Tips for carrying on excess liquids for flights with babies and toddlers

Exess liquids beyond 3-1-1 for toddler or baby in carry on

Above: Shelf-stable milk boxes? Applesauce pouches? Children’s cough syrup? Baby, bring it on…

If you’ll be flying with a baby or toddler, remember that your pint-sized companion is entitled to bring aboard a “reasonable amount” of liquids or gels beyond the 3-1-1 rules for carry-on. This includes: Liquid formula, expressed breast milk, baby foods, shelf-stable milk boxes, or medicines that may be needed in flight.

For swift passage through airport security, place any of these larger-quantity liquid items in a clear gallon-size zip-top bag, which you can easily remove from your diaper bag or carry-on to set on top of other items as you ready your items for the X-ray.

The clear, zip-top bag will also help keep your child’s items organized and accessible during your flight, and will help contain any leaks or sticky residues as you travel (like that medicine cup you don’t want to make a special trip to rinse out in the lavatory).

NOTE: Be sure that any formula and liquid items beyond a “reasonable amount” for your flight itinerary are in your checked baggage.

For more help planning and packing before your flight, see Part 5 of Travels with Baby, and for on-the-go survival tips to use as you travel (ahem, soothing fussy babies in flight, keeping toddlers entertained on the go…) be sure to keep your Take-Along Travels with Baby handy at the airport and on the airplane.

Will you carry on extra liquids for your child on an upcoming flight?

Safe journeys,

2 Comments

  1. Shelly

    Wow! That sounds terrible! I’ve traveled with them (by plane) several times and never encountered that. Yikes. Thermos is a good solution indeed! 😉

  2. Angela Nickerson

    Actually, you picture the pre-packaged milk, but as we were headed to Italy last month, those pre-packaged containers of milk caused us a lot of trouble. Because they couldn’t open each one and test to see that it was actually milk, TSA unpacked everything in every one of our carryon bags and did chemical testing on everything — and I mean everything. The whole ordeal took more than an hour while I am holding a wiggly toddler because they took our stroller, our shoes, everything.

    I had picked those milk containers because they’d been suggested by another traveler as a good solution, and I knew they would be ok through 15 hours of travel. But they were an enormous problem, and we ended up throwing them away when we got to our connecting flight rather than going through the whole thing again.

    The moral of the story: a thermos of milk is better.

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