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How to travel by car with an infant

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

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Road trips with an infant can be stressful, but they don’t have to be, and the truth is a car ride with a baby is often less stressful than getting on a plane. You can stop your own vehicle for an emergency bathroom break or to move around a restless toddler. And if your baby does throw a tantrum, you can focus your attention on their needs instead of worrying about other passengers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hitting the road to visit the grandparents or because you’re heading to a vacation destination geared toward families with infants, there are plenty of reasons to take a family road trip. You may be surprised at some of the simple things you can do to keep your little one calm and quiet during your trip. Whether you’ll be on the road for five hours or five days, these 10 tips will help your vacation go as smoothly as possible.

Tag Team

While one person is driving, have another sit in the back with the baby. Having that caretaker in the back seat can help address issues as they arise—preparing bottles, wiping up, curing boredom with some old-fashioned “peek-a-boo”—which can help minimize stops and avoid total meltdowns.

It’s an old bit of wisdom, but “sleep when the baby sleeps” is solid advice during a road trip with kids. When the baby is sleeping, the person in the back should try to rest, too, so they can be refreshed enough to take over driving when the driver gets fatigued.

Manage Expectations

Any number of things can go wrong on a road trip—a flat tire, bad weather, food poisoning—but those hiccups become exponentially more stressful with a young (likely screaming) infant in tow. Accepting that going in and maintaining a sense of humor about the situation can go a long way to help ease the tension. After all, the difference between a fiasco and an adventure can be as simple as your state of mind.

One way to make light of unpleasant situations is to make a game out of them. For example, put together Baby Road Trip BINGO cards where spaces are filled in with any and all potential disasters—think “blow out in the car seat” or tiny victories like “finished a whole podcast.” That way, even bad situations turn into wins.

Drive at Night

It’s a bit uncomfortable for the parents, but then again, so is a screaming child with no exit in sight. Driving at night means your baby will spend more time sleeping and less time awake and hungry, bored, or needing changes. You’ll be able to drive for longer stretches without needing breaks.

A great way to maximize drive time is to schedule your departure so that it coincides with bedtime. Go through your whole routine (bath, pajamas, bedtime song—whatever your nightly ritual entails), but put the baby down to sleep in the car seat instead of the crib or bassinet. Drive as long as you’re comfortable—or for as long as the baby is sleeping—but be sure to switch drivers, caffeinate, and rest when needed to avoid driving drowsy.

Plan Frequent Breaks

You might be able to go six hours without using the bathroom or needing to eat, but the baby likely can’t. Plan for stops every one to three hours during the day and three to six hours at night to change diapers, stretch legs, eat, and change sweaty or spit-up clothes as needed.

To avoid unnecessary stops, make a checklist of items that you go through during every break so you don’t forget anything, such as changing the baby’s diaper or clothes, using the restroom (for those not in diapers), and refreshing essential supplies.

Skip the Scenic Route

While scenic overlooks and long stretches of the open road might seem like the very things that make a road trip worthwhile, they can also make it difficult to find help or reprieve when you need it. Choose a route in advance that has frequent access to food, 24-hour gas stations, restrooms, and service areas.

Even better, plot out some pit-stops in advance—including some potential hotels if you think you might need a real rest—so you can pull over when necessary.

Keep Supplies Nearby

You might have a giant suitcase with everything you need to survive traveling with an infant for an extended period of time, but that’s not what you want to be digging through at 65 mph while a baby is screaming in your ear, or while parked at a dodgy rest stop in the middle of the night.

Keep a kit within easy reach so you don’t have to unbuckle your seat belt to retrieve any critical items, and fill the bag with small amounts of necessities (you can always refill as you go). You could pack all of these items into a medium-sized backpack or tote bag:

  • A portable changing pad with two or three diapers
  • A packet of wipes
  • Pre-portioned bottles of formula or breast milk in a small cooler bag
  • Two or three small but versatile toys
  • Infant Tylenol or ibuprofen
  • A baby forehead thermometer
  • A small portable sound machine
  • An extra blanket

In addition to the baby kit, be sure there’s one for the adults, too. That could include mobile chargers for your electronic devices, a tablet or e-reader, high-protein/easy-to-eat snacks, sleep aids, sleep mask, a small pillow, earphones, and earplugs.

Brush up on Baby Massage Techniques

Babies can get stiff and uncomfortable after sitting for hours in their seats, just like adults. Read up on some infant massage techniques that you can modify to use either while driving (if you’re on backseat duty) and during stops. Gently massaging legs and feet, in particular, can often help calm a fussy baby long enough to get you to a good stopping place where they can stretch out their legs in earnest.

Sing Simple Camp Songs

When it comes to fussy infants stuck in car seats, be prepared with a variety of tools at your disposal. Singing songs can often be more effective than the radio at helping to put a baby to sleep, calming them when they’re fussy, and entertaining them when they’re bored. Try to pick songs with simple melodies, but where verses can be added or improvised as with many nursery rhymes or typical camp songs. Taking turns inventing new lyrics can help break up the monotony for parents, too.

Make sure your next road trip with Baby is a success using these travel tips.

Prep the car. Make sure your vehicle is safe and ready for the long ride. Fill up the tank with gas, check the tire pressure, change the oil if needed — the last thing you want is to break down with your baby in tow.

Pack wisely. Besides the usual baby stuff you’ll need during the trip (diapers, wipes, etc.), bring along a change of clothes, a blanket/lovey (or anything that helps baby sleep well), snacks, and a trash bag to toss things like dirty diapers and empty cups.

Bring a first-aid kit. Of course, you don’t want any mishaps to occur, but it’s always wise to be prepared just in case. Take along any prescription medications that your baby requires, baby Tylenol in case a fever occurs or baby is teething, diaper rash treatment, and, of course, bandages and first aid ointment.

Focus on entertainment. You want to keep Baby happy during this trip to avoid on-the-road meltdowns. Bring her favorite toys and books, but don’t let her have all of them at once. Instead, give them to her one at a time so when she gets bored with one toy, you can simply hand her a new one. Older babies and toddlers might enjoy watching their favorite shows on a portable DVD player.

Make baby comfortable. Strap your little one into his car seat (always placed in the back seat) correctly to ensure a safe and comfy ride. You might want to get window shades to protect baby from the sun.

Map out your rest stops. No one likes to be cooped up in a car for too long, so be prepared to stop every couple of hours so Baby has a chance to get out of the car seat. You might even want to schedule your stops around baby’s feedings to make planning easier.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

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While few people would relish the idea of a long car trip with a newborn, least of all the newborn himself, there might be times when such a trip is necessary. A long car trip should be safe for most healthy, full-term infants, as long as proper precautions are taken.

Car Seats

The most important factor in making a car trip of any length safe for a newborn is the car seat. Safety seats for infants should be new, or at least known to have never been involved in an accident, and should either be specialized newborn seats or those designed for all ages of baby. Make sure that the car seat is fastened in according to the package instructions, and that the belts holding it are well-tightened.

Baby Care

Newborns generally sleep a lot, but they also need frequent care, so you might want to stop every time the baby starts crying to make sure she has a clean diaper and is not hungry. If the baby is bottle-fed, it might be possible for a passenger to feed the baby while traveling, but otherwise it’s important to stop for all feedings, since a bottle should not be propped up.

Safety Precautions

Newborns can’t use toys, so the best policy is to eliminate choking and smothering hazards by keeping all other objects away from the car seat, including pillows and thick blankets. If the seat doesn’t include one, it might be desirable to use a special head support for a newborn, but it’s safest to stick with supports designed especially for this purpose. The risk of using a rolled blanket as a support is probably low, but especially when facing away from the baby for a long time, it’s best to be on the safe side.

