[June 30, 2022 Editorial Update: We are sad to report that Veronica’s business, Maia Moda, is no longer in operation, but her breastfeeding checklist for traveling moms is still useful!]
Bébé Voyage had the chance to chat about a travel checklist with Veronica Horner, founder of Maia Moda, a stylish line of nursing wear for the momma on the go.
It’s always a little (a lot) stressful travelling with a little one, especially when you are by yourself; however, with a little prep and a concise breastfeeding checklist for travel it’s more than doable. Don’t miss the chance to travel with your baby; although hard to imagine now, it is one of the best ages to bring the little one along. On my most recent trip I brought my 7 month old to London from New York. After several solo trips with my babies I finally nailed down a great system on this last one. I think the key is in packing smart. I was breastfeeding at the time, so my packing list took that into consideration as well.
The goal is to be able to pack in that sweet spot where you have exactly what you need and not an item more. When it comes to packing, one thing I’ve learned is that baby and mama are a package deal. I need to bring not only what my baby needs but also what I will need to battle the baby drool, breastfeed in public and get around with some semblance of ease. Gone are all the precious outfits I traveled with before kids, but I still manage to dress fashionably by selecting a classic, minimalist wardrobe. Personally I would much rather risk forgetting something or not having that “perfect” outfit to avoid lugging around more items than absolutely necessary. Besides, who doesn’t want an excuse to buy something?
As added encouragement, I have found that before your baby turns 1 is probably the best time to travel with them. Babies can sleep on the go, don’t need to be constantly entertained, and generally will just go along with what mama does. If you happen to be breastfeeding I think it makes it even easier, as you don’t need to worry about bottles, sterilizing and having enough formula. You are all your baby needs which I found to be very comforting in case of delays or any other unplanned events.
So with that in mind, let’s jump in:
First things first is overall logistics. When traveling with my little one I plan for 1 large luggage bag, one backpack style diaper bag and an infant car seat that doubles as a stroller. Especially for plane travel, one large bag is the only way to go. Just physically, one can only handle pushing the stroller and one bag. Once I make it the airport I beeline it to check-in my large bag and lighten the load. From there I’ll wear my carefully packed backpack style diaper bag.
MOM’S BREASTFEEDING CHECKLIST FOR TRAVEL
When I pack, I think in outfits. From experience, there were way too many times when I packed a combination of favorite shirts and pants only to find that they didn’t necessarily go well together. Now I just go through everyday of my trip, think about what I will be doing, and plan from there to create my travel checklist.
Once I had thought through my outfits, these were the items I ended up with:
Moms need a lot of t-shirts, and luckily they don’t take up too much space. I like to plan for one t-shirt a day, making sure they are on the bigger side so I can easily lift them up or pull them down for nursing access. Shirts with a good amount of spandex tend to work really well as they keep their shape after you have pulled them up or down to feed.
In addition to t-shirts, I’ll also plan for at least 2 nicer shirts. Since I am nursing, a pretty nursing top is stylish and functional. On this past trip I lived in my Maia Moda maternity / nursing top.
CARDIGANS / LIGHT JACKET
A versatile cardigan and a light jacket should be staples in any travel wardrobe. However, you don’t always need to go black – I love a beautiful beige color. It’s just as versatile as black and great for the warmer climates. In addition, the oversized design doubles as a nursing cover if needed.
PANTS / SHORTS
I’ll plan for 3 pants / shorts depending on the weather. Unless I’m specifically planning on some sporting activities I’ll leave the athletic gear at home. On the flights I’ll sport a comfortable, chic black pant (or a comfortable crop legging like the Tribeca from Athleta). I’ll also pack my favorite pair of jeans and one spare pant / short.
I love dresses; they elevate an outfit and are so comfortable so they always make my breastfeeding checklist for travel. I think it’s best to plan to bring 2 and make sure they can both can go both from day-to-night. For the breastfeeding mamas a low cut V-neck design tends to work best for easy access.
A key breastfeeding essentials checklist item is a blanket / scarf to breastfeed in public. Instead of using a baby design swaddle, I love using a nice big scarf. It’s a little more stylish and works just as well.
