How To Fly With Newborn

Save These Tips For Flying With Babies And Toddlers

How to Fly With a Baby!

Be sure to save these tips for future reference. Just pin the graphic below to Pinterest. We hope youll while youre at it!

Do you have any questions or additional tips for flying with a baby or toddler? Let us know in the comments below!

For more help traveling with babies and young children, take a look at my book, The Travel Mamas Guide.

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received compensation from related to this story.

What Can I Take On The Flight

There are strict regulations about liquids on flights. Fortunately, baby milk, baby food and formula arent included in this, though you might be asked to taste the food for security reasons. Everything else is, so if you have more than 100ml of something you need such as nappy cream youll probably be asked to throw it away.

Your pram/stroller/bassinet will go in the hold. Depending on the airline, your baby may be allowed to sit on your lap during the flight . Some airlines require babies to be secured in a car seat on a seat of their own. So if youre taking a car seat with you, whether it goes in the hold or the cabin will likely depend on the airlines own policy.

Food and snacks are usually fine to take through security. To make things nice and easy, don’t bring anything that’s particularly messy or sticky.

Dont Forget Babys Medication

Make sure to pack any prescription and over-the-counter medicine you might need in your carryon bag. Liquid medications are exempt from TSA liquid limits. Be sure to keep them in their original packaging so they are easily identifiable. Infant ibuprofen can come in handy for sore ears and Dramamine for Kids is safe for children age 2+.

Pack medications in your diaper bag for easy retrieval during your flight

Also Check: What To Dress Newborn In For Sleep

Strategies For Packing For A Stress

While packing, youll be tempted to bring all the items that your baby uses regularly. Its important, however, to distinguish between the nice-to-haves and must-haves.

If youre able to do laundry where youre going, pack only what youll need for 2-3 days and do a load almost as soon as you arrive. You may also think about only packing enough wipes and diapers as are necessary for your travel day and the next day if you can just buy those items wherever youre headed.

Did you know there are resources for renting baby goods in many cities across the US? You can rent everything from a crib for baby to sleep in, to an activity mat to keep baby entertained. Sites like Babys Away and Babies Getaway can save you room in your luggage and additional strain when it comes to carrying the gamut of your babys necessities on your flight.

You may also want to invest in travel versions of some of the items you use every day at home. For instance, traveling with the MyBrestFriend Inflatable Travel Pillow and the Medela Hand Pump allowed me to maintain my normal breastfeeding routine while traveling.

Be sure to pack the following:

Where Lap Infants Cant Sit


In addition to emergency exit rows, or the rows directly in front of or behind the exit rows, some seats are off-limits to lap infants especially those who also have an assigned seat with a car seat installed. This is often due to airbags that are installed in some of the lap belts. Most often you will encounter this in some business or first class seats or the first row of economy, though those are hardly hard and fast rules as it simply varies by airline and aircraft.

For example, on United, child safety seats or restraint systems also arent permitted in United Polaris business class on 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.

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Before You Fly: Booking Your Flight Tickets And Seats

If youve got the luxury of time when planning your trip, then weve got a couple of tips for looking ahead that give you that little extra in terms of ease and relaxation.

  • Try to book off-peak flightsIt will be both more comfortable and safer if there are fewer people at the airport when youre waiting to board. Staff will be more able to help with any last-minute requests, too.
  • Try to get night-time flightsIf its a long-haul flight, see if you can book one that flies through the night. This means that your kids are in an environment designed for sleep and might make it through the flight without too much fuss. But remember that other passengers will be trying to sleep too.
  • Do your research Shop around among airlines. Some are more accommodating than others when it comes to kids, and for the sake of a few quid it can make a massive difference. They may allow very little children to sit on your lap for the flight, which can also mean a reduction in the cost of the ticket, so be sure to ask.

International Flight Versus Domestic

There is no “blanket fare rule” for flying with a newborn. Most airlines allow newborn babies to fly for free as long as they are seated on the lap of the mommy or daddy . As a general rule, only one infant should remain in the lap of an adult. While it is free for domestic flights, be prepared to pay 10-25% of a full adult fare when flying internationally, depending on taxes and other conditions.

Air Canada, for example, flies lap-seated infants for free when traveling within Canada or between United States and Canada, but requires a 10% of adult fare payment when flying with your newborn internationally. United Airlines charges regular fare for infants regardless of seating for international flights. Others like Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Emirates charge 10% of adult fare even when flying with your newborn for a domestic flight.Although some airlines do not allow children below 2 years old to occupy their own seat, others would ask you to buy an additional seat for safety. Turbulence might cause serious injury to a lap-seated newborn without a fastened safety belt. When buying additional seats for your baby, most airlines like Air Canada would charge depending on the route and length of travel. Other airlines automatically charge 50% -75% of an adult fare.

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Bring More Baby Supplies Then You Need

In an effort to pack light, you might only bring what your baby needs for the flight. Yet, flight delays could extend the length of your trip by several hours.

So make sure you bring more baby food, snacks, formula or pumped breast milk, diapers, and other supplies than you actually need to avoid a hungry, fussy baby.

Fly With A Lap Baby To Avoid Paying An Infant Fare


One benefit of flying with an infant is that you dont have to book a separate seat for them, though what parent couldnt use the extra space? Thats why airlines offer two seating options for infants: You can purchase a separate ticket or seat for them and use a car seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration , or you can hold the infant on your lap during the flight.

