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Tuesday Tip: Traveling with your nursling

As we prepare to take one more trip before we settle back into our homeschool year, I thought I would share some of the things we do to prepare to travel with our children, specifically our youngest.  One of the greatest conveniences of breastfeeding is that your milk is always available, in the right quantity and at the right temperature.  We have enjoyed being very mobile with our little ones.

Here are some things we have learned along the way:

If your nursling was into a rhythm, prepare it to change.  Whether you are changing time zones, or changing the people coming into your circle, or maybe it’s simply a change in the place where you are sleeping, nurslings are usually a little thrown off from their patterns.  Having specific routines in place may help ease their transition through your trip.  Wherever a routine fits into your schedule, keep it: morning routine, nap routine, bedtime routine.  Usually a family has a consistent way of doing things somewhere in their day if they think about it.  Figure out where yours is and keep it consistent when you are away from home.  Keeping it consistent may ease your baby back into their other patterns once they settle in.

Also prepare yourself to be flexible: you may not be able to get back to your sleep space right on time for your nursling’s nap.  Can baby sleep in the car as you drive, sleep in a carrier, sleep in a stroller?  Have a back-up plan just in case so that you can enjoy your trip and the new sights without being tied to your nursling’s schedule which they may not be keeping anyway.

Your nursling may want to nurse more.  This goes back to your baby’s rhythm.  Even the slightest change in their day may send your baby back to the breast more often at home.  Their need to comfort nurse may be heightened in your new surroundings.  Knowing this, plan ahead if you think frequent nursing is going to be uncomfortable in your vacation/trip space.  Call your hosts ahead of time and feel out their comfort level with breastfeeding (if they are not, ask them to think about where you can nurse when you are visiting them), search out family-friendly venues, plan your wardrobe according to ease of nursing.  You can mix fashion and functionality…in fact, one of my favorite lines is Momzelle, which happens to be on sale today!

Your nursling may be happier next to you.  Keeping your baby “on” you may not be feasible through your whole trip.  However, if you are comfortable babywearing or have time to get used to it before your trip, that close proximity has been another way we have found to ease our nurslings anxiety when we travel.

Bring some of your favorite foods with you.  If your nursling has already started solids, bring some of their favorite snack foods with you.  We usually bring along enough for a couple of days of snacking.  With the ease of the internet, you may be able to find a store that sells your nurslings favorite foods at your destination.  Also remember that “food before one is just for fun”.  Friends or family that you are visiting may fret that your baby isn’t eating enough…rest assured that your breastmilk makes all the nutrients your baby needs and they will be getting enough to thrive up until around their first birthday (more HERE).

When you relax and have fun, your nursling will to.  Our nurslings are little energy readers – are yours?  They know when we are feeling off, and likewise when we are at ease.  Do you know how to operate at your best “frequency”?  Make sure that you take care of yourself so that you can be at your best when you are on your trip.

What tips would you share with a family traveling with a nursling?

Did you see last week’s tips on handling breastfeeding when you travel in regards to nursing in public and breastfeeding laws?  You may want to check that out if you are traveling out of state.  Personally, I will be refreshing myself on CA laws this week :)