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How to Pack Formula for Air Travel

Traveling with a newborn can be tricky, but it mustn’t be a struggle. Packaging everything a toddler may need is the key to making your air travel hassle-free. Are you traveling with your formula-fed baby for the first time?

Are you wondering what to stash in your bag to ensure your and your baby’s comfort? Though there are several things you may need, baby formula is one of the essential things you should have on the top of your checklist.

Looking for ideas on how to pack formula for air travel? Well, you’ve reached the right spot for the correct info. Here, we have put together some critical tips that you may consider for packing baby formula for traveling on an airplane.

Hopefully, the details in this article on how to pack formula for air travel will help you make your journey as a formula-feeding parent seamless and rewarding. Now let’s work out the formula for how to pack formula for air travel!

5 Travel Tips for Packing Baby Formula

Being the parent of a bottle-fed baby shouldn’t put you off exploring the world. It’s possible to plan a vacation to any of your favorite destinations with your kid(s) and feed them on the go.

All you need right now is a few handy tips on how to pack formula for air travel, especially when traveling with your newly born for the first time. 

This section will mention some quick and essential tips on packing baby formula for air travel. Take a look and try to keep them in your mind as a formula-feeding parent to ensure convenience. 

1. Carry Your Powdered Formula 

Baby milk formula on kitchen background
Africa Studio / Adobe Stock

Whether you’re flying to another state or another country, taking your own formula while traveling is highly recommended. The primary reason behind this is that changing your little one’s formula all of a sudden can potentially give them tummy troubles.

It also eliminates the risk of not finding the right formula brand when you get to your destination. In addition, powdered formula is generally lighter than liquid, and packing dry procedure can make your journey effortless and stress-free when moving through TSA.

With powdered formula, you don’t have to worry about liquid restrictions.

2. Store Some Formula in Diaper Bag

Blue and Pink Backpack

One of our best tips is always to pack enough formula in your carry-on or diaper bag. Doing so might be helpful in case of loss or delay of luggage, especially when you take connecting flights.

I was wondering how to pack formula in a diaper bag. No worries! Simply measure the amount in an empty, clean travel formula container and put it into the diaper bag to keep the powder handy.

Honestly, keeping formula in the diaper bag, flying or not, is a dang good idea!

3. Choose the Right Water

Adorable child baby drinking water from bottle
Oksana Kuzmina / Adobe Stock

The water quality changes from region to region, and using tap water to prepare the baby formula might be unsafe. The sudden water change can negatively impact your toddler’s health, even when boiled. In such cases, using bottled water is the best option.

Check the water bottle label to see the sulfate and sodium content. Ensure the sulfate is less than 250 mg/liter, and the sodium is less than 200 mg/liter. Do you want to know a little secret? Consider buying water bottles with a picture of a baby on them, as they suit infants (e.g., Evian). Bottled water makes the safest bet for air travel.

4. Carry Enough Powdered Formula 

Powder milk for baby and blue spoon
Dragana Gordic / Adobe Stock

No matter how long your trip is, carrying enough powdered formula should be one of your priorities when traveling with a baby. Changing your baby’s formula brand is never the right decision, especially when you’re on vacation. It might upset the baby’s stomach and eventually end up with you worrying about the kid than actually enjoying your holidays.

To avoid such hassles and make your trip successful, it is wise to pack an adequate amount of formula with you. It’s good practice to fill more than you think you will need. This is about feeding your kid, after all – it will only be better to have it and not need it than not have it!

5. Pack Sterilizing Equipment

Blue Container with Small Handle

Another important tip on traveling with ready-to-feed formula is sterilizing all items. For example, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service report recommends sanitizing and sterilizing all feeding products for kids under 12 months.

It is also best to always carry sterilizing wipes to keep your seating area clean on the plane. Moreover, you don’t want to contaminate clean bottles by mixing them with dirty ones. So, have extra bags to keep clean and dirty bottles separated. 

Hopefully, you will consider these helpful hints while figuring out how to pack the formula for air travel! Remember, if you’re using ready-to-use baby formula, take it from a freshly opened baby formula container. Also, discard any leftover formula in the refrigerator for over two days.

See Related: Best Travel Water Purifiers

Must-Have Items to Travel with Baby Formula

To wisely follow the above tips on packing formula for air travel, you must have all the items you may need to bottle feed your baby. We have listed a few infant-feeding products parents can purchase for vacations with bottle-fed infants.

These are some items bottle-feeding parents swear by to ensure a seamless journey. You might not need to buy everything, but it’s essential to have the right items with you, and here are some of them:

1. Bottles

Transparent Baby Feeding Bottles

Kids are often fussy when it comes to their feeding bottles. Therefore, it is always best to stick with the bottles they use at home. You also have the choice to go with single-use disposable bottles, which can be expensive, and the quality can vary. Furthermore, a multipack of single-use bottles occupies more space in your luggage.

2. Powder Formula Dispensers

Termichy Baby Formula Dispenser
Powder Formula Dispensers / Amazon

Formula dispensers are perfect for parents traveling with kids and are extra helpful for feeding babies. A baby formula container makes it easy for parents to store the powder and use it whenever needed while on the go. Travel formula dispensers also help pre-measure the formula to mix it up in bottles whenever needed.

