TSA Rules for Traveling with Breastmilk

I swear I think I'm the first mom on earth to leave her 8 month old for a whole week. Okay, maybe not...but I maybe the craziest for doing it while I'm still breastfeeding. (On top of that worry, now I'm trying to figure out how to avoid swine flu while traveling.) As you know the TSA has restrictions on what you can take as a carry-on when you fly. I had a few unanswered questions even after reading TSA's policy's. I contacted the agency by email to clear a few things up and I thought I'd pass the information along to you.

My main questions were: Can the breastmilk be frozen and how much can I bring? (The TSA restrictions just say "reasonable"...well, to who??) Reasonable to me would be to bring the week's-worth of liquid gold back home for my daughter, but somehow I don't think that's included in their definition.

Anyway, here's their response:

"Thank you for your e-mail regarding the permitted amounts of breast milk and other liquid items necessary during travel for infants and young children.

Passengers flying with or without an infant or young child may bring more than 3.4 ounces of breast milk (in a liquid or frozen state) into the security checkpoint. The breast milk must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) prior to entering the screening checkpoint and be separated from other liquids, gels, and aerosols.

Although TSA does not specifically limit the amount of breast milk or other items a passenger may bring in their carry-on bags, TSA encourages travelers to be practical about these amounts. The amount should be reasonable and consistent with the traveler's itinerary. TSO's have discretion in determining whether the amount of breast milk and other items carried by an individual constitutes a "reasonable amount." All passengers are encouraged to ask to speak with a supervisor at the security checkpoint if they have any questions or concerns with these procedures.

Individuals are also allowed to bring more than 3.4 ounces of pre-mixed baby formula (in a liquid or frozen state), milk products, juice, gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred, or processed baby food into the screening checkpoint. These items must be declared to the TSO's prior to entering the screening checkpoint and be separated from other liquids, gels, and aerosols.

Please note, the recent modifications also allow bottled water that is presented as an infant/child or medical exemption is allowed into the secured area after it receives additional screening. Passengers traveling with bottled water necessary for medical reasons and/or intended for their child's use through the security checkpoint must:

declare it to the TSO prior to entering the screening checkpoint and prior to x-ray examination;
inform the TSO that the bottled water is necessary for medical reasons and/or intended for an infant or young child; and
open the bottle for additional screening, if required by a .
Frozen gels and liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions.
TSA recognizes that the information on our website is not all inclusive and that many passengers have additional concerns regarding traveling with items intended for use by infants and young children. Many of these concerns include how the current screening procedures accommodate the handling of essential food items passengers must carry onboard the plane for their children, such as breast milk, milk products, formula (to include related mixing products), baby food, and juice.

Breast milk and other liquids and gels intended for infants or young children are in the same category as medical liquid exemptions and are normally x-rayed. However, as a customer service, allows a passenger the option of a visual inspection of these items. A passenger must request a visual inspection before screening begins; otherwise, all of the items must undergo x-ray inspection and might be subject to additional screening. It is important to note that if breast milk or other items cannot be cleared visually, they must be submitted for x-ray screening. In addition to a visual inspection of the items, TSOs will test these items for explosives, including breast milk. Passengers may be required to open the containers but will never be asked to test or taste any of these items.

TSA continues to explore opportunities to further modify screening procedures to minimize the concerns of passengers without compromising aviation security. The most current processes in place for bringing breast milk and other food-related items intended for infants and young children safely through the security screening checkpoint can be found at www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm.

Passengers are also invited to contact their airline in advance to request any special accommodations for their flight. In addition, please visit our website regularly for updates to special screening procedures.

We hope this information is helpful."

Recommended Reading:

Preparing for a Baby-Free Vacation

Tips for Avoiding Swine Flu While Traveling

9 Month Old Schedule

If I've heard it once, I've heard it 100 times: "When does your baby sleep?" "When does she eat and how much?" "How many naps is she taking?" New moms know there's no right answer, but we all want to see if our baby is on par. Here's what I've found works for us...