Comfort

While car trips are generally safe for newborns, they can be made much more pleasant for everyone with a few additional considerations. Babies don’t regulate their temperature as well as other people, so dressing them in layers of light clothing and blankets is best, especially on long trips when full clothing changes can be inconvenient. If breastfeeding is well-established or the baby is being bottle-fed, one-piece (choking-safe) pacifiers can be offered to help soothe the baby in the car between feedings.

If you are planning to go traveling by car with a baby, it takes a bit of planning and creativity to make it a good experience!

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

Traveling by car with a baby can mean that your baby sleeps for hours and you have all the time in the world to drive, talk to your travel companion, read a book or sleep…

…it can be hell with a furious baby who cries non-stop as soon as you put him/her in the infant car seat and who completely refuses to sleep. Then you’ll plan to go by plane the next time or to stay at home for the next five years or so…

You can’t really know in advance what traveling by car with your baby will be like. You can’t even be sure that it will be like the last time you tried. Babies grow and change. But you can plan to make the best of the situation.

Here you’ll find tips to make traveling by car with a baby as easy as possible.

How to Plan & Carry Out Car Traveling with a Baby

  • Safety
  • Frequent stops
  • Toys
  • Easy feeding
  • Liquid
  • Shelter from the sun
  • Music
  • When to go
  • Diaper bag
  • Play together
  • Driving at night

Safety when traveling by car with a baby

Safety first, of course! Make sure you have a good infant car seat and that you install it correctly.

If you rent a car, ask about airbags, so that you don’t put your baby in a seat with an airbag by accident. And if you don’t bring your own infant car seat, ask about what type they can provide and how old it is. A car seat should never be older than five years.

Also, don’t drive if you are very tired. Take turns with your travel companion if you’re not traveling alone. If you are alone, stop the car and go for a walk if you get sleepy.

If you are traveling alone with your baby, expect to make frequent stops! Also, try to arrange with a mirrors so that you can easily see your baby without losing sight of the road.

Frequent stops

When traveling by car with a baby, plan for frequent stops, and realize that the journey is likely to take much longer than if you were traveling without a baby.

Particularly newborn babies should not sit for too many hours in a row in a car seat. It may hurt their backs. So make frequent stops to let your baby stretch out on a blanket or in his or her stroller. Older babies need to get some time to use their bodies for crawling, jumping, or whatever they enjoy doing.

Toys that are perfect in a car

Bring a lot of toys! Either take away a few favorites a week or two before traveling or consider buying some new toys. You find ideas on toys for each baby month here.

A tip is to tie things together on a string. This will make your life so much easier when your baby drops or throws their toys.

For old enough babies or toddlers, an iPad can, of course, be a great distraction.

Easy feeding

If you breastfeed, you must stop the car to feed your baby. Even if it can be tempting to pick up your starving baby to feeding him on the highway, don’t!

(Yeah, I know this sounds totally crazy, but with a baby crying at the top of his or her voice, you can get all sorts of desperate ideas!)

If you get very stressed by hearing your infant’s crying, don’t take any chances. Feed him or her slightly ahead of the usual schedule. Or bring formula or baby snacks if your baby is old enough.

It is quite convenient to teach a baby to accept cold food so that you can feed him/her on the road. If that doesn’t work, consider buying a bottle/baby food warmer, like this one at Amazon.

And don’t forget to bring a baby bib and lots of paper napkins!

Liquid

Bring water for both you and your baby, if your baby is old enough to have started to drink water! Getting dehydrated will only make you sleepy, and might impair milk production if you breastfeed.

But do not give lots of water to a young baby. That can lead to water intoxication.

Shelter from the sun

Make sure you can protect your baby from the sun with some kind of sunshade (example at Amazon) that you can attach to either your child’s car seat or a window. A hat for your baby may also be good to have available.

Music

A mom I talked to drove for six hours and had to play “Are you going to San Francisco” during the whole trip to keep her baby from crying. No other song worked!

Playing music for your baby may entertain him for a while (or for six hours…)

Fix a Spotify a couple of Spotify lists before you go – one with energizing music and one with lullabies.

When to go

When traveling by car with a baby, a good time to start the journey is when it is either bedtime or nap time for your baby. That way, you’ll get somewhere before you have to stop, which is nice.

If you’re lucky, you and your spouse (or your travel companion) will actually have some quality time talking to each other while your baby sleeps. Not bad!

Diaper bag

Don’t forget to bring a towel in your diaper bag, as well as sanitary towels and diapers, of course. A foldable changing pad can be very convenient.

Also, bring extra clothes for your baby and an extra top for you and your travel companion (if he or she also attends to the baby). Feeding, as well as diapering, can be messy on the go!

Play together

Most babies, except for maybe newborns, enjoy playing with their parents. If you are two people driving together, then one of you can sing for your baby, tickle him/her, play peek-a-boo and try stimulating your baby while awake. That way you’ll have a happier baby and one that sleeps better later on.

If you need games tips related to your baby’s age, check out our Baby Development section, and browse the different months for games and toys ideas (as well as milestones).

Driving at night

It can be very convenient to drive at night with a baby. He or she sleeps and your journey will be easier and faster. Of course, you need to stay awake and might be very tired the next day. (And your baby will be as active as any day. )

If you do plan to drive when it is dark outside, bring a flashlight. Many babies get really scared by sitting in the dark and just seeing occasional weird lights (from other cars for example). To help your baby feel safe and be able to go back to sleep (or at least be content), make sure you can see one another.

Traveling by car with a baby can quite exhausting. I hope these tips will help you have a nice ride together!

And remember that many babies absolutely hate traveling by car! If your baby tends to be like the one in the video below, I would hold off longer car trips for a while… Plan a trip for next year instead!

If you have any thoughts or additional tips on traveling by car with a baby, please share by leaving a comment below. 🙂

Travel Tips

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

With proper precautions, air travel with an infant can be uneventful. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images )

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  • Air Travel With a Baby

Visions of a screaming, inconsolable child haunt many parents preparing to fly with an infant. No one wants to be the parent on the plane with the upset baby for the duration of the flight. The anticipation of potential problems is usually worse than the actual experience. Preparation for the flight increases the odds of a smooth trip for you and the other passengers. Surviving a flight with an infant makes you feel like a traveling pro who can handle anything.

Items you will need

  • Car seat
  • Travel system
  • Stroller
  • Car seat carrying straps
  • Bag
  • Games
  • Books
  • Snacks
  • Bottle
  • Pacifier
  • Clothes
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Breast milk
  • Formula

Step 1

Schedule the flight with your infant’s schedule in mind. A late-night flight or one during your child’s nap time increases the chances of her sleeping on the plane. Avoid flying during times when your infant is naturally crabby.

Step 2

Book a direct flight when possible. If your baby does fall asleep, you won’t have to disrupt the nap for a layover. Nonstop flights also avoid long layovers and the need to reposition car seats, strollers and other large items that accompany a baby.

Step 3

Reserve a separate seat for your infant. This gives you more room and provides a safe spot for your baby, particularly if you encounter turbulence. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a Federal Aviation Administration-approved car seat for your infant on the flight. This also allows you to use the car seat once you arrive at your destination.

Step 4

Decide how you will carry your infant and the car seat through the airport. A travel system with a car seat and stroller is one option. Other options include systems that allow the car seat to strap to a carry-on bag or straps to wear the car seat on your back like a [backpack](https://society6.com/backpacks?utm_source=SFGHG&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=921) without the baby in it. Carrying your infant in a sling is an option if you don’t want to mess with a stroller.

Step 5

Pack a carry-on bag with essentials for your infant. Include age-appropriate games, books and snacks to occupy your baby in flight. Use disposable bibs, utensils and sippy cups in case they get lost or you don’t have access to cleaning facilities. Pack a bottle or pacifier to use during take-off and landing. The sucking action reduces ear problems that typically accompany cabin pressure changes.

Step 6

Carry at least one change of clothes for both you and the baby on the flight. This gives you a backup if your infant spits up or has a messy diaper that leaks. Pack plenty of diapers and wipes in your carry-on bag.

