hot and you lose more fluids as you sweat. Summer fruits – like watermelon, berries, and peaches – are high in fluid content. Freeze berries and add to yogurt in a blender for a nutritious and cooling smoothie. And remember, baby will be thirstier and may want to nurse more often, too.
Watch the sun!
Use sunscreen sparingly with babies under six months and then only if sun exposure will be prolonged. Baby’s skin is sensitive both the sun and the ingredients in sunscreen. Better to have a light cover-up when in direct sun like a broad brimmed hat, gauze blanket to throw over baby, etc. Remember if you are at the pool or the beach to be especially careful as water reflects the sun.
Traveling is easy with the breastfed baby!
His food is always available and at the perfect temperature. No need to add extra baggage with coolers.
If you travel by car, you will find that it is usually easier to pull off at a comfortable rest-stop instead of trying to nurse by sitting by baby in the back seat and leaning over the baby in the car seat. (That takes a pretty agile mommy!) The break in the trip can refresh everyone.
If you are traveling by plane, nursing during takeoff and landing will help stabilize pressures in the baby’s ears which can cause pain and an unhappy baby. You may want to bring a light blanket to throw over you as baby nurses since you will be in close quarters. Try for a bulkhead seat if you can and sit by the window so that you can turn to the window as you latch for added privacy. If traveling with another adult, they can hold up an open newspaper, as if reading, to create a screen of privacy for you and baby.
Be prepared with a snack!
Traveling doesn’t always go smoothly and it can be very helpful to have something easy to carry, like dried fruit or nuts, to stash in a purse or diaper bag for snacking on when the schedule changes at the last minute.
Dress comfortably to make nursing-on-the-go easier and discreet in any setting. Gauze tunics or beach cover ups over a nursing cami can make it cool and simple.
Protect baby against bugs!
If baby is in a stroller, carrier, or play-yard, cover it with netting to allow air to move through while keeping bugs out.
The Lactation Center at Magee was established in 1991, in the current location and store since 2009. The Lactation Center includes 5 full-time IBCLCs and one casual IBCLC and are available seven days a week during the day. Services include inpatient and outpatient consultation, phone help, pump rental, and the sale of pumps, books, nursing pillows, nursing bras, and other items often requested by nursing mothers.
To contact the Lactation Center call: 412-641-1121 and leave a message with your name, phone number and question so that we can get back to you.
Do you have any vacation tips you’d like to share with nursing moms? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
About Pregnancy and Childbirth
For more than a century, women have depended on the expertise and compassion of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC for the delivery and care of their babies. With a family-centered environment for labor, delivery, and recovery; innovative laboring options; world-renowned obstetricians; and one of the largest NICUs in the nation, why would you choose to go anywhere else?
For more information about Magee’s childbirth services, visit UPMC.com/Magee, or call 1-866-MyMagee.