Are there any restrictions on flying with infants or newborns?
General Air Travel Restrictions for Infants
While most airlines allow infants to travel, there are certain limitations and rules in place for the safety and comfort of the child. Babies under two weeks old are typically not permitted to fly without a doctor's note confirming they are safe to travel. Most airlines also require that infants must be at least two days old to travel, although some may allow newborns if required medical paperwork is provided.
Guidelines for Free Laps and Infant Seats
Most airlines offer the option of "lap infants" where the child under two years old can be held in the parent's lap for the duration of the flight, often free of charge. However, it is recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use an FAA-approved car seat for the baby's safety. Additionally, if parents choose to book a separate seat for their infant, they are required to use an appropriate infant seat.
International Travel Regulations
For international flights, irrespective of the child's age, airlines require that every passenger, including infants, must have their own passport. Some countries have specific entry and exit requirements for minors, particularly in cases where the child is travelling with one parent or guardian. It is crucial for parents to check with the consulate or embassy of the destination country for updated travel advisories or requirements.
Because the health of the infant is paramount, parents should consider the child's medical condition before flying. Infants with respiratory problems may have difficulties at high altitudes and those recovering from surgery may be better off waiting until they are fully recovered. Always consult a pediatrician before embarking on air travel with newborns or infants.
Providing Comfort for Your Infant
Flying might be overwhelming for a baby due to changing air pressure and unfamiliar noises. Parents are advised to feed or offer a pacifier to their babies during takeoff and landing to help alleviate their ear pressure. Frequent diaper changes, familiar toys and blankets can also help in maintaining the baby's comfort during the flight.
Ultimately, flying with infants or newborns can be a smooth process if you are aware of airline policies and health considerations. It always happens to be a good idea to minimize travel with newborns but if needed, being prepared with the right information can ensure a safe and comfortable flight for both the parent and the infant.