Step 7

Declare breast milk or formula that you pack in the carry-on before you reach the security checkpoint. You are allowed to bring more than 3 oz. of these liquids, but they are subject to inspection.

Step 8

Send your travel partner onto the plane as soon as boarding begins. This gives him the chance to install the car seat and arrange the bags in the area. Hold off boarding with your infant as long as possible. This reduces the amount of sitting time the baby experiences before take-off. You also won’t have to juggle your baby while trying to install the seat and place your bags in the overhead bins.

Step 9

Keep your infant secured in the car seat as much as possible during the flight. Offer her one toy or snack at a time, allowing her to get the most out of it before moving on to something else. This makes the items last longer during the flight. Offer her the bottle or pacifier during take-off and when the plane begins its ascent at the end of the flight.

Step 10

Allow most of the other passengers to exit the plane before you do. This gives you time to unhook the car seat and gather any toys that were scattered during the flight. You also won’t block the aisles while you’re trying to collect everything. If your baby is fussy, leave your traveling partner behind to gather all the gear while you take the baby off the plane.

  • Check on the latest Transportation Security Administration guidelines for bringing liquids on the airplane as they can change at any time.
  • Stay calm even if your baby becomes upset on the flight. He will sense your stress and might have more difficulty calming down.

Disclosure

Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

Never let your baby fly the plane.

Four years ago, Kristiana Choquet was nervous about taking her then 3-month-old on her first flight. It would be long — 11 hours from Johannesburg to Paris — and like many new parents, she wasn’t sure what to bring. “I packed a backpack of her own with diapers and wipes, a messenger bag with extra clothes and a rolling suitcase and stroller,” says the luxury travel advisor with Ovation Vacations in New York. “Our friends were like, ‘You’re never going to need all this stuff.’”

Since that momentous first trip — which Air France made easy with a complimentary bassinet — Olivia has visited four continents, and her mother has gotten smarter about packing. “Now I only fly with just one backpack for both of us,” she says, laughing. We asked Choquet and other experts for their best advice on how to travel with a child under 2. Here’s what they told us:

Before the Trip

Check With Your Pediatrician

“If the family is traveling internationally, it’s always a good idea to check with the pediatrician at least two weeks before to see if the child would require any extra immunizations,” says Dr. David Fagan, vice chairman of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York. Depending on where you’re going, your child may need to have certain vaccines earlier, like measles, or to take a particular medicine. The Centers for Disease Control’s online Traveler’s Health section is a great place to research.

On the Flight

Consider a Rear-Facing Car Seat

Yes, it’s a hassle, but it’s still the safest place for your infant, insists Fagan. If you’re traveling by car, it’s a must. Check with the airline to determine specific policies, but you might need to spring for a separate ticket. And be sure to take the infant out of the seat every couple of hours. “This allows them to stretch out and move their legs,” Fagan notes, and they’ll probably need a diaper change anyway.

Bring a Collapsible Baby Stroller

Choquet swears by the popular Babyzen Yoyo stroller, which folds neatly and can be slung over the shoulder like a tote bag. It’s also recognized by most airlines as carry-on luggage, so throwing it in the overhead bin and navigating plane or train aisles is less of a headache. The only downsides: the price (over $400) and the fact it’s not recommended for travelers under 6 months. You’ll also lose basket storage. Another space-saving option is a baby carrier like an Ergobaby, says Choquet. “A lot of times baby falls asleep on your chest,” and if baby’s a lap child, or under the age of two, this can alleviate the stress of a stroller.

Ask for a Bassinet

Heading abroad? Call ahead to see if the airline offers a bassinet, says Choquet. These are typically complimentary on international flights, though they’re subject to availability. Delta advises to check ahead, especially for domestic flights, while United Airlines provides a limited number of bassinets on international flights only.

Keep Them Entertained

Always aim to keep your little one busy, says Choquet, who advises packing “snacks, puzzles, coloring books” or “anything you can stuff in your bag that’s not bulky.” Load the iPad with games and kid-friendly movies and stock up on favorite snacks so you’re not at the mercy of the food cart. Backpack too heavy? Old-school hand-clapping games like Patty Cake are always a hit and don’t require extra toys.

Deal With Changes in Air Pressure

“Most children are usually okay with changes in air pressure during takeoffs and landings,” explains Fagan, but since infants can’t swallow, pop their ears or yawn, the only alternative is sucking. Breastfeeding, a bottle or a pacifier are good, especially during the initial descent, when the biggest change in pressure occurs. Ask a flight attendant to let you know when the descent is about to begin.

At the Hotel

Check for Safety

Safety standards vary by country, so be sure to do a thorough inspection of the hotel room, says Fagan. “Parents should be comfortable with railings and check that the child can’t slip through,” he warns, and be aware to check for “exposed electrical wires and peeling paint chips.” Parents of toddlers who walk should be especially vigilant.

Ask for Baby Amenities

Why pack a bottle warmer or car seat when you can get them at the hotel? Marriott offers baby-proofing supplies like outlet covers, while every Rosewood property comes fully equipped with diaper pails, baby baths and monitors. At St. Regis hotels, parents can borrow strollers and stock up on diapers. “I’ve never really had to travel with a stroller,” says Choquet, who advises calling ahead. Just remember to thoroughly check cribs and strollers for safety — visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for current rules — especially if you’re staying abroad, urges Fagan. Hotels not up on the family amenity trend? Diapers, wipes, formula and bottles are usually a quick click away if you’re in the U.S., Choquet advises.

Arm Against Mosquitoes

You wouldn’t let your child drink tap water — choose bottled, says Fagan — so don’t let them skip wearing mosquito repellent. In tropical climates especially, long-sleeved shirts and pants are best, but also consider lotions with DEET, which is safe for children over 6 months. (Never spray an infant due to the risk of inhalation.) Placing mosquito netting around a crib is another good idea, says Fagan, but check with your pediatrician and the CDC to hear your options.

Every holiday season my husband and I drive to my parents’ house, from California to Missouri. We usually drive straight through, only stopping for quick breaks, food, and gas. But this year, our son (born on Thanksgiving) came with us. The logistics of traveling with an infant make the trip a lot more complicated than normal, especially since this is an extended trip. The following tips can make your trip a little smoother.

Make sure you have the basics on hand inside your vehicle. Keep diapers, wipes, burp cloths, blankets, and extra clothes close at hand. When the baby’s crying you don’t want to search through suitcases or a packed trunk to find the essentials. We frequently stopped for gas and changed diapers right in the cab. A fully-stocked diaper bag (including a changing pad) helped tremendously.

If you’re going on a longer trip (more than a week), don’t forget your bigger essentials: a crib or travel crib, even more clothes and blankets, and a stroller. Other items you may need include a baby swing or bouncy, bottles, and even baby’s personal care items. Fortunately, any smaller items can just be bought locally, so we concentrated more on remembering the big items.

Don’t forget an infant safety seat that fits your vehicle and is safe for a small baby. Our son was two-weeks old when we left, so we carefully followed the manufacturer instructions for our rear-facing seat. Our dual-cab truck has a LATCH system, which made installation a bit easier. We can install on the driver’s or passenger’s side, but not in the middle, even though the LATCH anchors are reachable from the middle seat. Check your vehicle’s owners manual to see if your car or truck can accommodate a safety seat in the center position (which is the safest place for a child).

Don’t be in a hurry. You’ll need to make frequent stops to change and feed the baby. Never try to feed your baby in a moving vehicle. If you are involved in an accident, it would be difficult to hold the baby and keep him/ her safe. And there’s a bigger risk of injuries if you’re sitting in front of an airbag holding a baby.

Fortunately a small infant sleeps a lot, making travel easier for us. But we still had to stop every two to four hours. It provided breaks where we could eat, get something to drink, or just stretch our legs. When we drive, we take turns napping while the other person drives. We also stop anytime we’re tired. It’s not worth the risk to drive while sleepy just to save a few hours.

