Does my infant need a passport to fly? Can I bring a baby car seat while flying? What might go wrong when flying with an infant? How do I keep my child calm and secure? You might get swamped with questions like these if you are traveling with your baby on a plane. But don’t panic. In this article, we will discuss all the tips and tricks you may want to know while flying with your baby.
During these times where flying has become more of a risk rather than luxury, we find ourselves traveling with more caution. And for those traveling as a family, there can be an added concern over traveling with babies on planes. Like, how to have a more relaxing flight, how to fly with a baby, and what are the tips for flying with an infant. Despite having so many concern over traveling with babies can be inevitable, but understanding the risks is advisable.
Reports also show that 62% of parents take their kids under five years old with them to travel. We certainly cannot anticipate babies and flights 100%. But here are preparation tips for traveling with a baby, to have a tranquil journey by air.
Explore these tips before taking your next flight!
How To Fly With An Infant?
Flying with an infant can present numerous concerns for parents. In this section, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
And also extra tips on how to fly with a baby to help you and your infant have the most relaxed, dare say, enjoyable flight!
It will be organized into two separate sections:
- Preparation before the flight
- What to do during the flight?
1. Preparation Before The Flight With An Infant
When flying with an infant, you need to start thinking way before you even board the aircraft.
You can make your journey a lot smoother by investigating the airline, and also have a lot of extra benefits working for you rather than against you.
What Should I Bring On The Plane For My Baby?
The answer to this may surprise you. Believe it or not, the best thing you can do is to travel as light as possible! Forget trying to cram as much into your carry-on as possible, as all this will do is make life uncomfortable for you as you drag around heavy loads.
Also, consider wearing your baby, as the logistics of navigating a stroller inside a small cabin may become very frustrating, not after long.
While flying with your infant, a good list to start includes:
- A blanket
- Spare clothes
- Sanitizing wipes
- And a zip-lock bag (for disposing of dirty nappies and whatnot)
According to a study, it is found that 22% of children go through ear pain and nasal congestion while flying.
So don’t forget to get the necessary medicines with you.
Specifically, What Am I Allowed To Bring On The Flight For My Baby
Again be sure to pack lighter rather than heavier.
Whilst you should definitely bring diapers and wipes, you should not overstock as you can easily get these once you arrive at your destination.
You can also bring:
- A limited quantity of milk
- Baby food
- Sterilized water on the plane, etc.
Again, we suggest checking the policies for the specific airline you will fly with to see their allowances.
When Can Infants Start To Fly?
It is dependent on the airline you choose.
Some airlines say an infant can fly as early as two days old, while others require an age of at least a few weeks.
The main reason that your baby will have to wait is that the immune system is still very fragile, and flying too early may pose an unnecessary risk.
Always look up the individual airline policies regarding age before you book to avoid any surprises! Also, take advice from a healthcare professional before you fly with an infant.
What About Passport Requirements For My Infant?
This question is a little more complicated for flying with an infant, and I will explain why.
- On domestic flights that are within the country’s borders, regulations tend to be a lot freer.
- For example, in the United States, it is stated that you only need a form of proof of identification for the infant while flying domestic.
- That could be a birth certificate, for example.
- On international flights, it is mandatory that your infant has a valid passport wherever you are headed.
Check out the US government’s official website for further details.
Do I Need To Pay For A Seat For My Infant?
On the majority of domestic flights, your baby can travel in-lap with you for free.
However, with international flights, you can expect a relatively small free. Again we recommend doing your research on the airline you choose to fly.
More than not, you can pay this fee before arriving at the airport.
Also, be sure to get at the front of the queue so you can claim one of the baby bassinets on board, and make everything so much easier!
2. What To Do During The Flight?
Now that you know more about requirements and security protocols, we will now explore some tips for how to fly with an infant, and what you can do to make the flight more comfortable for both of you.
Where To Sit On The Plane?
When the time comes to booking the flight, the choice of seats is essential.
- With short-haul flights
When flying on short-haul flights, you are fine to sit anywhere on the plane, although an aisle seat will make it easier to access the bathroom (as well as not disturb any other fellow passengers!).
- Longer-haul flights
These are more complicated, as both you and your infant are likely to sleep and spend most of your time confined to one space.
You can sometimes request to book the baby bassinet on the plane (these are small cots that fasten to the bulkheads).
However, these are not guaranteed for reservations on international flights.
Your best bet is to turn up earlier to your gate and make a request with the staff on duty for your flight.
The maximum weight allowed for the bassinet is around 30lbs.
How To Keep My Baby Relaxed And Happy While Flying?
Ah, the classic conundrum.
The first fear that strikes most parents is the classic child crying on the plane situation. It is better to plan before how to avoid this rather than at the moment.
Of course, make sure the basics are covered, such as new diapers within reach, plenty of food and milk as well as being attentive to your infant.
If you have an iPad or Tablet, it is a good idea to have some entertainment pre-loaded. Whilst some longer-haul flights have built-in monitors on the seat, these are not always at the best angle for your infant as they usually sit on the headrest on the seat in front.
Save some TV programs and movies saved for offline watching.
Another tremendous soothing experience for your baby is nature sounds, such as rainfall. You can get most of these downloaded as simple MP3 files.
It can help relax your baby as sometimes the noises from the aircraft may be frightening.
These are some of the easy tips for flying with an infant, which can make your fly easy.
What About Nap Schedules?
