How to Travel With Breast Milk by Car

As a nursing mother or caregiver, there are times when you would have to travel with breast milk by car. It is something you would have to do if you are traveling with a baby – which you surely would.


How to Travel With Breast Milk by Car

Whether it is a long journey like a road trip or a short drive, you need to know how to travel with breast milk by car if you have a little one. As you know, babies can request for food at any time – and it is a way to soothe them if they are crying.

It would be best if you kept breast milk cold at all times to avoid it getting spoilt or contaminated. So, what is the best way to travel with breast milk by car? In this article, we will educate you on how best to travel with breast milk by car, and keep it fresh for as long as possible.


Also Read: Breastfeeding Tips for New Mom


What To Do When Traveling With Breast Milk By Car

When traveling with breast milk by car, you need to look for a means to keep the breast milk cold until you feed the baby.

In some instances, when you are sure the trip is going to be for a few minutes, then you are covered. It means the breast milk won’t be too warm before feeding your baby.

But if this isn’t the case, then you will need to know what to do to keep the breast milk cold before you feed the baby or transfer it into a refrigerator.

Below, we have highlighted what you need to do to keep break milk cold when traveling with breast milk by car.

1. Make Use of a Cooler

A cooler is a good way to keep your breast milk cold until it is needed for use. The good part about it is that they come in different shapes and sizes, so you should get one that suits you.

However, using a cooler doesn’t mean you have to just dump your feeding bottle into the cooler. You will need to first fill the cooler with ice before inserting the feeding bottle. That way, you are sure that the breast milk will remain cold.

Another important point of note is that you need to inquire about the capacity and duration capability of the cooler when purchasing it. This way, you have an idea of how long the cooler can hold ice, and you are able to plan yourself for your journey to avoid disappointments.

2. Make Use of a Mini Fridge

Unlike the cooler, a mini fridge does not require you to have ice. They are portable devices that work on rechargeable batteries or which you can plug into your car batteries through the adapter socket.

The advantage of the mini fridge is that it can keep your breast milk cold all day and for longer journeys like road trips. It is just like having a version of your good old refrigerator in your car!

However, you should be aware that these portable fridges are best if you are transporting a small amount of breast milk. If you are moving a large amount of breast milk, then you should consider using a large cooler filled with ice packs.


Also Read: What Happens When Baby Drinks Spoiled Breast Milk


Can You Freeze Breast Milk During a Car Trip?

As you know, we like to answer direct questions with a straightforward answer. Yes, you can freeze breast milk during a car trip, especially if you know that you are going on a long road trip.

However, if you choose to freeze your breast milk during a car trip, there are certain things you need to have in mind. This is so that you do not end up feeding your baby contaminated or spoilt breast milk.

Firstly, you have to ensure that you use the frozen breast milk within 24 hours. After this period, the possibility of the breast milk still being fresh is low.

Secondly, you have to know that you cannot refreeze your breast milk. What this means is that after frozen breast milk has returned to room temperature, under no circumstances must you refreeze it.

Experts advise that mothers and caregivers should make use of dry ice to keep the frozen breast milk in good condition in air-tight coolers. Especially if you know that you will not be using the breast milk within the next 12 hours.

Also, you can consider transporting your breast milk to your destination, where it would be waiting for you in a refrigerator before your arrival.


FAQs on How to Travel With Breast Milk by Car

Can a Baby Drink Cold Breast Milk?

Yes, a baby can drink cold breast milk. But you have every right to be concerned because naturally, the breast releases warm milk for the baby.

Medical experts have discovered that cold breast milk has some advantages, especially in relieving pains and discomfort caused by teething.

However, during cold seasons it is advisable to use a warmer if you are feeding your baby with a bottle. This is because, in such conditions, warm breast milk is best for babies.

In a situation where you do not have a warmer, you can put the bottle in hot or warm water for a few minutes before feeding the baby.


Does Breast Milk Lose Nutrients When Pumped?

No, breast milk does not lose its nutrients when pumped. When you pump your breasts, the milk contains the same amount of nutrients as freshly breastfed milk.

However, it is advisable that you pay attention to how the breast milk is stored so that you are sure of maintaining its nutrients and antioxidants.

Also, if you store breast milk for too long, it not only loses its nutritional value it may go bad, depending on how it is stored.

Also Read: What to Do When Milk Comes Out Of Baby’s Nose


Are There Any Laws Against Travelling With Breast Milk?

No, there are no laws against traveling with breast milk locally or internationally, whether your baby is with you or not.

You can travel with any amount of breast milk. However, you may be made to pass security checks which are in place to ensure that you are actually carrying breast milk.  You would be subjected to these checks in international travel or air travel. But this is mostly experienced in international travels and airports.

Also, it would be best if you were guided because public breastfeeding or pumping restrictions vary from country to country.


How Much Amount of Milk Can I Travel With?

There is no restriction on the amount of breast milk you can travel with.

It depends on how long you need the breast milk for and the capacity of your coolers and storage facilities.


How Long Should I Keep Breast Milk in the Car?

According to experts, we should not keep breast milk for more than 4 hours at room temperature. However, if you want to preserve your breast milk for more than four hours, there are options.

First, you can use a cooler to preserve the breast milk, or you can freeze it. This way, it can last for about a day, and still remain fresh.


How Long Can Breast Milk Stay in a Cooler?

From experience, breast milk can stay for 24 hours in a cooler without losing its nutritional value. This has also been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, it would be best if you made sure that the cooler remains closed at all times during the 24 hours. Also, be sure to transfer the breast milk into a freezer or refrigerator when you get to your destination.


What is the Natural Temperature of Breast Milk?

Naturally, the temperature of breast milk from the breast is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, when a nursing mother is lactating, the temperature of her breast milk becomes the same as her body temperature.

At this time, the body temperature of the nursing mother is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or 37 degrees Celsius (C).


What Will Happen If My Baby Drinks Spoilt Breast Milk?

If a baby drinks spoilt or contaminated breast milk, it will cause the baby to experience a stomach upset.

When this happens, the mother or caregiver will notice that the baby will become restless – crying uncontrollably and vomiting.

The good thing is that the baby will vomit the spoiled milk, and should be fine after the spoiled milk is expelled from her system.

Also Read: How to Increase Breast Milk Supply


Can You Heat Breast Milk?

Yes, you can heat up breast milk, but you should never do it more than once. Naturally, heating breast milk destroys the nutrients and other minerals, but it is advisable to prevent contamination.

But heating it more than once is one too much, and it renders the breast milk almost useless – and sometimes contaminated.



As mothers and caregivers, it is important for us to take extra care when it comes to breastfeeding our babies. This is because a lot can go wrong, especially when it involves traveling with your breast milk by car.

If we follow the advice in this article closely, we should be able to travel with breast milk by car without any issues.