Flying with a Baby for the First Time? Here Are the Answers to Some Important Questions

Flying with a baby raises a lot of questions. Do I need to book an extra ticket to fly with a baby? Can I bring their seat on the airplane? How do I entertain them? You don’t need to fret, we have the answers to your travel worries right here.

Do I Need a Ticket for My Baby?

baby sleeping in her own car seat setting on an ordinary seat on a commercial airliner.

If your baby is under the age of two on domestic travel, they can sit on your lap for free (international flights will charge you a small fee). Most airlines will also provide a bassinet free of charge for your baby so your child can sleep comfortably during the flight. So, the answer is you don’t have to buy your baby a ticket, BUT in some instances you may want to buy one. For example, If you know your baby will want a place to sleep and sit on their own or if you know they’ll be wiggling and trying to stand up in the seat instead of sitting in your lap, it’s smart to buy them a ticket. If you’ve paid for your child’s ticket, you can usually take your baby’s car seat on to place in their seat. If you haven’t bought a seat for them and the flight is not full, you may be lucky enough to find a seat to place the car seat on, but it’s always a gamble.

What Baby Gear Can I Carry On?

Before booking flight deals for your trip, you must check with the airline carriers you’re considering about their rules regarding baby items that can be checked in or carried on. A stroller is usually given a gate check so you can wheel your baby all the way to the door of the plane; unless it is small enough to fold into the overhead bin it will then be stored away from the cabin and be given to you when you disembark. As mentioned above, it’s a safer bet to take your car seat on the plane ONLY if you’ve paid for your child’s ticket. All airlines, a well as airport security, will not have an issue with items like breast pumps, formula or breast milk (in bottles or sealed bags), bottled water for your child or breast feeding mums, squeeze pouches with pureed food, diaper and baby lotion, and even items like infant nail clippers and teethers with liquid in them. Remember not to overload yourself if you’re traveling without a helper. If you have a baby in one hand and all of the equipment in the other hand, it can be a tough task. Enlist the help of a gate agent or flight attendant to help get all of you to your seats.

How Can I Help My Baby Pop Their Ears?

 What you need to know when flying with a baby: Father holding baby daughter during flight on airplane

One of the main concerns for many parents when flying with a child is worrying they’ll scream the entire time. Sometimes the changes in air pressure lead to pain in their little ears. Just like adult ears, they get air stuck in their ear canal. To help alleviate this issue, make sure they’re sucking on something upon take-off and landing. Feed them a bottle or breastfeed them to help ease the pressure in their ears.

What ID Does My Baby Need to Fly?

It doesn’t matter if your baby looks like a one week old, the airline needs proof of their birth date. If it’s a domestic flight, you can use your child’s birth certificate or immunization records to establish their age. When you check in, hand them over to the employee; they will need to give you a boarding document for the child even if they are a lap child without a ticket. For international flights, your baby will need a passport. Make sure you apply for the passport at least 6 weeks before your trip. Also remember that you and your spouse will have to apply for the baby’s passport in person. If both parents can’t be there at the same time, a notarized Statement of Consent or proof of sole custody will have to be presented when applying.

You may also enjoy reading: Your Ultimate Guide For Purchasing a Travel Stroller

How Do I Keep My Baby Entertained During the Flight?

What you need to know when flying with a baby: Mom and child playing tablet while flying on plane

Take your baby’s favorite toys on the plane to keep them entertained. It’s also smart to take a lot of fun snacks. Keep them occupied so they don’t even notice the flight. You can sing songs, read a book, or even get out the iPad to play some educational games. Do whatever it is that makes them happy so both of you can enjoy the flight.

Flying with a baby can be a great experience. It doesn’t have to be something you dread. Enjoy making this new memory with your baby!

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