Top Tips

Formula Feeding and Sterilising on holiday 

I’m often asked how I manage to travel with young children when they are still mainly bottle fed. In many ways it does make it more complex but it is easy enough to sort. Here are my top tips –

1. Travellers with babies are allowed to take enough expressed breast milk, formula milk, sterilised water and/or baby food required for the journey. The 100ml hand luggage restriction does not apply to expressed breast milk, formula milk, sterilised water and/or baby food (including pouches), if you are travelling with a baby or infant.  Airport staff will check each container/bottle by scanning them through a machine. In my experience, they have never actually opened the containers nor have they asked me to taste the milk (thank goodness!). The only issue I’ve ever had is with pouches containing banana…apparently they are slightly more tricky to scan. I now tend to avoid them if I can.

2. Keep your baby supplies (so the milk, food, pain-relief etc) in a separate bag that is easy to pull out at security….it really speeds things up and takes away one of the stresses.

3. You can pre-order milk to Boots pharmacy (in the UK) in the departure lounge but I have never needed to do that. I’ve always taken enough for the flight (and some!) through security and then packed a whole load more in my suit case (see below!).

4. For ease, I always have the ready made milk available for the journey, it saves having to try and mix it up either in the departure lounge or on the plane. If flying long haul I’ve always found that the airlines have fridge space for your child’s milk so you could take the larger ready made bottles.  If taking the ready made milk isn’t an option for you and your child then I would suggest taking a couple of made-up bottles and be prepared to taste them (and argue) if need be. You could also take a few bottles with the powder measured out and then ask for warm water at one of the many air-side restaurants. It may be that, in this case, you’d take advantage of the ordering at Boots option (above).

5. Take plenty of bottles with you or alternatively some brands make bottle liners. 

In destination
1. I always pack our Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine and a new filter (just in case). If you’re visiting a warm country and find that the over heating light is constantly coming on – add some ice cubes (made with appropriate water) to the filter.
2. I take milk powder with me, packed in our checked in luggage. In some countries, you can buy the same formula milk. If you contact the brand of your choice they’ll be able to tell you whether it’s availiable and if it goes by another name. As I said, I take ours with us….less hassle. How much you take will obviously depend on how many bottles your little one is having and how large the bottles are. I also always pack some ready made mini bottles so that we can have those when out and about or for emergency situations (like forest fires!).

3. I always make baby bottles up with bottled water. The NHS has a nice guide to using bottled water for babies abroad. The key, especially with very small babies, is to check the sodium levels on the side of the water bottle, some also indicate that they are baby friendly (although I’d always double check!). I have to say I no longer check (my little boy has just turned 1) and I tend to use whatever bottled water is available.

1. Check with your accommodation, they may have a steriliser that you can borrow (but you’ll most likely need to pre-book it). If not you have a couple of options –

If you know that you’ll have a microwave (and I tend to pick accommodation that does!) you could take one of the following –

If you won’t have a microwave then I would suggest that you go with something like the Milton Sterilising Tablets or Disposible Steriliser bags (that come with the tablets)

6 thoughts on “Formula Feeding and Sterilising on holiday ”

  1. Hi this is great thank you!
    How do you pack your prefect prep machine? In your checked in luggage or hand luggage?



  2. This is very helpful thank you! Did you boil the bottled water and cool it before putting it into the prep machine?


  3. I think it’s a case of looking carefully at the bottled water – it’s all about the levels of salt etc. We are way beyond bottles now but I did notice the different levels on/in water when we were in France over the summer. I would still rather use bottled water than tap water (even for myself)


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