Friday 31 December 2010

Travelling Without Baby

After much consideration over our dilemma, we have decided not to bring baby J to Batam. Practicality has reigned over emotions as usual. Even my mother smsed me to warn me not to bring her for fear of sea sickness (although babies this age do not have travel sickness).

I will miss her so much! *Sigh*

I'm sure you're wondering how I managed to go overseas without my baby while still nursing? And I did it more than once. The first time I did it was when the hubby and I went with a bunch of our churchmates to Phuket, Thailand, just 5 weeks after baby J was born (big mistake though I still managed to pull through). The second was with the hubby to Brunei for his work trip and now to Batam.

If like me, you're crazy about travelling enough to go overseas without your baby but you still want to continue to breastfeed, ensure that you prepare the following:

(1) A Trustworthy Babysitter

Her beloved 奶奶 (paternal grandmother)

Ok I supposed this is a given. You need someone you trust to take care of the baby, otherwise you will not leave in peace. And a vacation where you are worrying all the time is not a vacation at all.

(2) A Trustworthy Breast Pump

Mine is from Philips Avent. Highly recommended by me.

Treat it well as it is going to be your best friend for the days that you are away. And how often do you pump? The same as if you were at home with baby. If your baby feeds every 2 hours, you should pump every 2 hours (ideally). Of course when you're overseas, you might not have the luxury of doing that but you should still try not to exceed a maximum of 5-6 hours interval between pumps.

(3) Bring both the electrical and battery operated power supply
If you have a electrical breast pump like mine from Avent, you will have a wall socket that provides electricity directly to your pump motor as well as a battery operated device. The latter is useful when you are not able to find an electrical point to power your pump. Bring both.

Don't forget the extra batteries.

(4) Milk Storage Bags
Instead of lugging bulky plastic storage containers around, buy these compact and easy to use storage bags to store your breastmilk. They take up less space in your luggage making it great for travelling.

(5) A store of milk in the fridge

Milk stored for baby J in our fridge

Before you leave, ensure you have a store of breastmilk ready for your baby so that she still has your milk to drink even when you're not there. In order to store enough milk, you should start pumping extra milk (about 100-200ml depending on your milk supply) everyday at least 4 weeks before you are due to travel. If you don't have enough stored up, you may have to consider allowing your baby to drink formula temporarily.

(6) Check that your hotel room has a fridge with a freezer
Breastmilk, once expressed, can only last 6 hours at room temperature and 48 hours in the refridgerator. If frozen however, it can last for 3 to 4 months, so you would want to store it in a freezer. Most hotels have bar fridges with a small freezer compartment but call ahead to be sure. You don't want to end up not being able to bring back the precious milk for your baby.

(7) Apply to check-in your luggage if you're flying by plane
Remember that your milk is liquid. It will not be allowed in your hand-carry luggage.

Hopefully these tips will help you to travel overseas without baby. It may be troublesome, but it is worth the time spent to relax and most importantly reconnect with that love of your life.

Will update more on my trip when I get back, until then...
See ya next year!
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