Welcome back to “My Favorite Things” travel addition, part 3 – baby feeding. 
I'm sharing some of my favorite travel must-haves with you in hopes of making your traveling any easier! (Keep in mind, while some are cheap finds, others are worth the investment, such as this one.)
(To see parts 1 and 2 click HERE and HERE respectively.)
When you have a baby, there are three ways to feed your baby while on the go:
1. Bring a bottle of breast milk (must stay cooled, then be heated).
2. Bring an empty bottle and formula (warm water needed, can't be mixed in advance)
3. Nurse them in public (need to be discreet)
Each of these ways offer benefits as well as challenges. Here are the three items that I use to help me conquer these methods. 
For bottled breast milk on the go: 
1. Yoomi Self-Warming Bottle
I stumbled across this beauty online one day when I was, in desperation, looking for an easy way to warm a bottle on the go. This European company created a technology that is genius, I'm telling you! I researched tons of other products. While the warming technology is similar, this is the only one that warms the actual milk and not just the bottle, making it much more effective.
PLUS…it only warms what your baby eats so you don't have to throw out any leftovers! WOO HOO!
Here's what it is:
You get a Yoomi bottle, nipple, and cap, just like any other bottle.

You can use the bottle as-is without the self-warming feature, of course. 

The amazing part, though, is this little warmer they have created:
Here's how it works:
You first “charge” the warmer by boiling it in water for 25 minutes. This also sterilizes it. The liquid inside the warmer becomes liquified; you can hear it slushing around when you shake it…that's how you know it's ready. Plus, the button on the warmer turns orange.
You fill the bottle with milk, and keep it chilled while out and about (I have a travel ice-pack and mini cooler bag that the hospital gave me). When your baby is ready to eat, you make sure the warmer is pushed securely inside the nipple. 
You press the orange button, which sets off a chemical reaction inside the warmer. It then starts to self-heat, like those hand warmers you can use while skiing. 
Wait 30 seconds  for the warmer to heat up, tip the bottle upside down (with the cap on) so milk flows around the warmer and heats up, take the cap off, and feed your baby. As long as you leave the nipple full of milk, it passes the warmer and heats it to the perfect temperature! The warmer stays warm for about an hour.

NO fear of burning your baby,
NO need to steam, microwave, or boil the bottle,
and it only takes about 60 seconds.
You boil the warmer to re-charge it, and use it again!
I used this in church yesterday and didn't have to leave my chair.  
It has seriously saved my life.
The downsides:
  • COST, COST, COST. Warning, this product is expensive! I had $60 left on a prepaid visa card from my son's flu shot study (remember HERE?) and this is how I chose to spend it. I ordered two bottles and two chargers so I'd always have some on-hand. MONEY WELL SPENT! Shipping is expensive too, so beware of that.
    • Note: if you sign up for their email list you get 10% off your purchase. Be sure to do this!!
  • Life-span. They say the warmer is only good for 3 months or 100 charges, whichever comes first. This is disappointing to me; I hoped it would last for a year or more…but I can see how it would have to die eventually.
  • The nipple sizing: you must get the medium-flow nipples with the 8oz bottles, and the slow-flow nipples with the 5oz bottles; no mixing and matching when you order if you order a set. The slow-flow nipples leak slightly when you use them on the larger bottles, which is a bummer also.
    • HOWEVER…I was very impressed with the company's customer service. I emailed them asking if I could order the 8oz bottles but get the slow-flow nipples instead of the medium-flow ones. They said they are pre-packaged and couldn't do that, but they sent me a complimentary pack of slow-flow nipples anyway. Very impressive!
Needless to say, this is one of the best baby inventions I have seen and highly recommend this product!
2. Travel Thermos

For option two (feeding with formula) I have found you MUST have a good thermos. Too many times I have had formula and a bottle, but couldn't find warm water or couldn't figure out how to keep the pre-measured water warm while on the go. 

My mom gave me this and this is what I recommend:
She got this stainless steel coffee thermos at our local coffee shop in Oregon. 
I love it because it's narrow, sturdy, has a nifty carrying case, and WORKS. I can put hot water in it in the morning and it will still be hot that evening. 
All you need is formula and a bottle, and you have everything you need.
It's a simple concept, but I never would've thought of it without my mom!
3. Poncho Nursing Cover
For option 3 (breast-feeding while on the go) you MUST have good coverage. You don't want anyone seeing your belly or side-boob, right?! 🙂
A poncho nursing cover is great because it covers you 360 degrees – your back, sides, AND front.
I made a SUPER easy to make one (see the tutorial HERE) and it has been an absolute nursing life-saver. This is also a wonderful baby gift idea for someone who is expecting!
So there you have it; those are my feeding tricks while on the go!
Hope that makes life just a little bit easier next time you are out and about with baby 🙂