So, make sure you have your essentials, but don’t forget the bigger items that you don’t want to purchase again. Safely install your safety seat. And take your time! Ensure a safe and happy holiday season for you and your family.

Have questions about travel with an infant? We’re happy to answer them in future columns. Want to submit your own tips for future installments? Feel free to leave a comment!

Photo courtesy of Katielips.

By Becky Scott
Contributing Editor

Posted by Becky Scott at 02:00:00 AM in Safety – Child Safety

I feel like this must be a stupid question, because surely people with babies and young children travel all the time in cabs and public transportation. but I am stumped. How do you safely strap a carseat into a cab? Are cabs equipped with some kind of harness or something? Or do people just hold their baby in their lap? And what about traveling on a public bus?

Our daughter is about 5 months old, and we are itching to start traveling with her in a few months. She will probably continue to use her infant carseat until she’s about a year old. Currently, we have a base for the carseat that stays tightly strapped into our car, and the carseat easily snaps in and out of the base. So when we travel with her, are we supposed to take the base with us? That doesn’t seem practical at all.

And what about convertible carseats (i.e., the kind that toddlers use) – do people travel with those as well?

Thanks for any input on this! I feel like there must be an easy solution, but I’d love to hear from anyone who has traveled with young children!

I am glad you asked this question because I haven’t got the answer either and would love to know how other people manage – I once tried to order a taxi with a carseat (compulsory here for babies and small children) and by the time I had to leave for my appointment the taxi hadn’t arrived. I ended up walking across 2 suburbs with my baby in a sling. By the time my appointment was over, I received a phone call from the company – they had finally located a taxi with a carseat and wanted to know if I still wanted the cab. I said no and got a lift home with my husband who had left work by that stage. I’ve still never been in a cab with my child; another time we had to get to and from the airport we pre-paid for a shuttle with a carseat. It was luxury because they helped us with our bags too.

I am not shy of trains and buses but have fortunately never had to do them with my daughter, because it would still be difficult. The law here (Sydney / New South Wales) says you can bring a folding umbrella stroller onto buses; it would be impractical to travel with anything else on a train here because not every station has lifts to the platforms; some only have stairs or escalators and you would need a light stroller to be able to manage.

Posted on March 30, 2019 September 26, 2019 By: Author Carrie Bradley

If you are flying with kids, you may opt to bring either your own car seat to use on the plane and/or to use at your destination. However, if depending on your car seat type, you may have to travel with a car seat base.

This post covers information on flying on a plane with a car seat & whether you can use your infant car seat base on an airplane and traveling with your car seat base to use at your destination.

Flying with a Car Seat

If you are flying with a car seat and intend to use it on the plane for your baby or toddler, then it must be airline approved and you must purchase a seat. If you are flying on a USA made car seat look for a sticker which says it is an FAA approved car seat for travel.

The highlighted link above delves a lot deeper into all the rules and the differences between using a car seat on an American based airline and on other airlines.

In a very brief summary (although I do recommend reading the other post in full, which also covers car seat suggestions), if you have an airline approved car seat AND are flying on a USA or Canadian airline, then the airline is required to find you a suitable seat for you to fit your car seat.

On other non-USA airlines, the rules vary greatly and airlines have a lot more say over which car seats are suitable for air travel on their particular plane.

In this case, some car seats may not be suitable for airplane use, even if they have the correct label. Always check your airlines website for further details, so there are no nasty surprises on board the plane.

The rules are very similar for airline approved car seats around the world. Stickers will look similar to those below in the image. The image includes an example of the EU approved car seats label, Australian car seat label, Canadian approved car seats and FAA approved car seat labels.

Be aware, that even if you can for example use your FAA approved car seat on a European airline, you will not be able to use your US made car seat in a car in the UK. I go into more detail about this below.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

Airline approved car-seat label examples

Flying With A Car Seat Base on A Plane

If you are traveling with your airline approved car seat, the instructions will tell you whether the base can also be used on the plane. Air travel with an infant car seat base can vary if you intend to use it on the flight.

Many car seats say the base is not suitable for airplane use, but as an example the Britax Emblem car seat base must be used as per the instructions.

Bases that require LATCH Anchors or ISOFIX as the only way to secure them are not currently approved for use on an airplane as there are no points for them to attach to.

The instructions will clearly say something along the lines of “for rear-facing aircraft installation, see “Rear-Facing Lap Belt Installation” on pages 12-13. For forward-facing installation, follow “Forward-Facing Lap Belt Installation” on page 18.”

If you can’t use your car seat base, but can use the main car seat on the flight, you have a couple of options for traveling with the base.

  • You can either stow it on board the plane on an overhead locker.
  • Gate check it
  • or check it in with the rest of your luggage

If you are checking it into the hold, you may want to consider using a car seat bag to help protect it. There are several car seats bags on the market which are padded.

Using your Car Seat Abroad

Car seat rules abroad vary and it is worth investigating whether it is better to bring your own, hire one, or even buy one when overseas. Some car seats are not legal to use in other countries, so you do need to check the car seat rules for the country you are visiting.

For instance you cannot use a UK car seat in the USA as they do not meet FMVSS 213 requirements and you cannot use a USA car seat in the UK, as it must be a one clip release and be EU approved. (USA car seats usually have an additional chest clip.)

Even portable car seats like the Mifold travel Car seat have slight differences and the UK version cannot be used in the USA and vice versa.

The Mifold Grab And Go is a very light and compact travel car seat which works by adjusting the size of a normal seatbelt to make it fit a child.

It’s for children aged 4 and up and easily fits into a tote bag. It’s available to buy internationally and convenient for when you can’t use your normal booster seat. Neither version can be used in Australia

Below are some useful links to help you.

It is definitely worth checking the car seat law before you travel to a different country as it may make you decide to use a different child restraint device on a plane for you child. Other child seat restrain devices for airplane use include:

  • An infant lap belt (provided on non USA/Non Canadian based airlines)
  • An AMsafe CARES harness – this is for babies over 1 year old and must be purchased by you.

Every holiday season my husband and I drive to my parents’ house, from California to Missouri. We usually drive straight through, only stopping for quick breaks, food, and gas. But this year, our son (born on Thanksgiving) came with us. The logistics of traveling with an infant make the trip a lot more complicated than normal, especially since this is an extended trip. The following tips can make your trip a little smoother.

Make sure you have the basics on hand inside your vehicle. Keep diapers, wipes, burp cloths, blankets, and extra clothes close at hand. When the baby’s crying you don’t want to search through suitcases or a packed trunk to find the essentials. We frequently stopped for gas and changed diapers right in the cab. A fully-stocked diaper bag (including a changing pad) helped tremendously.

If you’re going on a longer trip (more than a week), don’t forget your bigger essentials: a crib or travel crib, even more clothes and blankets, and a stroller. Other items you may need include a baby swing or bouncy, bottles, and even baby’s personal care items. Fortunately, any smaller items can just be bought locally, so we concentrated more on remembering the big items.

Don’t forget an infant safety seat that fits your vehicle and is safe for a small baby. Our son was two-weeks old when we left, so we carefully followed the manufacturer instructions for our rear-facing seat. Our dual-cab truck has a LATCH system, which made installation a bit easier. We can install on the driver’s or passenger’s side, but not in the middle, even though the LATCH anchors are reachable from the middle seat. Check your vehicle’s owners manual to see if your car or truck can accommodate a safety seat in the center position (which is the safest place for a child).

Don’t be in a hurry. You’ll need to make frequent stops to change and feed the baby. Never try to feed your baby in a moving vehicle. If you are involved in an accident, it would be difficult to hold the baby and keep him/ her safe. And there’s a bigger risk of injuries if you’re sitting in front of an airbag holding a baby.

