Traveling can be super exciting, right? New places, new cultures, and memories to cherish! But, hey, for us pumping moms, it comes with a whole set of unique challenges. Whether you’re jetting off on a business trip, a family vacay, or just some fun with friends, having all the pumping essentials is a must for a smooth and stress-free journey.
Yep, being a pumping mom on the go means some extra prep, but no worries! With the right gear and a solid plan, you can totally rock your adventures while keeping your little one happy and fed. So, get comfy, because in this guide, we’re gonna share all the must-haves and practical tips to make pumping during travel a breeze.
Let’s dive into the must-haves and must-knows for traveling as a pumping mom!
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- Pump Bag or Backpack: If it fits into your budget, investing in a high-quality pump bag or backpack designed specifically for breastfeeding mothers. These bags are thoughtfully designed with compartments and pockets to accommodate your breast pump, accessories, breast milk storage containers, and other essentials. Look for a bag with insulation capabilities to help keep your expressed milk at the proper temperature while you’re on the move. Having a dedicated bag or backpack for your pumping equipment ensures that everything is in one place, making it easy to grab and go whenever you need to pump, whether you’re on a plane, in a car, or exploring a new destination.
My favorites (with discount codes!):
- Mimi & Pal (Discount Code-BRIGGS)
- Sarah Wells (Discount code- BRIGGS)
- Idaho Jones (Discount Code- PTTOURIST10)
Watch: Packing The Ren Bag By Mimi & Pal
2. Portable Breast Pump: Invest in a reliable and portable breast pump designed for travel. Look for one that’s lightweight, compact, and rechargeable or battery-operated for maximum convenience. With a travel-friendly pump in tow, you can express milk comfortably and discreetly whenever and wherever you need it.
3. Pumping Parts and Accessories: Don’t forget ALL the breast pump parts, such as valves, membranes, and flanges, etc. Nothing is worse than finding out you forgot one of the duckbills when you’re ready to pump.
4. Breast Pump Charger: Don’t forget this if you are not using a hand pump or one that plugs into the wall!
5. Hands-Free Pumping Bra: A hands-free pumping bra is a game-changer for busy moms on the move. It allows you to multitask and be productive while pumping. Whether that means handing snacks back to the kids while you’re road tripping or handling passports and documents while you’re at the airport. Some of my favorites include:
- Kindred Bravely (Discount code- BRIGGS15)
- Cake Maternity (Discount code- BRIGGS15)
- Momcozy bra on Amazon
6. Nursing-friendly Clothes: Pack a few nursing-friendly outfits that are comfortable and easy to access during pumping sessions. Versatile clothing can make the pumping process smoother and less disruptive to your travel plans. Some of my favorites include:
- Kindred Bravely (Discount code- BRIGGS15)
- Nursing Queen (Discount code- BRIGGS10)
- Cake Maternity (Discount code- BRIGGS15)
- Of An Origin (Discount code-WHEREISBRIGGS)
7. Breast Pads: Breast pads are a must-have for any pumping mom on the move. These absorbent pads fit discreetly into your bra and help prevent any leakage between pumping sessions. They are particularly useful during long flights or car journeys, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable throughout your travels. You can either use disposable or reusable ones.
8. Breast Pump Lubricant: Having a breast pump lubricant is often overlooked but can be incredibly beneficial. This specialized lubricant helps reduce friction between the flange and your skin, making pumping sessions more comfortable and efficient. It can be especially helpful if you experience any chafing or discomfort during frequent pumping. This is a favorite one in the pumping community.
2. Cleaning Parts
You can learn more about cleaning pump parts and bottles by reading our portable bottle cleaning and sanitizing products for parents traveling with babies and toddlers article.
- Portable Cleaning Kit: A portable cleaning kit is a must-have for pumping moms on the move. Look for a compact and lightweight kit that includes a bottle brush, a collapsible drying rack, and a carrying case. This kit allows you to easily wash and dry your pump parts, bottles, and accessories, ensuring they remain clean and ready for use during your travels. Here are the ones I recommend:
- Termichy This is the one I have. I like this one because I can also fit my travel-size soap inside the container.
- OXO Tot
2. Travel-Size Soap: Pack a travel-sized, baby-safe dish soap to clean your pump parts and accessories while away from home. Ensure it is gentle yet effective to thoroughly clean your equipment without leaving any harmful residue. This is the travel-sized soap that I travel with.
