TSA has recently relaxed their rules on liquids as they relate to babies. A mother may now carry breast milk through security checkpoints, even if her baby is not present. However, it MUST be declared for inspection at the security checkpoint. Breast milk is in the same category as liquid medications.
When you carry breast milk, formula, or juice through the checkpoint, it will be inspected. While you or your infant or toddler may not be asked to taste it, Security Officers may test liquid exemptions (exempt items more than 3 ounces) for explosives, and will likely ask you to open at least one of your containers (even if it is factory sealed).
This has been my personal experience- they open a bottle of formula, and then test the liquid by simply smelling it. As a mom flying with “only enough to get to me to my destination”, and a label clearly stating “any product opened must be thrown out within an hour of opening”, this is extremely annoying. Still, one must be grateful that you may bring formula in the first place. So just suck it up (no pun intended). And take an extra bottle of formula!
Here are some basic instruction for when you reach the TSA security area:
- Separate these items from the liquids, gels, and aerosols in your quart-size and zip-top bag.
- Declare you have the items to one of our Security Officers at the security checkpoint.
- Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the X-ray. These items are subject to additional screening.
You are allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred, or processed baby food in your carry-on baggage and aboard your plane.
For information on creams, medicines, or other essential items for your child, please read the TSA Rules for the list of permitted and prohibited items. Liquids and gels, including baby formula, breast milk, or juice, may be packed in your luggage and checked with your airline.
For more details from TSA on traveling with children, visit this link.