Lap infants dont have to pay on domestic flights, but youll still need to reserve a ticket for them. Keep in mind that lap infants do pay to fly on international flights, but this isnt the full fare. Itll be either a flat fee or a percentage of the adult fare, depending on the airline.

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The Essential Packing Checklist For Flying With An Infant

  • Diapers: In your carry-on, you’ll need one for each hour of transit, plus extras. Don’t risk getting stranded without diapers during a travel delay.
  • Diaper cream
  • Baby wipes for diaper changes and messes
  • Sanitizing wipes for cleaning tray tables and other surfaces
  • Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes and diapers
  • Burp cloths
  • Bibs
  • Nursing cover
  • Blankets: Small ones for wrapping baby and a big one to place on the airport floor so baby can playCarrier or sling
  • Two changes of clothes for your baby
  • Change of clothes for yourself
  • Pacifiers
  • Snacks, such as cereal, puffs, crackers, fruit
  • Breast milk or formula: In reasonable quantities, both of these are exempt from the TSA’s 3-ounce limit, as is juice. These liquids may be tested by security agents. You can also try individual, pre-measured formula packets to mix with bottled water.
  • Canned or jarred baby food: These items may be subject to additional TSA screening.
  • Small cooler with ice packs: Gel packs and other cooling accessories are allowed by the TSA.
  • Bottles

Protect Ears When Flying With A Baby Or Toddler

Sucking or chewing helps ease ear pain caused by pressure changes in the airplanes cabin. Bring formula or pumped breast milk and give your baby a bottle during take-off and landing so you can keep junior safely buckled. Keep in mind that breast milk is exempt from the 3.4 ounce liquid rule. If your child doesnt take bottles, then a sippy cup or pacifier works, too. Chewing a cracker or cookie can also help older toddlers.

EarPlanes are wonderful for flyers with sensitive ears. Pop these special plastic ear plugs into little ears at the beginning of the airplanes descent to lessen pressure and pain. Childrens EarPlanes work for kids aged 1+. You might also want to ask your pediatrician to prescribe ear pain drops before your flight with your baby.

Changes in cabin pressure cause ear pain for many babies and toddlers

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Flying With A Baby All Your Questions Answered

Flying with a baby for the first time can be intimidating, but dont let that dissuade you from planning a trip. In reality even a long haul flight with baby is really only a very small portion of your entire trip. And you will get through it.

It might seem like an eternity at the time, but once its all over its time to enjoy your trip.

Or the other likely possibility is that it wont be nearly as bad as you imagine or have built up in your head. And if theres one thing we know for sure its that your last flight with baby will not necessarily be indicative of whats to come. Babies change so fast.

Every flight and every time you travel with baby will be different. So even if youve had a bad experience flying with your baby in the past, dont let that stop you!

Flying with a Baby

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Buy A Separate Airplane Seat For Your Child


I recommend you book a separate seat for your child, even though lap children under age 2 typically fly free. Not only is this the safer option, but also it gives your family more room to spread out and relax on the plane. If you boarded a plane and were informed that your safety belt was broken, Id bet youd balk. Why put your child at risk?

Heres what the Federal Aviation Administration says on their website, Did you know that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system or device, not on your lap? Your arms arent capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence. They continue, The Federal Aviation Administration strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight. Its the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination.

A separate seat for baby is safer and more convenient

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Tips For Flying With A Baby: What I Learned On 26 Flights

I am an avid traveler the more passport stamps, the better. And then I got pregnant.

My friends said, Youll never travel again!Its all over from here.Kiss that passport goodbye. Apparently my friends thought flying with a baby would slow me down.

Not exactly inspiring, friends.

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  • Check With Pediatrician About Traveling With A Sick Baby

    A change in air pressure during take off and landing can make a babys ears hurt, especially if theyre deal with a cold, allergies, or nasal congestion.

    Before your flight, talk to your pediatrician to see if its safe for your baby to travel while sick. If so, ask about what you may be able to give your baby for any related ear pain.

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    Make Sure Your Hand Luggage Has Everything You Need

    Anything thats in your hold luggage will be out of action from the point you check it in to the time you haul it off the baggage reclaim belt the other end.

    So make sure that everything you could possibly need is in your hand luggage. Heres a quick checklist to help you out:

    • Wet wipes and hand sanitiser
    • Snacks and treats
    • Boiled sweets well come to those in a minute
    • Tablets, handheld gaming devices, battery packs
    • Pens and paper

    You know what your children like to do best, so be sure to pack it. And remember that they might be able to take hand luggage of their own if theyre over a certain age. Just make sure they dont lose it.

    Keep Your Baby Buckled

    How to Travel with a Baby Newborn Flight Guide and Tips

    Buckled snugly into a car seat or other approved restraint is the safest place for a baby or toddler on an airplane, especially in case of unexpected turbulence. Your child is used to being secured in the car seat during trips to the store or zoo. He or she knows to stay in this special seat, and if youre lucky, your child doesnt question this.

    Of course, the time may come when you need to unbuckle your youngster for a diaper change, potty break or to stretch those little legs especially during a long flight. Once your child tastes sweet freedom, though, you might struggle to get him or her back into the seat. An infant will often want to stay in your arms for the whole flight. Meanwhile, a newly walking toddler may want to run up and down the aisle nonstop. Therefore, its best to stay securely fastened as long as reasonable.

    The safest place for a baby or toddler on an airplane is a car seat or other approved restraint

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