Flying With a Baby? Here’s What to Know Before You Go

Medical review policy, latest update:, how old should a baby be to fly, read this next, what do children need to fly, tips for flying with an infant.

What to Expect the First Year , 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff., Do Babies Need Passports? , May 2019., Should You Bring Your Child’s Car Seat on an Airplane? , August 2021., Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling While Breastfeeding , August 2020. American Academy of Pediatrics, Family Friendly Flying , November 2015.  American Academy of Pediatrics, Flying With Baby: Parent FAQs , November 2019.   American Airlines, Traveling With Children .  Delta Air Lines, Infant Air Travel , 2021.  Federal Aviation Administration, Flying With Children , March 2021.  Transportation Security Administration, Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ .  Transportation Security Administration, Identification .  Transportation Security Administration, Will Minors Need to Have a State ID to Fly Domestically? United Airlines, Traveling With Children , 2021.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Children – Child Traveling With One Parent or Someone Who Is Not a Parent or Legal Guardian or a Group , December 2019.

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Is air travel safe for an infant?

Air travel is typically safe for most healthy, full-term infants after the first few weeks. Air travel may not be a good idea for babies born before their due date, called premature or pre-term.

Babies born early may still need time for their lungs to mature. So check with a healthcare professional before flying in a pressurized cabin or visiting high-altitude places.

And any infant with heart or lung problems should be cleared for air travel by a healthcare professional.

As you plan your trip, here are some things to keep in mind, such as the baby's age, your health and some basics of flying.

The baby's age, overall health

Experts caution against flying in the first seven days after a baby is born. Some healthcare professionals suggest not traveling for the first few months.

In general, babies and adults face the same risk of exposure to illness from travel. But a baby's immune system is still learning how to protect against germs. And in most cases, a baby's illness needs to be more closely watched by a healthcare professional.

Caregiver health and planning

It is important for caregivers to think about their own health too. Flying with a child can cause added sleep loss and stress. And adults are at risk for new germs and illness, as well.

Finding out what illnesses are spreading in your area and where you're going can help you prepare and take thoughtful action. And basic things like handwashing are even more important to prevent the spread of germs while traveling.

The baby's ears

Offering a baby something to suck on may help relieve the baby's ear discomfort. You can offer the baby a breast, bottle or pacifier to suck on during takeoff and the start of the landing process. It might help to try to time feedings so that your baby is hungry during these times.

Ask a healthcare professional when it's safe to fly with babies who have had ear surgery or an ear infection.

Also, airplane cabin noise levels are loud, mainly during takeoff. Cotton balls, noise-canceling headphones or small earplugs may limit your baby's exposure to this noise. This may help make it easier for your baby to sleep.

The baby's safety seat

Most infant car seats are certified for air travel. Airlines often allow infants to ride on a caregiver's lap during flight. But the Federal Aviation Administration recommends that infants ride in properly secured safety seats.

If you choose not to purchase a ticket for your infant, ask about open seats when you board the plane. It's possible an open seat could be assigned to your infant.

Don't be tempted to give your baby medicine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others), to help the baby sleep during the flight. The practice isn't recommended, and sometimes the medicine can have the opposite effect.

Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.

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  • Jana LA, et al. Flying the family-friendly skies. In: Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. 4th ed. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2020. Accessed Oct. 30, 2023.
  • Newborn-flying and mountain travel. Pediatric Patient Education. Accessed Oct. 30, 2023.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traveling safely with infants & children. In: CDC Yellow Book 2024. Accessed Oct. 30, 2023.
  • AskMayoExpert. Infant Fever. Accessed Nov. 18, 2023.
  • Schmitt BD. Pediatric Telephone Protocols: Office Version. 17th ed. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2021.
  • Child safety on airplanes. Federal Aviation Administration. Accessed Nov. 18, 2023.

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Flying with a baby: 15 tips for an easier trip

Planning on flying with a baby? Here's everything you need to know, including whether your baby can fly for free and tips for managing the flight.

Caroline Picard

How old does a baby need to be to fly?

Do babies fly free, what do babies need to fly, 15 tips for flying with a baby.

Flying with a baby adds a layer of complication and planning – but that doesn't mean you can't make it work. To help the trip go as smoothly as possible, book a seat for your baby, plan for the security screening, and pack wisely for you and your little one. For everything even the most seasoned travelers need to know about air travel with a baby , read on.

Planning a flight with a newborn? There isn't an official age requirement for air travel, but airlines have varying policies. Some (such as Alaskan Airlines) have no minimum age to fly; others (American Airlines, JetBlue) say babies can fly as young as two or three days old; and still others (Delta, United, Spirit, Frontier) allow babies on board after the first week of life.

Less commonly, airlines will require infants to be slightly older. Southwest, for example, says children must be at least 14 days old for an international flight. Check with your airline to confirm their policy before booking a ticket for your little one.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics Opens a new window (AAP) discourages parents from flying with a baby too soon after birth. With their delicate immune systems, newborns have a heightened risk of contracting an infectious disease on a plane. That's especially true if your baby was born prematurely or has a condition such as a chronic heart problem that makes them more vulnerable.

Always discuss your travel plans with your pediatrician and ask what they recommend. Depending on your baby's age and your destination, they might suggest an extra dose of certain vaccines .

Babies and toddlers under 2 years old aren't legally required to occupy an airplane seat and can instead travel as a "lap infant" on their parent's ticket. Lap infants are generally free of charge, although you may pay a percentage of the full fare if you're traveling internationally .

Even though you don't officially need to purchase a ticket for your under-2-year-old, leading experts agree that it's much safer to buy an airplane seat for your baby. That's because a baby held in your arms is nowhere near as secure as they'd be buckled into an approved child restraint system should the plane encounter turbulence.

Unrestrained children are the leading cause of pediatric injuries on an airplane, and lap infants have tragically been killed during even moderate turbulence. Although it can be upsetting to think about, human arms are simply not strong enough to hold a child in these events. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Opens a new window , and the  National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Opens a new window all strongly urge parents to purchase an airplane seat for young children.

If you book a seat for your baby or toddler, bring an FAA-approved child restraint on board to strap them in safely. You can use a car seat on a plane (make sure it's approved for both motor vehicles and aircraft) or AmSafe's Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) device Opens a new window .

Although it can be tough to swallow the additional cost, a baby or toddler in their own seat has other benefits in addition to safety: They're more comfortable during the flight, easier to manage, and more likely to fall asleep, many parents find.

This depends a little on your child's age, the airline you're flying, and whether you're traveling within the United States or internationally.

For domestic travel, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Opens a new window doesn't require children under 18 to provide identification. However, it's still smart to check your airline's identification requirements. Some (JetBlue, Alaska Airlines) may ask for an infant's proof of age for domestic flights, which could be a birth certificate, passport, or immunization record.

Other airlines, such as Southwest, might not ask for proof of age but may require you to have a boarding verification document printed for your infant from the ticket counter even if they aren't occupying their own seat. When in doubt, it doesn't hurt to have some extra documentation for your baby just in case.

If you're flying internationally, your baby will need a passport regardless of their age. And if your baby is flying internationally with just one parent, you might be asked to show a letter of consent.

1. Check in with your airline

Regardless of whether you're flying with a lap infant or purchasing a seat for your baby, it's worth connecting with the airline ahead of time to discuss your seating options. A few things to consider bringing up with the agent:

If you're going the lap infant route : Ask the airline if there's an option to reserve a seat in a row with a skycot. These onboard bassinets are designed for babies 6 months and younger and provide a place for your baby to lie down flat during the flight (though you will need to pick them up whenever the seatbelt sign is on, as well as during takeoff and landing). Also confirm whether there are any rules about how many lap infants are permitted per row or section. Alaska Airlines, for example, has a policy Opens a new window stipulating where lap infants can sit on certain aircrafts.

If you're booking your baby their own seat and bringing a car seat : Some airlines require that car seats be placed next to a window so they don't block other passengers. A bulkhead row can also be nice to request when traveling with a car seat since it provides extra legroom. Just keep in mind that in the bulkhead row, it's sometimes trickier to access bags that might contain diapers, milk, and anything else you might need. Because there's no seat in front of you to stash your personal item under, you'll likely be asked to place it in the overhead compartment.

2. Ask whether your child is eligible to earn points

When booking a seat for your child, look into the airline's loyalty program. Some, though not all, will allow children to earn points that you can use towards future travel. Take  JetBlue Opens a new window , which lets parents enroll children 13 and younger in their TrueBlue account. You can then combine points earned within the family through the airline's Points Pooling program.

3. Confirm that your car seat is FAA-approved

If you've bought an airplane seat for your baby, bring an FAA-approved car seat for your child. This is the safest way for babies to fly, plus it ensures you'll have a car seat for your baby at your destination. It's likely that your child's existing car seat is approved for airline travel, but check the product manual or look for a label that says "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft" to make sure.

If you didn't buy a ticket for your baby, you might get lucky and be able to use the car seat if there are empty seats on board, but there are no guarantees with this approach.

4. Consider your stroller strategy

If you're traveling with a baby or toddler, chances are good that you'll be bringing your stroller along, too. Families have three options when flying with a stroller:

Check it at the ticket counter: If you want a stroller at your destination but don't need it in the airport, you can check it along with your baggage when you arrive. (Note that some airlines always require you to check a stroller at the ticket counter if it weighs over a certain amount.) A stroller usually doesn't count towards your checked baggage, and many airlines allow families to check one stroller and one car seat per child for no extra cost. If you do check a stroller when you arrive at the airport, you may want to use a baby carrier to get your baby to your gate.

Gate-check your full-size stroller: The benefit of gate-checking a stroller is that you have it with you while navigating the airport, which many families find helpful. Waiting in a long security line or racing to the gate with a small child in tow is often much easier with the support of a stroller. Plus, you can use the stroller's storage basket to stash some of your stuff. The downside is that you'll have to wait for your stroller to be unloaded once you arrive, which can slightly prolong the process of getting out of the airport.

Bring along a stroller that will fit in the overhead bin: If you'd prefer not to gate-check your stroller, consider investing in a lightweight travel stroller. Some are compact enough to fit in most overhead compartments when collapsed (though you can check your airline's carry-on bag size guidelines to be sure). Their smaller size can be convenient for travel, and it's also nice not to have to wait for a gate-checked stroller to be brought back up when you land.

5. Look into your baggage options

Airlines have different baggage policies, but call ahead of time to understand exactly what you can bring on board. For example, while lap infants are generally not entitled to their own carry-on bags, many airlines allow families traveling with a child to bring a diaper bag, a breast pump , a cooler bag for milk or formula, an FAA-approved car seat, and a compact stroller onboard in addition to the regular carry-on and personal item allowance.

6. Pack smart

Packing for a flight with a baby is an art form: You need to have access to all the essentials, but you also don't want to overpack and have to rummage through a big bag to find something you need.

Consider what you'll want to have access to during the flight and pack your bags accordingly. For example, it's helpful to have a bag with diapers, wipes, disposable changing mats, disposable diaper bags, and a change of clothes at easy reach. For more ideas, check out our suggested packing list for traveling with a baby .

Definitely pack more spare clothes for your baby than you'll think you'll need – and include a fresh shirt for yourself. Nothing is worse than a blowout on an airplane! (Here's how to handle a blowout or change a diaper on a plane .)

7. Be ready for flight delays and cancellations

When you're traveling with your little one, the last thing you want to deal with is getting stuck at the airport. But it happens, so be prepared. Bring more than enough diapers, formula, and snacks in your carry-on bags, as well as a few changes of clothes for your baby (and perhaps a change of clothes for you, too). Flight delays and cancellations can make it difficult to get your checked luggage, so you want to have the essentials with you. 

In the same vein, consider gate checking your car seat and stroller (rather than checking them at the ticket counter) so you can easily get them back if needed.

8. Plan ahead to bring formula, breast milk, and bottles

Thankfully, not all the TSA rules about traveling with liquids apply to you. Parents are permitted to bring greater volumes of breast milk or formula through security.

Review your airline's policies for bringing formula or breast milk on board and hand it to security officers when you go through screening. You don't need to put bottles into the standard quart-size zip-top bag.

To speed up the process, TSA recommends storing either breast milk or formula in clear, translucent bottles rather than plastic bags or pouches, which may be subject to additional screening. And if you pack all the bottles in a cooler bag, know that most airlines won't count it towards your personal item allowance.

Breast pumps are often considered medically necessary, and ice packs, freezer packs, and other cooling accessories are allowed in your carry-on bags. You can bring all of these items on board even if your child isn't traveling with you.

9. Pack formula safely …

When traveling with baby formula, keep these safe storage tips in mind:

Ready-to-feed formula: Bring an unopened container and clean, empty bottles on board. When your baby is ready for feeding, pour the formula into the bottle and serve it right away.

Powdered formula: Fill bottle(s) with clean water, and bring a small container of powdered formula and a scoop with you on the plane. You can measure, shake, and serve a bottle to your baby when they're ready for a feeding.

Premade bottles: You can also bring premade bottles through security if you prefer, using a cooler to keep them cold. Just keep in mind that if the cooler doesn't keep bottles at 35 to 40 degrees, you'll need to use or refrigerate them within two hours.

10. … and breast milk, too

A cooler will be essential if you're bringing breast milk on a plane. You can pack breast milk in bottles or pre-sterilized, sealable storage bags in a cooler bag, then offer them to your baby on the plane.

Breast milk will stay fresh for 24 hours in a cooler with frozen ice packs. At room temperature, breast milk is good for four hours; in the refrigerator, for four days; and frozen, for up to 12 months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Opens a new window . 

11. Bring plenty of snacks

If your little one has started solids , pack baby-friendly foods for your flight. Containers with pre-chopped fruit, steamed veggies, tofu, and crackers are all easy choices. Know that you're also allowed to bring puree pouches through security, as the TSA considers them medically necessary liquids. And make sure to include snacks for yourself, too!

12. Consider whether you want to board early

Most airlines allow families to pre-board. But there are two schools of thought on how to approach boarding with kids: Some families relish the chance to locate their seats early and settle in, while others find it difficult to entertain young children on an airplane that's not moving as other passengers also try to get settled.

If you're traveling with your partner or a loved one, you might decide to split up, with one adult boarding early with the bags while the other lets the kids run around a bit longer by the gate.

13. Bring entertainment for older babies

Younger infants may be mostly content to sleep, eat, and snuggle their parents, but older babies and toddlers can be trickier to keep occupied on an airplane. At this stage, kids are learning how to pull up to a stand and walk , or else have recently mastered these skills and are eager to explore an exciting new environment.

While you don't need to pack tons of toys, a few new items can help hold their attention. Some ideas: a slinky, painter's tape, small board books, coloring books and crayons, and stickers. You can also try classic car games like "I Spy" and "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

14. Take steps to fight jet lag

If you're crossing time zones, try shifting your baby's sleep schedule over a few days leading up to your departure and exposing them to sunlight once you reach your destination. Or, you may want to keep the same schedule in the new time zone if that works best for you. Here are more tips for handling time changes with a baby .

