Thursday, 21 June 2012

Guest Post: How to feed your baby in the car, by Gargi Shastri

So, I am pleased to say that from now on, I'm going to be featuring some shiny guest posts. This is the first of them.

As some of you may recall, I had a big crisis of conscience surrounding the whole breast vs.bottle feeding debate. In accordance, this post does not favour one method over another. 

How to feed your baby in the car

With the right preparation, you can overcome some of the hassles associated with feeding babies on car journeys. Feeding time can be a more relaxed experience if you know how to do it safely and what to bring along. Read on for ways to ensure that your baby is fed safely and comfortably in the car.

Breastfeeding is considered the most convenient way to feed babies in the car by some mothers. It requires no additional equipment, such as warm bottles and sterilizers, and can be done in relative privacy.

However, the NHS warns against breastfeeding in a moving car because it involves mothers having to take their baby out of the child car seat to breastfeed, which is both unsafe and illegal. Therefore, it is essential to pull over in a designated parking area first.

Expressed milk
According to NHS guidelines, expressed milk can be stored at room temperature for up to six hours in a sterile bottle. However, if the length of your journey means you need to store the milk for a longer period, it might be a better idea to first express the milk at home and immediately refrigerate it. Expressed milk can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days at 4০C or lower. For the journey, the refrigerated milk can be stored in a handy travel size mini-fridge or cool bag.

When it comes to formula feeding, it might be easiest to use ready-made sterile liquid feeds, instead of carrying hot water and powdered formula in the car.

If you prefer making the formula at home before your journey, make sure it has cooled for at least one hour in the fridge. Take the feed out of the fridge just before you leave and carry it in a cool bag with an ice pack in the car. The formula should be used within four hours. If you don’t have a cool bag, the formula needs to be used in two hours.

It’s not a must to warm milk before giving it to the baby, but if your baby prefers it that way, both expressed milk and ready-made sterile liquid feeds can be warmed in a travel bottle-warmer, which simply plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter.

Hygiene is a big concern for many parents when bottle-feeding their babies. Whether you’re using expressed milk or formula, make sure that your baby’s bottles are properly sterilised. You could use pre-sterilised disposable bottles and teats to make feeding in the car more convenient.

Solid food
Once your baby has moved on to solids, there are many options available for feeding them on a car journey.
  • Pack jars and sachets of ready-made food.
  • Take fruit that can be mashed up and served quickly, such as bananas, avocados, plums and pears.
  • If you take food that needs to be ground up, a hand-operated food mill can be convenient.
It’s important to supervise babies when they’re being fed, to avoid the risk of choking.

Consider carrying all liquids in spill-proof sippy cups and use cutlery that your baby is familiar with.

Plenty of disposable bibs and wet wipes can help keep mess to a minimum.

Planning ahead for your baby’s feeds on a long car journey can take the hassle out of your trip. But make sure you also have adequate breakdown and car insurance cover so that your family is properly protected.

Author Bio:
Gargi Shastri writes for the Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters blog on a range of topics including car insurance, car safety and other motoring topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga and cooking Indian food.

1 comment:

  1. I have been a single father to my Amanda after my wife Linda died while giving birth. It maybe unnatural to most people but I took charge of everything like feeding and taking care of my daughter. I am glad to have bumped on your post because as I was reading this I can easily remember how it was back in those days. Fred of torque wrench.