Tips and Tricks,  Toddler Travels,  Travel

Everything You Need To Know About Traveling With Milk For A Toddler

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These are my tips for how to travel with milk for a toddler that has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RealMilkMoment #LoveWhatsReal #CollectiveBias

Our daughter adores her 2% milk. She enjoys a “big” milk every morning and a “tiny” milk every evening before bed. One of the many obstacles we face while traveling is finding and properly storing milk for our toddler.

Our little gal also enjoys her milk warm, bringing a fresh new challenge of finding ways to heat milk while on the road. However, there are plenty of ways to travel and provide your child with the necessary nutrients. Here is everything you need to know about how to travel with milk for a toddler.


Why We LOVE Milk

My daughter is quite a picky eater, so ensuring she gets her milk during our travels is important to us. Real milk has nine essential nutrients such as Vitamin A for a healthy immune system and bone-building nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, and phosphorus per 8-oz serving.

We love dairy milk because it is a simple and wholesome beverage with no added sugar. It is also affordable! At just about a quarter per serving, milk delivers more nutritional value per penny than just about any other beverage.

Our love for milk extends into creamy Mac-N-Cheese, one meal our daughter will always approve of! While we have tried non-dairy milk alternatives, I was pretty surprised at the ingredient list. Tons of gums I couldn’t pronounce, added sugars, salt, and more. While it might be a great alternative to those who are dairy-free, my daughter didn’t care for the taste. Visit to learn more about the different types of real milk for you and your family.

How To Travel With Milk For A Toddler At The Airport

Many new moms and even seasoned travelers go into airport security not knowing the rules and TSA regulations for milk. Regardless of the type of milk you are traveling with, the same rules apply. Milk will be a part of your carry-on luggage and will be addressed at the airport security checkpoint. 

Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you are carrying formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in excess of 3.4 ounces.

Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from your other belongings. The TSA officer may need to test the liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items.

Per TSA: Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (including puree pouches) are considered medically necessary liquids. This also applies to breast milk and formula cooling accessories, such as ice packs, freezer packs, and gel packs (regardless of the presence of breast milk). Your child or infant does not need to be present or traveling with you to bring breast milk, formula, and/or related supplies.

Why Bring Your Own Milk To The Airport

Parents need to assume milk won’t be available on the flight or at the airport, so packing it is a necessity. Depending on the type of milk your child is drinking, it may be difficult to find as airports often have limited options.

Our daughter loved her whole milk before we recently switched her to 2%. Throughout our travels, whole milk was seemingly more difficult to find at the airports. We suggest packing your milk in reusable containers with a freezer pack. By packing your own milk in reusable containers, you will also save yourself the hefty cost of the airport markup.

Consider Shelf Stable Milk

Another great alternative to travel with is shelf-stable milk. This type of milk won’t require any cooling, and since it is at room temperature, there will be no need to warm it. Shelf-stable milk is often found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store.

How To Travel With Milk At The Airport
How To Travel With Milk At The Airport

Can I Bring Freezer Packs To The Airport? 

Per the TSA website: “Frozen liquid items and gel packs are allowed through the checkpoint as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen liquid items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 liquids requirements.” 

Therefore, your milk and your frozen ice pack will need to be a part of your carry-on baggage. I would have a cooler bag that was solely dedicated to milk, or it would be a compartment in my breast-pump bag. Plan on a little extra time during the screening process when traveling with milk.

Can I Bring  Milk On A Plane For A Toddler And Tips For TSA?

The good news is that you can bring your child’s milk (in reasonable quantities), ice packs, and a small cooler through TSA. This includes breast milk. The bad news is that they will have to do additional security screening on them. This is a minor inconvenience that may seem like a hassle at the time but it is entirely worth it when your child wants that sippy cup of milk mid-flight. Here are a few tips to help your process go smoothly: 

  • During the day of travel, pack frozen milk packs last so that they don’t have to much time to thaw. 
  • Although not required, to expedite the screening process, it is recommended that formula and breast milk be transported in clear, translucent bottles and not plastic bags or pouches.
  • At the TSA checkpoint, let the TSA officer know right away about your milk.
  •  Pull out your milk, ice packs, and any other liquids you are bringing and place them in a separate bin.
  • Inform the TSA agent if you wish for the milk not to go through an x-ray machine so that they take additional screening measures. TSA guidelines do change, so be sure to head over to their website for the most recent procedures.
  • Remember that these tips are for the United States and that international travel may pose new rules and regulations to overcome. 

