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25+ Life Saving Flying With A Baby Tips

Let me guess, you’ve typed flying with a baby  (or something to that effect) into Google and have wound up here looking for all the tips and tricks to make your next trip as smooth running and painless as possible.

I can feel the sense of anxiety and excitement seeping through the screen! I’ll start off by telling you flying with a baby is not that bad, I promise! Any problems you encounter are nothing you haven’t dealt with at home.

I apply the acronym HALT to everything and work through it systematically, whether I’m at home or on a flight with a baby. 

HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tiredness. So as long as you have something with you when flying with a baby to sort those four things out you are winning. I’ll cover everything in this article to help you.

I’ve taken two family gap years with both of my children during maternity leave. In simpler terms, I’ve flown with my little ones hundreds of times.

Taking a baby on a plane can be scary and off-putting, I know that’s how most parents feel. The countless flights with a baby and toddler later – we’ve learnt a bit about baby travel. The more prepared you are, the smoother the flight will be.

I am so excited to share my top tips for flying with a baby with you and hope it will seem easier and more doable by the time you get to the end of this page. 

I cover EVERYTHING! How to get ‘flight tickets for baby’ and ‘when can babies fly’. Not to mention the best travel gear for flying with little ones and the actual ‘how to’ travel with a baby on a plane. If you have a newborn this post might be better for you.

FLYING WITH BABY TRAVEL TIPS

Booking a Flight When Traveling With A Baby 

So you have chosen your destination and now need to book baby on a flight? As a starting point, I like to use Kayak to search for competitive airfares.

A lot of people have asked me, do babies fly free internationally? You can expect to pay approximately 10% of the adult fare for an infant airfare or those under 2. Making it all the more reason to fly long haul whilst they are young!

Just remember the age is based on how old the child is on the return journey. This means if baby turns two while you are away, you have to book another seat. There are a few airlines that don’t uphold this rule, however, the majority do.

Also if you are traveling alone with two children under two, most airlines will insist you pay for another seat on the plane. This can make it difficult if you are traveling alone with twins. However, two seats are probably a good idea as it would give you a little more room.

Flying Premium Economy with AirCanada (1)

‘Babies fly free’ is a common misconception on shorter flights or budget airlines, the infant fee can sometimes be as much as a seat, so do your research – it may be worth purchasing the extra ticket rather than flying with a baby on your lap. 

You may also want to consider the time you are flying. If you are a stickler for routine, flying at nap time or in the middle of the night may increase the chances of baby sleeping for the entire or at least some of the flight. 

It may not always be possible, however, it is a good idea to have it in your mind while booking your tickets.

Not all airlines are equal, it is a good idea to do a bit of research before purchasing a ticket. Some airlines are more baby-friendly than others. Things to check are baby’s luggage allowance and what items you can check in without any extra costs.

Surprisingly, the cheapest ticket may not be the most expensive if you have to pay to check in your stroller and car seat.

Should you Book Another Seat When Flying with a baby?

Pre-pandemic the answer to this question may have been no. If you are flying with a baby or newborn that is not walking or crawling, more than likely they will be able to sit on your lap happily.

However, there are now many benefits to booking another seat on an airplane no matter the age of the baby.  This is especially true if you are flying alone.  

Most airplanes have rows of three so the odds are if you just purchase two seats you will be seated next to someone. You may get lucky and have an extra seat, but that is not always the case. 

Post-Covid the benefits of booking an extra seat on an airplane are high. Not only does it give you a little extra privacy but it also allows you to clean the area and not worry for the rest of the flight. 

Baby may not sit in the extra seat, however, it is the perfect place to put toys and all of the things you have boarded with. To stop the toys from falling on the floor consider placing something like a Flyaway Bed underneath. This means you won’t have to worry about cleaning the toys every time they fall on the ground. 

That extra seat can also provide a little bit of space for baby to move around. Post-pandemic airline staff prefer all passengers to remain seated unless they need to use the toilet. Before parents used to walk the aisles. With this now frowned upon a little extra space can go a long way.

Children still get a discount on most seat prices. If you are flying internationally it may only be around 10%. However, domestic flights can sometimes have a 50% discount so it may not be as expensive as you first thought.

