9 Things to Remember When Travelling With an Infant in Flight India
Having a child changes everything. Even the way you travel will not be the same again. Traveling with your baby for the first time brings mixed feelings – excitement, fear, and nervousness. This is true more especially if you are a first-time parent. Some of the most common questions that most parents ask when they want to travel by flight with an infant include are the flight baby-friendly and safe? Will the baby enjoy the trip? Are we ready to fly?
Flying with an infant is not as scary as you might think. However, you need to make prior plans before traveling. Flying with an infant is manageable if you prepare in advance, and it can be an adventure. As much as you cannot completely control what will happen during flight, planning ahead is vital. The most important thing to know is your baby’s temperament. You need to know what calms your baby and what will make him uncomfortable. Besides considering your baby, you also need to consider other flight passengers.
If you are traveling with an infant, you need to prepare your child for the flight. The following are crucial tips on how to prepare your baby for the trip:
- If your child is old enough to understand, talk to the child before the flight day. Focus on the things that you know might concern your kid while flying.
- If your child is old enough, allow him to help pack his bag. This will give your baby a chance to choose the things he will need during the flight. However, you need to tell your kid which toys are accepted on the plane and which ones are not. This will help to prevent carrying unnecessary things during the flight.
- You can demonstrate how the plane looks like inside to your baby. You can arrange the dining chairs as plane seats and act out how you will be sitting on the plane. Ensure that you buckle up just as you will on the plane. You can also build a security checkpoint at the door. You can use towels as the conveyer belt and the scanner. Ensure you explain everything in detail to the baby so that when you get to the airport, he will understand what is going on.
- You can prepare your child for the flight by reading stories to your child about flying. If your child is old enough, he will understand how enjoyable a trip is, and he will look forward to flying. In addition to that, if you are traveling to a different country, you can get books that talk about that country or destination videos about that country. This will prepare your child for the new destination, and it will be easy to adjust to the new environment.
The following are some of the things that you need to remember when you are traveling with an infant in flight India.
1. Arrive ahead of time
Most airlines require you to arrive at least one hour before the flight time. But when you are traveling with an infant, consider arriving at least two hours before the departure time. This will buy you enough time to get to the gate.
Also, if your infant can play, most Indian airports have a play place for kids where you can allow your child to play to burn extra energy before flying. Besides that, if need be, you can ask for a gate pass for another person who will help you through the security and help you to the gate. You can only do this if you arrive ahead of time.
2. Notify the airline
When you are traveling with an infant in your arms, ensure that you notify the airline you are flying with when you are booking the ticket. This will help the airline to account for the infant on the flight. In most cases, if you fail to inform them ahead of time, then you might be surprised by the airline changing your boarding pass at the gate.
Although that is not a big deal, you will save yourself and the airline a lot of time ahead of the departure time. However, if your child is older enough to sit on his seat, then there is no need to inform the airline ahead of time.
3. Book the right seat
When you are booking a flight, and you are traveling with a baby, it is crucial to take a few things into consideration. Will your infant have his own seat? Are you bringing a car seat to the plane? If you are bringing a car seat to the aircraft, then ensure that the car seat is compatible with the plane. Not all car seats can fit into the plane seat.
Besides that, if you are planning to hold your infant in your arms, then you should book either a seat near to the window or aisle. Booking a window seat is more convenient for holding a baby as compared to a side by side seat.
Also, when you are boarding the plane, ensure that you inform the crew that you are traveling with a baby and that you would like to have a middle seat blocked off. If the flight is not full, most Indian airlines are accommodating. This will give you more room to hold your baby comfortably.
4. Bring the right stroller
When you are traveling with an infant, ensure that you bring the right stroller. If you are taking an internal flight, then consider bringing an umbrella stroller. The stroller should be lightweight and easy to store.
On the other hand, if you have an international flight, then you should have a full-size stroller. This is crucial more especially where the trip involves sightseeing. A full-size stroller will help you to walk around with your infant, and your baby can also comfortably sleep on the stroller as you go around.
5. Get extra legroom
If it is affordable, book a seat with extra legroom. This is crucial if you are traveling with an infant that you hold on your arms or lab. Besides that, it will afford you extra space to put your diaper bag. Also, you can use the area to lay your child down with a blanket.
However, if your baby is less than two months of age, most airlines do not allow for placing the baby on the ground in the plane. But if the flight is long and the baby can sit, you can put the baby down and play with the baby or allow the baby to play with his toys.
6. Pre-board with your baby
Most Indian airlines allow pre-board for parents traveling with infants under the age of five years. This gives the parent sufficient time to settle down and put away the luggage. Therefore, when you arrive at the gate, and you hear announcements for pre-boarding for people with wheelchairs and unaccompanied children, that is the right time for you to board.
If the airline you are using does not have pre-boarding time, you can talk to the attendant. You can inform them that you have a child below five years and you need a pre-board. This will give more time to settle in your seat before other passengers start to board.
7. Skip to the front of the security line
When you are traveling with a baby, you are allowed by the security law to skip the line and go ahead of others. So when you are on the security line, if they do not have a separate line for families and parents with children, you can skip the line, and you will be served ahead of others. Most of the time, the security officers will allow you to go through the line when you have a baby.
