I, like most mommies, am often unsure as to what extent we can bring liquids on board a plane (and pass security clearance). To avoid getting overly stressed about it, I have decided, more times than not, to just wing it. I have found that those airports with family channels at security checkpoints to be the easiest as they clearly understand and facilitate families travelling. Airports that are less “international” and more “rural” or “under-developed” are more of a hit and miss. It can depend on the mood of the officer, how sweetly you smile at them or probably which side of the bed they got out of in the morning! Even worse are those bureaucratic places where there is no room for compassion nor ability to think outside the box!
So, from the numerous airports we have passed through, what about bringing…..
- Milk bottles (Breast milk or Formula)?
- We have not had any problems with milk in baby bottles with airlines or at security checkpoints. However, I have been asked on several occasions to take a sip of the milk from the bottle in front of security personnel. Their thinking is probably that if the mommy is co-operative and does not hesitate to drink from the bottle, then it should not contain any harmful substance to both babies and to humans in general!!
- For formula, I always ask the air-hostess for warm water to prepare the milk as soon as I get on board (better to be prepared as sometimes, between taxiing and the seat belt sign eventually turning off, it can be a long time and your baby may get hungry or want to suck).
- I usually bring a whole tin of formula in my hand-carry. I’m paranoid about my checked-in luggage being lost or delayed in transit, so I always make sure I have ample supply in case of emergency.
- Water in water bottles or thermos?
- I found that so long as the water is contained in the children’s own water bottles or thermos (clearly for babies/kids’ use), security is generally more relaxed about it.
- We’ve been asked to pour the water out (in Thailand and Vietnam) – in such cases, I then get it filled back in right when we get on board the plane
- Plastic water or juice bottles?
- The case is often different when we carried store-bought plastic water bottles or juices. As it is not clearly identified to be specifically for children’s use, we have encountered some airport security confiscating such liquids – even if they were placed in our nappy bag.
- Food pouches or jars?
- While weaning the boys, I would bring enough Ella’s Kitchen or Rafferty’s Garden food pouches to cover 2 meals a day for the entire trip (sometimes for as long as 2 weeks!). Those are clearly labeled as children’s meals so we have not had any issues at the security checkpoints. However, we have been asked to take each one out to be individually scanned which was really stupid and annoying at the same time!! Yes that was you Copenhagen Airport!!!
- For long haul flights, I would put most of the pouches in the luggage but keep about 10-15 pouches in the hand luggage with me (again, in case I need a supply in case of delays or emergency).
- Medicine and creams?
- We always carry our medicine but we make sure that they are clearly labeled and that it is for the children. If asked, we stress that it is important that the children have their medicine with them at all times.
- For creams, I make sure those are under the required 100 ml.
Last point to note is that we have not taken the boys to the United States. Given they have stricter security rules on bringing liquids on board, it may be wise to check with the airline first if you are travelling to the US.