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Flying with your baby

Flying with a baby can be an overwhelming experience. Not only is there the worry of the baby settling, but the panic that they may cry and irritate other passengers. It's important to cast the latter thought from your mind - this should not determine whether you go abroad. There are plenty of challenges when it comes to flying with babies, but having the right information ahead of time can make the journey easier.

How soon can you travel with a baby?

You can fly with your baby as early as 2 days after their birth on some airlines, whereas others put the restriction that an infant must be at least 2 weeks old. In short, it depends on which airline you use and where you are flying to.

You should research what your airline requires before you fly as they all vary to some degree. For example, some airlines require an infant less than 2 weeks old to have a note from their GP stating it is safe for them to fly.

Similarly, if you gave birth via cesarean section, then you will likely not be allowed to fly until 6 weeks after birth and only then with your GP's consent. Always fly with children's travel insurance, in case you or your baby need emergency medical attention.

Do I need to bring my baby's birth certificate when flying?

Babies are no longer allowed to travel with their parent's passports, meaning that your baby will need their own passport to board the plane if travelling internationally. If you, the parent, has a different surname than your baby, then it is best to bring your baby's birth certificate with you.

Do babies fly free on planes?

Whether your baby can fly free depends on the airline. Some allow children under two years of age to fly without a booked seat, providing that they can stay on your lap. Instead of a booked seat, you will need to pay a surcharge for your child each way. This could be a fixed price, or it could be 10% to 12% of your ticket price. You will also have to pay for any excess baggage you might need for your baby.

What can help a baby's ears when flying?

Painkillers can help your baby's ears if taken before lift-off and landing. Other tips include feeding your baby or allowing them to suck on a dummy.

Tips for flying with a baby

Limit stress by doing the following:

  • Have all the necessary documents ready
  • Have your go bag ready
  • Try to feed and care for your child before boarding
  • Notify air hostesses of any allergies
  • Use a dummy or feed your baby to reduce ear pain
  • Walk along the aisles to help soothe them

For further information please check out the NHS website.

Related content

If you'd like some more tips and advice on travelling with the kids or inspiration for the next family holiday, check out our other pages below:

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