Your sweet baby deserves the attention. Being a proud parent you too while flying with a baby.
Sometimes, on a plane kids and parents both get the attention of fellow passengers for wrong reasons. Screaming kids – may disturb their sleep. Headbanging, head rolling, and body rocking habits of kids may put all in discomfort. Kids are kids after all, they will do whatever they want.
This Covid-19 situation has added more to the concerns of parents flying with kids. In fact, we are going through the most testing times in the history of human kind. Traveling has become a risky take, and traveling with kids is riskier than ever.
If you are flying with a toddler or baby, here are some travel tips and advices to help you travel comfortably and safely with your kid without being stared by co-passengers.
1. Help your kid get enough sleep prior to boarding a flight
It’s important to keep your kid calm and relaxed on the flight. One of the most frequent reasons kids cry is because they’re overtired. Being unrested can lead to tantrums and other outbursts of seemingly irrational behavior. Help your kid get sufficient sleep before the journey starts. Sleep is a habit, and you can’t achieve it overnight. Help your kid develop this healthy habit much before you plan.
2. Book a direct flight or one with a longer layover
Kids get bored when they are put in the same condition. They love change every moment, but you can’t manage to get your kid focused on the outside things only. Hence, book a direct flight
or one with a longer layover, where your kid can experience change, take sleep, and relax properly.
3. Book in advance
If you’re a family traveling with kids, better you seat together. Here are some hacks to keep your seats together. Book everyone in the same reservation. The farther in advance you book, the better. (Seats become limited closer to the day of travel.
4. Visit the airport restroom before your flight
Bowel (gut) problems – constipation, colic or irritable bowel are common in kids and toddlers particularly if they are relying on too much of soft and processed foods. Taking a visit at the airport’s restroom will help your kid to get relieved from an unexpected unnecessary abdominal pressure. Use double diapers to make it leak-free. 1 carry-on diaper bag per child is allowed with most of the carrier. Maintaining a healthy gut system is once again a habitual thing. It develops over the time gradually. Have your child eat enough fiber. Have him or her drink plenty of liquids to help the fiber work better.
5. Buy a separate airplane seat for your child
Though the flight reservation policy of most of the airlines allow children 2 or older who can sit in their parent’s lap to travel free, booking a separate seat for your baby not just make your travel comfortable but also adds to the safety of the baby in case of any turbulence in the air.
6. Bring a Child Restraint System (CRS) or Child Seat
A CRS is a hard-backed child safety seat that is approved by the government for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft. FAA controls the approval of some but not all CRSs. Put your child in the system as per the guidelines of the crew members.CRS keeps your baby safe in case of any unexpected turbulence. Airlines do not charge any fee for carrying CRS with you. However, buying a separate ticket for your child is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to bring and use a CRS. Some airlines offer it to the passenger with a baby but only when they have purchased a separate ticket for the baby.
7. Bring Carrycots
If your infant is under 2 years, bring carrycot to make him or her sleep on the flight. Carrycots are suitable for babies 27.5lbs (weighing 12.5kgs). Some airlines to the like of British Airways provide it for free. If you have reserved your seat at a carrycot position, you can ask the cabin crew for a carrycot.
8. Demand for Bassinets
Many airlines including American Airlines (AA) have bassinets for passengers with infants or kids as old as 2 years. However, they are available on a first come, first serve basis at the gate for travel, and with some selected aircrafts only. 767-300, 777-200, 777-300 and 787 aircrafts of American have the bassinets for passengers flying with a baby.
Please be aware that if you are bringing your baby’s bassinet or infant seat as carry-on baggage, it must be secured tightly by a seatbelt to be stored on an aircraft seat. The item must also meet carry-on size restrictions.
9. Bring a Stroller
Stroller helps you to easily move with your baggage once you collect it from the baggage claim area. with all your items on the stroller you can better focus on your baby. Most airlines do not charge any additional fee for traveling with strollers.
10. Check Travel Advisory and Embassy Alerts
The Foreign Affairs Ministry of a country based on the risk factors (Health, Terrorism, Civil Unrest, etc.), associated with traveling to a foreign land issues its advisory for its citizen travelers. In the US, the task is handled by The Department of State. Out of the four types of travel advisories it issues, Level 3 (Consider Travel) and Level 4 (Do Not Travel) need attention of every US traveler. You must avoid traveling to a destination with Level 4 Travel Advisory. However, irrespective of the advisory, you must avoid visiting a destination with health risk considering the sensitivity of kids towards infection or disease. Website of your embassy may also alert you regarding any safety concerns in your destination country.
11. Get Travel Health Insurance
You must enrol your baby into your travel health insurance. Do not conceal any information regarding your family’s health with your insurer. This will help you to cope with any unexpected medical expenses if the need arises.