15. Prepare for pressure changes

If your baby's ears seem to hurt from air pressure changes during takeoff and landing, encourage them to breastfeed or suck on a bottle, pacifier , or sippy cup. If your baby's strapped into a car seat, give them something to suck on while in their seat rather than taking them out to breastfeed. It's safest for both of you to be securely buckled in.

Not all babies experience ear pain when flying, so use your judgment. If your baby's sleeping soundly, leave them be and they might get through the takeoff or landing without any trouble.

Was this article helpful?

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BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies .

Alaska Airlines. Undated. Traveling with infants and children. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2023. Flying with Baby: Parent FAQs. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

American Airlines. Undated. Traveling with children and infants. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022. Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Delta. 2023. Children and Infant Travel. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Federal Aviation Administration. 2023. Flying with Children. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Federal Aviation Administration. Undated. Frequently Asked Questions. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

National Transportation Safety Board. 2015. Child Passenger Safety on Aircraft. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Southwest Airlines. Undated. Traveling with an infant. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Transportation Security Administration. Undated. Traveling with Children. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Transportation Security Administration. Undated. Identification. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

United. Undated. Traveling With Children. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Kathleen Felton

Kathleen Felton is a freelance writer and editor. She was previously the executive editor of editorial strategy and growth at BabyCenter, the world's number one parenting resource. She is originally from Farmington, Connecticut, and now lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two sons.

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Safety & Prevention

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Flying with Baby: Parent FAQs

flight travel with baby

By: Claire McCarthy, MD, FAAP & Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

Taking a baby on a plane is something that most parents approach with caution. Infants and air travel can both be unpredictable, and they don't always mix well. But some advanced planning and preparation can help make for a better experience for your baby, for you, and for everyone else on the plane.

Here are answers to some questions you may have before traveling with an infant, along with tips for a smoother and safer flight.

When is my baby old enough to fly on an airplane?

Generally, you should avoid flying with your newborn until they are at least 7 days old. Ideally, wait until your baby is two or three months old to fly. Air travel (and being in crowded airports) can increase a newborn's risk of catching an infectious disease.

Should my baby sit on my lap during the flight?

Ideally, no. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn't require a ticket for children under the age of 2 years. But that means your baby will be on your lap. If there is turbulence, or worse, it may not be physically possible to protect your baby in your arms. Turbulence is the number one cause of children's injuries on an airplane.

If you do not buy a ticket for your child, you may want to ask if your airline will let you use an empty seat where you can install a car seat for your baby. If your airline's "lap baby" policy allows this, avoid the busiest travel days and times to increase your odds of finding an empty seat next to you.

The safest way for baby to fly

The safest way for your baby to fly is in a child safety restraint ―an FAA-approved car seat or airplane harness device . It should be approved for your child's age and size, and installed with the airplane's seat belt. Booster seats cannot be used on airplanes during flight.

  • Infants weighing less than 20 pounds should be bucked into a rear-facing car seat during airplane travel.
  • Children who weigh 20 to 40 pounds should be restrained in a car seat. They should not be switched to using just the airplane's lap belt until they reach at least 40 pounds.

There is an FAA-approved alternative to using a car seat on an airplane called the Child Aviation Restraint System ( CARES ). This airplane safety harness is not meant for infants, however. It is designed for use by toddlers (22 to 44 pounds) and only on airplanes.

Should I bring our car seat on the plane with us? Does that count as luggage?

Car seats, booster seats, and strollers generally don't count as luggage, but policies vary by airline; check with yours before flying. In most cases they can be checked at the gate, where the risk of damage may be lower, at no cost. Consider packing the car seat in a protective bag or box. If your baby has their own airplane seat, bring your car seat with you.

Not all car seats are certified for use in airplanes.

Make sure a label on the car seat says: "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft."

Which seat on the plane is best for a baby?

Look for rows on the plane with more space , like the bulkhead. Exit rows are out, for safety reasons.

Choose a seat closer to the window, if possible . Aisle seats can be risky for babies during beverage service. Hot drinks being passed to passengers can spill and cause burns , and their little arms and legs can be caught by passing carts. Aisle seats are also closer to falling overhead bin items. If you use a car seat, most airlines require that they be installed in a window seat.

Ensure that your baby's seat is next to you on the plane. Visit the U.S. Department of Transportation Airline Family Seating Dashboard for tips. It shows which airlines guarantee adjacent seats for children under age 13 traveling with an adult at no extra fee.

Is there a way my baby can lie down flat on long flights?

Buckling your baby into a car seat or safety restraint remains the safest option. However, there are other options available to help baby sleep comfortably, especially on long-haul flights.

Airline bassinets. Some airlines offer airline bassinets attached to the plane's bulkhead wall―the wall behind the galley, or toilets or another cabin. In some premium cabins, they can be built into the seat compartment to use in bulkhead rows. Most airline bassinets require the baby to be under 6 months old and/or 20 pounds, and not yet able to sit up unassisted. These bassinets are sometimes called "skycots" or baskets.

Sleeper seat . For an added fee, some international airlines let you book three seats in a row with locking seat extensions. This creates a "sky couch" or sleeper-seat big enough for both parent and child. Some airlines also offer "lie-flat" and "flat-bed" seats.

Inflatable seat extenders . Some airlines let you bring your own inflatable, individual seat extension for your baby to snooze on lying down. Not all airlines permit these to be used, though, so check ahead of time. Your child will need their own seat to use one.

Note: For all options above, your baby would still need to be buckled into a car seat or held on your lap during takeoff, turbulence and landing.

Safe sleep practices still apply on the airplane.

  • If your baby sleeps on your lap during the flight: stay alert and check on your baby often. Make sure they can breathe easily, and their face is uncovered.
  • If your baby sleeps on another device during the flight: check that it is firm and flat, with no soft bedding. (See, " How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe .")

Will I be able to get liquid formula or expressed breast milk through security?

Yes, but you have to follow the reasonable quantities rules. This means you're exempt from the 3-1-1 rule limiting liquids to 3.4 ounces (100 mL).

Pack formula, expressed breastmilk, or water for mixing with powder separately and be ready to let the TSA know you have it. You may ask that they not go through the x-ray machine (although this shouldn't cause a health problem). Visit the TSA website for more information.

Any tips for keeping my baby comfortable and content on the plane?

Dress your baby in layers. The temperature in a plane can vary widely, especially if you are stuck waiting on a runway. So, dress your baby in layers of clothing. As you pick out clothing , choose outfits that make diaper changing in a small space easier. Also, pack a change of clothes or two, in case turbulence hits during a diaper change or when you are feeding. Bring plastic bags for soiled clothing.

Be ready for ear pain during take-off and landing. During takeoff and landing, changes in pressure between the outer ear and middle ear can cause discomfort. If your baby has had ear surgery or an ear infection in the past two weeks, ask their doctor if it's OK to fly. Having babies drink from the breast or a bottle, or suck on a pacifier, can help. If your child has a cold or ear infection, a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help; check with your doctor for the right amount to give your child.

Reduce jet engine noise exposure . Airplane cabin noise hovers around 100 decibels, and is even louder during takeoff. Using cotton balls, small earplugs, or noise-canceling headphones may help to decrease the decibel level your baby is exposed to, and also make it easier for them to sleep or relax.

Keep in mind that sleeping babies are easier for everyone. If possible, travel at a time when your baby naturally sleeps. Or, onsider trying to put off a nap until it's time to fly. Flight delays can cause this to backfire if your exhausted baby decides to scream instead of sleep. But it may be worth a try.

Do not use diphenhydramine, or Benadryl, to help your baby sleep without talking to your doctor.

This medication can have serious side effects , especially if repeated doses are given on long flights. If you get the go-ahead and appropriate dose from your doctor, try it at home first. Some children react to the medicine by getting more awake instead of sleepy.

Consider a diaper change right before boarding the plane. A dry baby is a happy baby. Fortunately, when you do need to change a diaper in-flight, many planes have restroom changing tables . If yours doesn't, ask a flight attendant if there is a spot where you can spread out your changing pad. Some parents resort to diaper-changing on the closed toilet seat. If you try this, be sure to have a hand on your baby at all times and pack a disposable changing pad. Plan for delays; pack plenty of supplies.

Bring distractions . Pack some toys and books and be ready to play with your baby the entire time. A tablet with videos can be a good backup if the toys and books aren't helping anymore (we don't encourage entertainment media for children under the age of 2 , but desperate times can sometimes call for desperate measures).

Don't let the glares get to you . Despite the best advanced planning and efforts, babies cry sometimes. Know that you did, and are doing, all you can. At that point, one of the best ways you can calm your baby may be to stay calm yourself. And remember that for every person who is glaring at you, there are plenty of people who have been through it themselves and have lots of sympathy.

Ask for help . Arrange for your airline to help you if you need help making a connecting flight. Carrying a child safety restraint, your baby and luggage through a busy airport can be challenging.

Does my baby need a passport for international travel?

Yes. All U.S. citizens, including infants, need a current passport to travel internationally. Parents or guardians need to apply with their baby in person using the form DS-11 . Be sure to bring your baby's birth certificate and a photo taken within the last 6 months.

Passport photos must be taken with nobody else in the photo, which can be tricky with infants. To do this safely if your baby can't sit up yet , lay them on their back on a plain white blanket or sheet to ensure head support without having to hold them. Another option is covering a car seat with the sheet and taking a picture with your child in it.

What about domestic flights?

A valid passport is usually the only identification your baby will need to fly on a domestic flight, unless you need to show proof of age for a discounted child fare. Check with your airline before you leave. Note: Children under age 18 will not be required to get a Real ID .

What is the best time of day to fly with a baby?

It is hard to say whether flying during the day or night with a baby is better. After the first few weeks, some infants may sleep more reliably at nighttime than they do during naptime travel. If you and your baby can sleep on the plane, a late-night flight may be the way to go.

More information

Travel Safety Tips

Holiday Travel Tips

Flying With Children Safely (

Tips for Families and Links to Airline Webpages (U.S. Department of Transportation)

Destination-Specific Vaccine Recommendations for Travelers—Including Travelers with Children (

Everything You Need to Know Before Flying With a Baby or Young Kids

By Laura Dannen Redman and Noah Kaufman

Cropped hand of a toddler pointing airplane window against blue sky

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Your baby’s first flight can be as momentous as their first steps, first solid food, or first drop off at daycare. And like all those milestones, parents can feel understandably freaked out beforehand. No one, not even your baby themself, knows how a child will react to being on an airplane for the first time. And no matter what happens, one thing's for sure: you'll be stuck in a cabin full of strangers for at least a couple hours while you find out. 

But dread not—your child may love air travel, for starters—and even if they don't, you will get through it. With a little planning, the right gear, and a willingness to make many lists, flying with a baby or young kids can be easier than you think. Here are our best tips for arriving in your destination with energy to spare, from seasoned parents. 

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to prepare 

Right after you purchase your tickets, download Flying With Baby by Meg Collins, the blogger behind new mom survival guide Lucie’s List . Collins claims, accurately, to be the voice of reason about everything: “ticketing, check-in, car seats, feeding, napping and all the other stuff that makes your brain explode.” 

There's no surefire way to prepare a baby ahead of time, but if you're traveling with a toddler or an elementary school-aged child, you may need to do a little incepting—i.e., plant the idea that flying is fun! and make a game of it at home beforehand. Traveler contributor Debbie Dubrow gave Traveler some excellent tips a few years ago that still hold true:

  • Talk about your trip and your flight ahead of time, focusing on the aspects that are new to your child or might cause them concern.
  • Read stories about flying, like Airplanes by Byron Barton for toddlers, and Richard Scarry's A Day at the Airport for older kids. If you’re headed to a new destination, make a trip to the library to pick up a few books set in that place.
  • Line up some dining chairs to make airplane seats, and act out how you should sit down and buckle up on a plane. Build a security checkpoint using a doorway as the metal detector and a cardboard box and towel as the conveyor belt and X-ray. Practice putting your child’s stuffed animal or blanket through the X-ray and getting it back on the other side.
  • Let your children help pack their carry-on bags (but secret away a few new toys in your own). That way they’ll get to choose which items they just can’t live without, and you’ll get to set expectations about which toys are okay on the plane (leave the harmonica at home, please!).

What to pack

If this is your first time flying with a baby, you'll be bringing significantly more items than you've flown with before. To keep track of everything, make an itemized list of the major items (i.e., the car seat, stroller); the bags you’re checking; and the bags you’re carrying on. Do a count of your bags like they’re children on a field trip when you get to the airport, get through security, and get off the plane. (If it sounds like overkill, think about what your trip might be like if you forget the one bag with your baby's favorite stuffed toy. Yeah.)

As for what to bring? Everyone has their go-to items, but there are a few items we love most.

The Doona Infant Car Seat/Stroller (for infants up to 35 pounds) combines two of the most cumbersome items you have to bring on a trip. With the Doona you just gate check the stroller, and get to leave the car seat at home. 

The Dohm sound machine helps little ones fall asleep and stay asleep in new and strange places. “I bring my son’s Dohm everywhere with us," says director of strategic projects Lauren DeCarlo . "Hotels, my parents house. It’s essential.” You can also download white noise apps on your phone.

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Pants, Vest, and Lifejacket

The Líllé Baby Carrier is a comfortable and functional carrier that adjusts into six different positions, so you can keep your (hopefully) sleeping baby against your chest during flight and prop them on your hip while you're waiting to board.

A well-stocked diaper bag with enough wipes, diapers, and formula/breast milk/food to get you through the flight and an hours-long delay, minimum, is a must. Frequent flier, Skift aviation reporter, and father Brian Sumers recommends three days' worth of food for the baby to account for any mishaps. Make sure you also have basics like hand-sanitizer, scented diaper trash bags, a pacifier clip ("this will save you the horror of watching a pacifier drop to the airplane floor," says Traveler contributor and mom of three Juliana Shallcross ), and one new baby toy. "I still swear by the one-new-toy trick," Shallcross says. "Buy the baby one new toy specifically to open on the airplane. It will keep their attention for a little bit longer than if you brought an older toy. However, for young babies, you don't need much. All they really need is their bottle, maybe a pacifier, and a nice seatmate who makes funny faces."

The WayB Pico Car Seat is great pickup for kids that have outgrown the Doona. It weighs a barely noticeable eight pounds and folds up into a convenient carrying case. Note that this is a forward-facing car seat, so your child will have to be physically ready for that.

The Cares Airplane Safety Harness is the only FAA-approved harness for kids over the age of one, when they're big enough for their own seat but too small for the seatbelt to do any good.

A different outfit —for you—is a gift. "A change of clothes is a no-brainer for the baby who may have a diaper situation at some point during the flight," says Shallcross, "but if you can manage it, pack a T-shirt or leggings for yourself in your carry-on." You don't want to be stuck wearing a formula-stained shirt (or worse) for the rest of the flight.

As for what to leave at home? Anything you can get where you’re going: jars of baby food, diapers, wipes. Just make a beeline for a local grocery store once you arrive. It can also be fun seeing how other cultures and countries do the basics. (Fun fact: French diapers aren’t quite as absorbent as American ones. Who knew?)