Choosing Your Seats When Flying With A Baby

When flying with a baby, I suggest requesting the front row bulkhead seats at the time of booking, especially for long haul flights with a baby. With these seats, you can request a bassinet for your baby to use in-flight.

You may be able to do this yourself online. If not, you should try to contact the airline to make a request as early as possible. On packed flights with many babies, these seats may be claimed long before the flight.

For some airlines, these can not be booked before and are given on a first come first served based basis. If this is the case, consider arriving at the airport early to secure one.

Flying with a Baby - Airline Bassinet Seats

The bulkhead seats are situated immediately behind a cabin divider. A fold-down bench allows for the bassinet or cradle to be attached when the seat-belt sign is off.

The airline that provides the bassinet or cradle may have different policies on their use. This may relate to the age, weight or height of the baby.

It is important to check individual airline policies before booking. Equally, if you are a nursing mother, you may prefer a window seat for privacy purposes.

I know my baby often gets distracted at feed times and I end up exposed! If you are at all worried about this, bring a nursing cover in your hand luggage or even a baby blanket to use while feeding.

There are some seats where infants are not allowed to sit. These are usually the emergency exit rows including the rows in front and the rows behind. This is because passengers sitting in those seats need to be able to react quickly in an emergency situation. 

Should I Bring My Car Seat On Board?

Some people (mainly Americans) like to buy an extra seat when flying with a baby. They bring a car seat on the plane and install it because they feel this is a safer option. This may be true as a child seatbelt is not provided on many flights in the US.

Traveling by airplane is considered safer than traveling by car. However, there are some incidents where babies and children are injured on board. These are mainly to do with falls or burns from hot beverages. A car seat can provide a safe space for your child to sit while you drink a hot coffee.

This isn’t entirely necessary, it really comes down to the individual circumstances. If you are unable to secure a bassinet or cradle to use in the bulkhead seats, this could be an alternative for a long flight. 

If you choose to do this make sure to check your car seat fits within the dimensions of the airplanes seats. The last thing you want to do is pay for the extra ticket, only to arrive at the airport and find your car seat is too big.

While there are many positives to bringing a car seat along, there are also a few pitfalls. Car seats are bulky and difficult to carry on and off a plane along with hand luggage. Having a carrier or even a travel stroller is a lot more convenient. 

The answer to this question is going to be a toss-up. There is no right or wrong answer. If you feel that a car seat would put your mind at ease or it could make the flight go smoother, bring it along. 

If not, leave it at home or check it in with your hold luggage if you need it at your destination.

Flying with a Baby - Airplane Bassinet
Baby’s first flight – baby plane pic!

Preparing for Flying With a Baby

The first thing we do after booking our tickets is purchase travel insurance. This is so important, especially when you travel with small children, we like World Nomads.

Many countries are asking for travel insurance to include COVID cover, so check the policy carefully. Passengers may also be asked to provide proof of insurance at check-in. Failure to do this could result in being turned away at the check-in desk. You may be concerned about dealing with baby jet lag, I have an entire post on that here.

packing for flying with a baby

Next, we come to packing. You are probably tempted to bring everything with you for every situation. Aim to bring as little as possible through the airport. If you need help figuring out how to pack light, you can check out our best packing tips here.

The less you carry around, the less you have to worry about at security. Of course, don’t cut down too much and forget to bring these essentials for a smooth baby flight!

Documents 

Whenever you fly it’s important to make sure you bring along all your important documents. This includes a valid passport and visa for everyone flying, the baby not excluded.

Printing your tickets in advance and having them handy can save time at the airport. If you plan to have them saved on your phone, make sure you don’t run out of battery. 

travel documents for flying with kids

It’s also important to note that if you are flying alone with a child that does not share your last name you may need to bring additional documentation.

Some countries will want to see a birth certificate (or adoption certificate). We gave the kids my last name as their middle names so that the link between us is clear.

If a parent is traveling alone with a baby, some countries require a letter of consent to travel from the absent parent. It has to be notarized and clearly gives the traveling parent the other parent’s permission to travel.

This is not required when leaving the UK or Ireland, but it is required for some European countries and in the US.

