Can You Take Baby Powder in Carry-On or Checked Luggage?

When traveling with small children, having baby powder on hand can be useful in taking care of diaper rash.  Because it is a powder and airport security has cracked down on their regulations. 

You may be wondering: Can you bring baby powder in carry-on or checked bag? You are allowed to bring baby powder onto a plane in both a carry-on and checked luggage. If the powder is over 12 ounces/ 340 grams, you will have to put it through a special screening as a carry-on. 12 ounces is nearly equivalent to the size of a soda can. You are allowed to carry more in a checked bag.

Talc powder for babies, spilt in hand

Let’s delve into considerations you will need regarding baby powder when packing your diaper bag as one of your airline carry-ons!

Can You Take Talc on a Plane?

Talc is a mineral that is has a variety of applications across many industries. It is used in baby powder (often with a combination of cornstarch) to absorb moisture. This is important when used on babies to keep them dry in their diaper area, to help stop the breakdown of the skin due to constant exposure to moisture, which wet wipes contribute to. [1]

Nearly all baby items are allowed to be taken on a plane, including baby powder. In recent years, TSA and other airport security agencies have become stricter in their allowance for powders out of safety concerns. 

You are still able to bring the baby powder onto the plane, but any powder substance must be 12 ounces/ 340 grams or less to be able to bring it on the airplane in your carry-on without having to submit to additional screening processes. 

These are the different scenarios for taking baby powder onto a plane: 

  • Carry-on bag: If you are travelling with 12 ounces / 340 grams or less of baby powder, you may keep it in your carry-on bag without having to go through additional security. If the baby powder is over 12 ounces, you will need to go through additional security screening so they can run it through their substance testing system.
  • Checked Bag: You do not have a restriction on the size of baby powder if you keep it in a checked bag. You can keep a small amount with you for the plane and then store the rest in your checked bag if you do not want to spend more time at security. 
    Whatever you do, do not keep any batteries in the same luggage, however!

The rules are in place to maintain safety through the entire security and flying process. This quantity of baby powder is more than enough to take care of your baby during a day of flying as it is the equivalent to a small bottle of baby powder. You will be able to address your baby’s needs on the plane without having to worry about it getting confiscated. 

We recommend bringing a small amount with you, and you can always purchase baby powder at your destination if you don’t want the hassle of bringing a lot with you. If you are under the 12-ounce limit, it is very unlikely that you will even be stopped for having it.

Alternatives to talc for travel

If you don’t use baby powder, but alternatives for the same effect, you should also not have an issue taking this on the plane:

  • Cornstarch: Accomplishes the same thing as baby powder for absorption. This is a natural and safe alternative that can also be used. 
  • Baking soda: Displays similar properties to baby powder and can reduce smells.  
  • Oat flour: This is a thicker alternative to baby powder that is also natural. 
  • Arrowroot starch: This may be harder to find than the others, but it also an alternative to baby powder. 
  • Tapioca starch: Absorbs well but produces a glossier sheen than cornstarch.
  • Nature’s Baby Organics Dusting Powder: Works similarly to baby powder, but it’s talc and synthetic fragrance-free. (Available on Amazon in a very handy 4 oz size.)

Note: Because these options are all powder substances, they are still subject to the 12-ounce maximum for your carry-on. 

You should not have issues getting any of these items onto a plane either. Some parents prefer to use other products instead of baby powder that have similar outcomes. As long as these are safe and non-explosive powders that should be taken on the plane in their required sizes. 

How Should You Contain Baby Powder? 

While you won’t have any issues getting the baby powder onto the plane, it is still a messy powder you will want to keep contained. Keeping the lid tight on the container is your first step.

Keeping the baby powder in another bag will prevent it from getting all over your stuff and make it easier to use without fear of making a mess. Putting it in a zip lock bag or another sealed container will help prevent it from making a mess. Make sure this container is see-through in case security needs to take a look at it.

If you need to use the baby powder for the baby on a plane, work slowly by taking out small increments at a time, so you don’t leave yourself with a mess.
Keep in mind that changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom can be a little more challenging with less room to work with.

Why Is Having Too Much Baby Powder an Issue?

TSA and other airport security agencies have no issue with baby powder or talc, as they are not harmful substances. These will not cause any dangers, but other powders could. It is difficult for them to differentiate between some powders, and their priority is to keep people safe. 

Someone could store a dangerous powder in a baby powder container, and this could raise suspicion.  Unfortunately, this is why even the most benign substances must fall under scrutiny. 

When the containers of powder are smaller, they are significantly less likely to cause damage. Larger bags or bottles of powder are confiscated to avoid any potential dangers. Large amounts of harmless powder may resemble some explosives, and these security teams will take extreme caution to ensure that the material is safe to take on board.

If you fly TSA Pre (simpler security screening) in the United States, these new laws will not apply as strictly. You may not have to remove any baby powder even if it exceeds the 12-ounce mark. TSA pre flyers have been screened and are not deemed a security threat. 

Take Baby Powder on a Plane 

Despite many changes in airport security regulations, you are still able to take baby powder and talc products onto an airplane. You may keep it in your checked back if it is under 12 ounces with no need to take it out, and it will need to go through more screening if you have more. You can also check it without any issues.

If you are going to bring the powder in a large amount in your carry-on bag, make sure you give yourself more time to go through security. Searching the materials may hold up your security process, and you would not want to miss your flight or be running late because of this X-ray screening.

Feel free to take baby powder and its natural alternatives onto the plane with you! It will help to keep the baby soothed and relaxed while you’re in the air. 

What else do you have in your diaper bag?

[1] The science behind wet wipes for infant skin: Ingredient review, safety, and efficacy by Karien J. Rodriguez PhD Corey Cunningham PhD Robert Foxenberg PhD Douglas Hoffman MS Rebecca Vongsa PhD First published:17 February 2020 https://doi.org/10.1111/pde.14112
[2] The US Transportation Security Administration allowances- https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all

Monika Roozen

Monika is a mum of 3, an avid traveller, who grew up travelling the world and has continued travelling ever since. She holds a degree in animal sciences, nutrition and business administration and has consulted for several years for the hospitality industry and customer service departments. Monika loves slow travel- taking time for immersive experiences in culture and nature- sailing and snowboarding. Her personal adventures are chronicled in Inspireroo Family Travel Magazine . (Click to see their family mad ventures)

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