How to get milk and formula for baby bottles in Asia

Are you planning a trip with your family in 2020?

I've traveled overseas dozens of times with my kids since they were newborns. In this time I've been through the planning process and have it down pat. 

I'm sharing my trip planning checklist with you, to make your travel planning calmer and reduce your stress in the process. It includes steps from 3 months before (vaccinations, passports, travel dates, flight and accommodation) up until the day you leave including a checklist of what travel documents to tick off before you leave the house. You can download it here. 

Travel calmer packing checklist for family trip

If you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding with formula or your child is having cows milk, you may be wondering... 

How will I get milk for my baby when I'm traveling in Asia, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia or India?If your baby is being breastfed then you may need to know about how to wash bottles in asia where you don't have access to clean water. 

You can read here about how to sterilise baby bottles and breast pump equipment.

If your baby is formula fed then of course you can bring along formula from home, but it can be difficult to estimate how much to bring. We brought three tins when we brought our son to India and we ran out a few days before the end of the holiday. Luckily you can buy formula (milk powder) at almost any grocery store in India, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam. 

This picture was taken in a grocery store in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, as you can see there are many options of formula. 

baby milk formula malaysia

In India you can also buy milk powder (formula) from medical stores (chemists) 

India Bangalore baby milk powder formula

How do I make up baby formula when traveling in Asia with a baby?

Never use tap water, even if it has been boiled. 

You can easily buy bottled water cheaply from grocery stores in Asia. Bottled water is always easily available as the locals can't drink the tap water either, so you can find it cheaply all over the place. 

Carry small bottles of water with you, or pour bottled water into your baby bottles before you go out, and then use a baby formula dispenser to have the formula already measured out. 

I bought this one from the supermarket in Australia for a few dollars. You can also get it on Amazon

Tip the formula into the bottle using the opening under the yellow lid and shake it up so your baby has a fresh bottle. I used these in Sri Lanka with my daughter, and in India with my son and they were very convenient. I would just refill it each morning before we went out. 

What if I am feeding my baby cows milk and I'm traveling in Asia? 

As your baby gets older and is no longer drinking formula, you may still want to feed them cows milk. 

The easiest option I have found is to use UHT milk packets. 

You can buy these in a pack of 6 from supermarkets and then carry them in your nappy bag. 

In this picture I was giving my son milk in a sippy cup on the plane as he had milk before bed and I wanted him to sleep. You can read more tips here for getting your baby to sleep on a plane. You may also be thinking about how to avoid your baby crying on take off and landing. 

UHT milk in drink bottle on plane for baby

The UHT packets are very convenient as they don't need to be refrigerated, and they are in 200ml size, which is about how much a toddler will drink. My kids were always happy to drink milk at room temperature, so I didn't need to worry about heating it either. 

When I'm traveling I always carry some with me in the nappy bag in case my son wants some milk. 

Read more here about how to bring milk onto a plane for a baby. 

You will also need to consider what you need to pack for a baby, this is a printable packing checklist for the plane and your carry on luggage. 

You can comment below if you have any questions about getting milk in Asia for a baby. 

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