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Bottles on a Plane: Yes or No?

Melanie Henrikson

Most people who have flown internationally in the past few years are aware of the restrictions on flying with liquids, aerosols and gels.

Each passenger is allowed one small clip-seal bag of liquids, with each container not larger than 100ml or 100grams. Although it’s undoubtedly annoying to be unable to fly with large bottles of shampoo or moisturiser, it’s not until you begin planning your first flight with a baby that the true impact of the liquid restrictions dawns on you. A baby’s entire diet is liquid and a couple of 100ml bottles are not going to be enough for anything but the shortest flight!


Rest assured, the regulations are more reasonable than it might seem at first as infants and young children are not subject to the same restrictions. Infant formula, breastmilk, milk or milk substitutes, boiled water, juice and baby food are exempt from the restriction. Parents and carers are able to carry “a reasonable quantity” of food and fluids for babies and young children onto the plane.


Security screening officers have the final say about what amount is considered a reasonable quantity. These items still need to be presented separately for screening and may be x-rayed and tested for explosives. In some situations, you may be requested to taste some of the milk as a security precaution.

You are permitted to carry ice packs or cooling bricks to keep milk cool on the plane. Gel-filled teething rings and toys are also allowed.


Most airline staff are happy to heat a bottle on request. It’s a good idea not to wait until baby is too hungry though, in case there are delays. The staff may also wash a bottle or dummy if required.


Breastfeeding mothers are allowed to carry expressed breastmilk when travelling without their baby, in containers of 100 mls or less and no more than one litre in total.

It must be contained in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag where the four sides add up to no more than 80 centimetres (e.g. 20×20 cm or 15×25 cm). Expressed breast milk in larger volumes must be carried in a suitably insulated container in checked baggage.


Melanie Henrikson

A freelance writer and editor, proud mum to three gorgeous children, and with a tea habit which is bordering on an addiction, Melanie is passionate about travel. Whether camping on the Nullarbor, polar bear spotting in Alaska, exploring Norwegian fjords or sunbathing in the Canaries, nothing makes her happier than a new travel adventure. Melanie is a firm believer that children make fantastic travel companions. To read more of her writing, check out yourfamilycantravel.com, where you will find travel advice for families with young children More about the Author

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