Baby Travel Gear For Meals Tips
Read these 7 Baby Travel Gear For Meals Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Baby Travel tips and hundreds of other topics.
How do I make dining out with a baby easier?
Let's face it. Dining out with an infant certainly isn't the same as having a meal out when there were only two of you. However, you can dine out and enjoy your meal, too. You'll have to multi-task, but with these tips you're sure to handle the night with ease:
- Arrive early. There's nothing that will spoil an outing with baby at a restaurant than arriving to discover you have an hour to wait and the restaurant is so packed you can only expect service won't be much more prompt. Avoiding the crowds by dining early will give you more flexibility to juggle eating your own meal and attend to baby – without dealing with a long wait.
- Pick an appropriate restaurant. There are some places that are more appropriate to take your baby to when eating out. Pick a restaurant with a casual atmosphere and enough bustle to create a moderate noise level. You don't want your toddler's whining or the baby's crying to be the silence breaker in a restaurant.
- Choose your seating wisely. A booth may be a more convenient, self-contained area to lay out baby's gear and have your meal. For breastfeeding moms, a booth can offer more privacy. A patio seat can provide enough action to keep a toddler distracted and allow you to dine on your meal.
- Pitch in your efforts. If both you and your spouse are dining with baby together, switch off and let one person eat while the other person attends to baby.
- Keep it short. When you're eating out with a little one, you might not have time to stay a leisurely three hours at your meal. Expect to order your food and eat it quickly. If your child is doing well, then consider staying a bit longer to enjoy the time out.
- Be prepared to leave. Sometimes a crying baby or cranky toddler just isn't up for a meal on the town. Have your belongings ready to a quick exit should you need to pay the bill and go in a hurry.
What products make mealtime easier with my infant during travel?
When it comes to mealtime gear for your little one, you'll want products that are easily packable, portable, and cleanable – that is, if you're traveling or out and about. We found a few items that are disposable as well, making your travels just that much lighter.
First Years Take and Toss Spill-proof Cups ($15 for 24 pack)– We like these because you can put them in the dishwasher and use them again, but they're meant for temporary use. So if you're done with them, you can toss them after your trip. At less than 70 cents a cup, you can take a few along for the journey, toss them when you're done, and save the rest for the next vacation. You can also get take and toss snack containers as well as a flatware set, which includes disposable spoons and forks.
Topper to Go ($20 for four kits) – This all in one pack works best for toddlers. The box comes in a four pack and includes a mat and disposable bib, sippy cup, fork, and spoon. We like the idea for its convenience – you just grab a cup everything's ready to use.
Pampers Pocket Bibsters ($23 for 128 count in size large) – These disposable bibs catch the food nicely and keeps liquids off infant clothes with a leak-proof liner. We like that they're so easy to pack in your diaper bag for the road.
One Shot Formula Bags ($14 for 100)- It's an easy way to store formula servings for your infant during travel, and comes with a funnel tip for easy pouring. Divvy up the proportions before you go on your trip and when it comes to make baby's bottle there's less fuss and less mess.
How do I deal with feeding baby in the car?
Feeding baby in the car can be easy enough as long as you're prepared. We think it's actually much easier to have everything on hand than when you're flying on a plane – simply because you can just pack everything you need in the car with you. For easy mealtimes with baby in the car, here are some quick tips:
- If both Mom and Dad are traveling in the car, have one person drive and have the other person sit in the back with baby to attend to her needs.
- Pack a cooler with all the food and drink essentials you need for the trip. Have them on hand and within easy reach.
- For bottles that need warming, you can bring a portable bottle warmer that works on its own or plugs into your cigarette lighter.
- Have plastic bags on hand for tossing out trash and large zip lock bags for storing baby's bottle. We recommend you bring two sets of bottles. One can get cleaned while you put the other into use.
- Store baby food in easy to use containers. Baby food is contaminated once you dip a used spoon back into the jar. And then you'll need to refrigerate it in order for it to keep. Rather than tossing out food or dealing with storage, take you baby food out ahead of time and pack them into one ounce individual food containers that you can toss into a large zip lock bag.
- If you're just driving off somewhere and baby isn't tired yet, go ahead and feed her a meal or her bottle. If you've been on the road for a while and she's hungry, pull over and feed her.
- Use disposable bibs. We love them for keeping messes at bay and they pack so nicely. Use them again if you want to wipe them clean or toss and move on to a fresh one.
How do I handle breastfeeding when I’m traveling?
If you're a breastfeeding mom and your infant isn't yet at the solid feeding stage, you do have a simpler task of feeding baby. However, we know that breastfeeding, especially when traveling, does present its own set of challenges. So here are our suggestions for breastfeeding while traveling.
- Consider carrying your baby in a pouch or sling, which helps to facilitate easier breastfeeding, especially when you're on the move.
- Dress in clothing that makes it easier to breastfeed discreetly. Wear a nursing tank under a loose blouse. Get a few tops designed just for nursing. Or consider throwing on a shawl or a blanket over your shoulder.
