5 Tips for Parents Flying with Infants & Small Children

Traveling with small children always requires advance planning and preparation, but flying presents it’s own unique challenges. Check out our top 5 tips for flying with infants and small children.

  1. Bring proof of age for flying with a “lap child”. Most airlines allow children age 2 and under to travel for free by sitting on their parents’ lap, but now many airlines are requiring parents to prove that the child is the approved age. Check with your airline for their requirements, but to be safe, bring your child’s birth certificate with you to the airport. Verification can avoid complications or having to buy a seat for your child once at the airport.
  2. Purchase an Infant Fare to use a car seat. If you plan to purchase a seat for your child in order to use a car seat, ask your airline about discounted Infant Fares. Also, make sure that your child’s seat is approved for airplane use.
  3. Get through the TSA checkpoint faster by prepping while in line. Before you ever get to the checkpoint, collapse strollers and seats. Save valuable time spent untying and removing shoes for kids aged 12 and under, as they can leave their shoes on during TSA checks. You can also avoid a time-consuming meltdown by making sure your child understands they’ll have to relinquish their favorite toy or blanket long enough to go through the x-ray machine.
  4. Ask for help making connecting flights. If you’ve got limited time to make a connecting flight, ask a flight attendant for assistance. A second set of hands helping with carry-on luggage and strollers can be the difference between making your next flight or missing it.
  5. Pack your own supplies. Don’t count on your airline to have spare bottles, baby formula, etc in-flight. These items are typically never available and flying without them might leave you with an unhappy little traveler. Keep what you need to make it through your flight in your carry-on bag.

For more information on flying with small children, visit the FAA and TSA. What were your experiences like flying with your children? What tips do you have for other parents?

Stacey is a writer with an eye for design. She’s been with Global Discovery Vacations since 2004, directing the creative department. Her passion for the written word is equal only to that of rescuing dogs and playing volleyball.