Travel Team | Sep 10, 2020
Welcoming an infant into the world can be both a joyous and exhausting experience, especially if travel is involved soon after the baby is born. Although it might be a little challenging, air travel with an infant isn't impossible. In fact by following a few helpful recommendations, the travel experience can be stress-free.
As soon as you make your travel reservations, it's wise to purchase trip cancellation insurance. Take time to review the list of covered reasons for which you can cancel your trip and receive reimbursement for your nonrefundable trip expenses. You may wish to consider the optional Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) benefit, so you can cancel for any reason you wish — you never know what situations could arise before a planned getaway. If you choose CFAR, read the fine print so you understand how it works.
With newborn babies and small children, parents will likely have more items to carry through security. Every piece of carry-on baggage including diaper bags and children's backpacks must pass through the X-ray machine. If you plan to bring a stroller, car seat or baby carrier, be prepared to place these items on the beltway to be approved by security.
The TSA recommends that if a child can walk on their own they should walk through security without the company of their parent. If parents need to carry the child through the metal detector and the alarm reacts, TSA officers are required to screen the parent and child separately. All babies and toddlers should be taken out of strollers prior to screening. During the screening process, passengers are not allowed to pass the child from a person behind or in front of them, according to the TSA website. In addition, security officers may not hold the child during the security screening.
The cabin pressure changes often during take-off and landing, causing ears to pop or experience pain. Adults sometimes chew gum to prevent ear-popping. In order to protect the baby's ears, let them suck on a bottle or pacifier during these periods.
The Federal Aviation Administration recommends parents secure their children in an approved child restraint system and not on their lap. Turbulence sometimes occurs during flights and if that happens, children are safest in a secure seat and not on the lap of their parent.
As a part of the screening process, the TSA uses advanced imaging technology to check passengers for threatening metallic and non-metallic residues. Passengers who are holding an infant or small child will not be screened by this technology.
Mothers flying with a child can bring breast milk in quantities greater than the three ounce limit applied to other liquids, as long as they notify the TSA officer at security, according to the TSA website.
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