Monday, October 11, 2010
When packing for a flight when Dylan was a newborn, I would make sure to pack 2 bottles of expressed breast milk. If we were going on a short flight (less then 2 hours) I wouldn't even carry it in a cooler. I would just put it in the diaper bag. Fresh breast milk can be left at room temperature for 4-6 hours so if you factor in the time it takes to get to the airport and such...you will have enough milk for a bottle during take off and landing. For longer flights I would pack the milk in a small insulated lunch bag cooler with a small gel ice pack. When going through security we always went through the medical liquid/family line. The TSA worker would always open the milk and test it with their equipment, but luckily I never had to do anything crazy like drink it in front of them. I don't think they are allowed to do that anymore.
When flying with Dylan from 7 months to 10 months, I would still bring one bottle of breast milk, but would also bring him some baby food/finger food. Again I would pack it in my little lunch bag cooler. When packing homemade baby food for a flight, I would make sure to bring food that was not prepared with breast milk. I would usually bring frozen containers, this way they would be defrosted by the time I needed to use it on the flight. I would usually check it before getting on the flight and if it needed to be defrosted, I would just get a small cup of hot water from one of the airport shops and let the container sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes while still at the gate. When packing large batches of homemade baby food for a trip I would use a larger insulated lunch tote and fill it with frozen containers (again avoiding purees made with breast milk). I would always put containers in a freezer bag before placing them in the cooler, just in case they leaked. I put a gel ice pack on top of the food in the cooler. I usually put the cooler in Dylan's suitcase because it always seemed like he had the biggest one because he had the most stuff. I never had a problem with the food defrosting during the flight, even if it was a 6 hour flight. The food just needed to go back in the freezer whenever we reached our destination.
At 11.5 months, the days of toting around small containers of purees are long gone, but there is an abundance of Cheerios. We were traveling this weekend (5 hour return trip) and Cheerios saved the day numerous times! When packing finger foods for the plane, I try to pick stuff that will travel well. Bananas are great and are easy to find at in airport shops (Starbucks always has them). Yogurt is another easy to find healthy food at the airport. Otherwise I bring cheese sticks, grapes, berries, wheat bagels or bread...and of course Cheerios.