Q: My baby still drinks formula from bottles. Can I bring filled bottles, and icepacks to keep them cold, on the plane? —Tara
A: Since liquids allowed through security are usually limited to 3.4 ounces each, I get asked this question a lot from people traveling with babies who want to bring formula, breast milk, baby food, and ice packs to keep them all cold. The good news is that if you have a baby in tow, you are allowed to bring supplies for them.
But it’s important to arm yourself with info, in addition to your supplies, before you head to the airport.
Here’s the official word from the TSA:
“Formula, breast milk and juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do need to not fit within a quart-sized bag.
Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in carry-on.
You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred and processed baby food in carry-on baggage.”
However, notify a TSA officer BEFORE you start the screening process, and know that all of the items listed above may be subject to additional screening: “TSA officers may test liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items. If officers are unable to use X-ray to clear these items, they may ask to open the container and have you transfer the liquid to a separate empty container or dispose of a small quantity of liquid, if feasible.”
My best advice is to give yourself plenty of extra time for these extra steps, and to keep the link to the TSA “Traveling with Children” page handy in case there’s any confusion at the screening checkpoint about what’s allowed.
Have a family travel question?
Email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org