Air Travel with Baby(!) And Regulations for Packing Breastmilk & Formula

Dolly prepares for take-off

Leaving on your first airplane trip and nevous about travelling with baby?  Concerns about getting through TSA with fresh and frozen breastmilk? I was too. But Dolly and I were nervous for nothing… Here are our tips!

First, Dolly would like to tell all babies that airplanes are terrific! All the white noise you could dream of! Hopefully you are like Dolly and enjoy nursing on take-off and landing and sleeping on and off nearly the whole flight. Dolly also enjoyed some nice baby snacks like puffs, and of course, she weighed down Mommy’s bag with entirely too many books!!!

If you are a pumping mama, my advice would be to bring your pump bag as a carry-on. You never know when you may be delayed for hours at a time and you don’t want to have checked your pump supplies and not be able to. If you are a breastfeeding mama, my advice is to bring a nice warm blanket for your baby and another to prop their heads on you, and nurse during take off and landing, as it helps relieve any pressure on baby’s ears!  Travelers are encouraged to travel with only as much formula, breast milk and juice needed to reach their destination, but this is not a good idea. Go prepared. I would also recommend traveling with  extra milk or formula (just your luck you will be delayed  7 hours on the tarmac).

Getting through TSA was what I was most concerned with. Fortunately, today breast milk, formula, medicine, juice for toddler and other things your child may need on a flight are on the TSA’s exception list. Travelers must alert the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that they are traveling with formula, breast milk and juice in their carry-on bag. These liquids are typically screened by X-ray, and formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces will receive additional screening. My additional suggestion is to freeze your breastmilk in 3 oz bags clear bags so they will adhere to TSA standards, and carry them on in a cooler lunch bag within your carry on. Ice packs and other accessories are also permitted through the screening checkpoint and are not bound by the 3-1-1 requirements. Travelers are also allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred and processed baby food in carry-on baggage and aboard the plane. These items may be subject to additional screening.

Good luck!