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Travelling with your breastfed baby

Whether it’s by plane, train or automobile, breastfeeding is super convenient for travelling.

BF public

Breastfed babies are very portable and when you’re travelling, this will become even more evident.

The convenience of breastfeeding will mean: 

  • You can feed your child in almost any place. 

  • Comforting your child when they are tired, frazzled, unwell or have blocked ears on a plane is as simple as a breastfeed. 

  • You don’t need to carry or purchase formula. 

  • You won’t need access to clean water and power to safely prepare formula, or to wash bottles and teats. 

  • Your child has more protection over illness while travelling. 

Travelling by plane

Breastfeeding in airports and on planes is convenient and can make travelling easier. Most airports will have areas to change and feed your baby if you need to. 


International flights may have bassinettes to use or you can ask for a front row of a section for extra leg room. Most airlines allow extra baggage for prams and car seats. Check when booking. 


Consider timing flights for when your baby is most likely to be settled or sleepy.  You may find a window seat gives you a little more privacy. 

feeding in plane
  • Breastfeeding on take-off and landing can help with the pressure in your baby’s ears. Baby may need to have a seatbelt on, so you may need to try different positions for feeding. 

  • Baby-wearing keeps baby close and secure and allows you to have your hands free. 

  • Have a carry-on backpack with nappies, wipes, plastic bags, extra clothes, rugs, burp cloths, books, toys and water and food for older babies. Baby headphones or a hat over your baby’s ears may help with noise. 

  • Don’t forget on-board essentials for you - water, snacks, breast pads, extra clothes, lip balm. Consider easy-to-feed-in clothes and layers.  

  • You will usually board the plane first, but it’s often easier to stay seated and get off after everyone else. Give yourself plenty of time for connections and transfers. 

Travelling by car

Travelling by car with babies and children of any ages can be challenging but at least your breastfed baby is fed easily along the way. When planning your trip, know that it will very likely take longer than you anticipate. 


Plan long-distance travel so you can make frequent stops. Every 2 to 3 hours is good for feeding, changing, having a break from the car seat (for baby) and stretching legs (for adults).  

baby in car
  • Think about the best time of the day to travel. Some families find driving in the evening easier because baby sleeps longer. Other families find early morning better. 

  • You won’t always be able to anticipate when your baby may wake or need feeding, but you may be able to make a note of upcoming rest areas or places where stopping is easy and safe.  

  • Having a fold-up chair and picnic mat means you can stop anywhere and feed or rest comfortably.  

  • Plan some stops to be quick, just for a feed and change and others to be longer for fresh air and a change of scenery. 

  • Offer a feed each time you break, whether your baby seems keen or not. 

  • Whoever isn’t the driver may find sitting in the back seat next to baby can help. 

  • If the weather is hot, your baby may be sleepier. You may need to stop and wake them for feeds.

  • Feeding and letting your baby stretch out on a picnic rug in the shade can be cooling. 

  • The effect of car air conditioners can cause some dehydration. Extra breastfeeds may be necessary on long trips, even if you are cool. 

  • Mums need to keep hydration levels up too. Have water bottles handy. 

  • Check that your seatbelt isn’t pushing too tightly on your breasts. The pressure may cause your breast to become sore and inflamed. 

Carrying expressed breastmilk

If you need to carry expressed breastmilk to feed your baby as you travel, you will need to follow guidelines for correct storage and transporting of EBM.  

  • Starting out with frozen EBM will keep it longer.  

  • Wrap in an insulated bag with ice bricks. 

  • If you are travelling by plane you could ask airline staff if it is possible to store your EBM in a fridge.   

  • Cold expressed milk is fine to feed your baby if they don’t mind it. 

If you are travelling by plane and planning to carry expressed breastmilk on board, check with your airline about any restrictions. 

Our Podcast: Breastfeeding stories - Fly-in fly-out work and breastfeeding contains some great tips for carrying expressed breastmilk on a plan. 

Breastfeeding in public

Some cultures have different attitudes to breastfeeding in public so check this beforehand to avoid any difficult situation. You may like to carry a cover if you’re going to a place where breastfeeding in public isn’t accepted.


© Australian Breastfeeding Association February 2023