Just as momentous as your baby’s first steps and first solid food is your baby’s first flight. It’s understandable for parents to have mixed feelings when traveling with their baby or toddler for the first time.

man carrying infant on chest airport

Baby and Toddler Travel

You won’t know how they will react to being on the plane until they’re on it.

And it’s okay to feel a little freaked out beforehand, especially when the thought of passengers giving you the looks when your baby or toddler is crying comes to mind.

But there’s no need to dread it. Your baby or toddler may or may not love air travel, and no matter what happens, you’ll get through it with careful planning and the right gear for travel. In this article, you will find the things you need to know to make traveling with your little one much easier.

What to Pack

Whether you are flying or traveling by car with your baby or toddler, you will be bringing more items than you normally would when traveling alone.

Therefore, it’s important to make a checklist of the essentials you will bring, including a stroller, car seat, and travel crib. If you are on the hunt for these travel essentials for your baby, check out ParentingTipster website.

Besides strollers, car seats, and travel cribs, everyone has their own go-to items when traveling with their little ones. But these items should include a baby carrier, a fully stocked diaper bag with a pack of diapers, wipes, formula or breast milk, and food just enough to get you and your little one through the flight duration, including hours of delay.

A well-supplied bag should also include a pacifier clip—you’ll thank us later after saving you from the horror of watching your baby drop the pacifier on the cabin floor—hand sanitizer, a trash bag for a soiled diaper, and one new toy that your little one has to open on the plane.

Seasoned traveler parents swear by this new toy trick. This will get your little one’s attention a bit longer than an older toy.

On a side note: Make sure to do a count of your travel bags when going through the airport security and getting off the plane. Think about the worst-case scenario that could happen when you forget the bag with your little one’s favorite toy and pacifier.

Airline’s Checked Baggage Policy for Strollers and Car Seats.

One thing that makes flying with your baby or toddler less stressful is that most airlines allow passengers to check one car seat and one stroller for no additional fees at the ticket counter—whether you’re traveling with a lap infant or you’re paying an infant fare. You can also check one car seat or one stroller—but not both—at the gate.

When checking a car seat or stroller at the gate, make sure to ask for a gate check tag at the counter before boarding.

Lap Infant vs. Paid Seat

Remember that the baggage policies will differ depending on whether you’re traveling with a lap infant or paying for your little one’s seat.

As we all know, airline policies vary in some ways. That’s why, before you travel, it’s important to know your airline’s policy for checked baggage, including car seats and strollers. Usually, a lap infant won’t get the same baggage allowance as an infant with a paid seat. 

Therefore, if you check a bag for a lap infant, it will be calculated towards your baggage allowance. In addition to your own personal carry-on, airlines also allow one diaper bag as a carry-on for each lap infant—free of charge.

Airline’s Documentation Requirements

It’s always a good idea to be prepared in advance to avoid any issues when you board the plane.

Depending on the destination, most airlines have different documentation requirements. So, make sure to contact your preferred airline so you can prepare the needed documents when traveling with a baby or toddler.

Such documents include proof of age if you are flying with a lap infant. Airlines allow infants aged less than two years old to travel without seats. Whichever airline you are traveling on, it’s important to carry an extra copy of your little one’s birth certificate.

Also, when traveling with a baby less than 7 days old, some airlines will require you to provide a completed medical form from your pediatrician, which should state that your baby is safe to travel.

Do Babies Need an I.D and a Passport?

Babies and toddlers don’t need an I.D when traveling domestically but are strictly required to present a passport when traveling internationally.

In the case where your little one is traveling with only one parent, proof of the relationship may be required from the traveling parent. This is where a copy of your child’s birth certificate comes in handy.

Conclusion

Traveling with a baby or toddler can be intimidating, but with the proper preparation, documents, and the right baby travel gear, your trips moving forward will become easier.