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  • Tips For Flying With an Infant



    – Flying with an infant can be intimidating for parents, but it doesn’t have.

    – Preparing for your flight ahead of time is key to an easy flight with your infant.

    – Bringing toys, snacks, and comfort items can help you ensure a smooth flight.


    Navigating family trips can often feel like an adventure in itself, especially when air travel is involved, and you have a little one in tow. The mere thought of flying with an infant can send shivers down the spines of even seasoned parents. But fear not! With the proper preparation, embarking on a flight with your infant can be a breeze rather than a burden. Ready to learn more? Read on for some essential tips and tricks to turn your next journey with your infant into a smooth and stress-free experience.

    Tips For Flying With Infants

    1. Check That Your Infant Has a Passport

    One of the most common things people ask is if they need a passport for their infant. The answer is that no matter how old you are, you must obtain a passport if you need to travel internationally. This means you must get your infant a passport before going on your trip. 

    Luckily, getting your infant a passport is very easy when you choose to use Swift Passport and Visa Services. All you have to do is visit our website to start the application process. Once you have finished filling out the application and completed the checkout process, we will send you a list of all the documents you’ll need to gather and send in to our Chicago office. Next, you’ll need to make an appointment with a Passport Acceptance Agent, and both parents must appear before the agent. Once you have followed all of these steps and we have processed the application, we will send your infant’s passport to you.

    2. Bring Along Snacks

    The last thing you want is for your infant to be hungry and fussy while on your flight. To avoid running into this problem, make sure that you pack plenty of snacks for your little one. Many airlines do not provide food or drinks for infants, so if you don’t come prepared, you may not have anything to give them until you land. Further, if you will be bringing formula onto the plane, be sure to check TSA’s rules ahead of time so that you know how much you can bring in your bag.

    3. Fill Your Bag With Entertainment

    Although your infant may not be playing with a lot toys yet, it still doesn’t hurt to pack some entertainment along with you. Bring some small toys or download educational shows onto your electronic device before heading onto the plane. This way, if your child seems like they are getting agitated, you can help distract them and calm them down by giving them a toy or having them watch a video.

    4. Pack Comfort Items

    Flying on a plane isn’t always the most comfortable for infants, and it can sometimes even startle them. To ensure that your baby feels safe and secure while flying, pack some of their favorite comfort items and bring them on the plane. For example, you can bring their favorite blanket, a special stuffed animal friend, or a nice and cozy jacket that they can wear in case they get cold. Comfort items are always a good idea and can usually soothe your child and calm them down.

    5. Get to the Airport Early

    One of the more stressful parts of any travel day is ensuring you have enough time to get through the airport. This stress only increases when you are traveling with small children. You most likely have a lot more to bring with you when traveling with an infant, and it could take you longer to navigate the airport. To avoid being late for your flight and panicking, make sure that you arrive at the airport earlier than you usually would.

    For example, if you typically get to the airport 1.5 hours before your flight when traveling alone or with other adults, you will probably want to arrive 2.5 hours before your flight when traveling with your infant. This will give you more than enough time to get through security and to your gate and will provide you comfort in knowing you won’t have to rush.

    6. Check in Your Stroller at the Gate

    If you have ever been to the airport with an infant, you know how difficult it can be to try and carry your child and luggage simultaneously. This is where a stroller can really come in handy, as it allows you to push your child around while also pulling your luggage at the same time. Another thing to note that many people aren’t aware of is that you can actually check in your stroller at the gate rather than checking it in with your luggage. This will give you more time to keep your baby in their stroller, allowing you to move more efficiently throughout the airport.

    7. Try to be One of the First Ones on the Plane

    Many airlines follow certain procedures when deciding when certain people get to board the aircraft. Fortunately, families with small children or infants are typically some of the first to go on the plane. They do this so that families have time to find their seats and settle in with their children before other people get on board, making it easier for everyone.

    If you have an infant traveling with you and would like to be one of the first to board the airplane, don’t hesitate to ask. Once you arrive at your gate, talk to the person running the service counter and tell them that you would like to board early. They will likely allow you to be one of the first ones on the plane, making your travel day a lot less stressful.

    8. Book an Early Flight or a Flight That Leaves Around Your Infant’s Bedtime

    One of the easiest ways to get through a long flight with your infant is for them to sleep as long as possible. But this is sometimes easier said than done, as getting your child to sleep (especially while on a plane) can be difficult. To help your baby go to sleep and stay asleep, try to book a flight that leaves early in the morning or one that leaves around their bedtime. This way, your infant should already be tired and is more likely to sleep throughout the flight.

    9. Relieve Ear Pressure During Takeoff and Landing

    The air pressure in the airplane cabin typically changes slightly throughout the flight but is more noticeable during takeoff and landing. Though this can be uncomfortable for everyone, it can be especially bothersome for infants and small children. However, there are some ways that you can help ease this pressure change for your infant. Some things you can do to help include feeding them a bottle during takeoff and on the final descent or giving your baby a pacifier. This will help to equalize the pressure between your little one’s ears and the airplane cabin. 

    10. Ask Flight Attendants Questions as Needed

    Finally, if you have questions or concerns about your infant’s safety while flying or need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask your flight attendant for help. They help many families each year and know the ins and outs of flying with an infant. Further, on some flights, flight attendants can even provide you with a bassinet for your infant to sleep in. Just be sure to look into this ahead of time, as a bassinet can only be provided if you are sitting in certain seats on the plane.

    Going on trips with your family should be fun and exciting, as well as a chance to make memories with one another, and the last thing you want is to feel anxious about bringing your infant on an airplane. We hope these tips will help make your next travel adventure as a family go as smoothly and efficiently as possible so that you can concentrate less on being stressed out and more on the joyful moments you’ll make together.

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