Saturday, December 18, 2010

Airline Travel with Baby During the Holidays

I know that for many moms airline travel with a baby and toddler can be worrisome and stressful. The thought alone can seem overwhelming. While tips like travel during off-peak times and choose nonstop flights might be practical and helpful, during the Holiday Season that is not always possible. I've done my fair share of travel with my little ones these past four years. My first traveling with baby experience was when my son was only two months old. I've learned that being well prepared and flexible are incredibly important to successful air travel.

OmniPeace + Carry On + Toys + Passport + Traveling With Baby + International Travel + Domestic Travel + Toddler Travel + Sequins + Bag + Silver and Black Bag
{Silver Sequin Bag courtesy of OmniPeace}

Age & Timing:

I'm sure that most pediatricians have different preferences, and advise when it comes to hopping on a flight with an infant, but most would generally agree that as long as your baby is in good health, it is fine to take them on a flight. Of course times like peek flu season, you will probably want to avoid whenever possible.

The Ticket:
  • Most domestic flights do not charge for a baby under the age of two, if seated in your lap.
  • For comfort and safety reasons, you may want to book a seat for your baby. The airline will charge you at a discounted price of 50% off, for a baby 2 and under.
  • For international flights all babies, regardless of age, will need a ticket {typically at a discounted rate}.
Identification:
  • For all international flights, your baby will need a passport.
  • For domestic flights, I've always just used my children's passports, but their birth certificate should be fine as well
  • Note: When one parent is traveling with their child{ren} internationally, it is recommended that you have a notarized consent letter from your spouse, authorizing the international travel {here is a sample of a consent letter} I've personally never experienced needing to show proof that my husband is consenting of the travel of our children internationally, without him. It has, however, happened to a few friends of mine.
Carry On:
  • You know your child best! Bring items you know keep them entertained as wells as items that comfort them...along with all the day to day necessary it items {bottles, pacifiers, wipes, diapers, extra change of clothes, socks, their favorite blanket {or comfort item}, toys, food, snacks, medications needed, etc. you know the drill} ;)
  • Liquids such as breast milk, formula and juices are accepted, but you are required to declare it upon check. Read more about to 3-1-1 here
Check In:
  • When checking in, you might want to politely ask if the flight is completely booked. If not, they are almost always more then happy to try and seat you in a row with an extra open seat.
  • Large items, like your stroller, you will fold and leave steps before entering the plane. Try and remove things you might have stored in the stroller, that you will need on the flight. {upon arrival, your items will be brought out and you'll pick them up immediately once you exit the flight}
Boarding:
  • Unfortunately, not everyone will be thrilled to see you nearing their seat with your little ones. As a mom, your instinct will gauge their vibe right away. A more experienced traveling mom, might not get intimidated by the glare of other passengers, while a mom new to traveling will already have enough worries and stresses that the energy of those near by could really help or hurt the experience.
  • Depending on your situation, a flight attendant can help move you to an area closer to another traveling mom, or reassign the passenger, who is glaring at you, like you've ruined their flight before it even took off...little did they know you have a easy, calm little traveler with you ;)
  • If your baby is partial to warm milk, and you know in two hours she'll want to eat, let the flight attendant know in advance. That way you can coordinate timing, in case that was the coinciding time they were planning on serving food down the isle.
Overall:

I thankfully never had an awful flight experience, and gratefully, have very calm little travelers. Flying experiences are not all alike, and on one flight it might be a breeze, while on the other it might be a nightmare. I've never gone on a flight, with the expectation of a perfect or nightmare of a flight. Much like my take on everything, I always try to be as prepared as possible, and flexible with any changes along the way. When things are not in your control, like airports, airlines, weather, and passengers around you, security and everything else that comes along with air travel, it's hugely in your benefit to stay as calm and flexible as possible.

Flying with your children is physically tiring no matter how seamlessly the flight goes, so be easy on yourself. If your baby is a few months old she will sleep through much of the flight and it will probably be easier then if your child is a toddler.

Throughout the entire experience, trust yourself and believe in yourself. As a mom, you are always giving it your best. Be forgiving and not so hard on yourself in your little one kicks the seat in front of you or cries while you are doing all that you can to calm them down. In the moment, it might seem like a long flight, but it's shorter then it seems. Remember the flight is temporary and it's just taking you to your destination, which is your ultimate goal. You will do an amazing job. Know it and believe! I wish you happy and safe travels!

5 comments:

  1. You have such perfect timing! I have heard horror stories from friends. One time a friend's baby got the worst case of the runs. Needless to say they blew through all their diapers within a half an hour. I will always bring at least ten diapers on a flight now.

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  2. So I don't have a baby but I'm loving that bag!!

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  3. great tips ! thanks for sharing them !!
    i think my friends n cousins who have babies can use this help !

    i hope you've had a great weekend :)
    glisters and blisters

    shop my online store at www.charlottes-closet.tk

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  4. excellent advice!

    our little crumb is an excellent traveler as well, but like you, I account it to being prepared!

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  5. Those are such a great tips,sweetie
    Have a lovely day
    Kisses

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and comment! Hope you are having a great day!