Fortunately a small infant sleeps a lot, making travel easier for us. But we still had to stop every two to four hours. It provided breaks where we could eat, get something to drink, or just stretch our legs. When we drive, we take turns napping while the other person drives. We also stop anytime we’re tired. It’s not worth the risk to drive while sleepy just to save a few hours.

So, make sure you have your essentials, but don’t forget the bigger items that you don’t want to purchase again. Safely install your safety seat. And take your time! Ensure a safe and happy holiday season for you and your family.

Have questions about travel with an infant? We’re happy to answer them in future columns. Want to submit your own tips for future installments? Feel free to leave a comment!

Photo courtesy of Katielips.

By Becky Scott
Contributing Editor

Posted by Becky Scott at 02:00:00 AM in Safety – Child Safety

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  • Travelling with Olympic air
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Infants (up to 2 years)

Our young friends are welcome to travel on Olympic Air flights with their parent or guardian from the very first days of their life, as long as they fulfill the conditions below to properly ensure their safety:

  • The parent/guardian must carry the infant’s necessary identification documents, as well as any other documents required at the destination (e.g. visa/passport). Infants younger than seven (7) completed days from the date of birth, shall not be accepted for travel on domestic or international flights.
  • In case that the infant does not fulfill the above, prior Medical clearance must be given and the MEDIF procedure shall be followed.
  • Parents of premature infants need to provide certification from an obstetrician that the infant is in good health to travel.
  • Maximum 1 infant per accompanying adult over 15 years of age.
  • In case a parent or guardian (over 18 years old) wishes to travel with two infants (from 8 days to 2 years old), Olympic Air requires the booking of an Exclusive Escort. The charge of the Escort Service depends on the itinerary.
  • Infants can only travel on the lap of their parent or guardian. It is permitted to carry formula and/or breast milk in your hand luggage until 6kgs. However, there is the possibility that you will be inspected at the checkpoints.
  • The maximum number of infants allowed per aircraft depends on the number of oxygen masks and infant belts available on board the aircraft.

The Infant Fare is available for infants under 2 years, who travel on your lap. If you wish to book a separate seat for your infant, you need to purchase a discount Child Fare (if available) and bring a car-type child seat with you, conforming to the international safety standards (read more below). Car safety seats or baby trolleys can be transported as checked luggage without an extra charge. For further information regarding baggage specifications for infants click here or contact the Call center +302106261000

If the infant turns 2 while travelling, a separate seat must be booked at the Child Fare for the whole journey. In this case, carrying a car-type seat is optional.

Infant car-type seat certification

The seat must have an official label stating one of the following:

  • This child restraint system conforms to all applicable FAA, JAA and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
  • Alternatively, this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft and has been approved or must conform to all applicable FAA, JAA and/or Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

How to Get the Car Seat, Stroller, and Baby On the Plane

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How to Travel by Car with an Infant

Just how are you supposed to make your plane when you have to haul a baby, car seat, stroller, diaper bag, carry-on bag and more through the airport? Air travel with a baby isn’t always easy, and some of the struggles start before you even board the plane. These simple tips will help you manage your baby gear before and after you board the airplane and make the entire air travel experience more pleasant for you and your baby.

The Car Seat Travel Conundrum

Many parents debate over whether or not to bring their baby’s car seat on an airplane trip. If you plan to travel by car once at your destination, you’ll need baby’s car seat anyway. Car seats are sometimes available for rent, but you never know what the quality will be on a rental seat, and the car seat may have been in an accident, making it a risky choice for your baby. Take the car seat with you. Better safe than sorry.

Should I Buy Baby A Seat?

Most airlines let children under age 2 ride in an adult’s lap. You can check your child’s car seat with your other luggage, but wrap the seat in plastic or a bag for protection. I suggest buying the baby a ticket and using a car seat on the airplane, no matter the age. Babies who aren’t in car seats can be injured when a parent can’t hold on during severe turbulence. If your flight isn’t full, you may be able to take the car seat and use it without buying a ticket, if seats are available.

If you’re certain you won’t need a car seat after you deplane, there’s a cool product called CARES that helps keep baby safely restrained in the airplane seat. The CARES airline harness works for toddlers up to 40 pounds, and wraps around the seat (under the tray table), providing shoulder straps to keep wiggly little ones in their seat.

Carry-On Bags and Diaper Bags

One carry-on bag that serves the role of a purse, briefcase, and diaper bag is the most pared-down choice for air travel. My favorite carry-on bag is a large Baby Sherpa backpack that I can share with baby. A backpack is easy to carry when your arms are otherwise occupied, and easily holds diapers, snacks, airline tickets, identification, and even a spare outfit for baby. Most importantly, a backpack holds plenty of baby gear and still meets most airline requirements for carry-on baggage size.

Strollers: A Travel Must-Have

Even the smallest babies feel heavy after a long time in your arms, and toddlers often decide they can’t walk any longer at the most inconvenient times. A stroller solves these problems. Most infant car seats snap onto a travel system stroller, making it simple to take both along for the trip. Otherwise, a lightweight stroller with a carrying strap is easy to haul around and might help you make a connecting flight if your toddler’s legs give out.

Gate Check and Early Boarding

Once you make it to your gate, ask the gate agent for a gate check ticket for your baby’s stroller. Gate checking means you’ll leave the stroller at the gate or jetway before you board the airplane, and it will be waiting for you as you exit the plane after the flight. This is very convenient if you need the stroller for a connecting flight. Most airlines also allow parents traveling with babies and toddlers to board the plane early, giving you ample time to install a car seat and get settled.

On The Airplane

If you purchased a ticket for your baby, you’ll need to install the car seat on the plane. Airline seatbelts can be hard to tighten when buckled with a car seat, so you may have to ask a flight attendant for help. Check the manual to be sure that your baby’s car seat is FAA approved for air travel before taking it on the plane. Also, note that baby car seats can only be installed in a window seat on most airlines.

Other Ways to Carry Baby in the Airport

A baby sling or backpack carrier may help you carry baby quickly through an airport, too. Some parents have successfully used a baby sling or special flight vest during the airplane trip to keep a baby close when the baby doesn’t have a ticketed seat. However, some airlines do not allow slings or flight vests to be used, particularly during takeoff and landing, so be aware that you may be asked to put these items away while on the plane.

Special Travel Gear for Baby

If you’re preparing for a long trip, or you travel a lot, invest in some top of the line baby travel gear to lessen travel hassles. A wheeled car seat carrier lets you wheel baby right to the plane and board. The GoGoKidz Travelmate is a nice option for kids in convertible car seats. Smaller infants can ride in the Doona infant car seat, which has wheels that fold out to form a stroller.

Add a set of travel straps to baby’s regular car seat and wear it like a backpack. Look for disposable feeding supplies like bibs, bottles, sippy cups, and utensils so that you don’t have to clean up during your trip. And don’t forget to buy a few new toys to keep baby entertained!

Travel Tips

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

Stroller-friendly areas in your destination make international travel more enjoyable. (Photo: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images )

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  • Do Infants Need Passports to Travel?
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  • TSA ID Policy for Infants
  • How to Buy an Airline Ticket for an Infant

International travel with an infant requires additional planning and preparation due to the longer travel time and extra air travel requirements. Even if your infant cannot yet walk or talk, she still needs a passport to travel internationally. If your destination requires a visa, you’ll need one for your baby as well. The primary concerns of international travel with a baby are getting through the airport smoothly, keeping your baby entertained during the flight, and keeping her healthy and safe at your destination.

Items you will need

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Baby sling
  • Carry-on
  • Stroller
  • FAA-approved car seat

Step 1

Apply for a passport for your infant at least six weeks before your scheduled international flight to ensure the passport arrives in time. Gather all necessary paperwork, including the passport application, baby’s identification form, evidence of relationship between you and your child, identification for parents, passport photos and fees. The presence of both parents and the minor is required. One parent may provide a notarized Statement of Consent from the other parent if both parents cannot attend. A parent with sole custody must show a document proving that status.