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Uber drivers always get out of the car to open the trunk, assuming the stroller will need to go in the back—and are always amazed when you collapse the Doona and slide it into the backseat instead.

Do babies need an I.D.?

Babies from the U.S. don’t need an ID when flying domestically, says the TSA . This is actually true of anyone under the age of 18. But they will need a passport to fly internationally. 

To apply for a passport for your infant, both parents need to be there in person—“there” may be a USPS post office or a passport agency near you; if you’re the sole custodian of a child, you need to bring proof of that as well . You will also need the child’s birth certificate (original and a copy), your passports and U.S. drivers’ licenses (and a copy), a completed DS-11 form , money for the fees (credit is not accepted for the $80 standard fee and $35 acceptance fee—bring cash or your checkbook), and—the best part—two identical 2x2 inch passport photos of your baby. There are websites dedicated to getting your infant to sit upright and still against a plain white backdrop for long enough to get a photo. Some, like, will prepare your photos with a guarantee that your baby's photo won't be rejected (check your passport application location's policy on this, as some don't allow third parties to send in photos). 

Here’s the full list of what you need to get the baby’s passport.

What about their own ticket?

It depends. On most airlines, babies under the age of two can sit in your lap on a flight, sometimes with a special lap belt that you attach to your seatbelt. You may have to pay a fee—primarily on international airlines—which may come with a special boarding pass. It helps to call the airline before booking to confirm. Once the child turns two, they are required to have their own ticket. 

Still, if you can swing it, we suggest purchasing your baby their own seat from the get-go. It will be more pleasant to have the extra space (and a buffer from other passengers) and, as Sumers says, it's safer: “You wouldn't hold your baby in your lap in a car, even if you were only going a mile away at 10 mph. So why would you hold your baby on an airplane racing on a runway at 150 mph? In severe turbulence, or in a survivable crash, you may not be not able to hold onto your baby.” 

At the airport

When flying with kids, arrive early to the airport, so you have extra time to check in, get through security, and board the plane. 

Going through security

If you have TSA PreCheck , children 12 and under can get in line with you and breeze on through. But if you have Global Entry , the baby needs it, too. Here’s what it takes to apply.

When it comes to getting your stuff through, TSA checkpoints are “wildly inconsistent” across different airports in the U.S., says Shallcross. "If you're traveling with breast milk or formula, note that you can carry-on [in excess of the 3.4 oz liquid rule] , but you will most likely be on the receiving end of a pat-down." Having TSA PreCheck makes the process go a bit faster, and sometimes, in lieu of a screening, TSA will test to-go bottles of formula instead. International checkpoints also vary widely, but, often, jars of food and bottles get checked.

As for the stroller you plan to gate check, know that it will have to go on the belt through the x-ray machine, like the rest of your bags. It may be pulled aside and tested or swabbed by a TSA agent. 

Getting to the gate

Speaking of gate-checking: "As soon as you make it through security, head to your gate and get the gate tags for your stroller," says Shallcross. "If you wait until you board, the gate attendants may ask you to step aside and wait until they finish boarding the group, before they give you the tags."

And then there's the age-old question: Should you board in the first wave with your baby and toddlers? Most gate agents give you the option of early boarding—and with a newborn or infant, that's the way to go so you can get settled with bags stowed and essentials out for takeoff. But with an active toddler? That means you're on the plane for an extra 30 to 45 minutes, trying to contain their wild energy in a small space. No thanks. 

If you're traveling with another adult, super traveler Sam Brown recommends dividing and conquering. One of you boards early with the bags; the other stays behind with the kids, letting them burn off energy at the gate until the last possible minute you can board.

Nursing and pumping

If you need a quiet space to breastfeed before boarding, look for a Mamava Pod . They're designed to allow moms to nurse babies in private, they're free to use, and there's even room for another small child to hang out inside. 

The flight itself

The easiest way to keep a baby from crying during the flight is to give them milk or formula on takeoff and landing—the go-to move of parents for decades, as it helps babies adjust to the change in cabin pressure. Admittedly, if the baby is going to be strapped in, nursing will be hard, so consider a bottle. (When it comes to tips for getting your toddler to sleep on a plane , we've got those too.)

If you have a bassinet or plan to have the baby in a Bjorn for most of the flight, they'll need to come out and be strapped into their seat or held on your lap during takeoff and landing. Become friendly with your flight attendants, because you may need their help (and patience) more than usual from here on out (that said, they're often happy to help with things like warm water for a bottle).

This also brings us to our favorite controversy: Should you apologize in advance to your fellow seatmates? Sumers says, emphatically, that “there's no reason parents should bring treats for other passengers, or apologize for their baby's behavior." Everyone knows it's hard to control any situation on an airplane, and that you're doing the best you can, Sumers says. People pleasers may feel the need to do otherwise; ultimately, it's about whichever move creates an on-plane environment that's most comfortable for you. 

Does my baby need to wear a mask?

Though pandemic-era regulations require adult passengers to wear face masks , rules vary for children. For children under two, the answer is no. But once your child is old enough to need their own seat, they also need to wear a mask, per an update to federal law in February 2021. If you know that will be an issue for your two year old, you'll want to hold off on flying—airlines reserve the right to remove anyone refusing to wear a face mask from the plane. 

What if your kid is a seat kicker?

Try changing up your seating chart. Travel journalist Sam Brown and her husband would book seats in two separate rows, one right in front of the next, and each sit with one of their twins. If one of the kids got fussy—or kicked the seat in front of them—at least it would be a family member they were harassing.

Upon arrival

Many parents worry about the impact of jet lag on children when flying long distances. If you're taking a transatlantic flight (say, New York to Paris), the red-eye is a godsend and the easiest way to ward off jet lag . To start: Your baby will be more inclined to sleep through the flight. Once you land, consider not getting on local time. Yes, you'll all sleep in later and start your day later, but you can keep the baby out later, rather than having to commit to your hotel room by 6:30 p.m. every night, and the re-entry back home goes a bit smoother because you never really got off your schedule. There's also something special about being able to take your baby to the Louvre at 8 p.m. on a Friday.

This article was originally published in 2018. It has been updated with new information.

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33 Tried & True Tips for Flying with a Baby

Home » Blog » Family Travel » 33 Tried & True Tips for Flying with a Baby

Flying with a baby

After taking 19 flights with our daughter in her first year of life, we’ve found what works (& what doesn’t work!) when it comes to flying with a baby.

Before I dive into the tips I’m going to start with a piece of encouragement: 

The flight is just a tiny fraction of your entire trip.

Don’t let stressing out about the flight dampen your excitement about traveling with a baby or deter you from booking that flight in the first place!

Hopefully that helps put things into perspective a little bit. I know that has helped me.

We’re about to share some tried-and-true tips and tricks that have helped us when flying with a baby. I have a feeling that after reading this, you’ll feel more confident and ready to board that plane with your little one.

We’ve got lots of flights in the works for this year, and you’d better believe we’ll be using just about all of these tips (& I’ll be rereading my own advice to psyche myself up before each flight!).

Read next: Once you’re done reading all our tips for the flight, be sure to check out our advice for traveling with a baby . This list is filled with practical tips you can use on your trip to make it the best possible experience for you and your little one!

Flying with a baby

Important note: As with any “baby travel advice” on our website (or any other site, for that matter), take what tips feel good to you and ignore the ones that don’t resonate. Every child is different. You know your little one best and what things will work for you.

Flying with a baby tips

Planning your flight, at the airport.

  • On the flight

Thinking about taking an adventure with your little one?

Be sure to download our  complete packing list for traveling with a baby !  It’s packed with good suggestions and advice for what has personally worked for us on our travels with a baby.

Whether you’re getting ready for your first ever trip with a baby, or you’re a parenting pro just looking for a few extra tips, we hope this baby travel packing list will serve you well!

Baby Travel Gear Packing List

Before you even book your flight, there are a handful of things that you can do to help ensure you have the smoothest possible flying experience.

1. Work on your mindset

Flying with a baby tips

This might seem like a strange tip, but truly, it is one of the most important on this list.

Even if you’re super prepared and your little one does great on the flight, it’s not going to feel like a great experience if you’re a ball of nerves the entire time.

Here are some tips to help reframe your mindset about flying with a baby : 

  • Flying with a baby is not uncommon. People do it all the time, and there’s a really good chance you won’t be the only one flying with a baby on your flight.
  • Visualize how you want the flight to go. Now, picture your baby fussing and you calming them down. Visualize them smiling. And drifting off to sleep. How does it feel?
  • Most people on the flight will have headphones on and won’t be paying attention to your baby at all.
  • Remember that the flight is just a small fraction of your trip .
  • Think about how amazing you’ll feel getting off the flight at your destination.
  • This is my favorite one: Think of this as an adventure. What a privilege it is to get to travel as a family. Think about all the memories from this trip you’ll get to share with your child when they get older.

Still need a pep talk? I gotcha! Jump down here.

2. Consider lounge access

Airport lounge with a baby

Being able to go straight to an airport lounge is such a treat when we travel with our daughter.

We have comfortable seating, a selection of food for us (and now her), hot water if we need to warm a bottle, access to nice bathrooms, and an overall less hectic atmosphere .

Oh, and you can’t forget wine. And (good) coffee. Both are as good as gold when you’re flying with a baby!

Having lounge access will be a treat for you so you can look forward to this part of your trip instead of only focusing on the hard parts.

Airport lounge with a baby

It took us many years to finally decide to get lounge access, because we assumed it would be crazy expensive.

But in reality, it can be pretty affordable , especially when you take into consideration the cost of just eating at a regular airport restaurant. 

We’ve found that the cost is well worth it (to us).

Prioruty Pass airport lounge

Here’s how we personally get lounge access:

Priority Pass

The Priority Pass card gives you access to a network of airport lounges, many of which are in international airports.

Priority Pass lounges typically have food and drinks available, but they tend to be some of the more basic airport lounges.

You can get a Priority Pass by simply purchasing it online for a small monthly fee. Although, many mid- to upper-tier credit cards include a Priority Pass subscription as a bonus. For example, our Priority Pass came with our AmEx Platinum card.

AmEx Platinum

If you want a credit card that will give the most airport lounge access anywhere in the world, the American Express Platinum is it!

Not only does it include a bonus Priority Pass subscription, but the AmEx Platinum gives you access to Centurion Lounges (which are usually really nice) and Delta Sky Clubs, which are usually our favorite lounges in any airport.

Worried about your baby making a fuss in an airport lounge?

  • Look for a spot that will disturb the least amount of people: by another family, far from any other people, or in an area where people are talking (so you won’t be the only noise).
  • Sometimes there are family areas – head there if you see one.
  • If they get fussy, get up and walk around. There’s lots to look at in lounges!
  • If all else fails, leave for a few minutes until they calm down. No biggie!

3. Select your flights mindfully

Airplane window

In the past when it was just the two of us, we’d book midnight departures on the regular if it saved us a few bucks!

Super long layovers? Super short layovers? No problem!

But now that we’ve got a little one to think about, we are a lot more picky about the flights we choose.

While it’s not always possible, we aim for the following:

  • Reasonable departure time
  • Reasonable landing time in our destination
  • Layovers that are long enough to get to our gate without being crazy long
  • If you have the option, maybe you’ll want to plan short flights to fall over baby’s nap time

We often pay a little bit more now, as these factors are more important to us.

Also, we try to avoid airlines that charge for all the “extras” . Even though we try to pack as light as possible with a baby, we are traveling with more than just a personal item. So if the airline charges for carryons, we know it’ll add up fast with all our gear. And that’s a big, fat nope from us (unless there’s truly no other option). 

4. Apply for a baby passport well in advance

Baby Passport airport

If you think you’ll be flying internationally with your baby during their first year, get the application process started asap.

We applied for a passport when our daughter was just 3 weeks old, so it’s never too early if you think you’ll be needing it.

You’ll need to allocate up to 3 months for the processing, and you don’t want to be stressing out about getting it in time for your trip.

Insider Tip: It is possible to get the process expedited for a fee. (This is what we did since we took an international trip when our daughter was just over 3 months old.)

5. Get Global Entry for your baby

Global Entry is pretty great because after a long international flight, the last thing you want to do is stand in a never-ending passport control line that snakes back and forth for all eternity. 

And with a baby in tow that is still getting used to the time difference, that line will look even more daunting.

We kind of assumed that like TSA Pre-check, we could continue using Global Entry after having a baby.

Turns out, we were wrong. Babies need their own Global Entry profile .

Unless we wanted to leave Juniper behind, we cannot use Global Entry until she has her own. 

Learn from our mistake and schedule an “interview” as soon as you get your baby’s passport. Interviews fill up quickly!

6. Determine whether you’ll purchase a separate seat

Flying with a baby

Up until your child is 2 years old, you do not need to purchase their own seat.

Instead, they can fly as a “lap child” (free of charge*) and will need to sit in your lap for the duration of the flight.

If your budget allows, you can purchase them their own seat (it will be the same price as an adult seat) so you have more space and are more comfortable.

Or, you can take advantage of the cost savings and deal with it for the flight. If it gets uncomfortable, just think of how much money you’re saving (which you can spend in your destination!).

Good to know: With some airlines, it is not possible to add a “lap child” to your ticket when booking online. In this case, you will need to call in order to do this.

*If you are flying internationally, you will need to pay a fee for your child, even if they don’t have their own seat. Some airlines have a flat fee for this, while others charge taxes based on a percentage of the ticket.

Our experience

Flying with a baby

We have been taking full advantage of “lap child” status while Juniper in under 2 years old. We’ve had both comfortable and not-so-comfy flights (especially as she is getting older and more active).

But the price of tickets definitely makes us second guess purchasing an additional seat while we don’t have to.

Infant seatbelt

Flying with a baby

On flights in Europe, it is mandatory to use an additional seatbelt for baby.

The flight attendant will give you a special belt to strap onto yours. This is not the case on US flights. (See pictures below for clarification.)

7. Use this hack to (hopefully!) get an empty seat in your row

Flying with a baby tips

When booking flights where there are 3 seats in a row, we often use this trick:

We book an aisle seat and a window seat in the same row, leaving the middle seat empty.

Then we cross our fingers that nobody books that middle seat! 

If the flight isn’t full, there’s a decent chance that it will be empty. (Rows near the back of the plane are least likely to fill up, but they are also not as desirable for obvious reasons.)

In our experience, I’d say this trick works about half of the time.

You can track this by looking at the seat selections a few hours before your flight so you have a good idea of what to expect.

8. Decide what you’ll do about your car seat

flight travel with baby

If you have purchased a separate seat for your child, it will be really convenient for them to sit in their carseat during the flight.

In this case, determine how you’ll get it through the airport.

How to get your car seat through the airport

If you’re flying with a very young baby, you may just secure their infant car seat to your stroller. Easy peasy.

Bigger car seats for older babies are much bulkier and more difficult to get through the airport. Here are a few options:

  • Car seat travel belt: This car seat travel belt will allow you to connect it to a carryon bag so you can roll it through the airport with ease. This is our recommendation, as it’s the least expensive and least bulky option.
  • Car seat carrying case: Get a car seat case with backpack straps so you can carry it through the airport. We have this case and like it for protection, but we don’t usually carry it through the airport since we usually travel with other backpacks too.
  • Bag with wheels: This protective bag has wheels to make getting it around easier.
  • Car seat “stroller”: There are also wheel sets you can attach to the car seat (like a dolly). Just note that this can be an extra bulky item to pack.

