Whether you’re off to the park, out for a jaunt around the shops, or visiting family and friends, the thought of feeding your baby outside of your familiar home environment can feel daunting for many parents.
But feeding your baby while out and about doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, the trick is to simply plan ahead and be as prepared as possible.
We’re here with some handy hints and tips to help you feel more prepared for feeding your little one on the go.
Preparing for breastfeeding on-the-go
The best bit about breastfeeding on the go is that you already have two of the most important components on your person – literally – at any given time! So, once you’ve got your baby in tow, you’re pretty much set on the ‘preparation’ front. But take your time! Many new mums like to get things going well at home before they venture out. Once breastfeeding is well established you should start to feel much more comfortable at the prospect of going out and about.
If you are worried about breastfeeding in public places, that’s ok. Many new mums feel nervous and a little uncomfortable but there really is no need to. It is against the law to discriminate against a breastfeeding mother, as well as being socially unacceptable. What you will probably discover when you start breastfeeding in public is that most people neither notice or care.
Preparing for bottle feeding on-the-go
Preparing bottles for a day out requires a little more forethought and prep, but again, it’s super easy once you know how. If you fill your baby’s bottle with breast milk, then all you really need is to express and keep the bottle chilled in a cool bag.
However, if you need to prepare formula on the go then it’s just about taking the right ingredients with you. You will need:
- A carefully measured amount of formula in a clean and dry container.
- A vacuum flask of hot, just-boiled water to warm up the milk.
- A sterilised feeding bottle.
- A baby bottle bag.
When you’re out and it’s time to feed your baby, simply add the correct amount of hot water (it has to be hot to kill any bacteria), put the right amount of formula in and give it a shake, wait for it to cool to the right temperature, and hey presto – baby’s lunch!
Alternatively, you can opt for ready-made formula which comes as a premixed liquid. Ready-made formulas are more convenient, but they do often come at a high cost!
Feeding a baby on-the-go FAQs
Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Can I prepare formula bottles in advance?
You can, although freshly made bottles are better. If you are going out and need to make up your baby’s formula bottles in advance, be sure to cool it in the fridge for at least an hour and take it out just before you leave, ideally transferring it into a cool bag.
Pre-made formulas should be used within 24 hours if they’ve been stored in the fridge, within 4 hours if in a cool bag, or within 2 hours if stored at room temperature.
Does formula really go bad after one hour?
“How long does formula last?” is a common question. To reduce the risk of infection feeds should ideally be made up when needed. If storing a feed is unavoidable it should be placed in the back of the fridge for no longer than 24 hours. Any milk remaining after a feed should be discarded as it could have additional bacteria from your baby’s saliva. If a feed is unused but has been at room temperature it must also be discarded after 2 hours. Due to the rates that bacteria multiply the best way is to make feeds up as they are needed.
How long do bottles stay sterile?
If you are using a Tommee Tippee steriliser, your bottles will remain sterilised for 24 hours. Sterilising baby bottles on the go is fine as long as you have the correct equipment.