Step 2

Secure a visa for your baby if necessary for your destination. Review the visa requirements several months in advance to ensure you have time to fulfill them.

Step 3

Call your infant’s doctor to determine if any special travel preparations, such as additional vaccinations, are necessary. If your infant has existing medical problems, ask if any special considerations are necessary while traveling abroad. Determine if food and water sources in your destination country are safe for your infant to consume.

Step 4

Pack your infant’s luggage based on her care needs, length of the trip and weather at the destination. Pack any brand-specific items you need that may not be available internationally. Include a baby sling or carrier for locations that aren’t stroller-friendly.

Step 5

Fill your baby’s carry-on bag with age-appropriate snacks, food, formula, breast milk, clothing, extra clothes, wipes and diapers. Bring toys, books and other activities to keep her occupied during the long flight.

Step 6

Push your baby through the airport in a compact, collapsible stroller. Remove your infant from the stroller at the security checkpoint, so it can go through the X-ray machine. Gate-check the stroller before you board.

Step 7

Secure your infant in an FAA-approved car seat during the flight. Give her a bottle or pacifier during take-off and landing to prevent ear problems. Walk around the plane with her periodically to soothe her during the flight.

Step 8

Familiarize yourself with your accommodations and surroundings when you arrive. Identify potential problems, such as a location without stroller access. Find nearby baby-friendly places, like a cafe with a diaper-changing station or a large museum you can wander with your baby in a stroller.

Step 9

Wash and disinfect your infant’s bottles, pacifiers, toys and other items that go in her mouth using water safe for her consumption. Even a small amount of contaminated water exposes your baby to the risk of illness from bacteria in the water.

  • Consider travel insurance when planning an international trip with an infant. The insurance covers at least part of the trip costs if your baby gets sick or you are otherwise unable to travel. International travel is often expensive, so you stand to lose a large amount of money if you have to cancel at the last minute.

Warnings

  • Use babysitting services at your destination with caution. Hotels or resorts sometimes offer babysitting services, but you don’t always know their standards.

Disclosure

Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

When our baby girl was just two months old, we decided we needed a little change in scenery. Make that a lot of scenery. With Dave’s abundant vacation time, and my maternity leave, it was the perfect time for our first transcontinental train journey! We would be taking The Canadian train across Canada with our infant. We traveled from NYC to Vancouver to Seattle, with stops in Buffalo and Toronto. Despite this sounding like the worst idea possible, and not like a vacation at all and more like a transcontinental screaming fit laced with dirty diapers, allow me to explain how traveling by train with an infant is actually a very good thing to do.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

On board Amtrak from NYC to Toronto

See, trains rock little babies to sleep. One of the first equations that new parents learn is that the car = sleep. There’s something about the motion, being strapped into that tiny seat and looking at everything go by that overstimulates infants to the point of exhaustion. There are tales of parents driving around the neighborhood at all hours of the night just to get their babies to sleep (although I think this may be akin to walking up hill both ways to school, in the snow of course, but I digress). So sign me up for something that moves nonstop FOR THREE STRAIGHT DAYS.How to Travel by Car with an Infant

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

While there was a fair share of crying (she was still a tiny 9 week old baby!), here are some tips and general reasons why train travel is the best type of travel with an infant. Especially trains that are long, long, long and continue overnight.

1. Infants are tiny. The rooms on a train are tiny. So, this pretty much works out perfectly. Baby girl slept next to me in my bunk (the low bunk obviously!). I had brought a co-sleeper along, but ended up not using it because it took up too much room. I spooned her the entire time, plus it was super easy to feed her when she woke up at night.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant
2. Time zone changes are slow. While really tiny infants really aren’t on a schedule, somewhere around 1-2 months old they start to sleep more at night than they do during the day. A few months after that, they start sticking to a consistent bedtime and they start to decrease their night wakings. All of this can be thrown into turmoil by flying because the timezone change all happens in one day. Train travel, on the other hand, allows the change to happen gradually.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

3. Constant scenery changes. Looking out the window is the perfect thing to do. It’s relaxing, easy (even an infant can do it!) and if you take a nap…well, you didn’t miss too much. There’ll be more scenery later.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

The mountains of British Columbia

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

Relaxing in the Observation Car

4. Infants don’t need too many baths. You can wash a baby a couple times a week. That’s not gross or anything, that’s really how often you need to clean them. Any more than that and their skin gets all dried out. Even though there was a shower in our carriage for us, it would have been hard to wash baby girl in the sink in our room. So she just didn’t get a bath for those few days, and it really wasn’t a big deal.

5. Everything is casual. Dinner is casual. The day is casual. Everyone is sleeping in bunks sharing a (spotless) communal shower. This makes for a comfortable environment that is also somehow classy.How to Travel by Car with an Infant
6. Breastfeeding is easily done. Honestly I’m not sure where you would wash bottles on a three day long train journey, so this is an advantage of breastfeeding while traveling. There’s also no need to buy any bottled water for mixing formula. Unlike traveling by car, you don’t have to stop when your baby has to eat, and unlike a plane, you have some room to spread out! It’s very easy to find empty seats that offer lots of privacy.

7. No need for a stroller. The hallways are narrow on board trains, even a train as large and fancy as the Canadian. Strollers are completely unnecessary anyways, seeing as there aren’t so many places to go except up forward and back through the train cars. You can get by for your whole trip with just a simple baby carrier.How to Travel by Car with an Infant
8. ROCKING ROCKING ROCKING. I can’t stress enough how beneficial the constant rocking is! Baby girl took great naps and slept well at night, too. In fact, we all slept really well.

Our journey flew by and soon we were arriving in Vancouver!! While it took much longer to get there than if we were to fly, the vacation itself was our time aboard the Canadian. It was a perfectly paced trip for our new little family.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

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She weighs only 15 pounds, but her diapers, clothing, bottles, stroller and toys weigh several times that. When travel beckons, deciding between driving and flying requires a few considerations like safety, convenience and, of course, the ease of transporting all her stuff. Either a road trip or a flight can be smoother than you might expect, as long as you choose the right option for your growing family.

Pros of Driving

Your own schedule has gone out the window; the whole family is on Baby Time now. In the car, you can stick to this schedule. Plan long periods of driving during her naps and pull over to nurse her whenever she gets fussy. In a car, there’s room enough for all of her gear and yours too. You’ll have somewhat easy access to items like her pack and play and extra changes of clothing if you need them along the way. Your infant should also find traveling by car a peaceful experience, provided she’s not crammed in with noisy siblings. She’ll probably find the movement and hum of the car soothing.

Cons of Driving

With an infant who doesn’t like being in her car seat and isn’t soothed by driving, a road trip will feel endless for everyone. The trip might take longer than you anticipate, since you’ll have to make stops every few hours to breastfeed and change the infant’s diaper; it’s unsafe to take her out of the car seat to do these activities while you’re driving. With her seat facing backward, you might also experience some anxiety if you can’t see your infant while she’s strapped into the backseat. A car seat mirror will allow you to see her from the driver’s seat if sitting in the back with her isn’t an option.

Pros of Flying

Don’t let fears about your baby’s health keep you from flying: according to Dr. Jay L. Hoecker of MayoClinic.com, flying is generally perfectly safe for infants, though it’s always important to ask for your pediatrician’s blessing before booking flights. Flying’s biggest benefit for new parents is that it only takes one day, or part of one day, so the majority of your trip can be spent settled into one place. Flying might work out to be cheaper than driving, since most airlines allow babies younger than 2 years old to sit in a parent’s lap rather than in their own seat. You might also have more physical contact and cuddle time with your baby on a plane than you would when she’s in the car’s backseat.

