How to fly overseas with baby milk and formula in 2020

Are you planning an overseas holiday with your family this year? I'm sharing all my tips in a checklist for planning a trip from 3 months before, getting a passport for your baby, booking accommodation down to the day you leave (don't forget your travel insurance, ID, itinerary, tickets, keys).  

You can download the comprehensive planning checklist here. 

Having traveled with both my kids as newborn babies, I'm sharing all I learned that you need to know about bringing breastmilk, baby formula, and cows milk on an international flight.

 1. Breastmilk is no problem if you are flying on a plane.  When flying with breastmilk you can take it in bottles, breastmilk bags or other storage containers. 

Here is the official advice from the Qantas website.

"A 'reasonable quantity' will be at the discretion of the security screening officer at customs.Baby products may include, but are not limited to: 

baby milk, including breast milk; 

sterilised water; 


baby food in liquid, gel or paste form; 

anddisposable wipes. " 

I used zip lock breast milk bags, as pictured below, you can buy them on the amazon website

I poured the milk straight from the bottle on the pump into the breast milk bag. I then immediately placed it in the freezer at home. I took it on the plane still frozen in a thermo bag which came with my nappy bag. I had one attached to my nappy bag so I just used it. 

These Medela breast milk bags are great as they have measurements on the side, and you can throw them out after you've used them. They are convenient and sterile, you pump and pour what you have pumped straight into the bag and seal it. You can then sit the pouch in a container of hot water if necessary. You can ask the cabin crew for a cup of hot water if you need to heat the breast milk pouches while you're on the flight. 

2. Breastfeed or bottle feed on the plane to avoid ear pain 
I fed my babies on take off and landing to avoid ear pain from the pressure difference. We did over ten flights with 2 babies under 1 year old, and never had a screaming baby on a plane. (Or it was luck!) 
It helps to plan it a little in advance so that they are willing to feed when the flight is taking off. If you can avoid feeding them in the 30-45 minutes or so before you board the plane then this is ideal. They will then be hungry enough to feed for the time for the first 15 minutes after take off. This is the time that the pressure usually causes ear pain. 

Here's a video I created with tips on on avoiding ear pain and your baby screaming on the flight. 

3. Baby Formula is also allowed
Take as much formula and water to make is up as you need for your child on board. Again from the Qantas website is the below advice. 
"Products such as baby milk powder that are not liquids, aerosols or gels can be taken onboard."
I measured formula into containers like these shown below. You can buy this one on amazon here.  Prefill your baby bottles with sterilised water. Then you can put the formula straight into a bottle when you need it. 

4. Cows milk in UHT packets for older babies
If your baby is older, and no longer having formula or breast milk, bring small (200ml) UHT milk cartons. These don't need refrigeration and you can open them anywhere. 
We have brought these small cartons with us on the plane in our nappy bag. We also bought them in Asia in local supermarkets.
They can be stored at room temperature, so they are always at a good temperature for your child to drink. They are sterile when you open them, and there we have had no issue bringing them on planes in our carry on luggage. Read more from Cafe Mom website on babies drinking milk at room temperature
UHT 200ml milk for taking on flight and using in Asia with baby
Not sure what to pack for your baby? Get the baby packing checklist I created after taking both my newborn babies on international holidays.  

You can read more here about how I traveled with my babies as newborns.
Comment below did you have any issues when breastfeeding, or travelling with milk on a plane? 

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