Baby Air Travel

HELP! We’re flying to Florida for 3 days to visit Bug’s Grandmama. We’ve never flown with a baby before and have no idea what we’re doing. He’ll be about 18 months old when we go.

  • Should we get him his own seat or fly with him in our laps? He’s too big for his infant carrier (has been for awhile, lol). He’s  currently crawling but should be (hopefully) walking by then.
  • Are there different policies about babies for different companies? We’re not buying the tickets so I can’t really choose the company myself, but suggestions could be helpful.
  • I already looked up security checks on the TSA site (very helpful!) so I think we’re good with that type of stuff.
  • We’re going to have to bring a car seat with us because he doesn’t have one there and we’ll definitely be taking car rides. Is that a checked luggage item? Is it carry-on if it’s the approved type of car seat that can be used on an air plane? What are the “approved” seats anyway?
  • This got complicated in a hurry, didn’t it?

EDIT – This link on the FAA site was helpful too. But we’re not buying a new seat/restraint for one trip when we already have 2 car seats…

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3 thoughts on “Baby Air Travel

  1. I would definitely buy him a seat. It’s safer and he’ll be more comfortable! It’s been interesting, having traveled both domestically and internationally with Analise. I read a bunch of stuff before traveling to FL with her for Christmas and it freaked me out about traveling with her as a lap child, but other countries have different rules. I think that at his age, though, and since you’re traveling domestically, I would definitely buy him a seat and just take his car seat on the plane. When we flew South West, they didn’t check the car seat or anything to make sure is was an “approved” seat, and I’m not sure if it was, but she stayed in it for the whole trip to Miami, which was nice!

    I would definitely check with the company to see what their policy is. They usually let you check extra stuff for the baby. Also, if you’re taking a stroller, some of them let you gate check it, but then it will come out with the usual luggage…just good to know.

    Also, I would make sure you leave plenty of time to get through security, and don’t worry about how long it takes you to get through. With all the undressing you have to do, plus taking things out of your bag, it’s hard enough, but then when you add the complication of juggling the baby, it can be stressful. I don’t think they did this in the US, but they did it on our trip from the UK to Spain and it couldn’t hurt to ask if you can get “special assistance.” There was a separate line for us to go in where families with small children and people with disabilities went. It was nice because we didn’t feel like the people behind us were annoyed at taking so long.

    Also, if you have an baby carrier, it really makes it convenient for trying to juggle everything. When we got to Valencia, we were taking the metro to our apartment and we put the pack-n-play in the stroller and carried Analise in the Ergo. It was a little awkward, but the carrier really helped to free up hands!

    Oh, and make sure you take snacks for the flight. It sounds like Bug is already quite interested in your gadgets, so he can be entertained by stuff on the iPad, but snacking during take off and landing is helpful for getting the ears to pop.

    Are you going for a last vacation before going back to school?

    • We’re no longer going because we couldn’t work out the timing 😦 But originally we were going to FL because Jeff’s mom lives there and said she’d pay for airline tickets and a place to stay if we came to visit (we couldn’t afford to go on our own!) Our big summer trip still is road tripping to SC to see my dad… my grandmother gave me a little money to travel with this summer since I wasn’t able to cruise with her, my mom, and sisters this spring and I thought it would be nice to use it to see Dad.

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