How To Travel Internationally With A Baby
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” The key to a successful international journey with a child under two is embracing the adventure and knowing that it may not go perfectly. The flight is a necessary step to get to the vacation, so make the most of the experience, relish the small victories, and know that even if you have a fussy baby, it’s okay.
They are part of society, and they’re allowed to fly, even cry if they have to. It’s all worth it to build memories that you’ll always cherish with your little one, and to treat yourself as parents, too!
Flying with a baby can seem daunting. Plenty of parents dream of traveling with their little one, but visions of an entire plane of people gawking as their child cries keeps them from taking the leap.
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” There would be flights where everyone complimented how well your baby did, and others where you were counting the seconds until it was over, with a fussy, squirming child in your arms.
From those successes and failures, you’ve learned a lot about how to make a long flight more tolerable with an infant.
Here’s everything, you’ve to learn about how to fly internationally with a baby:
1. Make sure Baby has a passport
Before traveling internationally, ensure you’ve left enough time to get your baby a passport.
2. Make Sure Baby Has a Ticket
Even if your infant will be on your lap, they still need to be ticketed to be allowed to board. For international flights, you’ll have to pay the taxes, and usually 10% of the adult fare, even if they’re just on your lap.
3. Reserve a Bassinet
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” For those traveling with lap infants, check with your airline to reserve a bassinet. Bassinets attach to the area in front of the bulkhead seats, providing a safe and cozy spot for your baby to rest during the flight, and giving you your lap back. You do not need to book your child their own seat to reserve a bassinet, as it will be attached to the wall in front of you. They have weight limits, but each airline is different in terms of what those are, with most being 20–26 lbs.
These bassinets are limited, and bulkhead seats are popular, so make your reservation early to secure one.
4. Get Toddlers Their Own Seat for Longer Flights
Children under two can fly on your lap (usually for free or for a discount) instead of in their own seat, but on lengthy international flights, it’s well worth booking a separate seat for them. If they’re mobile, they’ll be squirming and encroaching on the space of the people next to you if they don’t have their own seat and will probably be frustrated that they can’t move around more.
5. Reserve a Meal for Them
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” Some airlines offer baby meals, such as purees, and even toddler meals. Though it’s a rare offering, Emirates even has formula onboard!
Notify the airline in advance about any dietary restrictions or allergies your child may have. Airlines can often accommodate special requests, ensuring that your child has a suitable and safe meal during the flight. Always pack your own snacks and food as well, since you never know what the meal might include, and babies get hungry on their own schedule.
Don’t count on the airline to provide milk for your child.Some might have milk onboard, they’re not really prepared with extra for babies and toddlers, and some might not have any to spare at all.
6. Print Their Boarding Pass
Even though parents can use mobile boarding passes,you’ve always been required to show a printed ticket for your baby, even as a lap infant. From time to time,the ticketing agents have not realized this and said you could use a mobile ticket , just ask for printed tickets to avoid any headache.
7. Leave Extra Time at the Airport
Give yourself more time at the airport than you ever did before when traveling with a baby. Diaper changes,blowouts, extra time in security, and impromptu feedings can all happen, and having a comfortable buffer before your flight leaves is essential. It also allows for a more leisurely airport experience, ensuring that you don’t start off the whole trip rushed and stressed.
8. Be Aware of Security Regulations
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” Security is a whole new experience as a parent, and one you’ll be spending extra time dealing with. Familiarize yourself with regulations concerning traveling with a child, and know your rights. Regulations can change, so keep yourself updated through official website.
The most important thing to know is that formula,breast milk, juice, water, and food for infants are allowed over the 3 oz./100ml limit in “reasonable” quantities.
However, when going through security, you will have extra checks. They may run any liquids through an extra scanner, bomb-test the bag if there’s powdered formula,and even take off the lid to perform a vapor test.This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 extra minutes.
9. How to Survive the Airport and Layovers
After security, parents are usually on the lookout for a family bathroom for a diaper change, followed by finding a quiet area to let the time pass. If you have a toddler, locate family-friendly amenities, such as play areas, where your child can expend some energy. You can research this before even get to the airport, so you know where you’re going.
Remember to have a stroller that can fit in the overhead bin of an airplane or baby carrier for easy transport in the terminal. Prefer smaller strollers, so that you don’t risk them getting damaged through gate-checking and don’t have to wait after the flight to get the stroller if it’s a tight connection, which happens all the time when there are delays.
However, if your stroller is too large to be a carry-on, you can usually gate-check it for free.
If your baby needs to move, let them crawl. Yes, the floor is dirty, but you can always wash their hands and change their outfit before boarding.
10. Keep Them Entertained
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” In your diaper bag (which doesn’t count against carryon allowance), pack a variety of entertainment options for your baby.For example stick spinners to the plane windows and bring small object permanence boxes, little books, and stickers. Most airlines have had little toys as well, though I wouldn’t count on those being your main source of entertainment. Never underestimate the power of reading a book, playing peek-a-boo, or giving your child a water bottle to play with.