Checking your car seat

If you don’t plan on using the car seat on the flight, you will need to check it, either at the check-in desk or at the gate.

Check it at the desk

  • Pro: this means you won’t need to lug the car seat around the airport
  • Con: there is a greater chance of damage to your car seat
  • Con: there is the chance that it could get delayed arriving to your destination (just like any other piece of luggage)

Check it at the gate

  • Con: you will still need to carry it around the airport
  • Pro: checking at the gate means you know it’ll be on the correct flight
  • Pro: there’s less opportunity for damage
  • Con: you’ll need to wait for them to get it off the plane when you land, which can be tricky if you have a tight connection

Regardless of what you decide, we’d definitely recommend putting the car seat in a protective case to keep it clean and prevent damage. This is the one we have.

Can you bring your car seat on the flight without purchasing a seat?

We’ve seen influencers recommending this, and perhaps it is possible from time to time.

But on all the flights we’ve taken where Juniper does not have her own car seat, we’ve been told: “No, this is not possible.” Even when we’ve been lucky enough to get an empty seat in our row, they did not let us bring on a car seat.

This is not necessarily a recommendation, as this is a personal decision. That said, I know it is helpful hearing what other people do.

We personally always check the car seat at the check-in counter.

We recently purchased an inexpensive and very lightweight car seat for travel (similar to this one ) so if there was damage it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. We always check it with a car seat cover ( this one ) to keep it clean and as protected as possible. We’ve never had any damage or issues with this, but that doesn’t mean we won’t eventually.

When Juniper is 2 years old and needs her own seat (or we purchase one before this time), we will likely carry her car seat on the plane with us so she has a more comfortable place to sit. Until then, we will continue to check it to make getting around the airport much more convenient.

9. Take photos of your stroller and car seat 

If you will be checking either your stroller or your car seat, take pictures of the items before your trip.

Save these photos as well as their receipts (if you have them) on your cloud account for easy access.

If there is any damage, most airlines have forms you can fill out to get some sort of compensation, and the photos and receipts will be helpful in the process. (You’ll also have to take a photo of the damage.)

10. Don’t buy all the “airplane” baby gadgets

Flying with a baby

Once you become a new parent, it seems like every company is trying to push their products on you.

When it comes to baby travel gear, it can be hard to decipher what products are truly necessary and which are not worth your money (or the extra space in your suitcase!).

I’ve been there.

My general rules:

  • There are very few items I’d suggest buying just for the flight. Instead, go for lightweight products that will be used throughout your entire trip.
  • Many of the items you use at home will be just fine for travel. Unless it’s a huge space savings, you may not need a new version for trips.

11. Know what you can bring

If you are flying with a baby, there are extra items you are allowed to bring free of charge.

Be sure you read the rules from your particular airline, as they may vary, but here are some common things you can bring:

  • stroller (whether checked or carried on)
  • car seat (whether checked or carried on)
  • baby food, milk/breastmilk/formula, and liquid medications are exempt from the 3-1-1 rule
  • diaper bag is sometimes free (check with your airline)

12. Pack your diaper bag with all the essentials

Making sure you have everything you need on the plane well ahead of your trip will give you peace of mind.

Here are some of the things we recommend bringing:

  • enough diapers and wipes to last 2 days
  • travel changing mat
  • hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
  • stain remover pen or cloth
  • diaper bag fanny pack
  • binky with a clip so you don’t lose it
  • extra sets of clothes
  • snacks and/or bottles
  • “Gripe gel” (to soothe a cranky baby)
  • Camilia oil for teething

Psst! For a full list of what we pack, download our have a baby travel checklist for free!

In addition to our regular diaper bag, I find it so handy to also carry a diaper bag fanny pack ( this is the one we personally have ). This is a slimmed down version of our bigger bag and is perfect for easy access to the essentials on travel days as well as during our actual trip.

Good to think about: If you are checking bags, be sure to pack your diaper bag with all your baby essentials, even if you won’t need it on the flight. This will help ensure you’re prepared in case your checked luggage gets delayed . You can easily pick up diapers in your destination, but some items will be hard to find and you won’t want to risk being without them.

13. Take care of yourself

Self care bath

You are going to feel so much more prepared to tackle a day of flying with a baby if you’ve taken care of yourself first.

You know best what it is that you need and what will help you feel cool, calm, and collected , but here are some ideas:

  • Clean your house so you leave with peace of mind.
  • Pack really early so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
  • Get plenty of sleep in the days before your flight.
  • Eat healthy and light so you feel your best on your travel day.
  • Hydrate in the days before your flight.
  • Help kickstart your immune system with vitamins, juices, immunity “shots”, or just eating really well. You want to be feeling your best!
  • Schedule some time for self-care before your flight – take a bath, book a pedicure, do an at-home facial – whatever it is that makes you feel your best.
  • Meditate or repeat some encouraging mantras to help you feel more in control. ( Here’s a pep talk if you need it!)
Remember: Your baby can sense when you are calm or when you’re agitated. Don’t skip this step, as I truly think it’s essential for you and your little one to have a good flying experience!

Now that you’ve prepared for your flight, let’s talk about some tips for when you actually get to the airport.

14. Get to the airport early

Travel with a baby packing

Yep, even earlier than usual. 

You’ll likely have a diaper to change and extra things to lug around. 

And trust me, you won’t want to be running to your gate with a baby in tow if you can avoid it.

15. Determine whether you’ll use a stroller or carrier in the airport

Flying with a baby tips airport stroller

There are some people that swear by checking their stroller and using only the baby carrier at the airport.

But we personally use both our stroller and our baby carrier at the airport. This is a personal choice and there’s no wrong answer.

Flying with a baby travel stroller

Stroller at the airport

We utilize our stroller at the airport. We can set items in the bottom to push around and it’s a nice space for our daughter to sit or nap in on longer layovers.

Plus, we know we’ll need it in our destination, so we like to avoid checking it.

Note: We have a super portable travel stroller (one piece of baby travel gear I’d actually really recommend investing in), so it fits in the bulkhead storage super easily.

Carrier at the airpot

We baby wear when boarding our flight so our hands are free and the stroller is ready to easily store.

16. Get through security in a breeze

TSA Precheck flying with a baby

Here are some tips for getting through security with a baby:

  • Baby cannot be in a carrier or stroller when you go through the line, so be prepared to take them out and carry them (yes, even if they’re napping).
  • Have your liquids sorted and in a bag ahead of time so you don’t need to deal with organizing them in line.
  • Have all breastmilk, bottles, and baby food together. This does not need to follow the 3-ounce rule, but it may need to be screened separately. They should not need to open any breastmilk bags or bottles, but they may need to swipe the outside.
  • Ice packs are allowed but should be fully frozen. If they are melted or slushy, they may need to undergo additional screening. For this reason, try to ensure they are solid when you are leaving home.
  • TSA Precheck can be helpful! This is really nice especially at busy airports, and it’s a perk with the AmEx credit card we highlighted in tip #2 in this article.
Insider Tip: We’ve never had any security problems when flying with breastmilk (even when flying out of Mexico without our baby). That said, there are some stories out there where security agents aren’t familiar with the process. It made me feel better to have a screenshot on my phone from the TSA website with the rules.

17. Ask if there are any rows with empty seats

If you tried the hack above (#7) to no avail, get to your gate early and ask the staff (nicely!) if there are any rows available with an empty seat. 

Your cute baby might just be the key to getting your seats changed!

In our experience, flight staff have been very kind and as accommodating as possible when they see we’re traveling with a little one.

18. Get some privacy (& quiet!) in airport nursing rooms

Airport nursing lounge

Not gonna lie, I had no clue these existed until one day at a particularly crowded airport I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place where I could get out of all the craziness to be able to nurse? 

Turns out nursing rooms do exist, and when they are near your gate (and not occupied!), they can be a pretty great place to nurse and change baby.

Flying with a baby airport play area

Smaller airports often don’t have nursing rooms and there may not be one close enough to your gate. But when all the stars align and you find an open one, take advantage, mama! 

(When you don’t see a designated nursing room, look for a family restroom instead.)

Psst! If your kiddo is older, look out for airport play areas.

19. Try to keep baby awake at the airport

Airport lounge with a baby

The best case scenario is that baby stays awake at the airport (where you have more room to move around with them), then is ready for their nap when you get on the plane.

There are lots of things to see and interact with in airports, so take advantage and try to keep them awake.

But don’t stress too much if they fall asleep before the flight. The white noise on the airplane can be helpful at lulling them back to sleep.

20. Take advantage of boarding first

Flying with a baby

Getting situated in your seat can be a bit more complicated with a babe, so take advantage and when you hear them call “families with children” to board, hurry your booty up to the line.

It’ll give you a little extra time to get situated without someone breathing down your neck.

On the fight

Now that you’re actually on the flight, let’s talk about what you can do to make it a more seamless (and dare I say enjoyable! ) journey.

21. Nurse or bottle feed on takeoff and landing

Flying with a baby nursing cover

This is an age-old tip for making sure baby is able to equalize their ears as the pressure changes, and it works.

Some babies are much more sensitive than others. Thankfully, our daughter doesn’t seem too phased in airplanes, but I vividly remember having ear trouble on planes through much of my own childhood.

If you’re not able to time nursing with takeoff and landing (it can be tricky!), have a pacifier on hand, as this will serve the same purpose.

Advice: If you’re uncomfortable with nursing in public (or your baby will do better without the sensory overload), use a nursing cover or an airplane blanket to get some privacy. I’ve done this a few time when the lights are bright and I want to give my daughter a more calm environment.

22. Wear a top that’s comfortable for breastfeeding

Flying with a baby breastfeeding

If you’re not breastfeeding, ignore this tip!

Think about the shirt you’ll be wearing and make sure it’s one that will be easy to nurse in, as you’ll want to feed babe on takeoff and landing to help equalize their ears. 

I totally get that it can be uncomfortable to breastfeed in public, but a nursing cover (or even a baggy sweatshirt that babe can slip underneath) can give you a lot of privacy. And with time, you’ll likely start to care less and less.

Just my two cents: If you’re a nursing mama, I would highly recommend planning on breastfeeding instead of bottle feeding on the flight. It is much more convenient than making bottles (and having to wash said bottles). 

23. If you’re bottle feeding, this gadget may be handy

If you will be bottle feeding on the plane, a bottle warmer could be handy. 

Alternative: If you’re like us and you’d like to pack as few gadgets as possible, it’s always possible to ask a flight attendant for some hot water. Or try to get your little one used to room temp bottles before your trip.

24. Take “no jet lag” pills 

No jet lag pills

These homeopathic pills can help you adjust to your new time zone , and if you’re traveling far, we’d definitely recommend them. You’ll need to be caring for your kiddo and can’t just crash because you’re tired, so having a little help in this department goes a long way.

You take one of these pills as you take off as well as regular increments during the flight.

Ben was a skeptic, but now is a believer.

FYI: I asked my daughter’s pediatrician, and she said they are safe for breastfeeding.

25. Pack all the snacks 

Baby Led Weaning Travel Tips

If your little one is eating solids, this flight will be extra interesting (in a good way!).

Bring all their favorite snacks so you’re prepared!

Think about things that are portable and easy to eat without a mess.

Here are some of our favorite portable snacks:

  • “baby pancakes” (find the recipe here )
  • puffs (and a snack catcher cup )
  • pouches (with a control valve top to minimize spills)
  • we love these, but they are on the messier side
  • yogurt melts
  • Here’s one of my favorites: I use wholegrain bread + almond butter mixed with coconut oil and cinnamon + smashed raspberries + sliced bananas
  • quesadilla wedges
  • string cheese
  • fruit and baked veggies (we pack these in silicone baggies or in a container like this)
  • milk in this straw cup (it is amazing and doesn’t leak!)
  • water in this straw cup (again, amazing and doesn’t leak!)
Good to know: Depending on what types of snacks you bring, you may want to pack a small cooler . Just remember the ice pack must be solid when you go through security. Alternatively, you could keep the cooler cold until you leave home, then as soon as you get through security find a restaurant that will give you ice.

26. Bring extra clothes for baby (& for you!)

Travel with a baby tips

There’s nothing more nightmarish than a blowout… 

…on a plane… 

…and no clean clothes to change into.

Don’t let that happen to you. 

Pack a few (yes, a few!) backup outfits for babe and at least one change of clothes for yourself. 

Insider Tip: While we’re on the topic, a stain remover pen or cloth can be super handy too!

27. Try our camping pillow hack

Flying with a baby

If you’re flying with a lap child and would like to give your arms a break while they’re sleeping, listen up…

As we were about to leave home for our first ever flight with Juniper, I had a last-minute stroke of genius:

“Let’s bring an inflatable camping pillow for her to lay on,” I told Ben as we hurried out of the house.

Baby on airplane

It worked beautifully, hardly took any room in our bags, and we’ve been bringing it with us on flights ever since.

We also love that this is an item we already have and use for other purposes – not yet another baby item that will be useless as she outgrows it.

Flying with a baby

There will come a day when she gets too big for this pillow, but while she’s still on our laps, it gives our weary arms some much needed rest while creating a comfy place for her to nap.

Psst! This is the pillow we have.

28. Be prepared for changing diapers in an airplane bathroom

Flying with a baby airplane bathroom diaper change

Changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom isn’t as scary as it might seem.

They are tiny, yes, but with these tips, you should be ready to go!

Airplane bathroom flying with a baby

Know where to go: When boarding, flight attendants will often tell you which bathrooms have a changing table. If they don’t tell you, be sure to ask so you know where to go when the need arises. (On some planes all the bathrooms are equipped, while others only have designated bathrooms for this.)

Have the essentials ready: I like to keep my diaper bag fanny pack at the seat with me, so I can grab it for a diaper change and know I have everything I need without crowded my space with the full diaper bag. Be sure to bring your own changing mat as well as a toy or pacifier to occupy babe and minimize fussing.

29. Get up and move

When the seatbelt light is off, get up and move around every once in a while.

This will help you get your legs moving, and it’s also a good way to calm a fussy baby or prevent boredom (and therefore fussiness).

30. Have a few (small) toys on hand

Flying with a baby

I’m of the belief that less is more when it comes to toys.

First of all, they can be pretty bulky and take up lots of space in your luggage.

Secondly, we find that our daughter likes things that are not toys more almost 100% of the time. When you’re traveling, there are so many new things around that anything can become something to look at or play with (as long as you deem it safe!).

Indestructible book for baby travel

Lastly, picking up a new toy or two in your destination can make a fun souvenir.

All this said, it’s a good idea to have a few mindfully selected toys for the flight. Here are some that we like:

  • indestructible books : they take up hardly any space!
  • tethers : these attach to small toys or water cups so you won’t lose them in the abyss of your seat
  • teething toys
  • sensory toy: like this or this
  • lightweight busy board
  • water painting book
  • puffy stickers and pad of paper
  • suction spinner toy (we gave 2 versions, but like this one better because it doesn’t make noise)

In short, pack items that are small, hold their interest for a while, and are not noisy (you don’t want to be that parent on a plane).