Of course, the best solution to avoid inconveniences is for your baby to sleep peacefully during the entire flight.
With the shorter-haul flights, you can definitely look at planning around your infant’s nap schedules.
You may still have a little hassle during the start and end of the plane, but even then, a child’s need to sleep should overcome some of the disturbances around.
On long haul flights, this is a lot more difficult! So be prepared for some disturbance.
And also, jet-lag for when you arrive (infants usually need 2-3 days to acclimatize for some of the further afield journeys).
What If My Baby Starts Crying
Most likely, your baby will be distressed due to the sounds of the engine and movement of the plane. It is recommended that you try to feed your baby during take-off and landing. Play some soothing music in order to distract your baby.
During the flight, you can walk your baby up and down the aisle, try to get some sleep. Or can have some toys or entertainment handy for the upcoming duration.
Tips For Flying With An Infant
Things To Keep In Mind Before Taking A Baby On A Plane
1. Research About the Airline Rules
It goes without saying that you must research the airline you use!
Whilst most are relaxed with infants on-board, there’s no need to have any extra surprises once you arrive at the airport.
Be sure to look into the age requirements, carry-on quantities, and seating arrangements before making your choice.
Many airlines state that a baby can fly from 48 hours old, but there may be certain conditions and can vary for different airlines.
By researching well in advance you can reduce the costs to seat all family members together on the plane.
It is also important to note the total luggage permitted by the airline, as extra luggage with kids can easily add up to your vacation budget.
Doing good research about the airline rules can be such a relief especially when flying with kids.
2. Opt for Priority Boarding
Flights have come a long way since they first debuted some 70 years ago, including security and boarding protocols.
One of these perks in what we call Priority Boarding.
Almost all airlines across the world allow those with infants to board first, and it would be a sin not to use this.
Simply having that extra 10-15 minutes to find your seat, stow away your luggage and relax both you and your baby is a valuable bonus. Use it!
Priority boarding allows you to board the aircraft first and settle your little ones instead of clamoring on board as part of a bustling crowd.
3. Pack Light
My last recommendation is to pack light. This one is more to save yourself some hassle, which can easily contribute to higher anxiety, which your infant may pick up on.
Bring only the essentials that we listed (diapers, milk, baby food, pacifiers, etc.) and grab a baby strap instead of lugging a stroller down the narrow aircraft.
Quick Tips For Flying With An Infant
- Take a seat as far forward as possible on the plane. By doing so you can avoid the wait time after landing.
- Pack extra food and supplies for your baby, but don’t overdo it. Strike a good balance so that your luggage is not too heavy.
- Handle your baggage better, in this case, a stroller or car seat.
- Flying with an infant can be much easier if you look and opt for child-friendly airlines.
- You are taking a baby on a plane, so it is recommended to plan your seat ahead of time.
- Consider buying a ticket for your baby, and bring a safety seat.
- Try to avoid long-haul flights particularly when flying with infants.
Concluding Thoughts On How To Fly With Baby
Thanks for reading this article about how to fly with an infant. In this article, we have explored all of the potential questions and worries you, as a parent, may have.
And have dived into some tips for flying with an infant to have the most hassle-free experience. The cliché concerns of your infant screaming on the flight are the news of yesterday.
With both more modern solutions and more simple procedures, flying with an infant can be more relaxing and comfortable than you would think! Be sure to read all the tips while taking a baby on a plane to fly to be the best prepared. Do your research on the airline you decide to fly with.
Are you planning on taking your baby on a plane? Did you find this article on how to fly with the baby helpful? Or perhaps you have more tips for flying with an infant? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Key Takeaways On Flying With An Infant
- Flying with an infant can present numerous concerns for parents.
- Traveling with a baby on the plane could be stressful for both mom and a baby, try to pre-book your tickets for the convenience.
- Make sure to tick the essential baby checklist while traveling with babies on the plane. That will ease the travel.
- According to a study, 70% of families say that amenities for children is an important factor while traveling with babies on planes.
- Look up the individual airline policies regarding age before you book to avoid any surprises.
- The best time to feed your baby is during the take-off and landing.
- The best solution to avoid inconveniences is for your baby to sleep peacefully during the entirety of the flight.
How To Fly With A Baby?
Try to look for child-friendly airlines. Keep in mind to plan your seat ahead of time; buy a ticket for your baby.
Also, bring a safety seat before taking a baby on a plane. These can ease your travel with a baby.
How Can I Keep My Baby Safe When Travelling On Plane?
While traveling with babies on a plane, it is good to feed your baby on take-off and landing to ease any earache.
And yes! Make sure to pack your baby’s medicine before getting on-board.
When Is My Baby Old Enough To Taking On The Plane?
Individual airlines have specific policies on infant age restrictions. However, most of the airlines insist your baby be at least two to three weeks old. You must do research on the policies before taking a baby on a plane.
What Do I Need To Pack While Travelling With Babies On Planes?
These are some of the essential baby checklists while traveling with babies on planes.
- Carry extra food
- Supplies for your baby like diapers
- Essential medicines
- Baby carrier, etc.
Can I Take Car Seat Or Stroller In A Plane?
Yes, you can take your stroller when flying with an infant on a plane.
One stroller for an adult passenger is free of charge to check-in, while you may get charged over 20 pounds or more.
Traveling with a baby carrier would be a good idea than carrying a car seat or stroller in a plane. Baby carriers are lightweight and easy to pack.
Please check the airline policies before checking-in.