If you are traveling with any medications, have the prescriptions with you in case you are asked to provide them at security.

Nowadays other documentation like PCR tests, proof of vaccinations and locator forms may be needed to travel to various countries. It is worth having these forms printed out as well as having screenshots or pdfs on your phone. These documents are asked for at check-in so have them with your tickets and passport.

Baggage

Checked Baggage

Packing carefully for your flight is extremely important. There is nothing worse than having to tear into an overweight bag at check-in when you have a baby with you.

Packing for travelling with a baby

Preventing this is easy! Purchasing a small luggage scale is pretty affordable especially when you consider the alternative costs of your overweight baggage.

Some airlines allow infants their own checked luggage. Usually, it is a little less than the luggage allowance of a full paying passenger, however, it is worth checking with your airline before you fly.

If you are checking in your stroller or car seat, it may be a good investment to purchase a protective bag for it. Imagine collecting them at your destination and finding the handle is broken or the seatbelt doesn’t work. That being said there is often a desk in the airport arrivals area to report damaged strollers and previously I have been fully reimbursed for a damaged stroller. 

Carry On Baggage

Depending on the airline you fly with and its luggage restrictions, you may want to combine your nappy bag with other carry on essentials.

If so make sure to organize the bag really well into sections so you know exactly where to find everything you need. I often use mini packing cubes, separating clothes and nappies for example.

Make sure your nappies and wipes are always accessible (and well-stocked!) and make sure to carry a change of clothes in case baby has an accident. A great rule of thumb is to take double nappies and formula if your not breastfeeding . If there is a delay there is no need to be running around trying to find some.

A small travel first aid kit is also a good idea. As it is smart to have all medication in one place in case you need it. Just be sure the liquid is below 100ml and you have all the right documentation with you.

Many people put their medication in their hold luggage. However, if there are any essential items they should always be carried in your hand luggage. This is in case your luggage isn’t returned to you when you reach your destination.

Don’t forget hand sanitiser and some cleaning and disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces such as the tray or the changing station in the toilets on board. 

We really like the Idaho Jones diaper bag. This nappy bag has many sections to keep your things organized and makes it easy to stick your hand in a pull out whatever you need without having to dig. It is also a backpack which means one less thing to drag around! 

Food and drinks for babies do not have a millilitre limit at security. So don’t be afraid to pack a little extra in case of spillages.

flying with formula

They may test the bottles but it is absolutely fine to bring expressed milk, formula or whatever baby may need.

Some people like to print out the government’s guidelines stating this to be true just in case they run into an uninformed security agent. You can find official guidelines for the UK here or for the USA here.

If you want more information make sure to check out our articles about flying with formula or breastfeeding while travelling.

 Baby Travel Stroller Airplane Advice 

There are some travel strollers that can fit into the overhead compartments. However, many do not and have to be checked in with your hold luggage or at the gate. 

Alternatively, you can take the buggy to the door of the plane. If you are looking for a good travel buggy we like the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller but we also have heard great things about the GB Pockit stroller.

Both strollers are great, lightweight, easy folding options for your next trip. We have a full post comparing all the best travel strollers on the market here.

Don’t expect to see your stroller as soon as you walk off the plane. Sometimes it is there and sometimes it won’t be returned until you pick up your luggage. This depends on the airport and sometimes the staff on duty. If you are unsure ask the airline crew before you leave.

This is when a bjorn (or another sling carrier) can be useful. They are easy to use and perfect for carrying your baby through the airport.

We have found a wrap cloth style carrier to be great for flying with a baby. You don’t have to take it off completely just to take baby out. This is my top tip for traveling with a baby.

It’s kind of like a jumper so it’s better than having to take everything off and back on again.

Best baby Carriers

Since my babies were around 4-5 months old, I started using the i-angel carrier. It has lasted right through the toddler stage too. If you want, you can also check out this article comparing the best baby carriers on the market.

Keeping Your Baby Happy on the Plane

Sleep Time

When taking a long haul flight I like to have baby in his/her pyjamas. This serves two purposes; it keeps them comfortable and hopefully, mentally prepares them for a nice long sleep.

If your baby has a favourite cuddly, this will help them feel comfortable by making the area seem more familiar and safe. If your little one uses a dummy or pacifier to fall asleep, bring a few with you.

