Preparing for your first trip with an infant or toddler? We know how stressful it can be and are here to help with all the answers to your most common (and less common) questions, from how to gate check a car seat to whether or not you should travel if your child has an ear infection.
In This Article:
- Prepping for Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
- What To Know Before Travel
- How to Pack
- Entertainment and Snacks for the Flight
- Train or Taxi Travel
Prepping for Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
Global Entry for Infants
Infants need to have an application filled out to be eligible for Global Entry (even if the parent already has it). You’ll also be required to pay the $100 application fee. An “interview” for your infant is required, but it’s just a formality where you have to present them in person at a Global Entry enrollment center, available at many airports.
Can a 2 month old baby travel on a plane?
Yes, two months is old enough for healthy babies to travel on a plane. Some airlines, like Southwest, may require medical releases for babies under 14 days, while others put the cut off at a week old. If you’re traveling with an infant shortly after their birth, bring along hand sanitizer and be sure to frequently wash your hands. For more on traveling with babies under 2 years old, .
When can you travel with a baby?
Some airlines don’t specify the age at which a baby is allowed onboard with you, while others require the baby is at least a week old (American Airlines) or even two weeks old (Southwest) before flying without a medical release. If you’re flying with an especially young newborn, it’s best to call the airline before you book to check its particular requirements.
What kind of ID does a child need to fly?
Most U.S. airlines make a blanket claim somewhere on their websites that youth passengers “may” be required to present an ID (birth certificate) to travel. But the truth is, you’re highly unlikely to be asked for any sort of ID for infants and toddlers. Once they get around toddler age, however, you may be required to provide proof of age if they’re flying as a lap baby and look close to age 2.
Before You Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
Can babies travel without a passport?
Babies can travel without a passport domestically, but require a passport to travel internationally. Here’s.
Packing For Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
What should I pack when traveling with a baby?
From diapers and wipes to use in transit (you can always buy more in your destination—in most locations, at least), to sippy cups, travel snacks, strollers, car seats and much more, there are several items to pack when traveling with a baby or toddler; here’s a list to get you started.
Can I get baby earplugs for flying?
Cotton balls work in a pinch, but are more effective and often more comfortable for your little one.
Can I gate check a car seat?
Yes, it’s free of charge on all U.S airlines to bring along and check a car seat—and you can choose to check it when you first check in for your flight as part of your checked baggage, or wait until you’re at the gate to check the car seat. Read more about .
How can I protect my car seat when flying?
Airport baggage facilities and airplane cargo holds aren’t the cleanest places on earth. It’s best to wrap your car seat in an oversized garbage bag, then tape it up for protection to keep it clean. Or better yet, buy a sturdier, purpose-made car seat bag to keep it under wraps and clean in transit.
What kind of stroller can I take on a plane?
Airlines’ rules differ when it comes to weight limits and size allowances for strollers that can be gate checked versus those that need to go under the plane with the checked luggage. So if you’re traveling with a particularly large stroller, call the airline in advance to check weight allowances. Collapsible are reliable options for bringing all the way to the gate, and some strollers are even small enough to board the plane with, push down the aisle and stow in the overhead bin (Babyzen Yoyo, for example).
What is the best stroller for travel?
The best stroller for travel is the one that meets airline size requirements and works best for your family. Here are our top picks:
What is the best carry-on luggage for toddlers?
How do I know if my car seat FAA approved?
Car seats that are approved by the FAA for travel have an official sticker on them—usually on one of their sides—that airline crew will ask to see before allowing your car seat inside an airplane’s cabin with you. If it doesn’t have the required sticker as proof, you may be forced to check your car seat under the airplane with the checked luggage.
What are the must-have items for traveling with a baby?
Once you get the essentials like diapers and wipes out of the way, there are some other that can make life easier for everyone—from portable high chairs to folding changing stations that can make light work out of your dirty work.
At the Airport with Your Infant or Toddler
Can I bring water for baby formula on a plane?
Yes. Any reasonable amount of water you bring through security for the purpose of making formula for your baby on a plane is subject to a separate security check and will be screened separately from your other carry-on luggage (the same applies to juices, milk, and the like). After security, any water (or other liquids) you purchase in the airport can be brought on the plane with no additional screening.
Flying With Your Infant or Toddler: Entertainment, Snacks and More
What are the best airplane games for toddlers?
What are the best airplane books for toddlers?
Books are an excellent way to keep toddlers entertained in-flight, but you’ll want them to be small and as lightweight as possible if you’re lugging them through airports. These are some of our favorite , including some good airplane books for toddlers.
What are the best airplane toys for toddlers?
Airplane toys for toddlers don’t need to be fancy. Think stickers, magnets, Playdough and the like. Basically, if it’s small enough to travel with and they’d enjoy it on land, you can bet it will be a hit at 30,000 feet. Flying with an infant? These are our picks for airplane toys for babies.
What are some relaxing airplane videos for kids?
Videos with animals playing and landscape scenes are good ways to keep kids mellow during screen time. For toddlers, videos of trains rolling through a landscape or flowers blooming—YouTube is a gold mine for this kind of thing—might be just the relaxing trick to help them wind down.The key is knowing what they like, and making sure your tablet or laptop has the good stuff downloaded before your lose your Wi-Fi connection (or have to pay for it in-flight).
Can my child fly with an ear infection?
Any adult who’s flown with an ear infection knows just how painful the change in altitude (and ensuing sinus pressure) can be when you fly. If your child develops an ear infection before a trip, it’s best to check with your doctor to see if postponing your trip might be the best option.
Train Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
Do children travel free on trains?
Rules on train travel for infants and toddlers vary by country, but in general, you can expect your infant or toddler to travel for free with a paying adult.
Car Travel With Your Infant or Toddler
What are the best audiobooks for family road trips?
There are plenty of options for all ages; check out our .
What are some good road trip games for kids?
Nothing keeps the “Are we there yet?” line at bay like a good old- fashioned road trip game, so we’ve rounded up theto challenge all the backseat drivers in your brood.
What are some fun things to do on a long car ride?
Long car rides can bring on the boredom, no doubt. So be sure to plan scheduled road trip stops that everyone can look forward to—and, whatever you do, don’t forget the snacks. When folks get restless, a can be just the trick to help make another hour tick by.
How can I travel with a baby in a taxi?
It’s always safest to have a car seat along when traveling with your baby in a taxi, even if many places (such asdon’t require car seats to be used during taxi rides. Ultimately, it’s the call of the parents whether they bring their car seat and base along for a taxi ride or choose to forgo it. In some cities, ride share companies provide cars with car seats, so it’s worth researching options at your destination ahead of your trip.