Baby’s feeding schedules are highly unpredictable so feeding your little one when traveling by car can be tricky. As much as you want to put an end to their cries, you’re not sure if it’s safe to do so.
I used to be in the same shoes but I’ve learned the right way to go about it. In this article, I will answer the question “can you feed a baby bottle in the car seat?”. So, let’s dive in mamas (and papas)!
There will be times when your little one gets hungry in the car and the next stop is still far away. It is possible to feed your baby while the car is moving but not recommended.
If your baby gets hungry on the drive, the first thing you should do is evaluate how long the next stop would be. Depending on your baby’s age and when they had their last feed, you can wait till the next pullover before giving them a bottle.
If you’re traveling by car, I’d suggest you anticipate some impromptu stops to feed your little one. You can pump some breast milk ahead in a bottle for your little one. Or, if you use formula, prepare a bottle ahead of time or buy ready-made formula.
Use a bottle holder or strap to keep the baby bottle in place when feeding your little one in a car seat. Don’t try to prop the bottle up with your hand. Always keep an eye on your little one while they are eating in the car seat, and avoid leaving them unattended.
It is important for you to burp your little one after feeding them in their car seat. Here’s how to burp your little one after bottle-feeding them in the car. Note that you’ll have to take them out of their car seat to do this
- Hold your little one directly on your chest and gently pat your back.
- Another way would be to place your little one on your lap and use your hand to support their neck and chin while you pat their back.
Here are the two major and some practical issues when feeding your little one a bottle in the car.
One major concern when feeding a baby with a bottle or cup in a car is that they can become projectiles if a crash were to occur.
Even an item as small as a baby bottle can feel heavy when they hit you at a high speed. This is because loose items can cause devastating impacts in the event of a crash. (1)
This problem is likely to occur in certain situations and is a major problem when bottle-feeding your baby.
Infants and newborns shouldn’t drink with a bottle in a moving car because they’ll be unable to hold it or remove it when their mouth is full. This extra formula or milk will become a choking hazard that your baby will be unable to prevent.
So, the best solution would be to stop the car to feed your child. There’s no point sacrificing the health of your baby for some extra time.
The fact that you may not be able to keep a keen eye on your little one while they feed in the car is enough to cause for concern.
In some situations, one parent can handle the wheel while the other supervises the baby’s feeding. But more often than not, it may just be a sibling or no one at all to supervise your little one when they feed from their bottle.
In most cases, a baby that depends on a bottle to feed will not be old enough to hold it up themselves. This can lead to a choking hazard which has poke off before.
Feeding your little one in a moving car can cause buildup of painful gas in their body. This is because most babies are used to being fed in a calm environment usually in the arms of a parent.
So, the vibrations caused by a car in motion can allow extra gas into your baby’s mouth. Since they aren’t old enough to deal with this extra gas, they can become upset very quickly.
I advise you to take those few minutes to stop and feed your little one if you don’t want to undergo the pain of seeing your little one upset for hours on end.
As long as you’re not feeding your little one in a moving car, it is completely safe to feed your baby in their carseat. This is especially true for bottle feeding since the baby is propped up on the seat.
Apart from the ready-made or premade formula, there are some other things that you can feed your little one. Of course, this depends on your baby’s age and their current feeding structure.
- Veggies and fruits that have been cut into small pieces
- Finger foods like cheerios, mini waffles, dry cereal, etc.
You can as well pack some snacks and drinks for yourself depending on how long the drive is. You should be staying hydrated and well-nourished while driving, right?
Here are some foods to avoid when your baby is in the car, depending on their age.
- Cherry tomatoes and whole grapes which could become a choking hazard.
- Popcorn, nuts or any other hard items.
- Hot baby food
Basically, you’ll want to avoid any hard food that can pose a choking hazard if your little one has started eating solid food.
Traveling on long road trips with a bottle fed baby can be a little tricky so here are some tips to help you travel with ease.
These liners are very beneficial when you don’t have any sterilising equipment on hand. They reduce the cleaning time as well as the number of bottles you have to pack.
You may want to make some formula to go as mentioned earlier. Still, depending on the duration of your trip, packing some powdered formula will do you a lot of good.
This equipment will save you a lot of time on the road since they hold pre-measured formula powder. When it’s time for a feed, all you’ll have to do is empty one of the compartments into your baby’s bottle.
A travel-friendly one I personally love is the Accmor Baby Milk Powder Formula Dispenser. It can easily fit into your diaper bag during car rides.
If you’re packing some pumped breast milk or premade formula to feed your little one then a cooler bag would be quite beneficial. Store the bottles in the cooler bag with some slim reusable ice packs boxes.
You can’t completely predict what will happen on your drive, so to be safe pack some extra formula and milk. You should also add an extra nipple so in the event that one tears.
As I earlier said, a bottle fed baby is likely not to be capable of holding it up themselves.So, when you make a stop, do the bottle holding or use a bottle holder or strap.
If your little one is old enough though, you can let them do the bottle feeding themselves when the car is not in motion.
Feeding your little one in a car seat doesn’t have to be much of a hassle. To aid your comfort, I have curated some helpful tips for feeding your baby with a bottle in a car seat.
- Attend your baby’s bottle while feeding to avoid messes. This is regardless of whether you have used a holder or strap to pop it up.
- Cover the car seat with a towel or blanket to prevent milk from spilling onto it.
- Make sure your little one is sitting upright in the seat and that the bottle is propped up at a 45 angle. This prevents them from swallowing air.
- Ensure that you are using a clean bottle to feed your little one.
It’s completely okay to feed your little one in the car. You just have to make sure that the car is not moving. This means taking short stops to feed your little one on the road.
It’s best if you pack all their feeding equipment and prepare well ahead because babies get hungry very often. You just need to be ready regardless of whether it’s in the car or at home.
Have you ever had to feed a baby while driving? How old was your child at the time? I would love to hear your answers. Let me know in the comments section.
You can place your baby in a car seat if they fall asleep after feeding. Just make sure that you do not strap them and that the car is in a stable position.
Breastfeeding your little one in a moving car puts you and your baby at a risk of injury. So, it’s best thet you pull over to nurse your little one when they get hungry on a drive.
The best time to feed a baby in a car seat is when the car is in a stable position. That means having to pull over or stop to feed your little one.
- Brett Emison, (2010, Jul 19). The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network. Did You Know… Loose Items In Your Car Can Become Deadly Projectiles In A Crash? https://affiliates.legalexaminer.com/transportation/did-you-know-lose-items-in-your-car-can-become-deadly-projectiles-in-a-crash/