They are easy to lose and can easily drop under the seat never to be seen again. Having a few spare in your hand luggage could be a great help when trying to get baby off to sleep. I also rate the clips that stop them from being lost on the ground. 

flying with a baby
baby travel gear airplane

Some babies love airplanes just as much as they love car rides. In fact, the rocking motion and the white noise from the engines can help baby sleep. 

Some little ones are the opposite, all you can do is your best. It is ideal if baby sleeps. However, there are many reasons why they won’t and it can have nothing to do with the flight. Setting the right environment is key. 

Try to keep the same routine. Read the same book or sing the same songs. Traveling at night when the lights are dimmed can also be a great help. This keeps distraction.

Another great product is the Cozigo which can be attached to a bassinet to block out the light and help baby drift off to sleep. They can double as stroller shades and they fit car seats as well. These are perfect if you are off somewhere hot and sunny as they protect baby from the sun. It’s one of the best baby travel items.

I just love how it opens up to check on baby and can easily be zipped up again to continue with the all important sleep! 

If however, you did not manage to get the airline’s bassinet this SkyBaby Travel Mattress or Mami Baby Lounger (if you are in the US) is a fantastic option for keeping baby comfortable and cosy on the plane.

Awake Time

While they are awake your number one priority will be heading off any crying. To keep them occupied make sure to bring plenty of toys to keep your child entertained. Books and small toys are great for this.

The best thing is to bring toys that your baby has never seen before as these will keep them busy and entertained longer.

Some of our favourite toys to bring along when flying with a baby include fidget cubes, Baby Einstein toys, small puppet books, and finger puppets.

I also like to bring a tiny torch to shine on things and we got hours of entertainment out of that. If all else fails we find that the cups on the aeroplane and a napkin can provide endless fun!

Check out a full list of the best baby travel toys here.

Since the COVID pandemic, I suggest disinfecting your babies toys in between use and keeping a clean bag for them to be stored once cleaned.

Babies put everything in their mouths so keeping their toys clean is a top priority.

BABY TRAVEL 

At the Airport with a Baby

What time to Arrive at the Airport When Flying with a Baby?

If you are flying internationally, it is important to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight. Many people like to arrive at the airport early when flying with a baby. This depends on whether you like to be prepared and have more time or are a frequent flyer and know exactly what to do.

Remember that the check-in desk usually opens about two and a half hours before the flight. If you arrive too early you could be trying to entertain baby until it opens.

Alternatively, if you arrive too late, it may be a rush to get through security and get to the gate on time.

If you are organised, flying with a baby shouldn’t take much more time than it would if you were traveling alone. In other words, arrive at the airport at the time you normally would and that should give you plenty of time to get everything done.

Check-in With a Baby

Check-in queues can be long and arduous unless you are flying business or first class. Sometimes airline staff spot those flying with a baby and will allow them to check-in using the business class desk as long as there are no other customers waiting.

Most airlines will allow you to check-in a baby travel stroller, a travel baby car seat and in some cases a travel cot. In the airlines terms and conditions, it states how many extra items infants are allowed to travel with. Many airlines don’t allow all three, so you may have to choose two. 

You may prefer to take the buggy to the door of the plane and most airlines will allow this. The airline staff usually ask you at check-in. They usually provide a label to be attached to the stroller. This is because the airline staff will take the buggy to the stowaway as you board.

Airlines don’t like passengers to travel with too much hand luggage as the overhead lockers can get full quickly. This is also a great chance to ask if you can check in any extra hand luggage. If your partner has nothing important then it frees up an extra set of hands at the airport. 

If at this point you haven’t secured a bulkhead seat you should ask the person checking you in if there are any extra seats on the plane.

flying with a baby or toddler
friendly baby airlines

On an emptier flight, they might give you a row with an empty seat so that your little one has room to move around or lay down and sleep. Your very own travel baby seat is a win, especially when you haven’t paid for it! So you have checked in, what next?

Getting Past Security With a Baby

Going Through Security

Next up is security. Ensure you have all of your liquids (including baby’s liquid food and drink) in a transparent zip-lock bag. Electronics have to be in individual trays so having them all together can make things go quicker. 

