The benefits of travelling with formula powder against ready made bottled milk
Before we begin remember there are advantages of using powdered milk:
Weight & space - unless you’re up for the expense of extra baggage, powdered formula weighs much less and takes up less room than pre made bottled alternatives.
- It’s better for the environment. Ready made formulas are sold in single use plastic bottles.
- Heating the milk can be more time consuming than cooling it. You cannot microwave ready made formula.
- Cost, ready made formula is generally more expensive and buying in bulk for a full holiday can be an unexpected additional expense.
Let’s get started…
What water to use
If you are in a country where tap water is unsafe to drink, you can use boiled bottled water instead for making up the feed. Check the label and avoid bottled water with a high mineral content. Use water that is low in sodium by choosing one that contains 200mg or less of Na per litre. Watch out for sulphate levels too, these should be no more than 250mg per litre. For example Evian water is within these levels.
It’s important to remember that formula milk must be mixed with freshly boiled water that has not dropped below 70c. This is because all formula, even when sealed may contain bacteria, however this bacteria is killed with contact with the boiling water.
When using bottled water, do not boil it more than once as doing this can increase the sodium (salt) and sulphate in the water.
Check the facilities with your accommodation before you travel to see what facilities and equipment they have. In most places you will find a kettle, access to a microwave etc. all which may help with sterilising and making up feeds.
Our Recommended Holiday Kit…
Here’s our packing list with our fav items for holiday feeding.
A tin of your baby’s milk powder (or more)
Calculate the right amount of milk powder needed for your trip, you do not want to be caught short in an unfamiliar place with no access to your baby’s formula. Take some extra just to be sure.
Travel formula storage container
Going on a day trip? You’ll need these small containers that allow you to add the correct amount of formula milk powder for each feed. There are many on the market to choose from. They can come as larger sectioned containers or small individual ones. We like these like these stackable ones from Bèaba.
Take a day’s worth of your usual bottles so you can go a day if possible without sterilising. And remember, now is not the time to introduce a new bottle or teat!
Bottle wash or travel sized washing up liquid
You can get this locally or decant a small amount of your usual washing up liquid/bottle wash into a small water-tight container. Add a label so you don’t mix it up with other items when you get there!
Your bottles need to be sterilised until your baby is 12 months old, even when on holiday. There are a few options of sterilisation when travelling including a cold water steriliser, self sterilising bottles, a pouch (microwave needed) or a travel UV steriliser. We’ve got a whole blog post on sterilising options here which you’ll find helpful for your upcoming trip.
Access to boiling water
This is needed to make up the feed, it is important to use fresh boiling water for every feed. Hopefully your accommodation will have a kettle – problem solved!
Milk Cooler - Nuby Rapid Cool
A brilliant product if you haven’t got time for your feed to cool. Its special technology cools the boiling feed down to drinking temperature within 2 minutes. Not essential but we love it for travelling.
A travel sized hand sanitiser (or two) is ideal.
Preparing your bag
Hopefully making up a feed in your room will be just like home. Going to the pool or a day trip? Prepare your bag as normal for a day out.
1. Add the correct amount of powdered milk formula for each feed into your milk containers and seal tightly.
2. Pack your sterilised bottles
3. If taking a thermal flask, add boiling water and seal tightly.
4. If taking a Rapid Cool flask, add this to your bag. Our Step by Step Guide on making a bottle whilst on holiday.
Making the bottle whilst out and about
If you are close to your room or hotel facilities you may decide to pop back to your room or find a quite spot. On a day trip? We’ve got you covered and you’ve likely don’t this many time before at home too.
1. Before preparing a bottle, always wash or sanitise hands
2. Use fresh sterilised bottles
3. Boil the kettle
4. Add the correct amount of water to bottle or rapid cool flask.
5. Add formula milk powder to bottle or rapid cool flask.
6. Replace the lid onto bottle or rapid cool flask.
7. Shake well.
8. If using rapid cool flask, milk will be ready in approx two minutes and when lid turns green.
9. If preparing in a bottle, you now need to cool the milk by running it under cool water or placing in a bowl of cool water and wait until milk is correct temperature. You can test this by squeezing some milk onto the inside of your wrist, the milk should be body temperature, which won’t feel cool or warm but it should never feel hot.
10. When milk is at correct temperature for baby, it’s ready to serve.
11. Wash and sterilise bottles ready for next feed.
Clean and prepare
At the end of the day it’s back to your usual routine of washing and sterilising your bottles ready for the evening and next day using your washing up liquid and sterilising kit.
If this is your first time travelling with a baby this may of course seem daunting. Remember the staff at your accommodation will be very experienced and have help many parents, so don’t be afraid to ask for help on where to find things and what facilities they have.
Always make up the feed as the instructions on the milk formula tin. Each brand/manufacturer can differ, so always ensure you have read the label and are making the feed correctly.
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