Flying and Baby Feeding

Abrie McCoy, IBCLC & Liz Merdian
December 30, 2022

Traveling through an airport with young children can be a stressful time even for the most seasoned traveler. We know that the packing list feels infinite and wrangling kids through TSA and on a small enclosed airplane can feel daunting. So, we put together our best list of tips and tricks for traveling with young children, and how to keep them fed no matter your feeding method!

Packing List

No matter where you are going, or how you will get there, we have put together a list to jump start your packing.

My daughter at 4 years old, fast asleep on our flight.
  • Pump
  • Pump Charger
  • Storage Bags or Containers
  • Bottles & Cleaning Brushes
  • Baby Safe Snacks
  • Portable Sound Machine
  • Nightlight 
  • Clothes
  • Toys
  • Bathtime items 
  • Diapers, wipes, cream, plastic bags for dirty diapers/trash 
  • Bedtime routine Items (Sleep sack, monitor, dream sock, pack n play, sheets, night light, books)
  • Formula
  • Sippy cup
  • Baby Carrier
  • Stroller
  • Blanket

Breastfeeding & Flying

Flying with breastmilk has been in the spotlight this year for some questionable actions by airlines. Happy to say that TSA actually has a policy for infant/toddler food that includes breastmilk! These items are considered medically necessary liquids, as well as the accessories for transport and storage. This means you can carry quantities of breastmilk larger than 3.4 oz, and you do not have to store it in a quart sized bag. When you get to the security checkpoint, just inform the TSA officer that you have breast milk that you are transporting. These products may be tested, however none of the testing will adversely affect your milk and it will still be safe to feed. All of this applies even if you are traveling solo without your baby!

In the US, breastfeeding in public is protected by state laws in all 50 states. There is no need to cover or relocate. The same for US based airlines and airport grounds. Feed your baby how you feel comfortable. There is also the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act that requires medium & large airport hubs to include a lactation area that is NOT located in a restroom for parents. Plus in 2020, there were improvements to include changing tables in at least one men’s and one women’s restroom in each terminal.

Baby Feeding & Flying

The same policy mentioned above also covers formula, drinks (juice, water, etc.), and food (including puree pouches)! Again, you just want to inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening that you have baby feeding items. You will not be limited to a certain quantity or how it must be stored as they are considered “medically necessary liquids”. It may be helpful to store baby feeding items in clear containers, though it is not required.

My 2 year old daughter in her FAA approved CRS on our flight.

Approved Baby Equipment

In addition to the baby feeding items you are able to bring, you are also able to bring Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for use or to check. If you plan to use the seat while on the plane, you will have to pay for the seat. If you check the seat there is no charge. For other items like strollers, cribs, etc, you have to check with your airline. Many airlines will allow you to check these items at the gate for no extra cost!

When using a CRS on an airplane, it must be FAA approved. You can find this information on the car seat and/or owners manual for the carseat. When using the seat on a plane it should be installed correctly per manufacturer’s instructions. You can check out this video on how to do so as well as referencing your owners manual. It is important to note that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a CRS. Again, this can be costly because you are required to pay for the seat that the CRS will occupy. Though, it is an option to allow your child to ride in your lap IF they are under the age of 2.

Tips for Flying

  • It can be extremely helpful to baby wear while traveling. You can wear baby and use your stroller to transport your other carry-on items while also utilizing carabiners to hold additional bags.
  • You do not have to pack a diaper supply for your entire trip! Bring enough to get you through the travel portion and you can buy some once you arrive at your destination- or even at the airport!
  • Bringing a blanket can be helpful for allowing the baby to play in between connecting flights.
  • Bring easy to carry toys, activities, or electronics to keep your kids occupied!
  • Bring charging cords and/or portable charging banks! Sometimes it can be difficult to find an open plug (or even one that works!)
  • If you aren’t wanting to lug a sound machine, Iphones have background noises available! Just go to SETTINGS> ACCESSIBILITY> AUDIO/VISUAL> BACKGROUND SOUNDS. You can also add this to your drop down menu for easy access!
  • You can download the Mamava Lactation Pod app to locate nearby nursing pods! It is super easy to use!
  • When taking off, your ears and baby’s ears may pop from the pressure change, you can help your ear drums equalize by chewing or sucking. So chew gum, offer the baby to nurse, take a bottle, or a pacifier to make that elevation transition easier.
Tablets can be a life saver by keeping kids occupied!


Breast Milk | Transportation Security Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2022, from

CDC. (2021, July 23). Traveling While Breastfeeding. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flying with Children | Federal Aviation Administration. (2022).

Is Breast Milk, Formula and Juice exempt from the 3-1-1 liquids rule? | Transportation Security Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2022, from

S.1110 - Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2017. (2022).

S.2638 - Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act. (2022).

Traveling with Children. (2019). Transportation Security Administration.