It’s Not a Vacation Without a Breast Pump

Breastfeeding is an incredibly convenient way to feed your little one while you’re traveling.  It requires no special equipment, it’s a healthy choice for your baby, and it minimizes the stress of meal planning.  Between how awesome breastfeeding is and the importance of packing light with a baby, what’s the point of lugging around a breast pump on a family vacation?

Well, turns out there are lots of points – all of which I’ve already learned only three days into our Florida vacation.

Pumping milk is a fast fix for a teething driven nursing strike.

Apparently Giota’s teeth didn’t get the memo we were going on vacation and decided to rip through the day we flew to Florida.  My boobs would have exploded and the poor child would have starved had I not pumped at the airport and on the plane.  You never know when a bout of teething will hit so it’s best to plan for the worst.  Don’t spend your vacation in agony with a hungry child – pack the pump and use it.

If you’re nervous about pumping in public, add a long scarf to your travel outfit and use it as a nursing cover.  Some airports, like LAX, are even offering nursing rooms for moms so plan your layovers accordingly.

Pumping milk makes following travel schedules easier.

Kids operate on their own schedules, the rest of the world be damned.  Ordinarily we let Giota dictate when it’s time to nap and eat but that doesn’t work so well when you’re dealing with delayed flights and tight connections.  Pumping gives you the flexibility to feed your baby on the go when you’re running from one airport gate to another.  Rather than waiting for your little one to be hungry, you can pump when it’s most convenient for you and as your travel itinerary permits.

Expressed milk is mom and dad’s ticket to freedom.

This isn’t quite as big of a deal if your little one is eating solids but having extra milk on hand makes it a lot easier for mom and dad to slip away for a few hours.  It is vacation after all so if you have family handy to watch your munchkin, take advantage of the help and enjoy some baby free time.

So far I have zero regrets about packing the breast pump.  Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and fun and we would be having anything but without it right now.  Do yourself a favor and bring your pump the next time you travel with your little one.  Worst case it’ll add a couple extra pounds to your suitcase – best case it will save the day, and your boobs, from utter disaster.

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