4. Sterilization Bags: Sterilization bags are a lifesaver when access to boiling water is impossible. These convenient, disposable bags use steam to sterilize your breast pump parts and bottles quickly. They are perfect for keeping your pumping equipment clean and safe during your travels. Most hotels will have a microwave (either in your room or lobby) that you can use. I’ve also tested this reusable bag and it works great!
6. Ceres Chill Washbasin: The Ceres Chill Washbasin (Discount code: BRIGGS15) is a specialized portable washbasin. This innovative design allows you to wash your pump parts and accessories in a clean and controlled environment (because sometimes bathroom sinks are just gross).
1.Ceres Chill: The Ceres Chill (Discount code- BRIGGS15) is an ingenious breast milk cooler and storage system that ensures your expressed milk stays fresh and chilled throughout your travels. It provides a convenient way to store pumped milk and keep it at the ideal temperature until you can transfer it to a refrigerator or freezer. With the Ceres Chill, you can have peace of mind knowing that your liquid gold remains safe and ready to nourish your little one, whether you’re on a short excursion or an extended trip.
2. Mila’s Keeper: Mila’s Keeper (Discount code-WHEREISBRIGGS) is a practical system that allows you to keep your pump milk cold until you can get to a fridge or freezer. They offer breast milk coolers and glass storage bottles.
3. Portable Cooler with Ice Packs: A portable cooler with ice packs is also a great alternative for any pumping mom who needs to transport expressed breast milk. These coolers provide a reliable and insulated storage solution, maintaining the optimal temperature for your milk while you’re on the move. Look for a cooler with ample space to accommodate both your pumped milk and pump parts. Some of my favorites include:
- Mimi & Pal Radley Breastmilk Cooler (Discount Code-BRIGGS)
- Sarah Wells Breastmilk Cooler “Cold Gold” (Discount code- BRIGGS)
- Idaho Jones Roxwell or Lysia Cooler Bags (Discount Code- PTTOURIST10)
4. Wet Bag/Gallon Size Plastic Bags: Wet bags or gallon-sized plastic bags are practical for storing used pump parts until you can wash or sanitize them. These waterproof bags prevent any leaks or spills in your pump bag or backpack, keeping everything else clean and dry. Some of my favorites include:
- Idaho Jones Wet Bag (Discount Code- PTTOURIST10)
- Motif Medical Wet Bag (Discount Code- BRIGGS)
- Amazon Wet Bags
5. Breast Milk Storage Bags or Bottles/Containers: Pack enough breast milk storage bags or bottles/containers to store your expressed milk throughout your journey. Choose high-quality, leak-proof options that are suitable for freezing or refrigeration, ensuring your milk remains fresh and safe until you can use or store it properly. I really like these breastmilk storage bags because they have an easy pour. For containers, if you’d like a safer option, many moms use glass bottles instead of plastic. The ones from Mila’s Keeper (Discount code- WHEREISBRIGGS) are perfect for this.
Learn More: Are you flying soon? Take our online course Flying With A Baby Under Two Years Old to be prepared!
4. For Mama
1.Snacks: Traveling can be exhausting, and as a pumping mom, you need to maintain your energy levels. Pack some healthy, non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit to keep you fueled and nourished throughout your journey.
2. Water: Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining a healthy milk supply. Carry a refillable water bottle and make sure to drink plenty of water during your travels.
3. Pictures & Videos of Your Baby: Looking at pictures or watching videos of your baby can trigger a letdown reflex, making your pumping sessions more efficient and effective. Have some images or short clips on your phone to help you relax and express milk more easily.
4. Cover (if you don’t feel comfortable pumping in public): A nursing cover can provide privacy and comfort during pumping sessions in public spaces. The Cocoon from We Are Amma is expensive but gosh, it’s amazing. A cheaper option that is also multi-purpose can be found on Amazon.
5. Extra Shirt (Just in Case): Accidents happen, and spills or leaks are not uncommon while pumping.
6. Hand Sanitizer: Keeping your hands clean before and after pumping is crucial to maintain proper hygiene. Pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer to ensure you have a convenient way to sanitize your hands whenever necessary.
7. Nipple Balm: Pumping can sometimes lead to sore or dry nipples. Nipple balm provides soothing relief and helps prevent discomfort. Carry a small tube in your pump bag for quick application as needed. This one on Amazon is a good, travel-friendly option.
Want to learn how to warm breast milk on the go? Check out this article!
As a pumping mom, traveling doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. By packing the right essentials, you can ensure a seamless and stress-free journey while maintaining your breastfeeding routine. From a reliable portable breast pump to milk storage solutions and comfort items, I hope this ultimate packing list helped get you prepared! Happy pumping and safe travels!