Some airports have family-specific queues that you will see signs for or be directed into by the staff. Sometimes you will notice there is a secret security lane that airport staff use.

Similar to check-in, if the staff spot you with little ones, they will sometimes invite you to use the ‘hustle and bustle’ free lane.

Flying with a baby - going through security

If you have baby in a Bjorn some airports will expect you to take your baby out when passing through security.

If you are travelling alone this can make it difficult but having a wrap style carrier can really make things easier. Also, don’t hesitate to ask others for help!

Reach out to airport security or other travelers – learning to ask for help when you need it (before the situation devolves) is key. Check out our top ten tips for travelling as a solo parent here

After Security

Once you get through security some airports will have a parent room, where you can change nappies, heat food and I have even seen private rooms for nursing mothers.

Some of these will have sectioned off areas with cribs where you can have some quiet time. I can not say I have seen this in all airports but it is worth checking out the facilities.

Services offered at airport for family travel

You can find out ahead of time on the airport’s website whether they have one and if so where it is located. Check out some of the services offered at Heathrow here.

Boarding – Gate Check 

When it is time to board, airline staff, are keen to have young families board first. Sometimes this may be inconvenient, particularly if your little one is quite active. It may be best to board last if possible to reduce the time in a confined space.

If you are traveling with your partner, one of you could board first while the other lets baby burn off some energy. Your partner could board with all of the hand luggage and even give the trays and seating area a quick wipe down before you and baby board.

It usually takes around half an hour for everyone to board the flight. If it is nap time, you may want to board first and try and settle baby. If not, killing time at the gate with plenty of space may be the better option.

This is also a great time to change baby. As soon as you board the seatbelt light is on so there are no other chances until around twenty minutes into the flight. The toilets are on board can be cramped, so it is also a good idea to make use of the spacious changing facilities in the airport.

On Board the Flight with a Baby

Take Off and Landing

If your little one is under the age of 2, they probably won’t be in their own seat and will need to be a lap child for take off, landing, and whenever the seat belt sign is on.

There is no such a thing as an infant airplane seat, unless of course you take your car seat on board. I find more and more parents are choosing to buy a seat for baby and install their car safety seat. 

Flying with an infant on your lap is not so bad. It’s the toddler stage that is so much harder. On European flights, you will be given a seat belt extension to securely fasten your baby to your seat belt.

Flying with a baby on your lap - lap infant

This will be provided by the cabin crew. Having to fasten your baby’s seat belt when you have just got your little one to sleep in their bassinet can be heartbreaking. However, flying with a baby rules are there to maintain child safety.

The only time they will ask you to take baby out of the bassinet is when there is turbulence. If you do not have a bulk head seat, baby must be on your lap for the duration of the flight.

This is also true if baby is in a carrier. They must be removed from the carrier and their seatbelts put on. They can go back in the carrier when the seat belt sign is off.

flying with a baby

Remember, when flying with a baby, the pressure may build up in their ears during ascent and descent.

Having your baby nurse or giving them a bottle or dummy will help. The swallow mechanism will relieve the pressure. If you are flying with baby alone, make sure to ask for help. The cabin crew may be willing to hold your baby for bathroom trips and mealtimes.

Keeping Baby Hydrated

Ensure you keep yourself and your baby well hydrated. The low humidity can be quite dehydrating. This is of particular importance if you are nursing and especially on a long flight with baby. 

It is best to pick up a bottle of water at the airport for the flight. If water is provided free of charge onboard, they are usually given in small containers. Otherwise, drinks and snacks can be more costly on the airplane.

If you need food or milk heated, the cabin crew will be happy to help.

Keeping Baby Occupied 

If your baby is agitated or upset, taking them for a walk up and down the aisle can help distract. I know it is easier said than done, but try to stay calm. Babies pick up on our feelings. If you need a break hand baby to your partner and take five minutes to recenter.

You may find a change of scenery or just a new person around can calm baby.

Flying with a baby - awake time in the travel bassinet

Make sure to have your toys on hand (see list above in the preparing for ‘flying with a baby section’).

