Today’s post is a guest post from Li Tian.
Flying with a baby is never easy. Airlines are ambivalent about their youngest passengers, while fellow travelers trade look of horrors when they see a baby coming down the aisle.
From the beginning to the end, it is chaos because you are dealing with over-packed baby bags and dirty diapers as well as a befuddled child who is frustrated by the restraints of an aircraft cabin, and distracted by all of the bells and whistles.
It might have you wondering if you can survive traveling abroad with a baby!
For parents who are contemplating a airplane trip, children under two year of age typically fly free of charge, but they do not get an assigned seat. Meaning, you will have to hold your baby in your lap for the entire flight. While it is tempting to save money by not buying a seat for your infant, not having additional space might add stress to an already complicated ordeal.
In any case, it’s better to book an extra seat for your child to reduce the chance of injury during turbulence, and it will keep you from wrestling an angry infant who wants to crawl down the aisles and make new friends instead of follow safety guidelines.
If you decide to purchase an extra ticket, you will need to ensure that your child’s car seat is FAA approved. This might be the easiest part of the trip because there will be an FAA label on all certified seats that reads, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts.” Furthermore, if an FAA approved car seat does not fit in your child’s booked seat, the airline is responsible for finding a seat that accommodates it.
Finally, read airlines reviews and find an aircraft operator that has a reputation for being child-friendly. And while on the flight, be polite. The child might not be able to issue an apology, but you certainly can, and sometimes other passengers just want to know that you are not indifferent to their discomfort.
Li Tian is a Midwestern mom turned expat digital nomad. Despite trekking through 54 countries, being a full time and working mom is the most exhausting. When not working on Fulltimebaby.com, she enjoys kickboxing and eating meals bigger than she is. You can follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.