Tips for Flying With a Baby

Tips for Flying With a Baby

Each time you fly with an infant, it is a new experience. Even seasoned travelers will worry before traveling with a baby for the first time. The different regulations can be confusing, and large airports like the Boston Logan International Airport might overwhelm parents and babies alike.

Many new parents have questions about to flying from Boston. These top tips for flying with a baby can help ease your concerns and make you feel prepared.

How Old Should a Baby Be to Fly? 

Many airlines allow babies to fly when they are one to two weeks old. While medical professionals say that a baby can fly when they are as young as a week old, they note that if possible, it is best to wait until a baby is at least two to three months old before flying with them. Being in a crowded airport and on a packed plane can increase your baby’s risk of getting sick. 

Before traveling with your baby, check with your pediatrician to make sure that your baby is healthy and safe to be in large groups of people.

What Documents Do Children Need When Flying? 

Whether you are flying with a baby or a toddler, here are some of the documents you’ll need:

  • Ticket: Most airlines, such as Delta, allow infants under two to fly on an adult’s lap for free. If you want your child to have their own seat, however, you will have to purchase another ticket. With the other seat, you can harness your baby into a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved safety seat that will protect your child from any turbulence that occurs. 
  • Passport: All children need a passport if flying internationally.
  • Birth certificate: Some airlines require documentation for proof of age for children under 18. It’s a good idea to bring your baby’s birth certificate in case you need it.
  • Letter of consent: If a single parent travels internationally with a minor child, they may need a letter of consent from the other parent. In some cases, you also need the letter for domestic travel. The custody plan you share with your child’s other parent should detail your agreement.

Tips for Flying With a Baby From Boston

When flying with a baby from Boston, these tips will help you prepare for your journey and be as stress-free as possible.

Baby feet

Buy a Separate Seat

Although you can fly with children under two on your lap, the FAA recommends that you secure your child in an approved child restraint system for the duration of your flight, which would require you to purchase an additional seat. The additional cost might be worth it because it makes the flight safer for your child and more comfortable for you.

Your child’s weight determines which child safety restraint you should use during the flight: 

  • Infants who weigh under 20 pounds should be buckled into an FFA-approved rear-facing car seat when flying. 
  • Children who weigh 20-40 should harnessed in an FFA-approved car seat. Children cannot switch to only using a plane’s lap belt until they weigh at least 40 pounds. 

Booster seats cannot be used on an airplane. There is an FFA-approved alternative to using a car seat — the Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES). This airplane harness system is not meant for infants, however. It is designed to only be used for toddlers (22-44 pounds) and only on airplanes.

Bring Extra Clothes 

You’ll want to pack a change of clothes for you and your child in your carry-on bag. If the baby has an accident or spits up during the flight, you will want to be prepared. In addition, make sure you have some extra baby wipes with you during your flight for any mess that happens. 

Dress in Comfortable Layers

Choose attire for you and your baby that is comfortable and easy to change. Layers are useful for temperature changes on the plane, in the airport and at your destination. Wearing a wrap or something that can serve as a blanket is helpful if you breastfeed. In addition, dressing your baby in clothes that are easy to remove, such as zippered sweaters, snap-crotch jumpsuits and elastic-waist pants, will make it easy to change them and remove layers as needed. 

Book a Direct Flight or Flights With a Longer Layover

Tips for Flying With a Baby

Landing can cause ear pressure and pain that makes your baby cry. Direct flights will be easier on your baby because they’ll only have to experience discomfort from the plane landing once. If you need a connecting flight, choose one with a longer layover, about two hours or so. A long layover gives you and your baby time to rest and recover before continuing your journey. You’ll be able to visit the restroom, feed and change your baby and do anything else you need to do without rushing.     

Protect Your Baby’s Ears

If your baby is sensitive to loud noises, pack ear plugs or noise-canceling to help block out loud noises from the plane. Ear protection will also help reduce discomfort from changing air pressure. 

Alternatively, you can bring a pacifier, soft toy, snack or teething ring for your baby to chew on. Having something for your child to chew on will also help equalize your child’s ear pressure while flying.    

Have Pre-Planned Feeding Times

 Planning designated times to feed your baby will ensure that you have time to feed them in the hustle and bustle of boarding and exiting your plane. You should plan to feed your baby after takeoff and before landing. 

It’s a good idea to pump your breastmilk, pack pre-mixed formula bottles or bring formula and water so you can mix it on the flight. Breast milk and formula are exempt from the 3.4 ounces you are typically allowed in your carry-on. When going through security, just notify the TSA agents that you have these items.

Pack Smart

Ensure that you store items like medication and toiletries in secure plastic bags or pill containers out of the baby’s reach. Some things to pack in your carry-on include:

  • Extra necessities: Bring double the amount of bottles, formula, food, snacks, diapers, burp cloths, blankets and anything else you can think of. Flights can get delayed or canceled, so you’ll want to be prepared.
  • Toys and books: Pack toys and books to keep your little one occupied during the flight. Bringing a mix of new and old toys is a great way to offer your child the comfort of home and the excitement of something new. 
  • Plastic bags: You can put a change of clothes, diapers and a few wipes in a plastic bag. You’ll have quick access if you need to change your baby. You can also use a plastic bag to store used diapers and wipes until you can dispose of them. 
  • Ice packs: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows ice packs if you need them to cool baby formula or food.                              

Visit the Restroom Before Your Flight

Boarding the plane with a dry baby is ideal, so you should take a few minutes to go to the restroom for a diaper change before boarding. Putting extra diaper cream and an extra diaper on the baby can help prevent leaks.

Consider Pre-Boarding

Pre-boarding gives you plenty of time to get settled before the flight. It makes flying with a baby or toddler easier for you and the other passengers. Make sure that you have plenty of things for your baby or toddler to do to prevent them from getting bored. 

Gate-Check or Rent Baby Equipment

Most airlines allow you to gate-check baby gear. All you have to do is request gate-check tags from the gate agent at the airport and attach them to bulky items like strollers and car seats. You deposit the items at the bottom of the jetway, and they are usually in the same spot when you disembark. Ensure you fold up strollers.

If you want to lighten your load, you can rent baby equipment. Professionals can deliver strollers, cribs, highchairs, bassinets, boosters and more to your destination. You can bring the items with you wherever you need to go.

Reserve Parking at Park, Shuttle & Fly to Make Traveling Easier

Tips for Flying With a Baby

Since 1975, Park, Shuttle & Fly has helped families avoid traffic and find parking around Logan Airport. When you leave your car with us, you can take our shuttle and arrive at the airport within five to ten minutes. 

Once you park your vehicle, it does not move until you return. Your car will be kept in our fully fenced-in lot. Our staff is friendly, professional and reliable. You can trust that your vehicle will be safe until your return. 

We offer more than just a parking spot, however. You’ll love our vehicle detailing and cleaning service, luggage assistance, valet service and rewards program. If you choose our car wash and detailing service along with parking, your car will look new and shiny when you return from your trip.

You can make an online reservation without a deposit. Check our rates, and make your reservation today for short-term, long-term, economy or prepaid parking.

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The Sumner Tunnel closure from 11pm Fridays – 5am Mondays has caused an increase in traffic from Logan Airport to our parking facility during the afternoons and evenings on Saturdays & Sundays. Please give yourself extra time if traveling to and from Logan during these times.

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