by Amy McCarthy
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer travel season. Whether you're heading across the country or just a few hours down the highway, these tips from the International Formula Council can help you make sure that your baby stays well-fed and happy while you travel.
From the International Formula Council:
1. Always wash nipples and bottles for one minute in hot, soapy water after each use. Bring a 3 oz. bottle of dish soap for extra convenience.
2. When you are on the go, be sure to always wash your hands before preparing to feed the baby so you won’t pass on germs.
3. When opening a can of formula, clean the lid and the can opener of dust or soil.
4. Securely seal ready-to-feed formula and put in a cooler within two hours of opening. Use the rest of the container within 48 hours of opening.
5. Be extra careful to keep breast milk and formula cool, especially in a hot climate. Liquids should be kept below 40degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Previously chilled bottles of formula should be discarded if left out of a cooler or refrigerator for more than an hour.
7. Never heat infant formula or bottled breast milk in the microwave. Bottles can easily be warmed by heating water in the microwave and putting the bottle of formula or breast milk in the water. Make sure to keep the top of the bottle dry.
8. After baby is done eating, discard any leftover formula or breast milk to help avoid the growth of bacteria found in baby saliva.
9. Only buy formula from reputable retailers when traveling. Do not buy infant formula from flea markets.
If you’re flying, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration allows a mother to bring in more than three ounces of breast milk, even if she is traveling without her baby. The TSA also allows more than three ounces of liquid baby formula through security, but only for those traveling with a baby.
In addition, the TSA requires that you:
· Separate the breast milk or formula from your quart-sized bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols.
· Declare the breast milk or formula to a security officer at the security checkpoint.
· Offer the breast milk or formula for inspection at x-ray. You may be asked to open the container, but you or your child will not be asked to taste the contents.
If your baby is eating solids:
- Carry extra jars of purees and other foods. You'll probably need more than you think, and you don't want to be caught in the middle of nowhere with nothing for your cranky baby to eat.
- Bring snacks and more snacks! Yogurt melts, puffs, and other snacks are perfect for car rides and planes, but make sure that they won't melt or spoil if it gets warm.
- Bring extra sippy cups, bottles, and other beverage containers. If your baby is still drinking nursery water, bring an extra gallon or two of that, too.