Unless I’ve arranged a sitter for a night out, I’ll just forgo the heels. There are so many cute flats out there, why struggle? The exception being if I want a good excuse for my husband to do most of the childcare (sorry honey I can’t carry them, I am in heels!). For travelling I’ll include a versatile set of Toms Shoes as they take up almost no space, a nice pair of sandals and a fancier set of flats. These sandals from Cole Haan are incredibly comfortable and can withstand a long day of walking and check out Repetto’s beautiful collection of flats.
BABY’S BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS CHECKLIST
My little one’s stuff takes up ¾ of my bag, so don’t be discouraged if you are the same. They may be small, but they make up for it in accessories!
Although I have the stroller, I love having the carrier option as well. You never know how stroller accessible a location will be. On my past trip, our place in London didn’t have an elevator, so for short quick trips out to grab a coffee, I would just load up my babe in the carrier and we were out. I love this carrier from Cybex, it’s super secure, comfortable and has so many beautiful design options.
I plan for an outfit a day plus 2 spares. If I have laundry available then I’ll pack a maximum of 7 outfits. The nice part is baby clothes are small, so it’s not a big deal to pack some extras.
I don’t go crazy on toys as I know I’ll buy a couple while on vacation. I’ll plan for 2 toys and 2 books and keep them on the smaller side so they can fit in my carry-on and/or be hooked onto the stroller or diaper bag.
I’ll bring 1 heavy blanket and 2 swaddle type blankets. I’ll avoid packing the heavy blanket by using it on travel day. These swaddle blankets from Aden and Anais are a must have. They can be used for warmth, as a breastfeeding cover, burping cloth or even a stroller cover.
Love the Halo brand. I’ll pack 2.
BURPING CLOTHS AND BIBS
My little guy drools like crazy so he is always wearing a baby bandana drool bib. On our recent overseas flight to London, he went through 5 of them! So I pack a lot and they tend to save me on outfit changes. Since I have so many bibs I won’t bring as many burping cloths and pack just 3. I also make sure to include 1 washable bib for feeding time.
Can’t forget all the feeding gear on your breastfeeding checklist for travel! Here are some of the items I like to bring:
- Placemat : Easy to clean and rolls up to be very small
- Bottles: 2
- Bottle brush + a bit of detergent: you wanna keep those bottles clean!
- Formula: I supplement when required so I’ll bring my own formula, you never know if they are going to have the brand you want
- Food: I’ll bring enough to last me 2 days and then just buy whatever I need when I get there
- Portable, Foldable High Chair: This one from Inglesina is great or if you are really trying to reduce the stuff, strollers can generally double as feeding chairs.
I like to have enough of everything to get me through the first couple of days so I’m not scrambling to find a place to buy something. However, generally baby essentials are easily accessible, so I’ll bring a minimum amount and then plan to buy what I need once I get there.
- Diapers (I’ll bring a sleeve and then buy from there)
- Travel Size Diaper Cream
- Baby Tylenol, First Aid Kit, Thermometer
- Teethers and / or pacifiers
- Wipes (bring 1 pack, buy from there)
If you’re going to be pumping, add MAMMAway’s Freeze-it-Flat system to your breastfeeding checklist to make it easier to store and transport your expressed milk!
I hope this travel checklist is helpful! Above all my number one tip is just to give yourself extra time to do everything and avoid a rigid schedule. A flexible schedule gives you the room to deal with an unpredictable baby, relax and enjoy the trip! Bon Voyage!
Veronica Horner came up with the idea of MAIA MODA after the birth of her son Henry in 2016. While breastfeeding she struggled to find clothes that didn’t look like lounge-ware and felt like nursing clothes screamed mom coming! While pregnant she was able to find some cute pieces, so she couldn’t believe that style fell off a cliff once her son was born. Veronica partnered with her longtime friend and talented designer Gerta Frasheri to design clothes which addressed this need. Prior to MAIA MODA Veronica worked for nine years as a management consultant for fortune 500 companies across the globe.
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