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Thread: Traveling without baby

  1. #1

    Default Traveling without baby

    This weekend my husband and I will be traveling without our children. My lo is 3 months and I exclusively pump for him. I will be pumping and saving it to bring home, my question is what would be the best method of storing my milk, to travel by airplane. Should I freeze it or keep it refrigerated before travel. We plan on keeping it in a cooler inside our suitcase and checking it. But we could also keep it as a carryon, which could be subjuect to testing if fresh. TSA allows you to carry it on, and does not limit quanity but suggests carrying on only to feed your baby during flight. Has anyone traveled with breast milk before, any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: Traveling without baby

    I would not freeze it because then you would have to make sure it didn't thaw. I have traveled with him before and it's a PITA if you get a lame TSA person. When I traveled for a longer period I would ship a bunch of milk overnight to my house and pack it in a cooler with dry ice (which you get at a grocery store)
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Traveling without baby

    Unfortunately, it's hard to predict ahead of time. It's been a few years since I've traveled with pumped milk, but when I was doing it, it really depended on the particular agent you got. What their "rules" are doesn't really matter if an individual agent wants to give you a hard time about it. I had one agent reduce me almost to tears trying to tell me that I didn't need to bring all that pumped milk, I could just make more - during a time when I was struggling with supply (though she did ultimately let me bring it through). DO print out a copy of the TSA rules to show them in case they are totally clueless, and perhaps some evidence that you actually do have a baby (I never did this latter, but it couldn't hurt). I always brought it as carryon, just because I was nervous about letting it get out of my control. At least with carryon, you are there with it. Also, with baggage handling unless it's packed REALLY well I'd be worried about spillage, etc., especially if it's not frozen.

    Milk is pretty hardy (as I'm sure you know if you are exclusively pumping!), so it should be fine without freezing as long as it's kept cool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Traveling without baby

    I would do whatever I usually do except freeze. For me, that would involve scalding and bagging up. I would have it in a carry on.

    I could never leave my 3 month old, especially as an EPing mom, as my baby is already missing out on a special relationship by not breastfeeding. You are one brave lady. I'd be crying the whole time. But have fun on your trip.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: Traveling without baby

    i flew this year and had no trouble with TSA at all. declare it loudly at the beginning of the checkpoint. the first TSA agent looked surprised and said, "where's the baby?!" (i guess going on the old rules that baby had to be with you) but the next one had heard me say it and stepped in smoothly and said, "no problem!"

    i put milk bags inside a gallon ziplock, then had a separate gallon ziplock with ice. i agree, no freezing, just refrigerate. i would dump the ice right before security, then refill at a restaurant on the other side; they tried to do extra testing/checking on me because some of the ice had melted and then it was just a "liquid" (gimme a break). luckily they were nice and just let me throw the ziplock with ice away, and i had an extra ziplock to get more ice.

    i also appreciated the lansinoh bags because they're clearly labeled "mother's milk".

    just as a heads' up, i did not manage to save all the milk i pumped when away for 3 days - by the time we were able to use it at home, some was spoiled. but i wasn't EP so perhaps you'll use it up faster than i did.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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