Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Flying With Your Breastfeeding Baby

on June 6, 2016

As the summer holidays approach, many families will be flying with a breastfeeding child. This week we share some tips and tricks from experienced travelers that can help things go more smoothly for you and baby. We also have an update on the regulations that apply to breastmilk and baby food in your carry-on luggage.

Travelling with your Baby

Flying with your baby 

  • Use a sling or your favourite soft baby carrier in the airport. Without having to wait for the baggage attendants to dig out your stroller and bring it to the door of the plane, you’ll walk right off the flight. You can send the stroller through as luggage if you want to have it at your destination. Airline regulations require that you take baby out of the soft carrier or sling during take-off and landing.
  • Carry as little as possible into the cabin. Stuff your coat into your suitcase just before it goes on the conveyor belt. Another trick is to stuff coats into baby’s car seat and hold them tight with the seatbelt straps before wrapping the car seat in plastic to go on with the luggage.
  • Don’t get on when they are pre-boarding people travelling with small children. You’re going to be sitting on the plane for hours as it is. Keep walking around and moving for as long as possible.
  • Nursing during take- off and landing can help baby’s ears adjust to the pressure changes. Your seat neighbours will appreciate you nursing your baby and helping her stay comfortable and calm.
  • Surprisingly, there can be privacy in the tight seating arrangements. Often the person in the next seat thought my baby was sleeping when she was actually nursing. A shawl or jacket draped around your shoulders can create a visual barrier and help your baby to be less distracted by the activity in the cabin.
  • To stay hydrated, ask for more than one drink at a time when the flight attendants come around. If you have a wiggly baby you may feel safer bringing a water bottle with a secure lid that can be refilled after passing through the security check. If it falls nobody will get wet.
  • On flights shorter than four hours, you will only be offered a small snack. Bring some easy to eat foods that aren’t too crumbly or sticky. This suggestion applies to both mothers and young children who are eating solids. Everyone will be happier if they aren’t hungry.
  • If you have to change planes, go for a good walk in the airport during the layover instead of sitting around the departure lounge.
  • Especially when travelling with children who are a bit older, bring a couple of new small quiet toys. My daughter fondly remembers wondering what new things I would have for the plane ride.
  • Be prepared to miss the movie. Feel lucky if you get to read at all.
  • You might be able to stand at the back of the plane after the food service is completed to give baby a change of position. This suggestion requires a smooth flight. Be prepared to return to your seat if the seatbelt sign comes on.

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) regulations regarding breastmilk and baby food/drink:

“Exceptions for Liquids, Food and Personal Items:

Some items are exempted from the 100 ml or 100 g (3.4 oz.) limit and do not have to be placed in a plastic bag. However, you must declare these items to the screening officer for inspection.

The exceptions are:

• Baby food/drink: If you are travelling with an infant younger than two years of age (0-24 months), baby food, milk, formula, water and juice are allowed.

• Breast milk: Passengers flying with or without their child can bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml

• Gel and ice packs are allowed, if they are needed to treat an injury, to refrigerate baby food, milk, breast milk, formula, water and juice for infants younger than two years of age (0-24 months), or to preserve medically necessary items or medication.”



If you are travelling outside of Canada, be sure to check the security regulations in the country where you will be embarking on your return flight or the next leg of your trip.

Because onboard refrigeration may not be available on an aircraft, the cabin crew is unable to look after breastmilk and baby food during the trip. Airlines ask that you bring these items in a small cooler (following the CATSA regulations) to keep them at the desired temperature. Check with your airlines to be sure that you know their specific rules and regulations regarding carry-on items.

Breastfeeding questions don’t just come up when you are at home. Find the contact information for a La Leche League Leader in the community you are visiting before you leave home or while you are away.


If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking or Internationally

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

LLLC Spring Appeal Campaign for the support of breastfed babies:  Help LLLC Grow – If you, or someone you know, has benefitted from the support of LLLC, a donation is one way you can “pay it forward”.
Donate Today!
Over 385,000 babies are born in Canada each year and we want to ensure every mother has access to La Leche League Canada support whenever she needs it. We are working hard to grow and we need your support. Every donation helps us provide more support to more families!
Thanks to past donations, we have been working hard to grow our services:
Our volunteer Leaders are the cornerstone of LLLC and the support we provide. We have increased our Leaders by 10% in the past year and Leader Applicants by 40% over the past 2 years!
More than 13,000 mothers attend LLLC meetings and another 20,000 receive one-to-one phone support from Leaders.
We have doubled our community and health professional outreach in just one year!
5 new Information Sheets in various languages were made available free of charge to mothers and health professionals
A new Communication Skills program was developed to strengthen health professional and breastfeeding peer support skills and our Best for Babies pre-natal program continues to grow.
Our Leaders are a vital part of LLLC’s breastfeeding foundation. They freely devote their time to help other parents give their children the optimal start in life. You, the donor, make up the other part of the foundation on which the LLLC breastfeeding services rest. Your gifts mean that our Leaders can carry out the valuable help families need. Frankly, we would be unable to deliver services to families without you or our Leaders so please take a moment to consider how valuable your support is and make a donation, either online or by using our pledge form. If a one-time donation is not suitable for you, perhaps spreading your gift over a year would make sense. Our pledge form has the monthly donation option for your convenience.
We are proud of our growth – but we want to do so much more! We need your support to help us serve even more mothers. Please donate today so we can grow to serve the mothers and babies of tomorrow.
Thank you for taking the time to consider supporting La Leche League Canada and our continued efforts to support all breastfeeding families who need us.


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