Besides that, when you are passing through the metal detector, you will not be asked to take out the baby’s food. Also, if your baby is in the stroller, you will not have to take your kid out of the stroller, and you will be allowed to pass through the metal detector with your baby.
8. Prepare for pressure changes
When the plane is taking off and landing, your baby is likely to become fussy. To avoid your baby from becoming fussy, ensure that you give your baby either the bottle or a breast. When the baby is sucking either your breast or bottle, it will help to balance the pressure difference. Mostly, during takeoff, the ears will equilibrate the ear pressure on their own, and your child might not feel anything. However, during the landing, there is likely to be a non-balance in the pressure of the ears. To balance the pressure, offer your baby a breast or bottle. However, if your baby does not experience any pressure changes, then there is nothing to be worried about.
9. Bring entertainment for the baby
When you are traveling with an infant, ensure that you bring some toys for your baby. You can surprise your baby by buying toys and keeping them and then break it to the baby during the flight. The best time to give your baby a present is on board.
If your baby starts to cry during the flight, you can entertain him with some toys to distract him so that he does not disturb other travelers. Your baby is likely to get bored, so ensure that you bring a lot of toys and even books that your baby can play with. To keep your baby entertained, you can play with your child.
- How Many Months Pregnant are Allowed to Travel
- How to Entertain a Toddler All Day!
- How to Handle a Stubborn and Aggressive Child
- What happens when you yell at a child
When is the earliest a baby can fly?
In India, you can fly with a baby who is between four and six weeks. A baby that was delivered at full time and without any medical complications can fly by the weeks mentioned. The advantage of waiting for your baby to reach at least six weeks is that it will help you to know whether your baby has any medical complications.
Besides that, waiting for a few weeks before traveling with the baby helps you and your baby to settle in life. Most importantly, the baby’s disease-fighting mechanism is low, and it cannot fight some of the germs that might be present in the plane.
Before flying, ensure that you consult your pediatric more especially if your child has either upper respiratory problems or heart or lung complications. Also, if your child has not been vaccinated, it is not advisable to travel to places that are prone to diseases.
Talk to Your Pediatrician Before Your Trip
A good starting point is right in your pediatrician’s office many weeks before your trip.
- Review your child’s immunizations with your doctor.
- Make sure your child has received the recommended immunizations necessary for his or her age. These include vaccinations for diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), chickenpox (varicella), hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B, meningococcal and pneumococcal infections, and the flu.
- Immunizations against diseases such as polio, for example, are especially important when your family travels internationally. Even though the number of countries where travelers face a risk of getting polio is small, outbreaks do occur, and it’s important for your child to be fully immunized and protected.
Flying with an infant before vaccination
Baby vaccination begins from eight weeks after birth. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid traveling with your baby before this time. However, a baby is born with some line of defense which is passed from the mother via the placenta. But until the three primary vaccinations are done, the baby is not adequately protected against infections.
Most importantly, check with your country of destination and know which vaccinations are essential before you take your baby there. Also, ensure that you consult your doctor before traveling with your baby. The doctor will advise you on what to do, but the final decision is yours. But the longer you wait for your baby to grow before traveling is better than risking your baby’s health.
Can a two months old baby travel on a plane?
A simple answer is yes. As long as both the baby and the mother are medically fit, they can travel. According to most doctors, a healthy baby can fly while they are two weeks old. In some cases, infants younger than two weeks can travel, but that is under unavoidable circumstances.
However, if any medical conditions were involved with the delivery of the baby, then the flight should not be allowed. Some of the babies that cannot travel until the doctor finds them healthy enough include children with either feeding problems, or respiratory or premature babies should not fly.
When planning to fly with your infant, take into consideration the flight distance. If the flight will take a few minutes to two hours maximum, there is no problem with flying with the baby. But is the flight is international; then you should seek a professional doctor’s inspection before embarking on the journey.
Flying with an infant on lap
As a family, you can save a lot of money by carrying your infant on your laps. According to most airlines, it is children under two years that are allowed to be carried on the laps during flight. However, if you have more than one infant to travel with, then you will have to travel with another person to hold the other infant.
The rule of an infant on lap flight is one infant per person. If you are flying alone and you have two infants, then you will be forced to purchase a seat for the other infant. Therefore, if you have twins, then ensure that you travel together so that each parent can carry one child on the lap.
Most importantly, when you are traveling with an on lap infant, you cannot be allowed to sit on the emergency exit rows or the row behind the exit row. If the airline you are using has a bassinet on board, then you should book that row. In most cases, bassinets are available on international flights, but there are some airlines with bassinets with domestic flights.
Traveling with kids even when it is best planned can be challenging at times. There will be unpredictable infant behaviors such as gassy belly, long crying spells, diaper blowouts, to mention just but a few. Such experiences can be frustrating during the journey. However, when you have made prior arrangements can help you cope with any challenge that comes your way, knowing that you did your best.
No matter the travel challenges that you will encounter, know that even that will pass. The flight has a destination, and soon, you will be out of the plane. You will have learned your lesson and will have the experience to prepare for your next flight.
Most importantly, ensure that you consider your flight mates. Sometimes your baby might not like the stranger in the next seat, look for a way to make your neighbor comfortable. Do not bother your seatmate. For instance, if you want to change your baby’s diaper, ensure that you do it in the toilet. The toilet might be smaller, but it is better than changing it in front of your neighbor.