6:30 am Wake Up

6:30 Nurse (probably 5-6 oz)

8:15 Breakfast of 3 homemade baby food fruits cubes + 1 heaping tbsp of Whole Grain Cereal

9:15-10:45 Nap #1

11:15 Nurse (probably 3-4 oz)

1:00 Lunch of 4 oz of Yogurt mixed with 1 cube of homemade baby food

2:00-3:45 Nap #2

4:00 Nurse (probably 3-4 oz)

5:30 Dinner of 3 homemade baby food vegetables/meats + 1 heaping tbsp of Whole Grain Cereal

7:00 Nurse or 3 oz Bottle of breastmilk

7:15 pm - 6:30 am Bed

10:00 pm Pump

Now, while this is working for us now, I'm sure it will all change in another month or two. My daughter is just now starting to stay awake for 3 hours at a time. Even two months ago, it was a stretch to keep her up 2 hours. There are still days when she won't nap as long in the morning and she may need a short, late afternoon nap. If she does, I don't stress about it. I try to follow her cues so everyone stays happy and crank-free! On days like this she often stays up closer to 8pm, but that's rare. I try to keep bedtime around the same time everynight.

Recommend Reading:

The 45 Minute Nap
How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need
Get Some Sleep: Turn Off the Baby Monitor
How to Get a Baby to Sleep
Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
Crying It Out: The Last Resort
Making Homemade Baby Food


Sources of Income for SAHMs

A lot of the Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs) I know were once working! Maybe not working moms, but working wives. They were contributing to their family's bottom line and relying on that paycheck. This was the case with me. In fact, I never intended to be a SAHM. We never planned for it financially - except if you count the two weeks between when I gave my notice and when I stopped working. At that point we knew we were going to one income. At least we thought we would solely be relying on my husband's paycheck. Turns out, I've found a few ways to bring home a pretty decent chunk of change while raising my daughter.

There are SAHM and then there are WAHM. I consider myself to be both. When I think of a work at home mom I usually think of someone who has a home office, telecommutes or freelances. I don't fall into any of these categories. But I do work from home with a baby, no less! I've found this site called Ehow where I can continue doing what I love - writing - and make money online all at the same time. I'm not committed to write any certain number of articles or on any specific topic. It's totally up to me when and what I write about. The great part is it's passive residual income, meaning the articles can continue to make money long after they're written. But I get no upfront payment for articles, so if it's a dud it could sit at $0 forever! The first month I was on Ehow I made a whopping $7. It's been 5 months and this month I'll get paid more than $120 for my Ehow articles. Here's more about my success on Ehow and some information if you want to get started too - it's free to sign up! (I get nothing out of you signing up, I'm simply passing along the information.)

I've also started my hand at Ebay. I first started by just looking around my house and seeing what I could easily get rid of. Stuff I no longer used, clothes that were too small, too big or never worn, purses that were collecting dust, an old flute...you get the point. Each month I've sold at least one item on Ebay which gives me a little extra money. Now, there are people who make a huge portion of their monthly income selling stuff on Ebay...they go to garage sales, buy wholesale, resell deeply discounted sale items for a profit (which I've tried and wouldn't recommend) and so on. I have simply looked around my house and sold what I no longer use and so far I've made between $10 and $75 a month through my Ebay sales.

This next money making tip is perhaps the easiest, but I have to admit it hasn't paid off for me just yet. Did you realize you could have unclaimed money just sitting somewhere waiting for you to claim it? Millions of dollars is being held by the government because people forget they have it! The IRS has unclaimed money, state treasury departments hold onto unclaimed property and funds, insurance companies and banks are waiting for people to come get their money, too! It's so easy to search for your lost money...all you have to do is enter your last name and the state where you live or lived and a database will pull up any missing money that belongs to you. (If you don't find your name on your first search, try back in six months the database is always being updated.) While I was trying this with my last name I found my husband's aunt. It said she was owed more than $100 from a time (who knows how long ago) when they lived in another state. I informed her of this and she was told she had an unclaimed escrow account of between $800 and $1000 waiting for her. She filled out the paperwork to claim her unclaimed money and is waiting for the check. That's like free money with no work involved!!!

So if you're like me and you're always thinking about your family's bottom line do something about it. Even if you're not making a traditional income you can make an income. Be creative, use the skills and knowledge you have - be it writing, sewing, researching, teaching - and put them to work on YOUR time. You'll be able to raise your children and contribute financially!

Recommended Reading:

Tips for Surviving on One Income
Use Free Budget Worksheets to See Where You Can Cut Expenses
Make Money Writing Online on Your Time
Search for Unclaimed Money Belonging to You
Unclaimed Funds and IRS Rebates
How to Claim Unclaimed Money

Favorite WAHM Blogs:

Make Money Writing and Working from Home
Work at Mom Blog


Motrin Side Effects Scare

My pediatrician wasn't the first person to recommend I might try giving my daughter Motrin for teething pain, instead of Tylenol. Lots of moms use Motrin (Ibuprofen) to help their babies feel a little better and sleep a little easier. For me and my daughter it was the opposite. She felt worse, far worse and forget about sleep she was in too much pain.