If you need to change a nappy all planes have a changing table that folds down in the bathroom. Older planes can be quite cramped so only bring what you need to the bathroom. If your little one is asleep, sit back and relax!

Disembarking with Baby

When the plane lands many people scramble to be the first off the plane. Nowadays the cabin crew will ask each row to disembark to maintain social distance. However, there can still be a big rush to get off the plane. 

Unless you are trying to catch another flight it is probably better to wait until most people have disembarked. This can give you time to collect all your belongings.

Unfortunately, not all airplanes will be connected to an aerobridge. Sometimes there are buses or even trams to take before you reach arrivals. This makes it even more important that you are not carrying too many bags and are able to carry baby.

This is a great example of when a carrier comes in handy. There is nothing worse than having to carry baby in a packed bus with nowhere to hold on to. 

If you are struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask if you can sit down or ask if someone can carry a bag for you. Many times people will offer.

COVID Advice When Flying with a Baby

COVID. It is the word no one wants to hear anymore. While it can be daunting having your baby travel on a flight without a mask, just remember that everyone else is wearing one. 

Statistics have shown that the risks of COVID are considerably lower for infants. However, there are still a number of preventive measures parents can take when flying to reduce the risk of infection.

Before you leave make sure to pack some hand sanitiser and cleaning and disinfectant wipes

Use the hand sanitiser a lot while going through the airport. Clinell Hand Sanitiser that clips onto your bag is perfect.

The cleaning and disinfectant wipes are perfect for cleaning down the seating area and trays. Baby’s hands are likely to be touching everything and then going in their mouth. 

Wipes are also great for giving the nappy area a wipe down and even the toilet seat.
As mentioned above it is a great idea to sanitise baby’s toys before boarding. If they fall on the floor they can be placed in a separate bag or you could use the sanitiser wipes to clean them. 

This is also a good reason to carry a few extra dummies or pacifiers. 

On the practical side, children under six years old do not have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. Most do not have to quarantine if their parents are vaccinated or have a negative PCR test.

However, passengers should check the entry requirements before leaving. 

Transit and Arrivals When Flying with a Baby

Complete your arrivals card in advance. The best time to do it is while your child sleeps on the plane if you can manage it.

Make sure to declare baby food if necessary. Once you land some airports provide courtesy buggies for transit. However, due to the COVID Pandemic, this service is not as widely available as it once was.

If you do have a long wait and want to ensure a buggy will be available, you may want to request your stroller. Make sure you do this at check-in. The stroller can be returned to you when you disembark. You can use it at the airport while you wait and then check it in at the gate again.

If you are going straight through to arrivals, there may be long queues at passport control. If you don’t want to wait find a seat and take a break. 

For passengers transiting, be aware that there are often additional security checks during an airport transit. Take some time to reorganise your hand luggage and have your liquids in a clear plastic bag again.

Flying with a baby - arrivals

If you are in transit and have some spare time it is an ideal opportunity to give your little one a freshen-up. I am sure they feel sticky after flying, just like us!

Some airports have showers, but a quick wipe down with a baby wipe should suffice.

If you’ve checked and the airport you will be arriving in does not have a parents room then just throw a blanket down on the floor in an appropriate place and let them have a little stretch and a kick before the next flight.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WITH BABY

  1. Does flying harm baby?

Many people ask me if flying with a baby is safe? Babies may not know how to equalize ear pressure which of course poses the question can flying damage a baby’s ears?

It’s important to give them a drink or let them feed on take off and landing, this allows the ears to equalize to the new pressure.

Being in a closed space with many other people may expose baby to viruses, coughs and colds. When you air travel with baby, a natural probiotic could be a good option to help protect them on a flight. 

Flying with a baby

2. Best things to have when flying with a baby?

My number one piece of equipment is the baby carrier by far. I always say it’s the most important thing when people ask me what you need when flying with a baby.

It allows me to be hands free in the airport and it’s helped many times with getting my baby to sleep on a flight.

The second most important thing is a well-stocked nappy bag with changes of clothes, baby analgesia, diapers and wet wipes, as well as a few toys.