Psst! See all our favorite baby travel items in one spot here .

Flying with a baby

If you don’t have toys on hand, don’t worry – there’s actually quite a few things on a plane that can be really interesting to a baby:

  • We really don’t like single-use plastic, but in a pinch, a flight attendant gave us a plastic cup (the kind that they serve drinks out of), and our daughter was enamored with it for a good 30 minutes.
  • The “sick bag” can be a crinkly a sensory toy.
  • The safety manual and magazines can be fun to flip through.
  • Zoom in and out on the flight map .

31. Getting baby to sleep on a plane

Baby on airplane

While each child is different with sleep, here are some tips for helping them get some shut eye on the plane:

  • Try to keep them awake before the flight if it works with your schedule and flight time, but don’t stress too much about it.
  • Put them in their sleep sack , which can be a sleep cue.
  • Stand up or walk the aisle to bounce them .
  • Softly sing a lullaby .
  • Try putting them in the baby carrier while seated. (You will likely need to adjust the straps.) This frees up your hands and makes them feel supported and close to you. ( We love this carrier .)
  • All the engine noise mimics a giant white noise machine and can be kind of soothing.
  • Have realistic expectations. They probably won’t sleep the entire flight – they’re in a fun, new environment after all! But on longer legs, it’s very likely that when they are ready they will close their eyes.

32. Get an eSIM on international trips

If you are traveling internationally, it’s a good idea to be able to connect to cell service immediately upon landing. This can be helpful if you need to search for anything or contact your transport or hotel. 

We love eSIMs because you don’t have to search for a physical SIM card (a hassle) and you don’t have to pay crazy international coverage fees from your home phone service. Our favorite eSIM is Airalo , and we have an entire review of it here . 

33. Have a plan for transportation in your final destination

Train travel with a baby

Even when we traveled pre-kids, we always had a plan for transportation as soon as we reached our destination.

Each destination is a bit different, so know what you’re getting into and have a plan in place for what you will do as soon as you land. (Remember that if you’re traveling internationally, you may not have cell service immediately.)

Taxis: A little research will tell you if taxis truly are the best mode of transport or if they’re a complete and total ripoff. 

Uber: You’ll also be able to see if Uber (or other ride share programs) are available. 

Public Transport: Or perhaps public transportation, like the subway, is really simple.

Renting a car: Make sure you know if the pickup spot is actually at the airport, or if it is at a different location. Is there a shuttle that will take you there? Will someone pick you up? 

Shuttle service: Hiring a shuttle in your destination might be the best option, as you know there will be someone waiting for you. These services also have the option to add a carseat, if you’re not traveling with one. Welcome Pickups is a company that has locations all around the world.

Still feeling nervous about flying with a baby?

Flying with a baby

The thought of flying with a baby can be downright daunting. 

I’ve been there.

In the weeks leading up to my first flight with our daughter, I got a wave of nausea each time I thought about boarding the plane. 

What if she screams the entire time?

What if I can’t calm her down?

What if we’re seated next to someone that hates babies?

What if she has a blowout?

I pictured it all in impressive detail and spiraled down an anxiety-ridden rabbit hole. 

So I completely understand if you’re feeling something similar.

Flying with a baby

Here’s my pep talk to you:

First, I can almost guarantee that you’re building this up in your head and it will go much better than whatever disaster-like scenario you’re picturing . 

Secondly, you have a resource at your fingertips. Read all those tips again and write down the ones that speak to you. (Ignore the rest.) Then, download our baby travel packing list so you’re sure you won’t forget anything. See, you’re more prepared than you think .

Last of all, many people on your flight will be parents themselves (whether or not they have a kid with them). And I would be willing to bet that nearly everyone on the flight has at least one child in their life that they love. 

People are empathetic. And you know what? Most of them will be wearing headphones on the majority of the flight anyway. They’ll be paying much more attention to their movie than they will to you.

Big breath in. 

Big breath out.

You’ve got this, friend.

Want more advice for traveling with a baby?

  • Practical advice and ideas for traveling with a baby (I think you’ll love this list!)
  • Our top tips for staying at a hotel or Airbnb with a baby (there’s a lot more to it than you might think)

Save these tips so you don’t lose them!

Pin this article so you can easily come back to it…

Flying with a baby tips

We want to hear from you!

We hope these tips for traveling with a baby are helpful!

What advice would you add? Any travel hacks that have helped you? What questions or concerns do you still have?

Note:  Please be respectful with your comments. Remember, we are sharing tips that have personally worked for  us .

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Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

25 Tips for Flying with a Baby

A young baby looking out a small airplane window

A lot of people think that once you have a baby you have to stop traveling. Fortunately, that’s far from the truth. In this guest post, Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse and Parenthood Adventures shares her tips for flying with a baby so you can travel with confidence the next time you take flight with your little one.

Flying with a baby can seem daunting. Plenty of parents dream of traveling with their little one , but visions of an entire plane of people gawking as their child cries keeps them from taking the leap.

As the mom of a well-traveled one-year-old, I’ve had my fair share of flights where everyone complimented how well my baby did, and others where I was counting the seconds until it was over, with a fussy, squirming child in my arms.

From those successes and failures, I’ve learned a lot about how to make a long flight more tolerable with an infant.

With 10 countries and nearly 100 flights as a family under my belt (plus some solo with my child), here’s everything I’ve learned about how to fly internationally with a baby:

Table of Contents

1. Get Your Documents in Order Prior to Booking

2. make sure baby has a ticket, 3. reserve a bassinet, 4. get toddlers their own seat for longer flights, 5. reserve a meal for them, 6. print their boarding pass, 7. leave extra time at the airport, 8. be aware of tsa regulations, 9. learn how to survive the airport and layovers, 10. keep them entertained, 11. pack finger foods for the flight, 12. prepare your carry-on, 13. understand stroller policies, 14. review the car seat policies, 15. know the baggage policies, 16. clear their ears before takeoff and landing, 17. know how to clean things onboard, 18. keep nap and sleep times consistent, 19. dress your baby comfortably, 20. take a walk, 21. be mindful of timing, 22. invest in a good baby carrier, 23. know your destination’s regulations, 24. plan for delays, 25. be patient.

Before traveling internationally, ensure you’ve left enough time to get your baby a passport. First, you’ll need a birth certificate, and depending on where you live, this could take a while.

Next, take photos of your child lying on a white background (I used a T-shirt) and make your passport office appointment, where you’ll submit your application forms ( available online and at the office), photos, and payment. Check your local passport office or post office for the required documents and procedures.

Make sure that you leave plenty of time to spare for processing the application. Consider expediting it if there’s a long wait or if you plan to travel in a week’s time (in which case, go in person). It took us about three weeks to get the appointment, and six more to get the passport (even with expedited processing).

Even if your infant will be on your lap, they still need to be ticketed to be allowed to board. For international flights, you’ll have to pay the taxes, and usually 10% of the adult fare, even if they’re just on your lap.

Make sure you have this ticket confirmation prior to heading to the airport. I have run into issues before, when the airline said my son was added to my reservation when in fact he wasn’t, causing me to miss my flight while we sorted out the extra ticket and fees. Now, I make sure I have the actual ticket confirmation to avoid any issues.

For those traveling with lap infants, check with your airline to reserve a bassinet. Bassinets attach to the area in front of the bulkhead seats, providing a safe and cozy spot for your baby to rest during the flight, and giving you your lap back. You do not need to book your child their own seat to reserve a bassinet, as it will be attached to the wall in front of you. They have weight limits, but each airline is different in terms of what those are, with most being 20–26 lbs.

These bassinets are limited, and bulkhead seats are popular, so make your reservation early to secure one. Not every airline reserves these ahead of time, but some do. Singapore Airlines and Emirates even reserve bassinet seats especially for parents!

Kristin Addis flying with her baby on an airplane

Children under two can fly on your lap (usually for free or for a discount, as mentioned above) instead of in their own seat, but on lengthy international flights, it’s well worth booking a separate seat for them. If they’re mobile, they’ll be squirming and encroaching on the space of the people next to you if they don’t have their own seat and will probably be frustrated that they can’t move around more.

Though we didn’t do this for my baby before he was standing and crawling, on our most recent flight, from Cape Town to San Francisco , which involved 24 combined hours in the air, it was our saving grace. Having our own row gave my son space to move, stand, climb a bit, and get his energy out. It also gave us more legroom and a space for him to sleep. It was so worth the expense.

If you do this, you’ll need to either bring a car seat or CARES harness onboard for them. A CARES harness wraps around the seat, creating a better-fitting seat belt situation, but they are only usable for babies who can sit up comfortably unaided, are over 3 feet (1 meter) tall, and weigh 22-44 lbs (10-20 kg).

Some airlines offer baby meals, such as purees, and even toddler meals. Though it’s a rare offering, Emirates even has formula onboard!

Notify the airline in advance about any dietary restrictions or allergies your child may have. Airlines can often accommodate special requests, ensuring that your child has a suitable and safe meal during the flight. I always pack our own snacks and food as well, since you never know what the meal might include, and babies get hungry on their own schedule.

Don’t count on the airline to provide milk for your child. We’ve found that while some have milk onboard, they’re not really prepared with extra for babies and toddlers, and some might not have any to spare at all. We bring our own plant milk in smaller containers (see below about quantities), or lately, I’ve been bringing powdered fortified oat milk sachets now that he’s older. Toddler formula is an option as well!

Even though parents can use mobile boarding passes, I’ve always been required to show a printed ticket for our baby, even as a lap infant. From time to time, the ticketing agents have not realized this and said we could use a mobile ticket, but TSA, at least in the US, may require the printed ticket to get through security. While you’re checking in at the kiosk, just ask for printed tickets to avoid any headache.

Give yourself more time at the airport than you ever did before when traveling with a baby. Diaper changes, blowouts, extra time in security, and impromptu feedings can all happen, and having a comfortable buffer before your flight leaves is essential. It also allows for a more leisurely airport experience, ensuring that you don’t start off the whole trip rushed and stressed. You may have been able to sprint to a closing gate in the past, but that’s going to be difficult with a baby and all the extra luggage that entails!

Security is a whole new experience as a parent, and one you’ll be spending extra time dealing with. Familiarize yourself with regulations concerning traveling with a child, and know your rights. Regulations can change, so if you’re departing from the US, check the TSA website for the most up-to-date information (and if abroad, check your country’s website).

The most important thing to know is that formula, breast milk, juice, water, and food for infants are allowed over the 3 oz./100ml limit in “reasonable” quantities, which will be up to the agent. I have only been questioned once, and only in the US. Abroad, we’ve hardly been given any extra checks when the agents know the liquids are for a baby. We even brought an entire carry-on full of oat milk through security in South Africa without anyone batting an eye.

However, when going through US security, you will have extra checks. They may run any liquids through an extra scanner, bomb-test the bag if there’s powdered formula, and even take off the lid to perform a vapor test. This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 extra minutes, even if you have TSA Precheck!

After security, we’re usually on the lookout for a family bathroom (so we can all go in) for a diaper change, followed by finding a quiet area to let the time pass. If you have a toddler, locate family-friendly amenities, such as play areas, where your child can expend some energy. I like to research this before we even get to the airport, so we know where we’re going.

Remember to have a stroller that can fit in the overhead bin of an airplane or baby carrier for easy transport in the terminal. I prefer smaller strollers, so that I don’t risk them getting damaged through gate-checking and don’t have to wait after the flight to get the stroller if it’s a tight connection, which happens all the time when there are delays.

However, if your stroller is too large to be a carry-on, you can usually gate-check it for free. I have yet to come across an airline, including low-cost carriers, that don’t do this.

If your baby needs to move, let them crawl. Yes, the floor is dirty, but you can always wash their hands and change their outfit before boarding.

Kristin Addis flying with her toddler on a large airplane

In your diaper bag (which doesn’t count against carry-on allowance), pack a variety of entertainment options for your baby. We like to stick spinners to the plane windows and bring small object permanence boxes , little books, and stickers. Most airlines have had little toys as well, though I wouldn’t count on those being your main source of entertainment. Never underestimate the power of reading a book, playing peek-a-boo, or giving your child a water bottle to play with.

Although we’ve never done this, I’m not here to judge you if you download some Ms. Rachel on your phone or tablet before leaving home. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to either play it without sound or get your toddler baby-sized headphones for the full experience.

Another way I pass the time is by making sure my son is fed and happy with foods that take some time to eat. Finger foods like Cheerios, squished blueberries, smoothie melts, quartered grapes, and other non-messy fruits or veggies your child enjoys are always good to bring along. If you’re doing baby-led weaning, you can do this from six months of age. If you’re doing purees, bring pouches that don’t need refrigeration.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to finish any produce before entering your destination, as most countries do not allow outside fruits and veggies through customs.

In your carry-on bag, ensure you have enough diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and changes of clothes for delays. We usually pack way more diapers than we think we’ll need, and even so, we often go through all of them when we encounter delays or an upset stomach. We’ve gone through four changes of clothes before, too. Diapers and wipes can be difficult to impossible to find in the terminal, and most airlines don’t carry them onboard.

Don’t forget extra outfits for yourself, too, as travel can sometimes lead to unexpected messes. Additionally, have a small first-aid kit that includes any medications your baby might need, such as pain relievers, fever reducers, or allergy medication. It’s the worst to wish you had these onboard when you need them and to not have them on hand.

TSA will apply liquid limits to medications unless you have a prescription, so put over-the-counter liquids into smaller containers for travel.

A baby stroller parked in a airport during a layover

Thankfully most airlines do not count a stroller or car seat against your checked baggage allowance if you choose to check your stroller or car seat. I also have yet to find an airline that doesn’t allow parents to gate-check strollers, meaning you can use them in the airport until you board the plane. This convenience can make navigating the airport much more manageable.

If you can’t gate-check your stroller, many airports have free ones you can use while you’re at the airport.

If you’re traveling with a car seat, you have the option of checking it as hold luggage, bringing it to the gate, or bringing it onboard if your baby has their own seat. If you do check it as hold luggage, as mentioned above, it usually does not count against checked luggage limits, even on low-cost carriers. If you plan to check both a stroller and a car seat, check with the airline, as some only allow one.

You’re rolling the dice a bit checking a car seat, because if it gets lost, you could show up to your destination without it. We’ve still gone for it, though, knowing the risk, in order to have less to juggle in the airport, but it’s important to keep that in mind just in case.

If you plan to bring the car seat onboard, make sure it’s FAA-approved for air travel. I loved our Uppababy Mesa, and the Nuna Pipa is great too.

Traveling with children often means more luggage, so be prepared for potential extra baggage fees. Familiarize yourself with the weight and size restrictions to avoid surprises at the check-in counter. Some airlines will give a baby some checked baggage allowance, but most don’t unless the child has their own seat.

We have yet to manage to go carry-on only since having a baby. We’re usually traveling with his foldable bed, travel high chair, and extra food for him. Thankfully most baggage is included without extra fees for international flights, with the exception of low-cost carriers.