3. Bottle Liners

Playtex Nurser System Drop Ins Bottle Liners
Playtex Bottle Liners / Amazon

Many parents prefer using pre-sterilized disposable bottle liners while traveling. They usually do so to avoid bottle sterilization. However, we do suggest sterilizing the bottle nipple to ensure hygiene.

4. Bottle Warmer

Baby Bottle Warmer

A bottle warmer is a thermal flask designed to keep water hot. You can use it to warm your baby’s bottle. It features a baby formula container where you put your infant’s bottle and hot water.

Warming baby feed is much safer and faster than placing the bottle under warm tap water. It also preserves nutrients. Plus, warm tap water is a rare hot commodity on an airplane.

5. Bottle Soap and Brush

ALINK 16” Long Bottle Brush Cleaner
Long Bottle Brush Cleaner / Amazon

After use, a baby’s bottle needs to be cleaned thoroughly to ensure hygiene and health. Regardless of your bottle system, you will inevitably clean and wash at the end of a feeding.

Therefore, remember to pack a bottle brush and dish detergent with you. This is the best way to keep bottles and nipples (and seats) clean and germ-free.

6. Burp Cloth

Colorful Clothes

As we all know, there’s always the risk that babies will burp and spit up whatever they’ve just gulped down, especially when on a plane.

Trust me; it’s expected. So, never forget to pack a burp cloth. We’ve found that cotton chenille burp cloth is the best choice as they soak up much more than any other burp clothes on the market.

7. Backpack

Backpack with disposable diapers and child's accessories on white background
New Africa / Adobe Stock

Even if you have bought a baby bag or preferred luggage for air travel, you may find using a backpack for traveling simpler. When you have a suitcase in one hand and a stroller in the other, carrying a backpack seems more straightforward than a shoulder bag.

If you decide to take the backpack route, be sure to purchase a bag with lots of compartments to keep all the needed items (above-mentioned) handy. Wide, padded shoulder straps will make the load-carrying more comfortable.

Overall, bottle feeding can be challenging for new parents. This is one of the many skills they need to learn for a smooth travel experience. But, within no time, and with the right tools and tips, they can become pros in it in no time.

Hopefully, the information in this post will help you understand how to pack formula for air travel and keep your little one nourished and healthy.

See Related: Top Travel Hacks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I take baby formula through airport security?

The answer is – Yes. The formula for infants or toddlers is allowed in a reasonable quantity through airport security. In addition, you can inform the security officer at the beginning of the screening that you’re carrying formula packs with you in your carry-on bag. Be warned; there’s always the risk you’ll have to verify it is baby formula, mainly if it is in liquid form.

What water to use for formula when traveling?

You can use bottled or tap water to prepare powdered formulas. Just make sure that the water is clean. If you’re concerned about water purity, consider going with bottled water. However, as mentioned earlier, check the bottle’s label to buy less sodium and sulfate water.

How can I warm baby formula on a plane?

As discussed above, you can consider carrying a bottle warmer (a flask) filled with hot water to warm your baby’s formula. Or you can ask the crew to use the galley to make up your bottle. Most commercial airlines will be more than happy to accommodate you.

How can I pack formula for air travel?

Whether you have formula containers, tins, or cartons, you can put them in your carry-on or suitable. It is usually recommended to carry the travel formula container in zip-lock bags and pad it with something soft to minimize breakages. To avoid nasty breakages and save on weight, avoid glass containers where possible.

How much powdered formula can I pack with me on a plane?

You can carry more than 3.4 ounces of powdered formula on a plane. That said, you can only bring 3.4 ounces of bottled water with your carry-on to prepare the formula on the go.

Moreover, it is worth keeping some baby formula in a diaper bag or handbag if you’re concerned about your baggage being delayed or stolen.

Do I need to sterilize my baby’s bottle on the plane?

Washing bottles with dish soap helps remove germs, but exposing them to heat is the best way to protect your baby against infections. That’s why it is advised to sterilize bottles and teats properly before using them.

Can I make the formula in advance?

You can, but preparing the formula before giving it to your kid is best. I won’t lie; this can be troublesome on a long flight.

In such a case, preparing the formula in advance and storing it in an excellent place to minimize the chance of spoiling and shed some of the hassles is more convenient.

How long is stored powdered formula good for?

The powdered formula, still protected by its original seal, is good until the expiration date listed on its ready-to-feed bottle or container.

Once you open it, the formula lasts just for a month. After that, you should start with a new container to ensure nutrition.

Can I use boiled water to prepare the formula?

You do not need to use boiled water for preparing the formula as long as your baby is healthy.

It’s not what we’d generally recommend, but if it gives you satisfaction or you want to reassure yourself that the water is completely safe, then go for it (remember, this is a little harder to do on a plane).

If you boil the water, first make sure the water has reached a rolling boil for at least 1 minute. Otherwise, you’re not killing germs and wasting everyone’s time.

Next, remember to let the water cool completely before using it to make up your bottle to eliminate the chances of burning the baby. It will take at least 20 minutes for boiling water to cool to a drinkable temperature without assistance (i.e., running the hot bottle under a cold tap).

Another reason to reconsider using boiling water for formula is that using such hot water for preparing the recipe can break down some nutrients, making the formula lessening the nutritional value of your baby’s meal.

Can a baby drink cold formula?

Yes, absolutely. It’s OK to give your baby room temperature or even cold formula. The liquid should feel lukewarm, not hot.

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