Flying with an infant can be stressful, especially if it is your first time doing so. You may be unsure how to get your child through security, worried about their safety and welfare on the plane, and how to handle their cries.
Traveling with a baby can be stress-free with good planning. Being organized and planning will make traveling with a baby easier.
1. Ensure Your Child Is Safe to Fly
If you are traveling with an infant, you’ll need to ensure they are fit to fly. Different airlines have different rules, but in general, you’ll need to make sure your baby is at least eight weeks old, has received all their required vaccinations (notably for polio, diphtheria, and tetanus), and has a doctor’s note confirming they are fit to fly.
If you’re traveling from a disease-prone country, you’ll also need to ensure your baby has been vaccinated against that disease. You should check with your airline to see what their specific rules are.
2. Check The Airline’s Stroller and Diaper Policies
Some airlines will have specific rules you must follow in the letter if you want to travel with your infant. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires babies to be in an FAA-approved infant restraint device if they are under two years old.
The same applies to the stroller you use to transport your infant through the airport. You need to check that the airline accepts it for use on the plane. Some airlines will accept infant car seats for use onboard, but be aware that this does not apply to all carriers.
3. Decide On Your Airports and Flight Times
When you first decide to fly with your infant, you should book your flight times carefully. You don’t want to pick a flight with an early departure time, as you will not have enough time to meet your baby’s needs before you leave.
You also need to pick a flight that doesn’t have many connecting flights. You want enough time between flights so you can feed and change your infant if needed. For more flexibility, you can opt for a charter flight since they are more convenient.
4. Pack Your Essential Baby Items
Put together a small baby travel pack that contains all the essentials you think you might need. You’ll want to keep their age and stage when packing for your infant. If your baby is breastfeeding, consider keeping some breastfeeding pads in your bag, as you may leak during your journey. Consider including:
- A changing mat and extra diapers – Your baby will probably need to be changed several times during your journey. Be sure to bring extra diapers and wipes.
- A toy or soft book – Something to occupy your baby during the journey will keep them happy and help reduce crying.
5. Get Through Security with Your Infant
If you are traveling with an infant, you will likely go through extra security measures. It is because you must show that you have the right car seat for your infant and that it is secure and fit for purpose.
You will also need to show that you have all the necessary documentation for your infant’s car seat, such as proof of purchase, the manufacture date, and a valid FAA approval certification. You should also put your baby’s belongings in a clear plastic bag and label it with your child’s name.
6. Create A Care Plan
Once you have your travel plan, you can create a care plan for your infant. A care plan is a document that outlines your infant’s daily needs and when they should be fed and changed.
Planning for all your infant’s needs on your trip will help reduce any stress or anxiety you might have about traveling with your infant.
You’ll know what to expect and what you need to do at each stage, making the journey less stressful for both you and your child. A care plan organizes your baby’s needs so you can focus on a smooth flight.
When you’ve planned your trip and know what to expect, you can rest assured that traveling with an infant will run smoothly. With a little preparation, you can ensure that you and your infant have a safe and comfortable flight.