The Transportation Security Administration allows parents with infants to carry on a "reasonable amount" of powdered or liquid formula on a plane, along with empty bottles and ice packs. In other words, formula, along with pumped breast milk, is exempt from the three-liquid-ounce limit. There are basically no restrictions regarding how much formula can be packed in checked luggage.

Step 1.

Declare, when you reach the security checkpoint, that you are carrying powdered formula in your carry-on luggage. TSA regulations specify that you must alert personnel to this fact.

Step 2.

Keep powdered formula separate from any personal items. Items that are subject to the three-ounce limit, such as deodorant or shampoo, should be kept in a separate quart-sized zip-top bag in accordance with TSA regulations. Powdered formula should be kept in its original container for ease of identification.

Step 3.

Allow TSA baggage inspectors to examine the formula. Neither you nor your child 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.

Step 4.

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.

Things You Will Need
  • Powdered formula in its original container

  • Cooler or ice pack

  • Thermos or water bottle, empty


Pack all your formula and feeding gear in one bag for ease of inspection as well as convenience while on the plane.


Pack more formula 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.