Carry-on strollers and diaper bags have never been counted against our allowance.

A car seat for a traveling baby ready to be checked for a long flight

During takeoff and landing, changes in cabin pressure can cause discomfort for everyone, but babies don’t know yet how to clear their ears. To help alleviate this, breastfeed, or offer a bottle, pacifier, or even a snack that encourages swallowing. By making sure we do this for every takeoff and landing, we’ve been able to avoid crying due to ear pressure issues.

If you’re on a long flight, you’ll eventually need to clean a bottle or maybe even a breast pump. I like to bring a small, 2–3 oz. unscented soap container and a portable bottle washing station . Ask the flight attendants for clean water for washing. I’ve had them sometimes even offer to rinse a bottle out for me with hot water.

International travel often involves crossing multiple time zones, which can lead to jet lag for both you and your child. To help minimize its effects, make sure you’re keeping with regular nap times and bedtime as much as you can while flying. Stick to the local schedule upon arrival to adapt more quickly.

Jet lag is one of the biggest fears parents have, but my son tends to adjust more quickly than I do, and I’ve been impressed every time!

Dress your child in comfortable, breathable clothing for the flight. Opt for layers, as the temperature on the plane can vary. We always put my son in bamboo baby clothes , which are great for temperature regulation, and, having worn the adult versions myself, I can vouch that it’s like wearing a cloud. In a dry environment like an airplane, having some comfort is key.

If you have a toddler, make sure you’re getting up and letting them walk up and down the aisles when there aren’t food or beverage carts around. It can help pass the time, get some energy out, and if you have a social kiddo like mine, give them a chance to wave at their adoring fans.

Although there are some well-publicized incidents with passengers getting upset at crying babies, I’ve never personally encountered anything like that, and find that fellow passengers will often play peekaboo or smile and wave at my son.

When booking your flights, choose departure times that align with your child’s schedule as much as possible. Although it’s sometimes unavoidable, it sets us off on the wrong foot if I have to wake my son up for a flight well before he would naturally. He’s fussy and irritable, and he doesn’t always fall back asleep easily.

As for red-eyes or day flights, I’ve found that both work, but at least on a red-eye, he’s more likely to sleep for a good chunk of it, meaning I have to find fewer ways to entertain him.

A baby in a carrier out for a hike while traveling

A comfortable baby carrier is a valuable asset when traveling with a child under two years. It allows you to have your hands free to manage luggage, documents, and other essentials while keeping them secure and close. We only traveled with a carrier until my son was about eight months old before switching to a stroller. That said, some destinations don’t have great sidewalks (I’m looking at you, Southeast Asia), so having a carrier is important, too. I have used both Ergobaby and Artipoppe and like both for different reasons: Artipoppe is more comfortable for the baby facing in, and Ergobaby is nicer facing outward.

Different countries may have specific regulations and requirements for traveling with a child. Research and familiarize yourself with any necessary documentation, vaccinations, or permits needed for your international destination.

I was surprised that in Namibia, we were asked to produce a birth certificate for my son when checking in for our flight to South Africa. We travel with a copy, which I’m glad we had along.

If you’re traveling solo, you may be required to show a copy of the birth certificate, a copy of the other parent’s passport, and a written authorization from the other parent that you’re allowed to take the baby out of the country. Canada listed this as a requirement, but I was never actually asked for anything. Still, it’s important to be prepared just in case.

Delays can happen (over 20% of flights are delayed, in fact!), so it’s wise to be prepared for them. Pack enough supplies, including diapers, formula, snacks, and entertainment, to handle unforeseen delays. We encounter them all the time, and a well-stocked carry-on can make waiting at the airport more manageable. If you have a phone or tablet for your toddler, make sure you have an external battery to keep them charged.

Traveling with a child can be challenging, and there may be moments of frustration or fatigue. Remember to stay patient and calm throughout the journey. If you’re super stressed out and nervous, your child will pick up on it. A positive attitude and a sense of humor can go a long way in making the experience enjoyable for both you and your little one.

Ultimately, the key to a successful international journey with a child under two is embracing the adventure and knowing that it may not go perfectly. The flight is a necessary step to get to the vacation, so make the most of the experience, relish the small victories, and know that even if you have a fussy baby, it’s okay. They are part of society, and they’re allowed to fly, even cry if they have to.

It’s all worth it to build memories that you’ll always cherish with your little one, and to treat yourself as parents, too!

Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. A former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and left California in 2012, Kristin has been traveling the world ever since. You can find more of her musings at Be My Travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook .

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner . It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld . If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Want to Travel for Free? Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip? Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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We’re here to take you and your family wherever you need to go.  Infants or children under 2 years of age can travel on the lap of an adult for free (within the United States) or at a reduced fare (for international travel). You also may purchase a ticket and use the child’s own seat on the aircraft as long as it meets the FAA-approved child safety seat specifications or use a CARES harness. Our step-by-step guide explains how to easily add a lap-held infant (Infant-in-Arms) to your ticket yourself.

Due to FAA safety requirements, 1 adult passenger may only carry 1 lap-held infant. If an adult passenger is traveling with 2 infants, a seat must be purchased for the additional infant. Infants occupying a seat on domestic flights require a ticket and pay the applicable fare.

Pregnant Passengers

Child & infant age restrictions, infant-in-arms or child in safety seat, you will need to purchase a ticket for your child if you:.

  • Have a child that is 2 years old or older
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Child Safety Seat Guidelines

If you decide to use a child safety seat aboard the airplane and purchase a ticket for your child, there are a few restrictions and guidelines you'll need to follow.

The window seat is the preferred location for an approved child safety seat (child restraint system or car seat). Other locations may be acceptable provided the seat is not installed between other passengers and the aisle. An accompanying adult must sit next to the child. More than one car seat may be in use in the same row and section of seats. Per FAA regulations, children under 2 years of age are not allowed to sit in a seat equipped with an airbag seat belt.

When using a child safety seat, don’t select seats in the following areas: 

  • Aisle seats
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  • Bulkhead seats when the safety seat is a combination car seat and stroller
  • Flatbed seats in the Delta One ™ area of the following aircraft: Airbus A330-200 or A330-300 aircraft *

* Child Safety Seats are not permitted in this area since the airbag seat belt cannot be deactivated .

An adult (18 years or older) may hold an infant (Infant-in-Arms) or place the infant in a FAA-approved child restraint in their seat during takeoff and landing. Booster-type car seats are not permitted for use during taxi, takeoff and landing.

Delta flight attendants will check with accompanying adults to ensure that children are properly secured in their safety seats and in the aircraft seat. The accompanying adult, however, has the following responsibilities when using a child restraint during takeoff and landing:

  • Ensure that the child restraint seat meets FAA guidelines , Go to footer note
  • Ensure that the child restraint seat functions properly and is free of obvious defects
  • Secure the child according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Ensure the child does not exceed the restraint's weight limit
  • Ensure the child restraint is secured to the aircraft seat using the aircraft seat's safety belt

All child safety seats or restraints include labeling that indicates their compliance with safety requirements. Restraints that meet the qualifications and labeling are approved for use on Delta flights.

Restraints manufactured within the U.S. after 2/25/85 with the following labels:

  • Conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle standards
  • Is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft

Restraints manufactured within the U.S. between 1/1/81 and 2/25/85 with the following label:

Restraints manufactured outside the U.S. with the following labels:

  • Has the approval of a foreign government
  • Was manufactured under standards of the United Nations

Restraints that are not permitted:

  • Booster seats, even if they bear labels indicating they meet U.S., UN or foreign government standards
  • Vest and harness-type child restraint devices other than the FAA approved CARES restraint device

Bassinets or SkyCots

For some of our smallest passengers on some international flights, we offer onboard baby bassinets. They’re ideal for babies weighing up to 20 lbs. (9 kg) and up to 26 inches (66 cm) long.

  • Onboard bassinets, also known as SkyCots, are available free of charge for passengers in select seats on equipped aircraft for some international flights
  • SkyCots can be requested by contacting Reservations before arriving at the airport and then speaking with the gate agent at the boarding gate, but cannot be guaranteed due to a limit of two SkyCots per aircraft and weight restrictions
  • Please note that all infants must be held during takeoff, landing and whenever the seat belt light is on

Additional Infant Travel Information

For children under the age of two, we recommend you purchase a seat on the aircraft and use an approved child safety seat. Here are some other helpful tips for traveling with your infant or toddler:


Delta fully supports a woman’s right to breastfeed on board Delta and Delta Connection aircraft and in Delta facilities. Breast pumps are allowed on board. At the airport and if you prefer, many airports do offer private lactation rooms or spaces. Ask a Delta associate if you need assistance locating one at an airport.

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International Flights

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How To Choose The Best Flight When Traveling With A Baby Or Toddler

Senior Reporter, HuffPost Life

Not sure what type of flight you should take if you're traveling with a young child? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you book a nonstop or connecting flight.

Air travel comes with many logistical questions and challenges, especially when your destination is far away. Flying nonstop might feel like the most efficient choice, but maybe you prefer to break up the journey and save a little money by taking two connecting flights.

Adding a baby or toddler to the mix changes the whole calculus. Of course, every child is different, so what works best for one family might not be ideal for another. Still, there are general guidelines that can help parents make a good decision when drawing up travel plans.

Below, travel and parenting experts break down the factors to consider when you’re deciding whether to book nonstop or connecting flights with a baby or toddler.

What is your child’s temperament?

“The logistics are usually better with booking a long nonstop flight for kids, from boarding and getting through the airport to them falling asleep during the flight,” said Naveen Dittakavi, CEO and co-founder of Next Vacay .

He noted that taking a connecting flight can lead to more opportunities for snags, like long delays, which might make the overall experience even more uncomfortable for children.

“Of course, there are exceptions to this,” Dittakavi said. “If you have a fussy baby or toddler who is likely to need a lot of attention, they may be better off having a break as you wait for a connecting flight.”

Kristene Geering, director of content at Parent Lab , offered similar advice, emphasizing that some babies and toddlers might be OK on a plane for longer stretches of time than others.

“Thinking about your child’s or children’s temperament and needs, as well as your own, are vital factors,” she said. “If you know your kiddo is a good napper and will sleep for most of the flight, then maybe the nonstop is good for you. If you know they are going to go ballistic if they’re cooped up in their seat for long stretches of time, breaking up the trip might be a better idea.”

How long is the connection?

A one-hour layover is not going to offer much of a break between flights. Instead, you’ll want to have plenty of time to make your connection, as well as change your baby’s diaper, stretch your legs, have a bite to eat and so on. If the connecting flight options don’t provide that, the nonstop flight is probably the move.

“Make sure that the layover is long enough to make it worth it,” Geering said. “Trust me ― having done this with two toddlers by myself once, I learned the hard way that having a shorter layover was not helpful when the original flight was delayed.”

“I sounded like a horrible drill sergeant. ‘I know you’re poopy! We gotta move! Come on ― walk, walk, walk!’” she added. “We barely made the flight, me dripping sweat and one kiddo oozing in the other direction. Not the most fun I’ve had as a mother!”

What’s their sleep schedule?

“The time of the flight is a factor for choosing between nonstop or two connecting flights,” Dittakavi said. “If connecting flights are better timed to fit with your child’s sleep schedule, such as an overnight flight or one that coincides with regular nap times, this might be a better option.”

Willis Orlando, senior product operations specialist at Scott’s Cheap Flights , also recommended that you consider everyone’s sleep schedules when choosing flights.

“Try booking flights that depart around your child’s bedtime,” he said. “When we took a red-eye with my 13-month-old, we departed at 7:45 p.m., just around her bedtime. She was out before we hit 37,000 feet.”

Your child's sleeping and feeding schedules are vital components to consider.

What about feeding schedules?

In addition to sleep, consider when your child will need to eat during your travels. Booking a flight option with a layover can give you the opportunity to sit down and have a leisurely meal or nurse with more space between flights.

“We’re still living in a pandemic,” Orlando said. “If you are planning on booking a connecting flight, take a look at what’s going on in the airport where you’re connecting. Some places are still closed in airports. You don’t want to be stuck on a layover with a hungry toddler.”

Whatever option you choose, make sure to have ample snacks on hand to keep everyone fed and healthy.

What kind of support will you have?

“Consider what supports you have while you travel,” Geering advised. “Are you traveling alone, or do you have helpers? Do you need to take a lot of stuff? Babies tend to need a lot of stuff. If so, what’s the plan for that layover in terms of getting everything and everyone from one place to another?”

She recommended making sure you’re comfortable with the equipment you plan to bring, like baby carriers and strollers, before you book connecting flights.

“Borrowing equipment from others is a great way to save some money, but you want to make sure you’ve tested it out extensively before the trip, for you as much as for your kiddo, so everyone knows what to expect,” Geering said.

Does this make financial sense?

“The economics of the situation is also a factor,” Geering said. “For some families, they have the option of choosing. But not all families can do that. If you’re forced into one or the other, know that you can make it work.”

Travel inevitably comes with challenges and factors beyond your control. Even if your itinerary is less than ideal, try to breathe and know that the situation is temporary.

“As much as you can, strive for calm, because your little one is looking to you to know if things are OK,” Geering said. “And when you can’t achieve that calm, and turn into a drill sergeant? Once you’ve gotten everyone where they need to be ― or not, as happens sometimes ― take a few moments to collect yourself and connect and repair. For toddlers, use simple language like, ‘Boy, was Mommy stressed! Whew! Let’s have a cuddle now. I’m sorry I yelled,’ or something like that.”

If you feel like you’re struggling or being judged by your fellow travelers, try to let it go and just focus on what your family needs.

“Remember that ‘perfect’ parenting is never the goal,” Geering said, “because there is no such thing.”

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flight travel with baby

flight travel with baby

The 5 best airlines that make flying with babies and kids a whole lot easier

S eeing new things, having new experiences, visiting relatives, jumping from freezing temperatures to sunny beaches in an afternoon … There are plenty of great reasons to fly with kids. But for anyone who says "getting there is half the fun," I'm guessing they haven't been to an airport with a toddler.  

Even as a professional travel writer and mom of "big" kids, I still stress about finding seats together, getting delayed, and having something to eat on the flight. That's why knowing what airlines are truly family-friendly, and, let's face it, just friendly in general, is important. 

At the very least, you want an airline that's going to guarantee your 4-year-old isn't sitting with strangers while you're stuck in a middle seat in the back of the plane. In the best-case scenario, though, there are a host of airlines that go out of their way to make flying comfortable and actually fun – not just for the littlest members of your traveling party, but for the grownups, too. 

"Pretty much any airline is able to accommodate families," says David Slotnick , the senior aviation business reporter at The Points Guy and dad to a 1-year-old son. "Most of them will let you preboard, if you ask, so that you can have time to stow your bags and get everyone settled into your seats, and most will let you gate-check a stroller, so that you can pick it back up as soon as you step off of the plane." But, he cautions, there are things that some do better than others, like free checked bags and guaranteed seat assignments, that really make a difference when flying with kids.

