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How breastfeeding mamas can travel with baby—stress-free

Remember not to be too hard on yourself. You won't be able to predict or plan for every challenge.

How breastfeeding mamas can travel with baby—stress-free

Holiday travel can be stressful for even the most seasoned travelers. Add a breastfeeding baby into the mix and that opens a whole new set of challenges that make planning ahead even more important.

Being prepared can help you overcome the bumps in the road that are bound to happen. But also remember to not be too hard on yourself. You won't be able to predict or plan for every challenge.

Do your best to stay calm and go with the flow. The little mishaps and misadventures of today turn into the great stories of tomorrow.

Here are some tips to help make the whole trip a little smoother:

For road trips 

  • Use a program like Google Maps to chart the best course and find rest areas along the way.
  • Build extra time into your plans. Trips will take longer than usual with millions on the road. You will need to stop and nurse your baby on average every 2-3 hours while traveling.
  • Be patient. Mentally prepare yourself for it to be a long trip. Warn eager grandparents or relatives that you will be arriving later than usual.
  • Don't forget your road trips snacks. Nursing moms need extra calories, so pack water bottles and healthy snacks to keep your energy—and patience—up.
  • Pack the right equipment: In addition to diapers, wipes and a change for clothes for baby (and you!), you will want to make sure you have everything you need to breastfeed your baby while en route.

Breastfeeding + pumping checklist:

  • If your electric pump is also battery operated, pack extra batteries.
  • Pack an extra set of pump parts in case you can't clean yours while on the road.
  • Bring a nursing cover or blanket in case you feel uncomfortable with strangers being able to see in your car.
  • Pack a cooler with ice packs, as well as storage bottles or storage bags.
  • If you're using bottles and nipples to feed your expressed breast milk, it's always helpful to pack 1-2 more than you think you need.

For flights 

  • Dress for success. Wear a nursing bra and shirt that makes breastfeeding as easy as possible.
  • Carry-on "must have" items: You'll want to pack a change of clothes for baby but don't forget about you! Pack an extra shirt for yourself in your carry-on bag. Also take nursing "must have" items, like your HPA lanolin, or an extra set of disposable nursing pads, and slip them into a carry-on as well.
  • Want a nursing cover? Pack a cover or blanket in your carry-on if you are uncomfortable nursing in public.
  • Breastfeed at take-off and landing. Swallowing helps babies adjust to the change in air pressure. If you can't nurse then, consider using a soother or pacifier.
  • Bringing breast milk through security: TSA doesn't restrict size of containers for breast milk but you need to let security know you're traveling with it. Here are some more tips from the TSA.

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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