Cons of Flying

Lugging bags through the airport and getting your infant and carry-ons through airport security is tiring even for the most prepared parent. Changing a diaper mid-air is tough to navigate, too, and flight delays and cancellations that leave you sitting on the runway or stranded overnight in an airport aren’t conducive to keeping an infant happy. The possibility that your infant will experience ear pain during takeoff and landing is a real concern, though according to HealthyChildren.org, not all babies will experience this discomfort. If yours does, sucking on a bottle, breast or pacifier should help. And while it’s legal to carry your baby on your lap during a flight, the Federal Aviation Administration says it’s safest for a baby to ride in an approved car seat in her own seat, which adds extra strain to your budget.

Making the Decision

Ultimately only you can decide how to travel, keeping your baby’s temperament in mind. If she loves the car and your destination is less than a day’s drive away, a road trip will probably be your easiest mode of travel. If your journey will take longer than one day, you’ll probably be happiest flying. You won’t need to stop overnight, unpack all her gear into a hotel room and pack up again in the morning. Just schedule flights that run during her most low-key time of day, keep her well-fed and walk her up and down the plane’s aisle if she’s fussy.

Travelling with infants and babies

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

HELPFUL WIZZ SERVICES

Free Priority Boarding if travelling with an infant*

Security Fast Track

Pre-packed baby food and drinks allowed

WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU ONBOARD

Nappies – one for every hour of your journey

Change(s) of clothes

A foldable baby stroller which you can wheel up until the aircraft door (on a “jet bridge”), or up to the portable stairs (will be loaded in aircraft hold)

WIZZ offers the following amenities to those flying with small children to make your trip more comfortable:

  • Extra personal item on board (40 x 30 x 20 cm)
  • Free priority boarding for 2 adults (and unlimited number of kids) per one travelling infant*
  • A foldable baby stroller or a small foldable travel cot free of charge (will be loaded in aircraft hold)
  • Seat selection to make sure that your whole family sits together (for an extra fee)
  • WIZZ CafГ© -snacks and drinks onboard for purchase
  • WIZZ Boutique selection,including toys and small gifts

Accordions

Take a car seat on board!

You will need to purchase an additional seat at normal fare to accommodate the car seat in which your baby can travel in extra comfort.

Car seat safety requirements

  • only rear-facing car seats for children can be taken on board
  • must be equipped with a latch to securely fasten it with the passenger seat belt

For safety reasons the loop belt must be used for take-off and landing and whenever the seat belt sign is on. The loop belt will be provided by Wizz Air during boarding and must be returned after the flight

Booking

Enter “INFANT” as the passenger’s first name when booking online. The passenger’s surname should be added in the last name field.

If an extra seat was booked, you don’t have to pay an infant fee. Additional infant baggage allowance is not applicable.

Things to take with you on board

  • Food and drinks for the baby, packed in accordance with the safety regulations
  • Something to chew during take-off and landing (little ones often don’t know how to pop their ears to release pressure)
  • A change of clothes for you and your baby
  • Extra dummies (if your child uses them)
  • Baby wipes
  • One nappy for every hour of your journey
  • Small toys

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

The location for an infant car seat is a window seat. The seat next to the infant car seat must be occupied by a physically able person, at least 16 years old, who is responsible for the child in the car seat.

An infant car seat cannot be placed in emergency exits rows, and in rows which are either immediately in front of or behind emergency exit rows.

Please always follow cabin crew instructions.

You are responsible for installing your own car seat for your infant. The WIZZ Cabin Crew will show you the suitable seat to place the car seat and visually check if the infant car seat is approved and properly installed for on board use.

Priority boarding with an infant: 2 adults, unlimited children per 1 baby

Those travelling together with an infant (under 2) get free Priority Boarding – 2 adults per infant. An unlimited number of children all travelling in that same party can also be included in this Priority Boarding.

As babies must sit in an adult’s lap on the plane, each infant on board must be accompanied by an adult. Furthermore, each infant travelling in a group enjoying Priority Boarding allows early boarding for 2 adults in that party. This means that a family with 2 infants in their party could include 4 adults in their Priority Boarding group, and so on. This proportion of 1 baby/2 adults in a reservation travelling together is only limited by the allowed number of children under 2 allowed on the plane.

Travelling With Infants

Infants at least 16 days old may be accepted for travel. Infants (less than 2 years old) travelling without seats must be held by an adult during takeoff, landing, turbulence, and when the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign is on. Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations allow an infant to be held by an adult who is occupying a seat or berth (PCAR 8.9.2.19).

A parent or guardian who purchased a seat for an infant but does not have an approved child restraint system (CRS) must be reminded to hold the infants on their laps prior to takeoff, landing, turbulence and when the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign is on.

Using An Approved Child Restraint System

  1. The safest way to secure an infant (less than 2 years old) or child (between 2 and 7 yrs old) on board an aircraft is in an approved Child Restraint System, in a dedicated seat, appropriate for that infant or child. PAL encourages a parent or guardian who purchases a seat for an infant or child, to provide their own approved child restraint system (CRS). The use of a CRS provides an equivalent level of safety to infants and children as that afforded to adult passengers wearing seatbelts. (Reference: ICAO Document 10049)
  2. A separate seat must be purchased for an infant who will be using an approved car seat or approved CRS.
  3. The infant or child using the approved car seat or aircraft CRS must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will attend to their safety. A parent or guardian who is responsible for an infant or child who is using an approved car seat or aircraft CRS on board an aircraft must be seated next to the seat to which the car seat or aircraft CRS is secured.
  4. Booster seats are not allowed for use on board the aircraft.
  5. Carriage of car seats or aircraft CRS must meet the following criteria:
    1. Forward facing CRS specific for aircraft use must bear a label or marking indicating approval by an ICAO-member State (such as FAA, EASA, CASA, etc.)
    2. Aft facing CRS which are typically intended for an occupant who is unable to walk unassisted and weighing less than 10 kgs (22 lbs) must bear a label or marking indicating approval by an ICAO-member State (such as FAA, EASA, CASA, etc.).
    3. A car seat must meet the safety standards of an ICAO State approving it for use in aircraft and must bear two labels:
      1. “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable State motor vehicle safety standards” and
      2. “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” in red lettering.
    4. The height and weight of the infant or child using the car seat or aircraft CRS must be within the range specified by the car seat or aircraft CRS manufacturer.
    5. The car seat or aircraft CRS must fit in the aircraft seat dimension below:

This is a post about my experience on traveling with an infant on Indigo Airlines. We have traveled with a newborn on Air India, Jet Airways and Indigo Airlines. To read about everything you want to know before traveling with an infant, read my post about flying with an infant 101.

A travel system includes a stroller, an infant car seat, and a car seat base. These products work together to make moving your baby from car to stroller (and vice versa) as easy as lifting up the seat and clicking it into place. To find the top five travel systems recommended by parents, we analyzed actual threads from moms and dads in the BabyCenter Community. We also asked BabyCenter editors about new and cool products they think deserve wider recognition. Here are the BabyCenter Love It winners for the best travel systems.

  • Travel system basics: What you need to know
  • Quick look: The best travel systems
  • Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System: BabyCenter Parents’ Pick
  • Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System: BabyCenter Parents’ Pick
  • Graco Modes Bassinet Travel System: BabyCenter Parents’ Pick
  • Graco FastAction Fold Travel System: BabyCenter Parents’ Pick
  • Maxi-Cosi Zelia 5-In-1 Modular Travel System: BabyCenter Parents’ Pick
  • Baby Jogger City Mini GT: BabyCenter Editors’ Choice

Travel system basics

What you need to know

Travel systems are great for new parents because they take the guesswork out of buying some key baby products – namely an infant car seat (which comes with a separate base for your car) and a full-size stroller. When you buy these products together as a travel system, you know they’ll work together perfectly with no fuss.

An alternative is buying a stroller you like, finding an infant car seat that works with it, and perhaps buying adapters so the car seat fits into the stroller properly. That’s fine too, of course, but it requires a bit of extra research and work.

