There is always a first time for everything, and no matter how many planes you have taken in your life, everything changes when you and your baby take your first flight together.
It is possible that many doubts arise and you will appreciate all kinds of advice that will help you when traveling with children, but you will see that once you are clear about taking a plane with a baby it does not have to be any drama, although many try to convince you otherwise. In fact, there are destinations that are especially recommended for traveling with babies, so to make the journey easier, we are going to clarify a few things that it is important to take into account before flying with a baby for the first time.
Babies, travel and airlines
The first thing to keep in mind is that if you travel abroad your baby needs to be properly documented, just like an adult. If the trip is to the European Union you will need at least your own ID, and if you leave it you must have your own passport. If you do not travel with your parents, an authorization from the father, mother or legal guardian will be required, which must be ratified by the authorities, such as the Police, Civil Guard or Courts.
You will see that the conditions in relation to babies can vary from one airline to another, so neither the price of the ticket, nor the luggage restrictions or the way to proceed with strollers and chairs are always the same. You should always check the rules set by each airline before even buying the ticket, as they may vary between them.
Infant tickets and seats
As a general rule, a baby is considered a baby if it is under 2 years of age. That means she won't have her own seat, but will travel with you, so you don't have to pay for a full ticket either. Depending on the company, the price of your ticket will be limited to taxes or a reduced percentage of an adult ticket.
If it is a long trip, it is best to check in well in advance, so you can request a seat in the front row to have more space for you. Also, many companies offer a small bassinet that hangs on the wall in front of your seat where the baby can lie flat. You will have to request it in advance and keep in mind that its maximum weight is usually 9 kilos, but it is a highly recommended solution.
If the baby travels on top of you on the plane, they will provide you with a specific belt and a small life jacket.
Babies' luggage, strollers and seats
This is one of the biggest questions that arise when you are going to fly for the first time with your baby. Moving with a baby always entails certain logistics, even more so if you undertake a trip of several days in which you feel that you will need everything, and you have to take that into account when it comes to getting on a plane.
If you travel with a trolley, the airlines usually offer you two options: either check it in at the counter next to the suitcases or check it in once you arrive with it at the door of the plane. It may depend on the company or even the airport, but in both cases the cart must be able to fold. In addition, in the event that you are allowed to get to the plane door with the cart, it is most likely that at security control you will have to pass the cart inside the scanner, although it may also depend on the facilities. Once at your destination you will have to pick up the trolley at the baggage carousel, although depending on the flight they may offer to pick it up at the door of the plane.
The best option is to choose to combine a stroller and baby carrier in order to move freely with your baby once you have had to leave the stroller behind. And if you are going to check in your clothes, do not forget to leave several baby changes in your hand luggage. Not only because you might need it on the flight, but also to anticipate possible loss or delays in checked baggage once at your destination.
By the way, there are baby strollers that, when folded, maintain the measurements required by the companies in the cabin, so they can be carried as hand luggage without having to be checked in. Of course, in exchange for sacrificing a carry-on suitcase.
Baby food and drink
It is important to know that at airport security controls it is allowed to carry your baby's food and drink as hand luggage. Milk, juices, baby bottles, baby food jars, purees... Even if they are liquid, there will be no problem taking them with you as long as they are reasonable amounts for a trip. They will analyze them without opening the containers in the control and that's it.
If it is a long trip, once on the plane, since the baby does not have a ticket, it does not correspond to food either, so there is no problem in taking solid food with you.
It's entirely up to the individual baby, but ears can cause very painful problems on the plane. It is best that during takeoff and landing, moments in which we notice pressure changes, the baby moves the jaw as much as possible to allow compensation of the ears, so that a pacifier, a bottle or a nipple can become fundamental.
Each baby is different, it may or may not affect yours, but it is always better to take care of your health and avoid that painful bad drink.
Flights with babies, day or night?
This is up to the consumer. There are those who prefer to make long trips at night, because they know that their baby will fall asleep and spend a great number of hours oblivious to the flight and boredom, and there are those who prefer to travel during the day, to ensure that the baby will be distracted and put less in trouble. compromise your own rest and that of others. The first option may be good, but since the baby can't get comfortable and can't fall asleep... then the trip will be twice as long for everyone.
If the trip is long, keep in mind that planes usually have a service equipped with a changing table. It is best that you consult the flight crew.
The entertainment of babies during the flight
And this is where the creativity, imagination and tastes of each one come into play. Do not forget that in your hand luggage you must include your favorite toys and games, whatever you consider essential to ensure your baby's entertainment. Books, colors, stuffed animals... whatever you prefer. Even airplane magazines can be great allies. The entertainment screens of long flights can also come in handy, although that is a matter of taste.
Walking down the aisle is also important, it will be too many hours in a small space and it is essential to facilitate mobility, so do not cut yourself and walk up and down as much as you need.