A friend asked me recently about how I went with the long car trips to Mildura and babies still breastfeeding. Mildura is 550kms north-west of Melbourne and is the country town in which I grew up. My parents, one sister and much extended family are still there, so we make regular trips down the Calder Highway to visit them all.
It actually took me a number of babies and 1000’s of kilometres to work out that long car trips with breastfed babies, are made much easier by taking the hand express pump and bottles, to feed baby along the way. This works well whether I am on my own with the kids or have my husband there as well.
Once our babies have reached six months the amount of sleeping they will do in the car diminishes. We always stop regularly to allow the older to kids to stretch their legs, go to the toilet etc, but I have found that the babies are not always willing to feed then. Often they are just so happy to be out of the car seat that feeding is actually the last thing that they feel like doing! This is especially the case if they are crawling or walking.
So having the hand pump on board works beautifully. If I am driving by myself, I can express at a rest stop while the children play and then transfer it into a bottle. Once back in the car and the crying from the baby commences, I can have his older sister help him drink from the bottle (if needed!).
It gives even more flexibility if my husband is driving. I can express at any time and then help the baby feed if he needs to. Since I have been using bottles of expressed milk for the baby on long car trips, they have become much more pleasant as there has been less crying from bubs. I just wish I had thought of doing it with my first babies!
How do you make long car trips with babies more manageable?