How we chose the best airlines for families

As a travel writer with more than 20 years of experience, I've circled the world and reported on everything from Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World to safari lodges in Africa. I've flown with my son both alone and with my husband hundreds of times to dozens of locations (last stop, Spain, next stop, Japan). And I can tell you we've had great experiences – the whole family upgraded to lay-flat business class seats returning home from London on United – and terrible flights – Air France canceling our flight home from Paris and rescheduling us 18 hours later. And I've learned some valuable lessons along the way.

In addition to this personal experience, I utilized the BabyCenter Community to see what airlines have come through for families flying with their little ones in tow and spoke to nearly a dozen travel-savvy parents who among them have logged more miles in the sky than many travel professionals. From these conversations, I was able to learn what parents prioritize when looking for an airline. 

Based on this combined research, all of the airlines below:

Offer pre-boarding for families with young children so you're not fighting to cram your bags into an overhead bin while simultaneously installing a car seat. 

Ensure families sit together – to say this is a hot-button topic would be an understatement; the Department of Transportation (DOT) even created an  Airline Family Seating Dashboard  to track airline policies. 

Offer a range of amenities – including the ability to warm up bottles and borrow baby gear, like strollers, in the airport.  

For additional insight into flying with babies and kids , I spoke to the following family travel experts: 

David Slotnick, the senior aviation business reporter at The Points Guy website and dad to 1-year-old son. 

Alexis Bowen, co-founder of Elsewhere by Lonely Planet, a travel site connecting local experts and travelers, and a mom to a baby girl.

Best domestic airline for amenities: JetBlue

As far as general carriers in the United States go, JetBlue comes out on top for several reasons. First, there's the variety of free in-flight entertainment options to keep the kids entertained, including free WiFi, live TV, and movies at every seat, not to mention copious free snack options that include cookies, chips, and an addictive snack mix. Plus, JetBlue has the largest legroom in coach, which helps with everything from letting kids stretch to giving you room to  maneuver your car seat into place.

JetBlue also guarantees families sit together no matter how much you paid for your tickets, which is (almost) priceless. All of its planes have changing tables — a win for when you need to change a diaper mid-flight . Finally, families who know how to work their points will appreciate how easy it is to pool and redeem rewards.

Heads up: JetBlue recently raised their domestic checked bag fees: Your first checked bag will now cost $35 if you commit online more than 24 hours in advance, and $45 within less than 24 hours' notice. (International baggage is free.) JetBlue does not charge to check your car seat.

Parents say: "JetBlue let my husband board early with our seat harness, diaper bag, and carry-ons so he could get our row set up before I walked my toddler on board with our regular boarding group. This was game-changing since I could give my 2-year-old a final diaper change before the long flight without missing our chance to get our things onto the plane before everyone else."

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Best domestic airline for on-time performance: delta.

Many parents I spoke to raved about Delta's service, so it wasn't a surprise that Delta was the top-rated domestic airline on Bounce's 2023 Airline Index . Delta had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals (82%), one of the lowest cancellation rates at 2%, and also the lowest level of passenger complaints at just 2.66 per 100 customers. (For comparison, Frontier had 10 times that number of complaints.). 

Delta was also named the Most Reliable Airline in the U.S. by AirAdvisor . In other words, if you want to get your family to your destination without delays, Delta is your airline. 

Another top-selling point that many parents shared with me was Delta's peanut allergen policy. With advance notice, Delta will refrain from serving peanuts on your flight .

Heads up: There are limited snack options on short domestic flights. 

Parents say: "Delta is hands down our favorite airline to fly as a family … My daughter's first flight was around a year old, and I was flying solo with her. The flight attendants brought her special kids' snacks, the pilot gave her Delta wings, and they truly went above and beyond to help me get her to the changing station in the bathroom, clean up snacks, you name it … [Delta is] just generally a very family-positive airline. They allow families to board first if desired. They easily check any luggage or strollers at the gate — and we've never had an item go missing or be delayed in any way! We've [now] gone on 10-plus flights with our 4-year-old, and the times we've experienced delays (weather-related only), we were kept informed and felt like we were in really good hands." 

Best budget airline:  Southwest

First, let's start with the transparent pricing on Southwest, which usually beats other major carriers on the same route. There's no laundry list of extras, in large part because checked bags – two per person – are completely free. That means you can check your suitcase instead of dragging a carry-on, a stroller, your child, a car seat, and luggage onto a plane. 

And while Southwest isn't included in the DOT list of airlines that guarantee family seating, they do have some safety nets in place to work with their unique no-pre-assigned-seating policy. You can, of course, pay to be in the early bird group to board the plane first. However, if you have kids under 6, take advantage of the family boarding , which happens after the A group and before the B group, meaning you'll be among the first people on the plane and can usually choose seats together. 

Heads up: If your child is older than 6, but under 14, Southwest promises it will "reasonably endeavor to seat a child next to one accompanying passenger." If you want your entire family to sit together and you have a larger party, you might want to pay for early boarding.

Parents say: "I like the boarding process, and I like that they have family boarding up until age 6. It's so nice to have the extra time to get to the seats. And we usually install the extra airplane seat belts, so we like having the extra time for that too." 

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Best european airline: lufthansa.

Europe's biggest carrier ranks high for its comfortable seats and extensive in-flight entertainment system. The airline keeps the comfort going for families with special check-in areas in Frankfurt and Munich and the extensive Kinderland play area in Munich. 

With the thought that well-fed kids are happy kids, Lufthansa offers in-air children's menus taste-tested by a panel of junior chefs. Expect dishes like "pretzel face," "tortoise muffins," "Lu's favorite lasagna," and "sausage mummies." Meals for babies – such as baby food, mini sausages, and soups – are also available on board Lufthansa flights.  

Heads up: Lufthansa mostly flies to European destinations, so you can't really use them to travel around North America.

Parents say: "Lufthansa made it very easy to travel with kids. We boarded early and settled quickly. They offer children's meals ([which you] must request in advance) that are served prior to main cabin meals. This gave me time to both attend to them and also allow me to eat my meal in peace. An overall wonderful experience." 

Best international airline: Emirates

For kids, flying Emirates is a little bit like attending a  birthday party in the sky: There are goodie bags, stuffed animals, toys, and even special snacks. If you're flying with a baby , you'll receive a kit with a reusable changing mat, diaper cream, cleansing wipes, a bib, a plush toy that attaches to the seatback, and a special collectible blanket. Bigger kids get fanny packs and backpacks filled with games and activities. 

Kids' meals include favorites like pasta and chicken tenders served on special colorful trays, and there are snack boxes filled with cookies and fruit snacks for mid-flight munchies. Emirates even has special kid-sized headphones to watch the collection of Disney movies and other in-flight entertainment. 

Parents will be happy to know that families always board first, and at the Dubai hub, there's a special family check-in desk as well as complimentary strollers to navigate the airport. 

Heads up: Emirates doesn't operate domestic flights, so you can only use this option for international travel , and the airline is often one of the priciest options when comparing fares, although you do get what you pay for.

Parents say: " I chose to fly Emirates through Dubai as I knew their economy class section was roomier and more comfortable than most airlines and that their entertainment system would keep my son engaged throughout much of the long flight. The service on board and at the Dubai lounge were excellent – truly helpful to this single mom!"

Factors to consider when choosing an airline for your family

If you're deciding between a few different carriers for a trip, keep the following in mind to help you make your choice.

Price. Let's face it, paying for a family to fly is pricey. So finding an airline with well-priced seats, as well as perks, is definitely important. 

On-time performance. You do not want any delays, if you can help it, when traveling with kids. (I say this as a mom who was stuck for 11 hours in Newark Airport with a 6-year-old waiting for a replacement plane on an airline that only had one scheduled flight per day out of New Jersey). While weather can't be helped, choosing an airline with a noted performance record can get you off the ground sooner. 

Kid-friendliness. Does the airline have kids' meals? How about entertainment? Do they offer any additional toys or perks for little ones to make the trip more memorable?

Seating policies for babies. Are there lap infant policies that let you hold your baby under 2 for free? And do they offer bassinets for infants? "When flying long-haul, booking a bassinet is a lifesaver," Bowen says. "Prioritize airlines where bassinets can be booked in advance, as this will drastically change your experience."

Checked bags. "One thing I always keep in mind is the cost of checking bags," says Slotnick. "I used to travel with carry-on only, but with car seats, clothes, diaper bags, strollers, and more, that's much harder these days. So I try to stick with airlines that, for me, have the best checked bag options."

The 5 best airlines that make flying with babies and kids a whole lot easier


Travel TV has a major problem we need to unpack

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Travel TV has a problem with women

You would have hoped the horizons of travel television would have expanded over the past 20 years for women – but they haven’t.

Cast your mind back to Bridget Jones sequel The Edge of Reason in 2004, when she embarks on a trip to Thailand to make a travel TV show with slimy co-star and love interest Daniel Cleaver.

In the fictional series, Daniel (Hugh Grant) makes innuendos with two local scantily-clad women under his arm while icon Bridget (Renée Zellweger) chokes on local delicacies and adorably makes a tit out of herself.

He then proceeds to hire a prostitute for the night, much to the horror of Bridget who was about to succumb to his charming ways and crawl into bed after a bit of star-gazing.

It was a comedy of its time. But even with the sexist tropes and leering leading man, this fictional version of travel TV was arguably more progressive than the real life state of travel shows then – and even now in 2024.

At least Bridget fronted her own show.

Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver

We’ve come a long way since the noughties in terms of women on TV – the days of boys-club comedy panel shows is, thankfully, over, and sexism is for the most part not tolerated .

Women are fronting TV dramas left, right and centre, with True Detective – a historically male-led show – getting two female leads, Death In Paradise opting for its first ever female detective , and with the likes of Three Little Birds, After the Flood, and Better all shining a big spotlight on female talent. Good news.

In 2021, BBC3 announced women had overtaken men in comedy series representation on the channel, as 58% of their output was either acted, written, or created by women after the Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Daisy May Cooper-led revolution.

Meanwhile, on the most wholesome corner of TV – where presenters shed a tear at Machu Picchu or give a wide-eyed grin while tucking into the best bánh mì in Vietnam – you don’t find misogyny or sexist jokes… but you also don’t find women.

In fact, Intrepid Travel have found that only 26 of 101 travel shows available to stream on the two leading TV channels include a female presenter, and the company – who organise group tours across the world – are now calling for action.

Back in 2018, Ofcom found that on BBC One and BBC Two men outnumbered women on TV by 62% to 38% across genres.

So six years later in 2024, travel TV is lagging pathetically behind the 2018 percentage of women on BBC shows across genres.

The years-old report also highlighted how only 20% of faces in sports TV were women – making Intrepid’s similar percentage of women in travel TV six years later particularly stark.

Since 2018, sports TV has welcomed a number of new female faces and punters on screen (namely, Alex Scott and Jill Scott) – increasing representation which was further fuelled by the inspiring Lionesses Euros win .

But travel TV remains stagnantly male – it is yet to have its Fleabag moment, its big win, or even its 2000s Bridget Jones moment, for that matter.

Joanna Lumley

While occasionally a woman teams up with a man for a travel show – such as Miriam Margolyes and Alan Cumming exploring Scotland – there are even fewer shows with a solo female presenter.

Netflix’s food romp with chef Samin Nosrat –   Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – is one of three recent programmes with a woman at the helm, as well as Joanna Lumley’s successful series of travelogues on ITV and Sue Perkins’ various round the world adventures.

Of course, there’s the iconic Wish You Were Here…? hosted by the brilliant Judith Chalmers. But that aired in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, its harder to name a male comedian who hasn’t fronted their travel series than one that has.

John Bishop, Micky Flanagan, Al Murray, Romesh Ranganathan, Michael Palin, Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Leigh Francis, Ade Edmondson, Griff Rhys Jones, Karl Pilkington (also with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant) and David Baddiel are just a few who have been there and got the T-shirt.

(L-R) Michael Whitehall and Jack Whitehall

The biggest travel shows of the moment are all fronted by men, including Richard Ayoade’s Channel 4 show Travel Man, and Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil.

This is before you get to the adventuring male duos which is somewhat of a genre in itself with Jack Whitehall and his father, and Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, spearheading the movement.

Also included in this genre are Ed Byrne and Dara O Briain; Joel Dommett and Nish Kumar; Sean Lock and Jon Richardson; Frank Skinner and Lee Mack; and Miles Jupp and Elis James.

Meanwhile, Paddy McGuinness and Gary Barlow – unlikely travel experts – have their own shows in the works as we speak while Strictly stars Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice can currently be found on Monday nights enjoying a Spanish road trip for BBC.

Where is hilarious Fern Brady wearing a sombrero in Mexico? Or Joanne McNally sipping cocktails and causing chaos in Thailand? How about Katherine Ryan backpacking through South America?

This lack of representation of women fronting adventure travel shows has a knock-on effect, according to the tour operator, who took a sample of 2,000 UK people in March 2024.

It noticed an ‘adventure gap’ between genders, as 87% of women don’t feel represented in travel and adventure content on TV.

This is despite 68% of women classing themselves as ‘adventurous’ and a third saying they feel more adventurous than ever.

Question of Sport 2021/22,03-09-2021,Question of Sport 2021 - generics,Paddy McGuinness,Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on Tuesday 24/08/2021 - Picture shows: Paddy McGuinness ,BBC,James Stack

Almost two-thirds of women agree that seeing more people like themselves within travel TV shows would give them more confidence to go after their intrepid dreams.

Further to this, the company found 69% of women say that they’ve put their travel and adventure aspirations on the back burner.

Few women on travel TV is also not through a lack of trying from female comedians and personalities, who have failed over the years to secure their own shows.

In 2019, TV commissioners came under fire for constantly turning to male comics to front travel series over women (with the exception of Sue Perkins, who was filmed travelling to the Mekong river and Calcutta for the BBC).

Backlash began when comedian London Hughes revealed online that the legend Whoopi Goldberg had agreed to do a travel show with her, but unbelievably the duo failed to spark interest from broadcasters.

Mock The Week star Tiff Stevenson also revealed that she had pitched a show with Meera Syal to no avail.

She wrote: ‘I also pitched female comics doing travel show together back in 2015 and couldn’t get uptake. It’s a joke.’

Philomena Cunk in Cunk on Britain

Dr Adele Doran, Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, whose research specialises in outdoor recreation and adventure tourism, has noted how there’s a ‘preference to use middle-aged male presenters’ for travel TV.

She said: ‘There seems to be a preference to use middle-aged male presenters on TV travel shows, particularly comedians. You see them haggling at markets, taking epic journeys, trying exotic food, and climbing mountains.

‘Consequently, audiences are perpetually seeing and hearing about adventure travel through the filters and experiences of male travellers.

‘Yet, women make up 57% of global adventure travellers which proves that there is the desire to create and consume female-centric travel and adventure content.

‘Women are often relegated to travel shows and travel writing with a fashion, spa, well-being, or gastronomy angle.

‘Whereas adventure or discovery travel, particularly in remote areas, is often associated with men and commands higher prestige.’

Indeed, Diane Morgan’s Cunk on Earth is the most refreshing travel TV we’ve seen in years… and that’s a mockumentary.