Why do you need a car seat that fits into a stroller? Young babies lack head control, so they need the support of the car seat when you’re pushing them around. (Or they can lie flat in a stroller with a bassinet attachment.) It’s also convenient: You can easily move your baby from the car to the stroller without having to take her out of her car seat (and potentially waking her up).

A nice thing is that you can use the stroller component of your travel system for years. When your baby outgrows the infant car seat, you can use the stroller’s straps to hold your toddler or preschooler.

A downside of travel systems is that they tend to be bulky and heavy. Plus, many come with strollers that are fairly basic. They’re fine on flat pavement or for trips to the store, but they don’t have the suspension or maneuverability to jump sidewalk curbs or handle gravel or dirt roads. (For off-roading, you’ll need a jogging stroller with an infant car seat adapter.)

The following travel systems are the five most recommended by BabyCenter parents and one chosen by BabyCenter editors. All are good choices in terms of features, looks, and ease of use – and they’re the BabyCenter Love It winners for the best 2020 travel systems.

How do you take a taxi with an infant? –>

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Stick out arm, wait for cab to stop, enter cab with baby, tell driver where you would like to go, hope for the best.

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Belt them in like you would in any car if you didn’t have the base. I assume all seats can be installed without a base — I know the Gracos can. If properly installed, it’s as safe with or without the base (the base is just handy because that you don’t have to strap them in every time). Your owner’s manual should have instructions.

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Not being in the city, I am not sure, but I think you can use the seat of the
Snap and Go set. –>

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I am going to assume you do have a car seat because you have an infant!

All car seats have an alternate installation without the base. You just basically use the seatbelt and there are these holes the seatbelt goes through. For the person who suggested you go without one. it is against the law and the driver can loose his job. Also they made it a law for a reason. IT IS NOT SAFE.
I have taken a taxi with my daughter dozens of times. Make sure you get it a little earlier than you need because it takes a few mins to get the seatbelt correct. I think you can probably look up instructions for installation on the website of your car seat manufacturer. –>

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

I wrote in my last post for the Huggies series about how we flew successfully with an infant, and I thought I’d follow that up by sharing some tips we learned about driving long distances with an infant, too. We primarily drove if we traveled with small babies, and we made some big mistakes before figuring out some great travel ideas.

MISTAKE #1: When Michael was a wee baby lad, we decided to drive from Connecticut to Virginia to have Thanksgiving with my family at my sister’s house. Our big mistake was thinking we could drive that entire nine hours in one go with an infant. We left around his afternoon nap time and figured he would nap in the car. Then we could stop and have dinner and change him into his jammies and he would just magically fall back asleep and we could continue the rest of the trip with a sleeping angel in the back. We ended up stopping at a hotel about two hours shy of my sister’s house because Bean simply could not go on one minute longer. We got so close but still ended up stopping. I was disappointed because I really wanted to be at Ginny’s house on Thanksgiving morning and wake up with my family like we always had, but we just couldn’t push him any longer. Nothing would make him stop crying. He was miserable. I was miserable. Chris was miserable. So, we paid the $90 for a roadside Holiday Inn and called it quits for the day around 8:00 pm, after six hours of driving. But we ended up having such a fun time in a hotel room, just the three of us! It was a great way to end a long, exhausting day. Plus, when we got up in the morning, we could take our time and relax and move at Bean’s pace instead of rushing to get somewhere.

LESSON LEARNED: Babies move slower than adults. They need time to stretch and roll around and play, even when they are traveling – ESPECIALLY when they are traveling. So, be prepared to give them that time. It’s THEIR vacation, too, and they should enjoy it.

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

MISTAKE #2: Another time we drove to my sister’s house (this time when she was living in Atlanta), we took the Pack ‘n Play for Gracie to sleep in because she was so small and we thought we’d let Bean Man sleep with us in Ginny’s guest bedroom. It was actually a pretty good sleeping arrangement. Except that we had never put Gracie in a Pack ‘n Play before, so when we laid her down in it, she flipped out. I’m pretty sure she was cursing something fierce in her hysterical sobbing fit. And why wouldn’t she? It was already a strange new place for her, and now she was lying in some strange new bed. Everything was weird for her, and she refused to sleep the entire time we were there. We ended up sleeping with her in our bed. Along with Bean. And me and Chris. Needless to say, no one slept well.

LESSON LEARNED: About a week before going on vacation, it you know your baby will be sleeping in a Pack ‘n Play, let her spend some time in it at your house. Set it up in her bedroom. Let her play in there. Let her take naps in there. Give her some time to feel comfortable around it so that when you pop it up in a strange place, at least she’ll feel familiar with what she is sleeping in.

MISTAKE #3: When we went to our hometown for Christmas last year, we knew there would be so many people to take her to see. And we wanted to see them all, too. We only get home once or twice a year to see Chris’s family members, and there are a lot of them. At the holidays, there’s always particular pressure to get around to see everyone. But Gracie was still an infant, and she just could not hang for too long. We stayed in Pensacola for one week, and our best days were the ones when we stuck strictly to the kids’ normal schedules at home. The days we skipped naps or had a late lunch or stayed out late with family and friends were always really, really hard on the kids. Their little bodies just don’t adapt to a lot of change at one time. Babies thrive on predictability. They feel stable when they know the routine. When we pushed Gracie too far, it wasn’t like she cried when she wanted a nap or she got fussy when she was hungry. She was actually pretty good with all the changes. Until suddenly she wasn’t. It was like one minute she was rolling with the punches and the next she was hysterical, with no stopping her.

LESSON LEARNED: Even when a baby seems like she is able to keep up with all the change, the over-stimulation is just pooling inside and will come flooding out when you least expect it. To prevent this from happening, try to plan your vacation as close as possible around the normal routines. I know babies have to learn to be a little flexible with their schedules, but they are already in new surroundings and meeting new people when they are on vacation, so give them their little schedule to help them feel safe and secure. Sometimes that will mean having to tell your family no. We were supposed to meet Chris’s entire family for lunch on Christmas day, but that was the day that Gracie hit the wall, and rather than put her through anything else, we made the decision to hang at his mom’s house all day and let her take her regular naps and eat at her regular times and see people she was familiar with. When babies hit the wall, the only way around is to stop, let them recoup on their own time, and then try again later. Banging your head against the wall doesn’t help you or the wee one.

MISTAKE #4: When Bean was only three or four months old, we flew home to Florida for Chris’s sister’s graduation from college. It was the first time the family had met Bean and they were all so excited to see him. But the thing about Bean is that he doesn’t really like people rushing up to him, and he definitely doesn’t like people he doesn’t know rushing up and taking him away from me or Chris. Family is tricky, though, because they love the babies, even when they don’t see them often. But to a baby, a stranger is a stranger, even if it’s family. Bean was getting passed around and fawned all over, and to an infant, that can be really scary and unsettling.

LESSONS LEARNED: First, bring a sling. Using a sling or some form of baby-wearing device is a great way to give your baby the personal space he needs and it is also a very polite way to keep people from snatching your baby from your arms without your having to say, “No, you can’t hold him.” Second, I also learned that I know my baby better than anyone else, so even when family would say things like, “Oh, I’ve raised babies before…” when Bean would start to cry and I would try to take him back, I had to remind myself that they hadn’t raised MY baby before. You know your baby better than anyone else, so don’t be afraid to step up to even the most seasoned mother and take charge of the situation. You can very politely and kindly take control of a situation by saying something as simple as “I think Michael’s going to hang with me for a minute until he gets used to the crowd, but when he’s ready to branch out, I’ll make sure to bring him right over to you!”

How to Travel by Car with an Infant

The bottom line in traveling with an infant is to be flexible when you need to and to stand up to people when you need to. Be flexible enough to cancel plans or change plans without being too disappointed, and be firm enough to draw the line as to what your baby can handle and when he or she needs some space. Travel is tricky for everyone involved, but remember that your first interest is now what’s in your baby’s best interest. If you keep thinking about that when traveling, you’ll make the choices based on the right priority.