OUT & About

A child first flight. Things you should know

OUT & About

Marketing consultant & journalist. 10 years' experience regarding national & international Media & PR campaigns Founder Simplify Media simona.neata@simplifytravel.ro

There are times when you feel like going away, to new places and new experiences. As a couple, you’ll find things to be simple and relatively easy to put into practice. But when you just had a baby or thinking about taking the baby with you, the situation suddenly gets tougher. So I thought to talk a little about some practical things necessary for an enjoyable flight when it comes to traveling with a baby.

How quickly can a child travel by plane? Well, quick! Children born without complications can travel being 7 days old, although some airlines may not allow on board children unless they are 2 weeks old. New mothers can board the plane starting the third day after giving birth, although according to some airlines policy, the period of time depends on the way the child was born. If you had a C-section, you and the baby will have to wait a little longer, some 2 weeks more. So remember:

  1. For babies, the change in cabin pressure during takeoff and landing will be uncomfortable. You can get rid of this by breastfeeding or making sure your baby has a pacifier
  2. Children between 6 months and 2 years old will travel standing in front of adults, in their lap and arms or in a car seat situated on the airplane seat (if you do not have your own seat a flight fee can be implemented sometimes).
  3. Children who are 2 years old or over must occupy their own seat and pay the same price as an adult, although some airlines still apply a reduction for children up to 12 years old.

Rules for allocating seats on the plane

childrenNormally airlines allocate seats for parents with young children in front of the plane or rear seats (seats near corridors or near toilets), where travel  cribs or small buggies can be placed in front of the seats. These are usually available on long flights and can be adjusted depending on the weight, height or age of the baby. Children under 6 months should always be kept in your arms during takeoff and landing. For babies up to 3 years old, some airlines provide booster seats and seat belts, while others ask you to bring your own restrictive device if you want your child to sit independently. Some airlines will ask you to keep the children under 2 years old into your arms for takeoff and landing even if you have a car seat for the journey. My advice is to always check with the flight company before you book the seats and see their requirements.

Practical tips for hand luggage

  1. Remember that you are not allowed to board the plane with liquids. Therefore take time and prepare bottles up to 100 ml (take with you 2 or 3 bottles). You’ll need to put them in plastic, transparent and re-sealable 1-liter bags.
  2. Wet diapers and clothes are essential for the journey so put them on top of your hand luggage to have easy access.
  3. Take with you coloring crayons, books or their favorite toy (silent toys will always be appreciated by other passengers!).
  4. Always choose a baby port instead of a buggy it will be much more convenient for traveling within and outside the airport.

More important, do not forget to inform the flight attendants, if you or your child suffer from any medical condition that may worsen during flight, so they can act quickly and efficiently. For the rest, have a safe flight and enjoy your holiday!

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