Let’s sort it out, shall we?

Intrepid Travel are launching a free  AdventurHER Exhibition  highlighting the stories of female adventurers from around the world.

The exhibition is open 19th – 21st April in Camden Passage, Angel, London.

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE : Paddy McGuinness hasn’t spoken to Top Gear co-star Freddie Flintoff in 10 months after horror crash

MORE : Travel warning for all boozy Brits holidaying to Greece this year


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How to pack — and prepare — for travel with a baby

Lori Zaino

About to take your first trip with a new baby ? Or maybe this isn't your first time traveling with your little one , but you'd like to pack more efficiently this time around.

It can be hard to know how to prepare and pack when you have a baby in tow. Babies often change so quickly that anticipating their needs can be complicated — especially if you're planning a longer trip.

In addition to typical packing concerns, such as the weather in your destination or luggage size restrictions, it's not always clear what you can carry on or must check when it comes to your infant. Here's our advice to help you prepare, pack and travel better with your baby.

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Choose accommodations wisely (and pack accordingly)

If you're traveling by car, you can easily pack a travel crib and other larger baby items.

However, if you're flying, choosing the right accommodation is the key to packing lighter, which is the goal. Toting around an infant is strain enough — staying somewhere that provides baby items means you can leave the extras at home.

Check with your hotel to see if it offers cribs or other baby items, as well as if it provides laundry services or facilities where you can do your own. Some hotels will even provide an extra fridge for milk storage upon request.

Often, a home rental might be a better choice than a hotel, assuming you pick the right one. Airbnb allows you to filter properties by items such as "crib" and "high chair." You can also message hosts to see if they have any other baby-friendly items available.

For example, I recently filtered an Airbnb search in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to show only rentals that included a crib, high chair, washer and dryer. I ended up picking a rental that included not only the aforementioned items, but also a bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer and a few other infant-friendly items, which allowed me to pack less.

Some rentals I've stayed in even provided baby toys, books and cutlery. The key is communication. Don't hesitate to message and confirm the equipment again with hosts as you pack. You can also request or confirm that everything will be set up and ready for the baby upon your arrival.

Access to a washer and dryer is important since babies tend to have accidents or leaky diapers. Being able to do laundry also lets you pack fewer clothes. Also, if your rental is not a stand-alone house or a unit on the first floor, check that there is an elevator. A five-floor walk-up in a multi-unit building can be difficult with a stroller, shopping bags and baby in your arms.

Call your airline to understand the regulations

Depending on your airline, fare class and destination, you may have to adhere to different rules when it comes to traveling with an infant.

Those regulations can also vary depending on whether you've purchased a lap ticket versus a separate seat for your baby. In almost all cases, airlines allow travelers with an infant to gate-check a stroller or buggy, and some may also allow a car seat. Check with your airline ahead of time to understand baggage rules for your little one to avoid getting caught off guard at the airport or paying extra, especially when flying low-cost carriers like Ryanair or Spirit .

Flying with an infant in a car seat and hoping to bring it on the plane? Make sure it's approved for air travel. You may also want to request a bassinet for your baby, if the aircraft you're flying offers one (check the weight limits, however). Ask for an aisle seat, as it makes standing up with your baby much easier.

Invest in travel-friendly baby items

flight travel with baby

Having a dedicated (foldable) travel stroller will be useful beyond air travel. It's the perfect item to have when exploring a new city. Other key travel baby items to consider taking along are:

  • Travel diaper backpack.
  • Portable changing pad.
  • Travel car seat.
  • A bag for a car seat or stroller so these items aren't damaged if checked.
  • Portable baby monitor.
  • Baby carrier or wrap.
  • Swaddle or baby blankets.
  • Inflatable bathtub .
  • Pack 'n Play or travel crib.
  • Travel neck pillow (use it while feeding your baby).
  • Baby chair strap.
  • Disposable bottle liners.
  • Disposable bibs.
  • Portable blackout shades for travel cribs or strollers.

Purchase (or preorder) diapers, formula and more at your destination

Depending on how long your trip is and where you're headed, calculate (and it's always best to over-calculate) how many diapers you'll need for the trip.

If your baby uses a specific formula or baby food, make sure you know where to buy it at your destination. Amazon and other delivery services can be useful for ordering these items -- and remember, these services are available internationally, too. You can also compare ingredients to see if you can get a similar formula or food at your destination, so you won't have to load up your suitcase with diapers or formula.

Don't worry if you forget baby socks or another basic item. Babies live all over the world, so you'll likely find many basic items available for purchase wherever you are. If your baby requires something specific, though, pack it just in case.

There are also companies that rent baby gear in many destinations around the world. Research ahead of time to find out exactly where and how to obtain these necessary items, especially when traveling abroad .

Carry on the essentials (and extras)

Always pack your baby's key essentials in your carry-on . This includes comfort items like their favorite toy or pacifier, and extra clothes for both your baby and you (in case their wardrobe disaster becomes yours, as well). You should also pack enough food, diapers and other key items to last you through the trip, plus more for any possible delays and/or cancelations.

Here's a list of items you may want to keep in your carry-on bag :

  • Extra clothing for you and your baby.
  • Layers of clothing or blankets (plane temperatures are often extreme).
  • Pacifier and clip (and backup).
  • Comfort toy(s) or blanket.
  • Extra diapers.
  • Breast pump.
  • Snacks (for you and your baby).
  • Baby wipes.
  • Sanitizing wipes.
  • Extra bibs.
  • Ziploc bags for stowing soiled clothing (or a reusable, waterproof bag).
  • Baby Tylenol or any infant medications.
  • A basic first aid kit.
  • Small toy(s).

The rest of your baby's items, like additional clothing, blankets and more, can go in your checked bag. If you're checking more than one bag, split your baby's items among different checked suitcases. That way you'll be covered if the airline loses one of your suitcases.

Know the security regulations and have a backup plan

On a recent call to Iberia Airlines , I was told I could bring "reasonable quantities" of formula and breast milk through security. However, the representative also told me that in some cases during security checks, certain agents might not allow me to pass these items through security at the Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) . What?

Not all security checks, Transportation Security Administration agents or customs agents are alike, and each country, airport or airline may have specific regulations. Call ahead of time and prepare for things to not go as planned. If you do use formula, take your bottles already mixed, but also bring extra powder in case you need to prepare new bottles on board.

If you're pumping, it might also be a good idea to bring both a hand pump and an electric pump in case you have limited access to electricity or encounter issues with electrical outlets or voltage when traveling internationally.

Arriving at the airport early is always a good idea, because you may not breeze through security as you might have in your pre-baby days. Everything takes longer with an infant, so having that extra time can ensure a low stress travel experience. Take advantage and board the airplane first to give you extra time to get settled. If your airport has a family security line, use it.

Make sure you understand any remaining COVID-19 regulations

As mask rules and COVID-19 testing, entry and vaccine regulations continue to evolve in countries around the world, stay on top of exactly what you need to know and bring for your baby to get to your destination (and back home again). It's important to understand whether you'll need masks for your 2-year-old or need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 tests upon arrival at your destination or re-entry into the U.S. when traveling abroad.

Remember that airline staff members also struggle to keep track of ever-changing rules, so if you know something has recently changed or a rule seems specific, make sure to bring along proof of this information and whatever documentation you need in case you have trouble when boarding.

Photocopy important documents and always have extras. I loathe having to take paper documents along when traveling. However, having them may mean the difference between getting through customs, being able to board or being stranded at the airport. This is especially true if your phone battery dies or you're left without service for any reason. While being denied boarding is always dramatic, it's even worse with a baby in tow.

Download the right apps

Mobile phone apps can help you anticipate what you need, as well as keep your baby (and yourself) comfortable during travel.

A white noise app is key for better sleep for your baby — and therefore better sleep for parents — and allows you to leave a white noise machine home. Nightlight apps are also helpful during travel.

You can also connect most modern baby monitors to your phone and use an app to access the video of your baby so you won't need a separate viewing device.

Parents may find an app to track sleeping and feeding especially helpful during travel, particularly when switching time zones. A general packing app could help you keep track of what you need to bring for your infant, as well as the entire family. Make sure these apps are accessible offline if you need them while flying.

Don't forget their passport

flight travel with baby

This one is obvious, but you'd be surprised. Don't forget your baby's passport when traveling.

Look into identity and consent documents, as each country has its own requirements, especially if your partner isn't with you. If you have any older children, make sure to check that their passports are valid, as children's U.S. passports expire in just five years.

Traveling with a baby might seem like a lot. However, once you get the hang of it, packing, prepping and traveling with your infant becomes second nature. Ask for help when you need it and accept help when offered.

And when things don't go quite right, stay relaxed (remember, baby can feel your moods) — you'll figure it out. While it may seem tragic in the moment (like that major diaper blowout on board a plane), it will be an epic story to share one day.

Bottom line

When in doubt, bring enough baby supplies for a few extra days or a flight delay, but don't overpack. Make sure to be clear on any and all regulations that will cover your travel, from having the right documents to understanding what baby items you can bring through airport security . With these tips, packing and traveling will be a more enjoyable experience for the entire family .

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Travel Tips for Flying With Grandkids

What to know before you go and during your flight for a smooth trip.

young child looking over the back of an airplane seat

Blane Bachelor,

Flying can be highly stressful because of flight delays and cancellations , cramped airplane seats and the never-ending battle for overhead bin space.

But if you’re planning to take your grandkids somewhere special — their first big amusement park perhaps — flying might be the best option. And with proper preparation and the right mindset, the time spent at 30,000 feet can even be pleasant.

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Here are travel pro tips you need to know to make the experience as smooth as possible.

Research insurance and proper permissions

Before you travel, consider getting a letter of consent signed by both parents or legal guardians of your grandkids. Although it’s not required for domestic flights, the signed form helps in the event of an emergency or if your grandkids need medical treatment, says Michelle Couch-Friedman, founder and CEO of Consumer Rescue , a consumer advocacy organization. For international flights, the extra step of getting the letter notarized is a good idea, as border officials can be extra vigilant about children traveling with adults who aren’t their parents. 

Travel insurance can save the day in case of flight disruptions — and it likely covers your grandkids, too. “A good thing for grandparents to know is that most travel insurance policies will allow you to add anybody under 18 for free,” Couch-Friedman says.

Double-check devices, and pack snacks

An iPad or in-flight entertainment system is all some kids need to keep them happy throughout the flight. Before you go, make sure devices are charged and comfortable headsets are packed. Keep in mind that headphones or earbuds that are comfortable for you may not be comfortable for your grandkid, so test them out. Bob Bacheler, a flight nurse and managing director of Flying Angels , a nonemergency medical transport service, recommends earphones that connect via an old-fashioned wire instead of relying on Bluetooth capability to sync devices. “You never want to experiment with an electronic device on an aircraft,” he says.

Bacheler notes that kid-friendly snacks are another essential. Stock up on easily transportable foods such as granola bars and pretzels, and be sure to pack extra in case of delays.

Sit together without paying extra

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) addressed a long-standing complaint of adult travelers flying with children: airlines charging them to sit together. The department put pressure on airlines to ensure that children 13 and younger can sit with an older family member during the flight, without additional charges. 


DOT launched a dashboard that shows which domestic airlines allow families with kids younger than 13 to book seats together without extra fees for all fare types, as well as carriers that offer families the most support in case of flight disruptions. Only four airlines — Alaska, American, Frontier and JetBlue — have fee-free family seating. 

The process to book free family seats online varies among airlines. JetBlue has an automated family seating process that will seat minors with adults at the time of booking, depending on availability. The online system for American will detect that you’re a family traveling if you don’t select seats while booking; it will automatically assign seats the day before departure, keeping children under 15 next to at least one adult. 

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If you’re flying with an airline that doesn’t have an official policy on family seating, Couch-Friedman recommends booking seats together as soon as possible — perhaps by calling the airline to talk to someone instead of booking online. 

Checked baggage and boarding policies

Airlines have varying policies on family boarding, but if they offer it at all, it’s usually for younger children. Southwest, which has no reserved seats, allows families with children 6 and younger to board early. United’s policy allows preboarding for families with children up to 2 years old.

Checking your bags is another way to streamline the boarding process, since you can avoid trying to find overhead bin space and help your grandkid get settled onboard. Most airlines charge extra for checked bags, but Southwest offers two free checked bags, and other airlines offer free checked bags depending on their mileage or rewards program.

Utilize expedited security lines

Whether you’re traveling internationally or domestically, trusted traveler programs and expedited line services can help.

Kids up to 12 years old traveling with adults enrolled in TSA PreCheck can take advantage of the service for perks such as shorter lines and keeping shoes on while going through security . Clear, a nongovernment-affiliated service, allows children up to 17 years old to access the expedited line with members, no separate account needed.

Traveling abroad? Global Entry , a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for travelers returning to the U.S., can help you skip longer lines after international trips. However, children must be enrolled separately; if they aren’t enrolled, they’re not allowed to join you in the dedicated line.

When traveling back into the U.S. from another country, the free Mobile Passport Control app allows up to 12 people in a family to upload travel documents and answer necessary security questions through the app. You and your grandkids will still need to show passports and talk to a customs agent, but the app can help expedite the process at the participating 33 international airports in the U.S. 

Get your grandkids involved

Jean McMillan, 70, a retired early-childhood educator who has taken her grandkids to England , Costa Rica and Mexico as gifts for their birthdays, has an ulterior motive for every flight: teaching them to become self-sufficient travelers. “My goal is that when they have to travel by themselves, they understand how to do it,” she says. “It’s part of the process.”

To that end, McMillan lets her grandkids as young as 9 go through security lines first and answer questions from airport officials. They’re also responsible for keeping track of their suitcases and backpacks.

Letting your grandkids find your seats is another way to keep them engaged — you can make a game of it for younger grandkids , Bacheler says. It’s also helpful for older grandkids to know where your seats are, as the layout of an aircraft can be disorienting. “And this way, if they have to get up in the middle of the flight, they know ‘OK, well, I’m at 15D,’ and that can make life easier for them, and that can decrease everybody’s anxiety,” Bacheler says.

Have distractions ready

Though some kids may enjoy the extra screen time while traveling, it’s a good idea to have nondigital activities on hand, such as coloring books and markers, books or a deck of cards. These activities can save the day in a pinch if the in-flight entertainment isn’t working or if your grandkids need a change of pace from cartoons.

Be sure to keep favorite toys and blankets within reach so they’re easy to grab when needed. When turbulence strikes and a cuddle from a stuffed animal could go a long way in calming fears, you don’t want to dig around the overhead bin while the seatbelt sign is on.

Attitude is everything

Flying is full of challenges. Grandparents should set the right example when hiccups inevitably occur, says Mira Temkin, a Chicago-based travel writer who has flown several times with her grandkids.

“They’re looking at you as the adults and the parents,” she says. “So just do your best to try to reassure them that, ‘We’re gonna get there, and just think about the good time we’re going to have, and let’s not stress about this little thing.’ ”

Amsterdam-based journalist Blane Bachelor covers travel, aviation and hotel news for a variety of top media outlets.   

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