3. What can you bring when flying with a baby?

This question predominantly relates to fluids. You can bring formula, baby food or breastmilk for your baby above the 100ml allowance that applies to everyone else. It may be tested separately at security when flying with a baby. 

flying with a baby - in the airport

4. How to pack for flying with a baby?

The best piece of advice I can give you is, don’t overdo it. I bring one day bag on board, no matter how long the journey is. I get everything into my Idaho Jones bag, with all of the pockets, it’s an ideal bag for flying with a baby.

You need to be relatively hands-free, so having baby on the front in a carrier, and your day bag on the back is the best set-up on how to pack for flying with baby.

5.  How young can a baby fly?

Many people ask me, when can I start flying with baby? The simple answer is as soon as you have a passport for your little one you can start flying!! No need to worry about how old baby is to fly!

Some airlines do have age restrictions, these are usually around a week old and most would still be waiting for a passport to arrive.

Some parents may want to wait until baby is vaccinated. This is usually around two or three months.

6. When flying with a baby, do they need ID?

Yes, just like you, your baby needs to have a passport to fly. It is possible to fly domestically with an alternative ID. For baby this is more than likely going to be a passport.

The only exception to this is when flying domestically in the US. Children can fly without ID but it is always better to travel with a birth certificate. 

If you are planning to fly just after baby is born, be aware that it can take around six weeks for a passport to arrive.

airport kids play area

7. What to wear when flying with a baby?

I usually wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing. Consider the security line, you don’t want to have to strip things off when flying with a baby. I never have a belt or heeled shoes or a big jacket.

I generally don’t have to take off anything going through security if I am wearing soft-soled shoes. Having both you and baby in layers is a great idea. Make sure the layers are light. This means they are easy to pack, put on and take off.

Always bring a spare set of clothes for you. Something thin and easy to pack, like leggings and a spare long sleeve t-shirt. That way you can get them in your day bag. You never know what baby will throw on you!If you are breastfeeding, make sure to bring your most comfy breastfeeding friendly clothing.

flying with a baby travel cot

8. How to make flying with a baby easier?

Don’t bring too many things with you, have sleep aids, snacks and activities to keep your little one happy. You don’t want your backpack to be too heavy and you want to have your hands free. 

If you haven’t booked an extra seat for baby, ask to be sat next to any spare seats at check-in this can give you that extra bit of breathing room and peace of mind.

Also ask for the bulkhead seats so you can use the extra leg room space, as well as the crib, as long as baby is not too heavy. That’s how to fly with a baby in a nutshell!

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Victoria R.

Friday 29th of November 2019

Thank you for this post, it cleared my mind a lot. I am travelling alone with my 8 months old. I am a little bit worried because we have 4 flights in total with all the connections. Do you think it is safe for a 8 months old to have 4 flights in one day?

travelmad

Friday 29th of November 2019

I don't think you need to worry about the safety, but if concerned I'd consult with your dr. The bigger issue is just that it will be really hard on you and your 8 month old who may get more cranky with each flight/the longer it continues so if there is a possibility of making one of the connections longer so you can sleep in a hotel somewhere and let your child crawl around, that will make the journey a lot more bearable.

Jolene Ejmont

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

thank you for being so inspiring! this is a great read for people wanting to travel with their baby! I say the younger the better! get them a passport and off you go! totally agree with you, doesn't matter what age!

Amy

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

Omg thank you so so so much!!! I’ve been trying to persuade my fiancé that travelling with a baby isn’t as bad as it seems and after showing him all this information we are now going abroad when baby is almost 6 months old!!! So excited & thank you for putting our mind at ease & answering all our questions!

Travel Mad Mum

Monday 24th of June 2019

I'm so happy you are going to take the leap! The first trip can be a little scary but you'll get used to it in no time! xx

Patricia

Monday 29th of April 2019

Wow thank you for detailed post! We're planning our big vacation right now. As a preparation we sleep trained our girl with WHL method. It was great! She's sleeping much better now and what's most important - is falling right back to sleep, even if waken accidentaly. Although we know that the plane trip is different than even the hardest day in you own crib. The organisation itself is stressing me out!

sophie

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Amazing tips.. very helpful information for new mums like me.. we are heading to Canada with the baby it's his first flight so i need all of this information & the comfy that he can make it cross-country without us losing our minds.