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Bottle feeds when you're away from home

You may need to prepare bottle feeds for when you and your baby are away from home.

Short journeys

You can travel with made-up bottles if:

  • the journey will be less than 2 hours
  • you can keep the feeds cold while travelling

Follow these steps:

  1. Before your journey, prepare feeds as normal, cool quickly and place in a fridge at 5°C or below.
  2. Just before you leave home, remove the cold feeds from the fridge and place them in an insulated cool bag with ice packs.
  3. When you arrive, place the feeds in a fridge as soon as you can. Re-warm a feed when you need one.

Longer journeys

It is not safe to bring made-up bottles if:

  • the journey will be longer than 2 hours
  • you have no way of keeping the feeds cold while travelling

The safest option is to use cartons or bottles of liquid ready to feed formula. This is recommended for babies under 2 months. Bringing powder and sterile bottles of water with you is another option but less safe.

Option 1: Liquid formula

Use cartons of liquid ready to feed formula. You can buy these in chemists and supermarkets. You do not need to keep them in a fridge or heat them up before feeding your baby.

Option 2: Bring powder with you

Bring the powder with you and prepare a feed as normal using cooled boiled water. The water should be no no less than 70°C.

If you choose to bring formula powder when travelling you can measure the correct amount for each feed into a small, clean, plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Or you can use individual sachets of powder which you can buy from chemists or supermarkets.

Option 3: Bring powder and sterile bottles of water

If you will not be able to boil fresh water, bring the powder and sterile bottles of water with you. Make up sterile bottles of water at home.

This option is not as safe as options 1 and 2 but is safer than bringing made-up bottles with you and trying to keep them cool for longer than 2 hours.


This option is not recommended if your baby is younger than 2 months. Choose option 1 or 2 instead for babies under 2 months.

When you are out and need to feed your baby:

  1. Warm the bottle of water to feeding temperature by standing it in a bottle warmer or a bowl of warm water for no longer than 15 minutes.
  2. Add the exact amount of powder to the bottle.
  3. Put the lid back on the bottle tightly, and shake well to mix the contents.
  4. Test the temperature of the milk by dripping a little onto the inside of your wrist. It should feel lukewarm, not hot.
  5. Use the feed right away, and throw away any feed that has not been taken within two hours. If your baby is a slow feeder, make up a fresh feed after 2 hours.

Page last reviewed: 14 November 2022
Next review due: 14 November 2025