Toronto to Ottawa trip with a breastfeeding toddler

We went to Ottawa during the holidays for a mini family reunion. It is usually a 4-hour drive from Toronto to Ottawa but I have a breastfeeding toddler so it took us around 5.5 hours. It was our first long drive ever since my little one reached toddlerhood. I thought my little one will never ask to nurse because of my endless supply of travel toys and snacks. Anyway, here are my tips to survive a long drive with a breastfeeding little one:

  1. Breastfeed before you leave the house.
  2. Always pack your nursing scarf.
  3. If you are a cloth diaper advocate, now is not the time to use this because it will only irritate you and your little one whenever there is a need to change diapers. Use disposable diapers that absorbs well and does not irritate your little one’s skin. If this is the first time for you to use disposable diapers then try different brands first before your scheduled travel.
  4. Keep your little one entertained with toys but never gadgets (if possible please). There are various blogs out there that lists best toys for travel for varying age groups. If you are planning on buying a new toy for the travel, make sure to never open the toy before the day of your travel because you want this toy to be the focus of your little one’s attention during your travel.
  5. When stopping at an “On-route” ensure that you breastfeed before you leave.
  6. For little ones that are more than 1 year, bring snacks that they can nibble. This helps them entertained as well.
  7. Always bring wipes, bottled water, extra diapers, extra change of clothes, and calming baby oil during winter. I always apply this baby oil before we leave the house and before we leave our stops because it helps refresh and calm a tired baby.

That’s it! Enjoy the rest of your travel! Remember to always be patient with your little one. Fussiness during long travels is normal and the best way to calm a fussy little one is to breastfeed. Of course it is hard if you are travelling so it is best to keep yourself prepared. On-route stops are helpful so make sure to use this as the time to breastfeed your little one. Do not worry if it takes you longer to reach your destination, what is important is that you and your family is safe.

Happy New Year everyone!