How To Heat Milk On A Flight

Depending on the airline and flight time, milk may not be offered on your flight. This is where bringing your own gives you that inner peace that everything will be ok. If your child needs their milk warmed during the flight, ask the flight attendant for a half cup of warm water and put the bottle in it. Keep checking to see if the milk is warm enough at 30 seconds, then again at 45 seconds. Once it has reached its ideal temperature for your child, you are all set to go.

Traveling With Milk: A Complete Guide
Traveling Milk: A Complete Guide

How To Travel With Milk At The Hotel

How To Keep Milk Cold In A Hotel

Once you have arrived at your destination, a stop at the nearby convenience or grocery store will have local fresh milk in your hands. The obstacle now is how to keep it cold.

While many hotels have fridges in each room, there is a fair amount that doesn’t. Call ahead and request a fridge to be placed in your room before arrival. Many hotels can offer guests a few fridges to store medications and milk for babies/toddlers. They are often on a first-come-first-serve basis, so get your request in early!

No fridge, no worries. Utilize the ice bucket in your room. Fill the bucket with ice and place the milk in to help keep it cold. Replace ice as needed. We even stuffed the ice bucket into our portable cooler once to keep the milk cold for as long as possible.

Tip: Many hotels have 24-hour mini-markets in them that will sell single-serve milk. Purchase the milk you need when you need it.

I also recommend getting friendly with the receptionists, who may be able to come up with another creative solution.

How To Warm Milk In A Hotel

We are huge advocates for portable bottle warmers. There are plenty of excellent travel-size bottle warmers that even have car adapters. This will be the most convenient and quickest way to warm milk in the hotel room.

Another alternative is heating water in a coffee pot or microwave and then placing the milk cup or bottle in the warm water to heat. In the event, the coffee pot lid isn’t wide enough, utilize the coffee cups in the hotel room or even the trusty ice bucket to pour the hot water into. Do not warm bottles/cups directly in the microwave, as the milk will not heat evenly and could potentially burn your child.

Filling the bathroom sink with hot water and setting the milk in it to warm has been our most recent discovery. Remember to keep checking the temperature of the milk while it sits to ensure it does not get too hot.

The hotel staff is often very willing to assist with anything you may need, especially for their littlest guests. While pricy, we have even resorted to ordering room-service milk.

How To Travel With Milk For A Toddler On A Road Trip

Taking a road trip with milk is simpler than flying with it. Pack a cooler with your preferred milk and ice packs to ensure it is always within arm’s reach.

The beauty of taking a road trip is that you can always stop at gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants if you need to purchase milk. A fun travel road trip tradition is that we always stop for chocolate milk. We always grab cold chocolate milk to share when we stop to fuel the car up before hitting the road. It has become a tradition that even our little gal enjoys.

Discover our Top Tips For Taking A Road Trip With A Toddler.

Warming Milk On The Road

If you are taking a short trip, get a thermos and fill it with warm milk. That way, it should stay warm for when your little one requests it during your travels.

Our favorite way to warm milk up on the road is with a portable bottle warmer. Even though my daughter doesn’t take a bottle we heat it up in the warmer and pour it into her sippy cup. The portable bottle warmer has a car adapter that allows you to heat milk on the go.

No portable bottle warmer, no problem; many restaurants will be happy to assist in warming milk by offering cups of hot water. Many gas stations and convenience stores have hot water for the tea that you can purchase, or you can run your bottle under the hot water in the bathroom.

Travel with milk for a toddler can be done. It might take a little more creativity and patience, but in the long one, your little one will thank you!

Look for more great articles on Traveling With A Toddler.

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