You can download some Coco-melon on your phone or tablet before leaving home. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to either play it without sound or get your toddler baby-sized headphones for the full experience.
11. Pack Finger Foods for the Flight
Another way to pass the time is by making sure baby is fed and happy with foods that take some time to eat. Finger foods like Cheerios, squished blueberries, smoothie melts, quartered grapes, and other non-messy fruits or veggies your child enjoys are always good to bring along. If you’re doing baby-led weaning, you can do this from six months of age. If you’re doing purees, bring pouches that don’t need refrigeration.
12. Prepare Your Carry-On
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” In your carry-on bag, ensure you have enough diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and changes of clothes for delays. Pack way more diapers than you think you’ll need,it can help when you encounter delays . Diapers and wipes can be difficult to impossible to find in the terminal, and most airlines don’t carry them onboard.
Don’t forget extra outfits for yourself, too, as travel can sometimes lead to unexpected messes. Additionally, have a small first-aid kit that includes any medications your baby might need, such as pain relievers, fever reducers, or allergy medication. It’s the worst to wish you had these onboard when you need them and to not have them on hand.
TSA will apply liquid limits to medications unless you have a prescription, so put over-the-counter liquids into smaller containers for travel.
13. Understand Stroller Policies
Thankfully most airlines do not count a stroller or car seat against your checked baggage allowance if you choose to check your stroller or car seat. Some airline doesn’t allow parents to gate-check strollers, meaning you can use them in the airport until you board the plane. This convenience can make navigating the airport much more manageable.
If you can’t gate-check your stroller, many airports have free ones you can use while you’re at the airport.
14. Review the Car Seat Policies
If you’re traveling with a car seat, you have the option of checking it as hold luggage, bringing it to the gate, or bringing it onboard if your baby has their own seat.Do check it as hold luggage, as mentioned above, it usually does not count against checked luggage limits, even on low-cost carriers.You should plan to check both a stroller and a car seat, check with the airline, as some only allow one.
15. Know the Baggage Policies
Traveling with children often means more luggage, so be prepared for potential extra baggage fees. Familiarize yourself with the weight and size restrictions to avoid surprises at the check-in counter. Some airlines will give a baby some checked baggage allowance, but most don’t unless the child has their own seat.
Carry-on strollers and diaper bags have never been counted against our allowance.
16. Clear Their Ears Before Takeoff and Landing
During takeoff and landing, changes in cabin pressure can cause discomfort for everyone, but babies don’t know yet how to clear their ears. To help alleviate this, breastfeed, or offer a bottle, pacifier, or even a snack that encourages swallowing for every takeoff and landing, we’ve been able to avoid crying due to ear pressure issues.
17. Know How to Clean Things Onboard
If you’re on a long flight, you’ll eventually need to clean a bottle or maybe even a breast pump. You can bring a small, 2–3 oz. unscented soap container and a portable bottle washing station. Ask the flight attendants for clean water for washing.Sometimes they even offer to rinse a bottle out for you with hot water.
18. Keep Nap and Sleep Times Consistent
“How To Travel Internationally With A Baby” International travel often involves crossing multiple time zones, which can lead to jet lag for both you and your child. To help minimize its effects, make sure you’re keeping with regular nap times and bedtime as much as you can while flying. Stick to the local schedule upon arrival to adapt more quickly.Jet lag is one of the biggest fears parents have.
19. Dress Your Baby Comfortably
Dress your child in comfortable, breathable clothing for the flight. Opt for layers, as the temperature on the plane can vary.
20. Take a Walk
If you have a toddler, make sure you’re getting up and letting them walk up and down the aisles when there aren’t food or beverage carts around. It can help pass the time, get some energy out, and if you have a social kiddo , give them a chance to wave at their adoring fans.
21. Be Mindful of Timing
When booking your flights, choose departure times that align with your child’s schedule as much as possible.If you have to wake up your baby for a flight well before they would naturally. They’re fussy and irritable, and doesn’t always fall back asleep easily.
22. Invest in a Good Baby Carrier
A comfortable baby carrier is a valuable asset when traveling with a child under two years. It allows you to have your hands free to manage luggage, documents, and other essentials while keeping them secure and close.
23. Know Your Destination’s Regulations
Different countries may have specific regulations and requirements for traveling with a child. Research and familiarize yourself with any necessary documentation, vaccinations, or permits needed for your international destination.
24. Plan for Delays
Delays can happen (over 20% of flights are delayed, in fact!), so it’s wise to be prepared for them. Pack enough supplies, including diapers, formula, snacks, and entertainment, to handle unforeseen delays.
You encounter them all the time, and a well-stocked carry-on can make waiting at the airport more manageable. If you have a phone or tablet for your toddler, make sure you have an external battery to keep them charged.
25. Be Patient
Traveling with a child can be challenging, and there may be moments of frustration or fatigue. Remember to stay patient and calm throughout the journey. If you’re super stressed out and nervous, your child will pick up on it. A positive attitude and a sense of humor can go a long way in making the experience enjoyable for both you and your little one.