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How To Fly with a Baby. Tips and Tricks to Stay Sane.

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We all know those moments when during a flight we hear a baby crying and see a mortified mother who’s suffering even more than everybody around her. While a few moments of this might be unavoidable, there are many ways to ensure that the flight goes as smooth as possible with just a bit of preparation.

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Let’s dive right in and discover some traveling with baby essentials:

Airport Terminal Discover Traveling with Baby

Does a 2-year old need a plane ticket?

Kids under 2 years of age do not require a separate ticket as long as they are seated in parent’s lap. Every airline has a small fee for such young travelers and will ask you to buckle your child to your seat belt with a given attachment. You can always buy a separate ticket and bring a car seat with you, which is often recommended for the convenience of everybody and by safety experts.

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Kids over 2 will have to have a full ticket and sit on their own. Some airlines have a small ticket discount while others charge full price.

 

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What age babies can start flying?

Airport Play Area Kids Area

This largely depends on the airlines. Some, like American Airlines, allow 2-day old infants on board, others, like Southwest Airlines, require the baby to be at least 2 weeks old. Before flying, always contact the airline and ask. Some might require a notice from physician before letting the baby on the plane.

What baby equipment can you take with you on the flight?

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This also depends on the airline, but most will allow a diaper bag, a breast pump, and a car seat or infant seat. Most airlines also allow stroller gate check in. Even if a lap child is not approved for an extra luggage, parents still can take a stroller, a diaper bag, and a car seat.

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As with everything, the best course of action is to read the website for all the travel rules with a baby before purchasing tickets.

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Fun Zone for Kids

How prepared should you be?

There is never too much preparation when you’re traveling with a baby. You should always expect the unexpected and be ready for various travel conditions. Flights can easily get delayed, so you should have enough diapers, rash cream, formula, wipes, and all other supplies. You never know when instead five hours in the sky you might spend 2 days in the airports.

If you want to be a little extra, in addition to a bottle and a pacifier, have some baby ear plugs or covers to keep them comfortable and pain free. This protection will be beneficial not just for the baby, but you and your fellow passengers too.

Where should you change baby diapers?

Airport Terminal Gate Child's First Airplane Ride

For some reason many people are offended by a diaper change while in the seat. If you absolutely have to do it, do it seamlessly. Otherwise wait for the ground change if you are having a short flight. On longer flights try to work the little folding shelves in the bathrooms.

Is the location on the plane important?

Yes, you should talk to the airline in advance and secure the seats as much at the front as possible because those passengers board the plane last and leave first. The front of the plane gets the least amount of noise and turbulence. Finally, some bigger planes offer baby bassinets for families with babies for longer and international flights, this way helping immensely. Those bassinets bolt to bulkhead wall and are first come, first serve. Some people don’t like bulkhead seats because there is no space for your belongings to store under the feet, but we don’t view it as a big problem unless things start flying all over the plane.

What’s the best way to lug your luggage around?

Check Luggage Weight Necessary Things to Travel with a Child

As soon as you unload from the car you’ll see the amount of stuff you have to take with you when you travel with the baby. First of all hurry up to check in all your bags and then use your stroller as a luggage cart all the way to the gates. Your stroller will become your best companion.

You should always keep an eye on your baby, especially when most airlines don’t let families with little kids pre-board anymore. Waiting in a huge line together with other passengers is a prime time for falling luggage and smacking handbags. If both parents travel with a baby, one adult can go in first and secure the entire bin above with a safety seat and wait for another one with the baby to make a later entrance.

How should you handle fellow unhappy passengers?

Airport Check in Airport Gate

Young parents often experience angry looks while waiting at the gate, and you have to agree, there is reason for that. How often have you been trapped on the plane with a screaming baby whose parents did nothing about it? To avoid this, be courteous to your neighbors, smile, come prepared, and do your best to have your baby quiet and happy.

Which airlines are the most child-friendly?

According to customer reviews, the friendliest international airlines are Virgin Atlantic, Swissair, and many Asian companies. Domestic kid-friendly ones are mostly young and up and coming airlines, such as JetBlue.

Kids Entertainment at Airport Child-friendly Airlines

Most airports have enough entertainment for young kids, but three really stand out – Philadelphia International Airport, San Jose International Airport, and Boston Logan Airport. Other than that, you can make your child perfectly happy by finding a quiet area and letting him crawl around.

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