When my daughter was teeny, one of the things I couldn’t wrap my head around was how I would feed baby when traveling with her. Would baby food explode in our suitcase? Could I prepare formula with bottled water? The answer to those questions is NO and YES. No, baby food will not explode but pack it in a zippered plastic bag just in case it leaks, and don’t you know how lucky you are to have those new squeezable foil pouches?! And Yes, but make sure it’s not “mineral” water and that it has less than 20mg of sodium in it (most has less than 1mg).
But the one thing I simply could not fathom was how to sterilize baby bottles in a hotel room.
If your accommodation has a kitchenette or even just a microwave, you’re laughing. A pot of boiling water, or drag your microwave sterilizeralong (mine was pretty low profile) or even the new microwave sterilizing bagsmake life easy (er) for parents on the road. But, our hotel room did not have a kitchenette or a microwave, so I had to figure it out.
We were traveling to Cuba where the tap water is potable but they do recommend bottled for more than just brushing your teeth…
Because I am a freak, I still sterilized my daughter’s bottles even though she was already 11mos and down to just two bottles of formula per day. I purposely waited until she was finished nursing before we traveled, which was mostly due to my post-partum body issues more than nursing in public hangups. I learned with Bub that an exclusively breastfeeding infant is the easiest kind of baby to travel with, but you would never have convinced me of that as a first time mom.
But I digress…
Since Have Baby Will Travel was not invented then, I do not have any pictures of this process. If I was a little less lazy, I would re-enact it in my bathroom sink. But also my bathroom is in dire need of a reno, so I know you can figure this out! It is fairly labour intensive, and if baby is exclusively bottle-fed it is a lot of bottles to wash, but it most certainly can be done!
What to pack:
-A small container of dish soap
-A travel kettle(double check the voltage for your destination and/or your resort)
-Little bottle “tongs” the ones I have came with my microwave sterilizer
Fill travel kettleand set to boil. Wish out sink, stopper and tongs with hot soapy water, and rinse.
Fill sink with hot soapy water and wash bottles, nipples, sippy cups, breast pump parts, pacifiers, and any feeding utensils you want sterilized. Rinse with hot tap water and drain sink.
When the kettlehas boiled for the 2nd time, pour over washed items and swish around. Carefully remove items using the bottle tongs, and place to air dry on a clean towel.
I did this in the evening once my daughter was down for the night. It took about 20min, but I was only doing two bottles per day. If I was doing it for an exclusively bottle-fed infant, I’d probably switch to the pre-sterilized drop in liners, so all you had to wash would be the nipples and caps. In that case, it may be worth it to buy and drag along an actual sterilizer.
If your baby is very young or very small or has any health issues, I’d make an effort to get a room with a kitchenette or microwave so there would be no room for error. Other than that, hotel sinks can be used for more than just washing bottles or your hands, you can bathe your baby in it too!
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