Before I tell you what happened to my daughter, I should point out my pediatrician said her reaction to the medication was extremely rare. So much so that he's only seen about 3 in 3,000 patients with a reaction like hers.

Here's what happened...as I blogged about in a previous post, my daughter seemed to be having non stop...I'll just call them... "issues." Ear infections, runny nose, congestion, teething pain... After my third trip to the doctor in three weeks I asked if I could give my 8 month old a dose of Motrin instead of Tylenol. He said "sure" and suggested I might switch back and forth between Motrin and Tylenol. On the way home from the doctor I picked up the Motrin. I fed her dinner around 5:30pm Wednesday, and gave her the first dose at 6, knowing it would probably make her a little drowsy. Like I do every night, I took her up for bed around 7pm. Everything seemed fine. I nursed her and put her in her crib. Like normal, she was awake when I left her. But unlike normal, she didn't fall right asleep. She screamed straight until 11! She was arching her back in pain, like her stomach was killing her. At one point I thought she might have appendicitis. Nothing would comfort her, not even me rocking her to sleep. I thought it must be a bad gas pain or a poop she just couldn't work out. She was clearly tired, she'd close her eyes for a few seconds, only to jolt awake from what was obviously severe pain. Finally, she fell asleep and stayed asleep until around 3 am. She woke up again with similar symptoms and was awake for about an hour.

The next morning I put her on the changing table to change her and when I did she did a little spit up, which dribbled down the roll in her neck. That wasn't abnormal, although I hadn't nursed her yet. When I wiped up the spit up, I noticed a small rash behind her left ear. It looked like red bumps that were slightly raised. I figured she had spit up during the night, too, and the rash was a result of the spit up sitting in the crease of her neck all night. Still a little cranky, I gave her another dose of the Motrin.

By the middle of the afternoon the rash was across the back of her neck and spreading across her forehead. She didn't seem bothered by it, but I was getting concerned. I looked in What to Expect The First Year and concluded it sounded like Roseola. My husband called his mom, a RN, and without prompting her, she suggested the same thing. We told her about the two doses of Motrin, but she said she doubted that was the cause since it's extremely rare to be allergic to Motrin or Ibuprofen. I called the doctor's office, next. I told him about he nightmare night we had the night before and the rash. Since my daughter had a cold and had just broken a fever, he threw out "Rubella." Since my daughter is only 8 months old she hasn't had the MMR vaccine yet (it's normally given between 12 and 18 months of age.) He told me to keep an eye on it, and if she had another episode like the previous night, or if the rash worsened, to bring her in the next day. In the meantime, he said no more Motrin, although he agreed it likely wasn't that since, again, it's rare to have an allergy to ibuprofen.

The next morning (Friday) my daughter's rash didn't seem better, but it didn't seem any worse. We went about our day until around 4:30 when I lifted her onesie all the way off to change her diaper. The rash was now all over her abdomen and her back. The only places not covered in red bumps were her arms and legs. I called the doctor in a panic, but looking at the clock on a Friday, I knew it was going to be nearly impossible to see him. Let me just say, I love this man, I talked to him directly, without even being put on hold and he told me to bring her right over! My mom, who was visiting at the time, helped me get to the doctor's office less than 20 minutes later! The doctor was shocked when we walked in that quickly! He took one look at my daughter and got, what I swear, was a concerned look on his face. My mom didn't see it. Anyway, he did an instant throat culture thinking that since my daughter's throat had been red two days earlier, when he saw her, maybe it had developed into Strep and the rash was Scarlet Fever. The culture came back negative. Given the circumstances - the rash that appeared hours after I gave my daughter Motrin (a rash is listed as Motrin side effect) and extreme stomach pain (another common Motrin side effect) he concluded she was having an allergic reaction to Motrin - which he admitted was extremely rare. The rash is, thankfully, now all but gone. However, he did warn me that it could come back on an off for a few weeks. (Seems weird to me!)

