How to Bring Breast Milk or Formula Aboard a Plane

Learn how to bring breast milk or formula on a plane in this parenting video from Howcast.

Hi. I’m Jennifer Durbin, and I’ve got some tips for you if you’re traveling with breast milk or formula.

When you’re flying, you may be worried that you can’t carry all of the liquids with you that you’d want to; for instance, all of your breast milk, premixed formula, things like that, but usually you can.

Be sure to check the current TSA regulations before you travel so you don’t get stuck at security, but right now there aren’t any limits on how much breast milk or premixed formula you can carry with you; but keep in mind you do have to carry it, so you don’t want to take too much. Just make sure you have enough for the trip, and if you’re traveling with a good bit of breast milk, consider freezing it and putting it in your check bag. You can leave it on dry ice or just with ice packs, and it will make the trip just fine.

Be sure when you’re going through security to let the agent know that you’re traveling with premixed formula or breast milk, especially if you’re not traveling with the baby, because they won’t be expecting to see those things. If you let them know, it makes the process much easier.

Now when you get to your destination or while you’re traveling, if you’ve got frozen breast milk that you need to thaw, just get a cup of hot water. On the plane, ask for a cup of hot water in a coffee cup, and you can stick the bottle in there, and it will warm it up quite quickly. On the other hand, if you’re traveling without baby and pumping and need to be transporting that breast milk, be sure you have ice packs with you.

So when you travel with your baby, you always call ahead of time to make sure the hotel puts a mini fridge in your room. Do the same thing if you’re pumping while traveling without your baby. That way you can put the breast milk in the freezer and travel with it frozen.

If you’re in a pinch and want to ship breast milk home, no problem. Just stop by a shipping store. They’ll usually have dry ice or something similar that you can ship the breast milk home with, and it can stay at room temperature for quite a number of hours, so keep that in a mind.

In a pinch, I like to stop and get a really large to-go cup, fill it up half way with ice, and then you can throw your breast milk bags in it. So that will get you through your flight home.

Make sure that you clearly label any breast milk you’re traveling with. You wouldn’t want a TSA agent to inadvertently open it, so just put a big label on it that says "breast milk."

Also, when you’re going through security, you can’t take a bottle of water with you. So if you’re traveling with powdered formula, that’s fine. Just grab a bottle of water at the gate and you’ll be good to go.