Can You Pack and Send Powdered Formula on a Plane?
Air travel with babies and young children can be stressful, especially if they are still bottle feeding or restricted to puree. Luckily, the Transportation Security Administration allows parents with infants to carry on reasonable quantities of powdered or liquid baby formula on a plane, along with empty bottles and ice packs. In other words, infant formula, along with pumped breast milk and baby food is exempt from the three ounce liquid rules limit for carry-on bags. There are basically no restrictions regarding how much formula can be packed in checked baggage. Read on for tips on how to travel with baby needs stress-free.
1. Declare with TSA
Declare, when you reach the airport security checkpoint, that you are carrying powdered formula in your carry-on luggage. TSA regulations specify that you must alert air travel personnel as to this fact.
2. Keep separate
Keep powdered formula and baby bottles separate from any personal items and aerosols. Items that are subject to the three-ounce limit, such as deodorant or shampoo, should be kept in a separate quart-sized bag with a zip top in accordance with TSA regulations. Powdered formula should be kept in its original container for ease of identification.
3. Allow TSA Inspection
Allow TSA officers to examine the formula dispenser in an additional screening process. Neither you nor your little one will be asked to taste the formula. However, TSA officials are allowed to ask you to open any containers when testing for explosives is warranted.
4. Buy bottled water after check-in point
Buy bottled water from an authorized vendor after the check-in point, or fill your bottles or a thermos from a water fountain. Use this water to mix with the powdered formula whenever you need a bottle. TSA regulations allow you to carry on a cooler or ice pack for your formula needs, so if you have time before your flight, you can mix up a bottle or two and store it in a cool place. Be sure to review the mixing and storage directions of your chosen formula brand.
- Powdered formula in its original container
- Cooler or ice pack
- Thermos or water bottle, empty
Pack all your formula and feeding gear in one piece of carry-on baggage for ease of inspection as well as convenience while on the plane.
Pack more formula in your diaper bag than you think you'll need -- about twice as much. Remember that plane travel these days often involves delays at the gate, on the tarmac and sometimes even after landing.