Breastfeeding and flying in 2020

January 01, 2020

flying and breastfeeding

I was super nervous the first time we flew with my 3-month-old. I wasn't sure how breastfeeding would go or how he would handle the trip.

I was worried that passengers would give me dirty looks or that he would cry the entire time. Thankfully, that didn't happen with him or with my second child. I just made sure they were both nursing during take-off and landing to help with their ears.

Here's are some tips I learned along the way:
-Change diapers before you get on the plane because changing a diaper in the airplane bathroom is nearly impossible!
-Make sure you use the restroom before your baby falls asleep.
-A baby carrier is perfect in the airport so that you're hands-free to carry your bags, the diaper bag, pack n' play, and car seat. It also helps to keep your babe sleeping on the plane. Just remember TSA might require you to take the baby out of the carrier and carry him/her through security.
-Nursing tops like this one, make nursing on the airplane even easier! 
-I always had a baby app like BabySymbol ready to go just in case things went south. My kids love this one.
-If you're looking for a place to nurse or pump in the airport, don't forget to download the Mamava Lactation Suite Locator App!

Latest from the TSA website in 2020:

For the purposes of our screening procedures, an infant is defined as a child who must be physically carried by an adult throughout the screening process. A toddler is defined as a child who receives assistance in walking by an adult throughout the screening process.

Notify the TSA Officer

Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted in reasonable quantities through the security checkpoint. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you carry formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag. These liquids are typically screened by X-ray.

Screening Formula, Breast Milk and Juice

TSA officers may need to test liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items. Officers may ask you to open the container and/or have you transfer a small quantity of the liquid to a separate empty container or dispose of a small quantity, if feasible.

Inform the TSA officer if you do not want the formula, breast milk and/or juice to be X-rayed or opened. Additional steps will be taken to clear the liquid and you or the traveling guardian will undergo additional screening procedures, to include a pat-down and screening of other carry-on property.

X-ray Screening

The Food and Drug Administration states that there are no known adverse effects from eating food, drinking beverages and using medicine screened by X-ray.

3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption

Formula, breast milk, juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. You do not need to travel with your child to bring breast milk.

Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in carry-on. If these accessories are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening as described above. You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred and processed baby food in carry-on baggage. These items may be subject to additional screening.

  • Place all carry-on baggage such as children's toys, bags and blankets on the X-ray belt for screening.
  • Strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats and backpacks must be screened by X-ray.
  • Place items in the stroller pockets or baskets, in a carry-on bag or on the X-ray belt for screening.
  • Equipment that does not fit through the X-ray machine will undergo a visual/physical inspection by TSA officers.

Screening Your Child

  • Children 12 and under can leave their shoes, light jackets and headwear on during screening.
  • Children will not be separated from their parent/guardian.
  • Remove infants and children from their carriers and carry them in arms through the walk-through metal detector.
  • Infants may be carried in a sling through the walk-through metal detector but may be subject to additional screening.
  • Modified screening procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of a pat-down.

Happy travels!

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