- On the plane, take a seat by the window. If you're traveling with your spouse, use him as your buffer to the rest of the plane. It's helpful to nurse an infant during take-off and landings to ease the discomfort due to change in air pressure.
- When you're out and about, look for the women's lounges in department stores, dressing rooms in boutiques, baby centers at amusement parks, family centers at airports, and quiet benches at the park. Your own car is a great way to nurse in semi-private. Remember, there are sometimes when there really is no private place to nurse, so you'll just have to make do with some discretion and perhaps a blanket.
- Remember that breastfeeding your child is a positive and natural way to bond and provide nourishment for your baby. A woman in the U.S. has a constitutional right to breastfeed her child in any location she can go to legally. If you have concerns about laws regarding breastfeeding in your state, you can refer to the La Leche League Website (www.lalecheleague.com), which provides comprehensive legislative information on breastfeeding in each state across the U.S.
- If you're in a foreign, country, try doing some research ahead of time on the customs and laws on public breastfeeding. Try observing the local culture to observe what's acceptable and what's not in terms of breastfeeding.
What do I need to know about mealtime for baby on the plane?
Feeding baby on the plane doesn't have to be a complex task, but it
does require a little bit of planning. Gone are the days of travel when you could just pick up and go – then stop somewhere to eat when it suits you. We want feeding baby on the go to be as simple as possible for the traveling parent, so we've put together our best plane tips from parents who've flown the friendly, and not-so-friendly, skies.
- When you book your flight, contact the airline to reserve a kid's meal for toddlers or request an infant meal for babies. Not all airlines carry them, but most longer flights and international flights with major airlines do have baby food. Ask what amenities they have for your infant at this time so you'll know what to expect.
- Regardless of whether an airline carries food for an infant, you'll want to pack your own. You don't want to have to rely on their service to feed your little one if she's hungry. Pack everything in sealed plastic bags and plastic containers.
- If you're planning on bringing a bottle on the plane, you should be able to get it heated on the plane. This is another thing you should check ahead of time if you're concerned about it.
- Pack a stash of disposable bibs. They fold flat, you can use them more than once if you want to wipe them clean, and it's convenient to just toss when you're done.
- Have a hand sanitizer on hand to clean your hands and baby's. They come in travel sizes and are really portable.
- Wipes for cleaning up messes during and after eating are invaluable. For travel, get a handy travel size pack.
- If your infant is on solids, you can feed her in her seat or on your lap. Use your best judgment as to what's easier and safer. If there's turbulence, you'll want to leave her in her seat.
- You'll be able to use disposable utensils from the plane, but for younger infants, bring your own. Coated spoons will be more suitable for sensitive gums.
What are some bottle accessories available to make feeding easier?
Any parent with an infant knows that feeding baby when you're traveling means schlepping around a lot of equipment. If you've looked at the number of bottle accessories out there, you might be wondering what's necessary and what's not? You can get by with a bottle and breast milk or formula, but having some bottle accessories certainly will make your life simpler if you're traveling. Here's a look at a few choices:
Bottle warmer – It's certainly not an absolute, but many parents feel better serving Junior a bottle at just the right temperature. And when he graduates to solids, you can use a lot of these bottle warmers as food warmers as well. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer makes a bottle warmer which is relatively compact and easy to use. Warm formula or breast milk up in five minutes the first time around. You will need to plug it in, however, so it's best at a hotel or at Grandma's house.
Bottle Sterilizer – You can wash the bottles by hand or put them in the dishwasher, but if you like a convenient all-in-one package for cleaning your baby bottles, these bottle accessories work well if you've got a microwave. Place the bottles in the bottle sterilizer, microwave for a few minutes, and you have sterilized bottles.
Formula Pitcher – For a no-fuss way of mixing 32 oz. of formula, use a formula pitcher. With measurements on the side, you just need to add water and the formula powder. Store it in the fridge and you won't have to make multiple bottles throughout the day.
What’s an easy way to seat my infants at restaurants?
If your infant is eating and you're traveling or on the road, you need an easy way to feed her for meals. Booster seats for meals on the go can make your life easier at the restaurant or hotel. They're portable, many come with their own trays, and they're relatively easy to clean up after.
One popular and affordable model is the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat. It folds up for easy transport with a carrying strap. You can remove the trays for easy clean-ability in the dishwasher. These booster seats have three height settings, allowing you to adjust accordingly to the height of the table. When your infant is toddler aged, remove the tray and use it solely as a booster seat at the table.
Another popular item is the Bumbo Baby Sitter. It's a molded piece of polyurethane which you place your infant in for secure sitting. Use it for dining or as a place to put baby for a few minutes to play or so you have your hands free. It's easy to clean – you simply wipe with a damp cloth – and it's simple to use with no moving parts. Just pick it up and you're on the move. The manufacturer suggests babies as young as three months can sit in it, but make sure your infant has good neck control if you're going to use these chairs as booster seats.