What should I know about traveling abroad with a baby?
July 15, 2019
Whether you are planning to go overseas for a family vacation or to visit relatives living in another country, the prospect of international travel with your baby can mean some extra careful planning not only for the duration of your trip but also to meet airline travel requirements.
Remember that your baby will still need a passport to travel to another country, even if they are too young to walk and talk yet.
You will also need to arrange a visa for your baby should you be visiting a country that's needs one for entry.
Getting through the airport with a baby
Firstly, you will be thinking about making sure your baby is comfortable and kept entertained during your flight. However, you will also need to think about their comfort once you have arrived at your destination.
Getting through airport smoothly will be made much easier if you make sure you pack the following items for your baby:
- Baby sling
- Carry-on baby bag
- FAA-approved car seat
- Visa (if needed)
Make sure that you apply for a passport for your baby at least six weeks before your planned flight. This should give you enough time for the passport to arrive.
To apply for your baby's passport, you will need to include certain information such as:
- Your baby's identification form
- Evidence of the relationship between you and your child
- Identification for parents
- Passport photos
If you also need a visa for your baby, make sure you check for the relevant information several months in advance to make the process as smooth as possible.
Check with your doctor
Check with your family physician about any vaccinations that your baby may need for travel. You can also get health advice about your destination country from your doctor. Your doctor can also advise you on whether it will be safe for your baby to drink water or to avoid certain foods while abroad, especially if they have a medical condition or food sensitivities.
Packing for your baby
Pack your carry-on baby bag according to what their needs will be during your flight. You will want to include diapers and wipes, an extra change of clothes (or more for longer flights), some age-appropriate snacks, baby formula, some small toys and lightweight books to keep your baby entertained during the flight.
Baby formula is permitted through airport security in a quantity greater than 3.4 oz. At security, you should remove it from your carry-on bag so that it can be screened separately.
Stroller and car seat requirements
Choose a lightweight, collapsible stroller to make it easier to push your baby around as well as pack for the flight. You will need to remove your baby from the stroller during your security check, as the stroller will need to go through the X-ray machine.
You will need to take an FAA-approved car seat with you if you plan to travel by car or taxi once at your destination. You can check your car seat and stroller at the gate before your flight.
On your arrival
Once you arrive at your destination you should already know if you can trust the local water supply to wash and sterilize your baby equipment, such as feeding bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups, and teething rings. Use sterilizing tablets if in doubt.
It would be helpful for you to check out some baby-friendly places nearby that have diaper-changing facilities and local cafes or restaurants that supply high-chairs.
And don't forget to enjoy yourself! Yes, it can be stressful to travel abroad with your baby, but you can make thing easy by using these tips.
Now go and create some wonderful first memories to treasure of your baby's first trip abroad.
This information is current as of 05/02/2019. This advice is provided for informational purposes only. This information is subject to change and you should always verify the most current information with the TSA and your airline before you travel https://www.tsa.gov/