Planning a day out or a trip away? Exciting! But when you’re on the move and away from your own kitchen, all that sterilising, scooping and mixing may start to seem a bit complicated. Check out our tips on how to travel safely whilst bottle feeding.
Be prepared and pack sterilised bottles of pre-measured water, and separate formula powder to mix into the bottle just before feeding baby. Water used for making up infant formula should be pre-boiled and cooled before using to prepare formula.
Remember, you should never travel long distances with pre-prepared formula in bottles. If you prepare formula in advance, keep cool in a chilly bin or insulated bag and use it within 2 hours’ maximum. After 2 hours, the prepared formula needs to be thrown out due to the risk of bacteria growing.
Your travel toolkit
Make sure you take extra supplies, just in case of unexpected delays.
- Sterilised bottles with the correct amount of cooled boiled water to make one feed. Place the cap on firmly.
- Powdered formula container. A clean sterilized plastic container fitted with dividers makes it easier to carry pre-measured amounts of formula powder. When you need to feed your baby, simply add the pre-measured powder into a bottle containing the correct volume of cooled boiled water. Shake well before offering to baby.
- A bottle warmer. Some babies are happy to drink formula at room temperature, whereas others prefer it warmed up. Options including warming the bottle at your destination or there are portable bottle warmers available. Remember to test the temperature of the formula on your wrist before feeding.
- Don’t forget bibs and wipes. For the inevitable spills, dribbles, misses and muddles!
If travelling by car, always take a rest break and stop to feed your baby safely.
Travelling with formula on a plane
While there are restrictions on the liquids you can take on a plane, these usually don't apply to food or milk for your baby. However, to be safe always check directly with the airline you are flying with before leaving.
That means you can usually take what you need for the journey in your hand baggage. This includes:
- Expressed breast milk, formula, or cow's milk (for toddlers over 12 months old)
- Boiled and cooled water to make a feed (must be in a baby bottle)
- Baby food
Make sure you pack extra water, formula powder and baby food in case of delays. It’s always safest to travel with baby bottles pre-filled with cooled boiled water, so you can add the formula powder right before feeding.
- It’s a good idea to feed your baby on take-off and landing - the swallowing action helps prevent painful ears.
- If baby doesn't finish the whole bottle, don't be tempted to save it for later. Germs breed quickly in leftover milk, and no one wants a sick baby on holiday!
- If you’re making up formula on board, NEVER use tap water from the airplane bathroom. It’s not safe to drink.
The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.