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Tips for clearing airport security with baby bottles and baby food

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Excess liquids prepared for carry-on with baby or toddler
Above: Be sure to clearly present your extra liquids for your child at security.

Unlike most air travel passengers who must abide by the TSA’s restrictions for personal liquid and gel items, babies and toddlers—whether flying in a paid seat or on a lap—are allowed to bring additional liquids through airport security, including expressed breast milk, formula, regular milk (which travels best in shelf-stable boxes), low-sugar juices, and baby food—in quantities the TSA considers to be reasonable for your flight itinerary.

NOTE: These extra liquid items for your infant or toddler do not need to fit in the quart-size plastic zip-top bag use for your own zip top bag of travel-size liquids and gels, or the additional one you might be using for your child’s carry-on travel kit

For organization’s sake and ease of passage through security, I recommend placing all of baby’s beverages and baby foods in a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag (as shown above) at the top of your diaper bag or carry-on. This way it’s easy to remove everything you’ll need to present at security with one hand—even as you hold your child in your arms. The bag will also help contain any leaks or drips during the flight.

Pack accordingly, and be sure that you walk through the green “Family / Special Assistance” lane at airport security if it is open and available. Present your child and all of your liquids for him very clearly and obviously to the security personnel as you approach the X-ray scanner, and understand they may wish to take a closer look at any of the items.

Remember, once you have passed through the TSA screening area, you are free to purchase any additional liquids or gels (bottled water, juice, much-needed coffee) to bring onboard your flight. 

For more tips and advice—and help planning your strategy for clearing security with your wee passenger—see Part 5 of Travels with Baby and check out additional tips for air travel at our FAQ & Popular Topics Page.

Safe journeys,

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