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A guide to travelling with a baby or infant

Flying with a baby doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. In fact, travelling with a baby does not need to be any more stressful than travelling alone or with another adult.

Preparation and planning is really important, whether you’re travelling with a newborn baby or a slightly older infant. Here is some important information to remember when taking your baby on a plane.

Going abroad with a baby – What liquids am I allowed to take on board the flight?

You are allowed to take baby liquids onto the flight with you.

According to the official government website, you are allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water that you will need for your journey. Sometimes this may exceed 100ml in total. Any sterilised water must be stored in a baby bottle. Baby liquids include baby milk, sterilised water, baby food and anything else that your baby will need on your flight, including anything that is in a gel form.

TOP TIP: Only take precisely what you will need on the flight. As tempting as it can be to overload on baby products ‘just in case’, doing this means that you run the risk of security confiscating some of the items.

Best way to change your baby on a plane

The majority of airlines feature baby-changing areas that contain everything that you will need to change your baby as quickly, cleanly and safely as possible. If you are unsure that your airline has a baby-changing area, then simply call them or drop them an email to check before your departure date.

TOP TIP: If you find yourself having to change your baby in the plane toilets then you will not have much room. The best way to do this is by placing your baby on your lap on the changing mat.

Baby changing hand luggage essentials

There are a few essentials that you’ll need to keep your baby clean and dry during the flight, as well as keeping hand luggage size to a minimum.

  • Nappies

  • Wet wipes

  • Hand Sanitiser

  • Talc

  • Sudocrem (or any antiseptic healing cream)

  • Spare baby grow / change of clothes

What about medicines?

If your baby requires medicines that you must take on board the plane with you, don’t worry! If it’s over 100ml, all you need to do is prove that the medicine is for your little one. To do this simply get your doctor to write a note detailing why your baby needs to take the medicine and clearly stating the baby’s name.

It is worth keeping in mind that, in some instances, the airport staff may deem it necessary to open the containers and screen the medicines at the point of security.

Where will baby sit?

This really is down to your personal preference. Most airlines will give you the choice between having your baby sat on your lap for the duration of the flight or booking another seat for your baby to use with a car seat.

TOP TIP: We recommend booking an extra seat for your baby as it is safer and you will both have more room, especially if it is a long haul flight.

Help little ears!

If your baby’s ears pop during the journey, it can cause them severe discomfort. To help stop this from happening it is advisable to encourage your baby to eat and drink when taking off and landing. Also: remember to pack your baby’s favourite dummy as the sucking motion can help to equalise the pressure in the baby’s ears.

Remember…

… You can take your buggy or pushchair right up to the departure gate and pick it up as soon as you land at your destination.

… Call the airline before you land to remind them that you are travelling with an infant. This will help to ensure that you get the best possible seating arrangements for your situation.

… If your baby is continuously upset during the flight then he or she could be suffering from travel sickness. If this is the case then try not to distract using books as this can make the situation worse. To help with travel sickness, make sure that your baby is at a comfortable temperature.

List of questions to ask your airline

If you are travelling with a baby, then there are a number of things that you should ask your airline about before booking your holiday. This handy checklist will ensure that you get all of the information that you need so that you and baby can have a happy holiday.

  • If I am travelling with a child under two years of age, will a seat discount apply? (This question applies if you choose to pay for a seat for your baby instead of putting them on your knee)

  • Will I be able to bring a car seat onto the plane for my baby? (Again, this is for if you are going to pay for an extra seat)

  • Are travel cots available on the flight? (Travel cots are only available for babies that are being seated on your lap)

  • Will there be an extra oxygen mask for my baby? (This applies if you are seating your baby on your lap)

  • Can I request a seat with extra legroom?

  • What proof will you require of my baby’s identity? (Aside from a passport, you may have to provide a government issued birth certificate too)

  • Is pre boarding available for families with small children or babies?

  • Will it be possible to warm my baby’s bottle during the flight?