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Traveling with Baby Formula Tips

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I’ve had several people ask me about traveling with baby formula on a plane and sterilising during a flight (and at a hotel,) but especially on a long haul  24-hour flight with a baby.  (I’ve both breastfed and bottle fed with formula when flying with a baby on many long and ultra long haul flights; for breastfeeding tips on a plane, you may find this post useful.)

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about flying with baby formula plus lots of formula feeding travel tips; including,

  • How much formula am I allowed on a flight?
  • How to travel with formula on a plane.
  • Packing formula tips.
  • How to warm formula up on the plane
  • How to sterilize baby bottles on the go.
A parent feeding a baby formula on a plane.

Can you fly with baby formula?

Absolutely! If you are wondering “How much baby milk can I take on a plane?” – the first important thing to know about traveling with baby formula is that you are exempt from the normal hand baggage liquid rules which limit liquids at 100ml. Sometimes this is known as the 3-1-1 rule. This is only valid IF you are flying with an infant. You can also take formula in your hold luggage.

Can I bring water for baby formula on a plane?

Yes to this too! If you are traveling with an infant, then you can bring sterilised water to make up your formula.

Traveling With Baby Formula On A Plane with parent putting milk powder in a baby bottle.

How do you warm up formula on a plane?

If you are wondering “How do you warm baby milk on a plane?” You can either bring a thermos flask with you filled with boiling water and make up your formula from that, or ask crew for some boiling water. If they are reluctant to bring boiling water into the cabin due to spills etc, you can also ask them if you can make up your bottle in the galley.

How do you pack formula for travel?

Regardless if you have formula cartons, or tins, you can easily put these in your suitcase or carry on. It’s usually a good idea to put the container in a Ziploc bag, and pad something soft around them, to minimise any breakages.

However, if you want to minimise any confusion with measurements due to tiredness, then pre measuring the milk powder out and placing it in a formula travel container can be a lot easier – which is likely similar to what you do on days out when home.

A sectioned formula dispenser with little compartments can often contain enough with a pre-measured amount of powder for about 3 feeds, which will see you through most short and medium haul flights. These containers can also be used to house snacks or baby cereal if you are weaning too.

If your formula milk brand is not available at your destination and/or you are concerned about your baggage going missing, being delayed etc, it’s also worth considering having all the formula you need for your trip in your carry-on.

Baby Formula and a baby bottle on a clean sterilised surface

How do you sterilise baby bottles when traveling with an infant?

Hopefully the following options will give you some ideas on how to sterilize baby bottles when flying.

  • For sterilised baby bottles for travelling consider bringing some disposable sterilising bags. Bring a sterilising tablet, and then just add water (ask the crew if on a flight for the water) – any resealable bag will work or use microwaveable steam disposable sterilising bags. These are ready for use within 15 minutes when cold water sterilizing. When cold water sterilizing you can use with water abroad which lasts for 24 hours. They can get a little heavy so either put them in a safe place on the plane or use at your destination.
  • If your flight is fairly short, bring plenty of bottles (allow for delays) which have been pre-sterilised. I opted this for a 12-hour flight with my then 11 week old. I put each bottle into a Ziploc bag with and labelled each one with the time her feed was due. (If you are travelling over 12 hours, then bringing this many bottles may not be possible so you will need to look at another option for sterilising bottles on a long haul flight.)
  • Another option is to consider using bottle liners, which cut down the number of bottles you need to bring. These are pre-sterilised and you simply replace for the next feed. Several brands liners double up as milk storage bags too but check all bottle liners to see if they fit your bottle type first!

I hope these formula feeding travel tips have helped you? Do let me know if you have any other suggestions for traveling with baby formula!

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fourteen − 6 =

sj

Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

Hi, Im travelling alone with my baby for 14hrs.and Im planning to bring 10packs of powdered formula. Can I hand carry this or needs to check in? and are they gonna open it? pls help.thanks

Carrie Bradley

Monday 27th of November 2023

@sj, if ten tubs, I would put some in checked luggage but if 10 small pre measured servings, then no problem to have in your hand luggage.

Natalie

Monday 27th of March 2023

Hi, we’re taking a long haul flight (25 hours) and will need a lot of bottles, milk, nappies etc. Does this all have to fit in our hand luggage allowance or can it be taken in addition to the hand luggage allowance?

Jasleen

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Hi I m going to travel for more than 14 hours in plane. I liked an idea of using bottle liners. But how could I sterilize the bottle nipples!

Carrie Bradley

Friday 15th of July 2022

Milton tablets - if bring a small tub with you you can ask for water on board and sterlise.

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