Flying with a Baby

[Regulations on Liquids] [Things to Check with your Airline]
[Other things to Consider

Some would not even consider flying with a baby or flying with an infant, but really it is more convenient in some respects than travelling by car.

Just think whilst you are travelling you can nurse your baby when they are upset and feed them without having to stop the trip.

Regulations on Liquids (including breast milk and formula)

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With the security fears the world is now facing there has been much debate regarding flying with a baby and the regulations limiting the ability to carry large quantities of formula or express breast milk.

Don't panic, it appears the authorities have been sensible about the matter. According to the 'Transportation Security Administration' (in Australia) you can take as much formula, breast milk or regular milk as you require.

You are encouraged to travel with only as much formula or breast milk in your carry-on needed to reach your destination.

They suggest the following:

  • # Separate the milk or baby products from your other limited liquids
  • # Declare you have the items at the security checkpoint
  • # Also present the items for inspection at the Security X-ray section

NOTE: There are no official laws that require you to ‘test taste' the liquid. However, Security Officers may test liquid for explosives (this is a rule for liquid that exceeds 100ml per bottle).

You are also allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, and canned, jarred, or processed baby food in your carry-on baggage too.

Liquids and gels, including baby formula, breast milk, or juice, may be packed in your luggage and checked with your airline.

After clearing security, you can now bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area on-board.

If you are flying with a baby internationally, it is best to check out the rules and regulations set by customs in that country. You might find that some of the baby products or home made snacks (including fruit) might not be acceptable to take into some countries.

Things to Check with your Airline

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Depending on your destination, you'll often have to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare.

When you 'check-in' your luggage, some airlines will allow you to hold onto your pram or stroller. This will then give you the freedom to move around the airport without having to hold your baby the whole time.

If this is the case the airline will most likely request that you hand it in at the boarding gate before they allow passengers to board. This gives them time to load it onto the luggage.

In the event that your airline does not offer this convenience, then you are best off considering a baby pouch or sling. This allows you to move around freely, hold or push luggage and board hassle free.

Secondly, some airlines have special seating available for parents, check with the airline when making the booking.

It appears to be standard that children 2 years and over must purchase their own seat, and those under 2 years travel on their parents lap, using an infant restraint.

And finally if your child is under 8 months the airline may offer a bassinette to use during the flight. But this would be subject to availability.

Again, the best thing you can do is check with each individual airline.

Other things to Consider

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When flying with a baby, be prepared for the fact your baby's ears might ‘pop' on take-off and landing, in a bid to minimize the discomfort try breast feeding or bottle feeding your baby at this time.

Drinking will not only distract them, it will help clear any blockage they feel from the change in altitude.

Speaking of feeding, plan when your baby will need their bottle or food. Flight attendants can be busy serving other guests and you don't want to wait until you have a screaming baby to start organising their bottle. Preplan this for a smooth ride.

Pack a couple of your baby's favourite things, a blanket or toy, something familiar that will make them feel safe in unfamiliar surroundings. Don't go overboard though, there are so many things one needs to pack for a baby, the more compact the better.

And be prepared, when flying with a baby, always pack more nappies and wipes than you think you'll need.

Also create a little medical case, (use a small makeup bag, or lunch pack) think about all the what if's, what if they have a fever, what if they are teething, does your baby have any special needs, e.g. asthma.

You hope you won't need any of these things, but you can't just run into a chemist when you are mid flight, so it's better to be well prepared and have a happy baby.

When packing supplies for babies and young children, pack disposable (I know I know, we are all trying our best to save the environment, and we can do this at home, but on rare occasions disposable is best) Purchase disposable bibs, bowls and cutlery, allowing you to get rid of it once used, preventing you from lugging around a "dirty" bag and overall minimizing your carry on luggage.

If you toddler is in nappies, consider purchasing pull ups for the trip. They are very handy when on a plane or in a public toilet. If you can wipe your toddler standing up they can step into the pull up and then you can avoid having to lay them down on a cold hard floor which is sure to be dirty.

The benefit to flying with a baby is that you'll most likely be at your destination in half the time, allowing you more time to enjoy your holiday.

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