Flying Babies – Tips For Traveling With An Infant

by erin on May 5, 2010

As if flights weren’t difficult enough, traveling with a baby or a young toddler can often leave a mother having nightmares. It seems that every little step presents larger problems, from child passports to nursing on board, but with a little help, even the worst flight issues become manageable.

Preparation can ultimately make or break your flight experience, and there is no such thing as being to prepared. When your travel plans are formulated, and you’ve begun to shop for airline tickets, double check to see if your airline provides a free flight for your child. Most airlines allow a child under two years of age to sit on your lap but check just in case. If your airline doesn’t provide this, you will need to use a carseat. Booking your significant other in a seat separate from you may prove to be useful, especially on long flights. This arrangement allows you and your loved one to switch off baby responsibilities, letting one rest. Check your airline’s stroller policy. Most airlines now don’t allow strollers to be stored in the overhead compartment, so they have to be stowed.

Make sure you know where your family’s passports are. If you cannot locate them, reapply for new ones as soon as possible. Passports for adult are only useable for ten years after while children under 16 need to get a new one every five years. Also, you have been recently married or divorced, you need to get a new passport. Having passports ready and available prevents last minute stress when your travel date approaches. If you need to reserve a rental car, make sure to stow your car seat.

The day of your flight, pack a big purse with everything your baby might need, from a bottle with formula, to a clean diaper, small toys and snacks, baby food with utensils, and a pacifier for the descent, which can hurt their ears. If you think you may need to nurse your baby, pack a baby blanket, so you could have some privacy. Change and feed your baby as close to boarding time as you possible can. This reduces the probability that you will have to do either on the flight. Let a flight attendant know if your baby needs to be changed, because he or she may be able to set up a changing table for you in a bigger bathroom.

Family travel doesn’t need to be traumatic. With a little planning ahead, your trip can go a little bit smoother. Be sure to turn in your passport application as soon as possible if your travel takes you outside the United States. Remember children under 16 will need a child passport that must be replaced every five years. This trip is for you and your family, so ignore anyone that gives you a hard time if Baby becomes unhappy. You know your baby better than anyone. Well, you are now all set to take your vacation. So grab your bags and get going!

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