If you're like me when your baby has something wrong you Google it. I did and it scared the crap out of me. Motrin and a dozen or so other drugs, have been blamed for several much more serious conditions. I won't share them here since there's litigation in a few of the cases, and it's a controversial subject. But I will say, that it's something you should watch out for - not just with Motrin or Ibuprofen but with anything. Be careful how you introduce new foods and medications to your baby. Only introduce one thing at a time and look for adverse side effects. Call your doctor if you're concerned and TRUST YOUR MOTHERLY INSTINCTS! I really didn't want to be that mother who was at the pediatrician's office three times in two weeks - but I KNEW something was wrong..and boy, am I glad I listened to my heart

Trouble with Naps

My now 8 month old daughter had been sailing along smoothly for a few months...napping like a champ during the day and sleeping (12 hours) like a baby at night. She'd lay down for a nap awake and I wouldn't hear from her for an hour or two. Then, out of the blue, it's like she forgot how to fall asleep.

My troubles started about a month ago when my daughter got her third ear infection. The doctor put her on an antibiotic which seemed to help. But a day after she stopped taking the medication, she was still having trouble sleeping. I thought something else was wrong. A tooth maybe? Finally??!!! 

A few days later she was still fussy and out of sorts so I took her back to the doctor. She still had an ear infection. Now, he decided to put her on power-meds! If this wasn't enough to keep her from falling asleep, she then developed a stuffy, runny nose and snot that just wouldn't quit. That lasted about a two weeks (it seemed like forever) and warranted yet another trip to the pediatrician. He said she had a pretty bad cold so I chalked her trouble getting to sleep up to congestion and an ear ache. He also said it was looked like a tooth was finally trying to break through (though it would still be awhile) and suggested if Tylenol wasn't doing the trick to try Motrin. The scary saga with Motrin deserves a post all to itself so...(I'll warn you, it took me back to the doctor's office and nearly to the ER). Anyway, it took me 4 hours to get her to sleep that night and I swore the sleep troubles would NEVER end. The next day it was the same thing more than two hours of screaming, a drive around town and an extra nursing before she FINALLY feel asleep. I was willing to do anything...I'd set the timer and go in after 10 minutes to calm her down, I'd give her the binky and against my own good judgement pick her up and try to rock her. She wasn't having it....any of it!  

By the next day, all of her ailments were gone, but her nap troubles were most definitely sticking around. My husband forced me to let her cry until she feel asleep. It was a good 20 minutes until she finally crashed! The next nap it was a similar situation, but she cried for 15 minutes and the next time I laid her down for a nap- 5 minutes of crying, but no screaming. Finally, I just put her down awake and I didn't hear from her. She's asleep.

While I absolutely hated it, I had to let her cry. When I knew nothing could be wrong with her I knew there were no more excuses (not a runny nose, a headache, a belly ache, hunger, overtired, etc) that either one of us could make. It's amazing how fast babies can get into a habit. In those few weeks of her non-stop medical issues she had gotten used to me helping her fall asleep. And what's worse - she had started relying on it - even though for 4 months prior, she would lay down and fall asleep on her own.

If your child is having trouble napping I feel your pain. But I promise you, if you give them a day or two to fall asleep on their own, your baby will quickly realize you won't come running everytime you hear "mama" over the baby monitor.  By no means am I advocating to let your sick baby wail for an hour or even 20 minutes. What I'm suggesting is to set up an expectation, with your well child, that you mean business. Here's how I believe you can help them learn to fall asleep on their own, take better naps and longer naps!

-Take your baby to the nursery at the first tired cue (rubbing eyes, yawning, fussiness)
-Change your baby's diaper
-Give a binky (if you choose)
-Lay baby in the crib
-Sing a little song or rub her face or belly for 30 seconds
-Say goodnight and walk out
-If she's crying set the timer for 10 minutes DO NOT go back into the room for 10 minutes
-When the timer goes off return to your baby, tell her it's time for a nap but DO NOT pick her up
-Set the timer for 15 minutes
-Repeat, adding 5 minutes to the timer, until your baby finally falls asleep

The most important part is not to pick up the baby. I have to admit this is where I falter. But when I had my husband there, forcing me to let her be, she did fall asleep on her own. And that's how I've finally gotten my sanity back! So...thank you honey!

Recommend Reading

The 45 Minute Nap
How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need
Get Some Sleep: Turn Off the Baby Monitor
How to Get a Baby to Sleep
Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
Crying It Out: The Last Resort

The books I found the most useful as far as teaching my daughter to sleep are:

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