Sometimes, we parents like to worry about things that haven’t happened or don’t even exist. Flying with infants and kids is one of those examples of unnecessary worry. Sure, it’s different and a bit more challenging than traveling solo but, with the right state of mind, it can be fun and rewarding. In fact, if you think about it you’ll realize that flying with infants and babies before they can crawl and walk is the easiest time to fly! During this golden age, they stay where you put them and just need to eat, sleep, be changed and some light entertainment… just like at home!
Here are a few answers and tips to the most common questions of parents who are new to flying with infants.
- Free Gate Check – You’ll be relieved to know that most airlines don’t give you trouble or charge extra for gate checking a stroller and car seat. Each airline website will detail their policies, though, so it’s best to take a look.
- Baby Food – You can take baby formula, water, and food with you through security, though they may ‘test it’ for chemicals if it’s liquid or pureed baby food and it’s over the allowed 3.4 ounce (100 ml). I’ve ran into a few TSA check points that actually make you open all your snack pouches over 3.4 ounces so try to shop for those around 3 ounces, even if you have to buy the ones for younger babies. Some airports seem to be stricter than others (the little Mesa, AZ airport,for example – sheesh) and don’t care if the food will ruin before the baby can eat them.
- Lap Children – Kids under 2-years old can fly free of charge on domestic flights as a lap child but be sure to bring a birth certificate or passport to prove their age. Most airline websites allow you to add a lap child online when you book but if they don’t, be sure to call and add them to your itinerary. We preferred the lap child method as my son always wanted to sit on my lap anyway… why spend the money?! Also, dragging a car seat and a baby and baby bags and carry-ons through the plane is not fun. International flights charge taxes but tickets for kids under are still much less expensive. Take advantage of it!
- Accept Help – Most people will be more than willing to help you when you’re flying with infants so… relax, accept help, and smile. It’s all part of the adventure…
I hope this has helped you answer a few questions you have (or didn’t know to ask) and help you feel more comfortable and confident in your future flying with infants. Remember, flying with your little ones before they can walk or crawl is the best time to get them used to planes.