Have you considered catching a flight to a destination and then cancelled because you weren’t sure you could fly with your baby? Well, put on your vacation hat and re-book that trip! Your baby is allowed to travel with you.
Most airlines do make you wait for two weeks after birth but some will even fly a baby that’s 2 days old. Babies younger than 2 days are usually not allowed to fly. Its best to check with the airline if your baby is younger than 2 weeks. Many airlines will ask you to submit a medical form filled by your physician.
Newborn babies are still developing their immune system and an aircraft may not be the most hygienic environment for the baby. The cabin pressure change that occurs during the flight may also trigger ear pain in your baby. You may also want to avoid traveling to countries where they may be exposed to diseases that they are too young to be vaccinated for.
So what else do you need to know about traveling with your baby?
Does My Baby Need A Ticket?
Most airlines say no, if you are traveling within United States. If you can hold your baby on your lap and your baby is less than 2 years old, you can bring your baby on the flight free of charge. Consider the length of your flight though. This may work for a three hour flight. What about a ten hour flight? I would suggest buying a ticket so you can strap your baby in an infant car seat if needed. Either way, bring the car seat. Even if your baby sits on your lap you will need the car seat when you land or when you need a break.
If you are traveling across countries, most airlines will charge 10% of adult fare for your infant, if he/she is not going to occupy a seat. If you need a seat, airlines charge price 50% to 70% of adult fare.
What To Bring With You?
Bring diapers and wipes to start with. If the baby is bottle fed you will need formula, spring water and clean bottles. You may breastfeed your baby on the plane as long as you are discreet and cover up. You may be able to bring breast milk in larger quantities than most liquid, check with the airline. Ask the flight attendant if they can warm the bottle for you. Most likely they will say yes if it will avoid a baby meltdown.
If you bring toys or items like a pacifier you may want to tether them with yarn or string to your baby’s diaper bag to avoid them getting lost or falling on the dirty floor. Don’t bring anything you do not need but if you may need something important then take it. For example, bring baby medication because you never know if you might need it.
Tips For Toddler Travel
The most important piece of advice I can give you when it comes to traveling with toddlers is to relax the rules a little. The last thing you want to do is to anger an entire plane full of people you are stuck with for the next six hours. If baby wants an extra cookie just let him or her have it. If she wants to watch Barney on your iPad just suck it up and sing along.
Bring a variety of toys because toddlers get very bored very fast. If you can keep rotating the toys it will help keep their attention. Bring snacks too, a well popped M&M can do wonders towards preserving your sanity.
Ear pain and air pressure change during take-off and landing
If you have flown before you may have chewed gum during takeoff and landing to handle the change in cabin pressure. Since your baby can’t chew gum try to get them to nurse, take a bottle or suck on a pacifier when taking off and landing. The sucking motion will help them the way the chewing motion will help you.
If possible, travel with another adult when traveling with baby. This will help for naps, potty time and keeping the baby happy.