Traveling With An Infant: What To Expect?

Traveling With An Infant: What To Expect?

103

Ford and I recently became parents, which we couldn’t be more excited about. While our son, Miles, isn’t even two weeks old, we’re already starting to think about planning travel with him, so I was hoping to get some advice from OMAAT readers who are parents.

Family travel is complicated (obviously)

There’s no denying that traveling as a family is significantly more challenging than traveling solo or as a couple. I’m excited about the challenge, because it’s a whole aspect of travel that I’m looking forward to learning all about.

Having a newborn is really special, though on the travel front, I can’t even express how giddy I am for when Miles is a bit older, and we can see the world through the lens of a kid. I remember when I was pretty young, and how excited I was every time I’d get to go on a trip, the first time I visited cities I had only learned about in school, etc.

Realistically speaking, though, we’re several years off from that. At the moment we just have a ridiculously cute thing that sleeps, drinks formula, and poops all day.

The bad news is that travel experiences probably won’t be very enriching for him for the next year or two. The good news is that infants don’t cost you anything extra to travel with domestically, while internationally you “only” have to pay 10% of the adult fare (though they also have to sit in your lap, and don’t get a seat).

I’m not expecting travel to be carefree anymore!

Is there a sweet spot for infant travel?

Obviously people will have vastly different takes on infant travel, though I’d love to hear where OMAAT readers who are parents stand on this.

The advice that I’ve received the most often up until now is the following (or maybe I’m just hearing the advice that I want to hear… hah):

  • The ideal time to travel with an infant is before they start to learn to walk, since you can take them everywhere with you; once they start walking, it gets a lot more complicated
  • If you have kids travel with you from an early age, they’ll be better travelers, and it will be less daunting of a task in the long run, because they’ll be so used to being in the travel groove

As I start to consider possible infant travel, that brings me to some questions and things that I’m considering:

  • How early is too early to start traveling? I ask this in terms of child development in general, immune system, various vaccines, etc.
  • Are we best off staying roughly in the same timezone, or how do young infants do with jetlag and long haul travel? I mean, he’s sleeping about 20 hours per day as of now, so is there really that much of a schedule shift that could happen? 😉
  • Are there pros and cons to the types of destination you visit with an infant, be it a resort destination or a city destination? My gut says that resorts are better, since you can just enjoy fresh air and not being around too many people…
  • Is traveling with an infant just a recipe for a bad time? Obviously taking care of an infant takes a lot of effort under normal circumstances, and when you add in the potential stresses of travel, is it more trouble than its worth?
  • Presumably with an infant you commit to just being with them 24/7 when traveling, but is there a point where you feel comfortable finding some sort of child care (through the hotel or whatever other source) so you can go out to a nice dinner one night, or is that just off the table for a long time?

These are just some of the things that are crossing my mind. Realistically speaking, I think we’ll start slow and work our way up from there. Maybe we’ll first do a local staycation, then we’ll take a short flight to somewhere, and then maybe we’ll try long haul travel soon enough.

Just as I hope that Miles will become a good traveler over time, ultimately half of that equation is us becoming good travel parents, because I recognize there’s a huge learning curve there.

Lastly, I’m sure some OMAAT readers are wondering “does this mean no more international trip reports for the next couple of years?” Nope, my plan is to still do review trips as I did pre-pandemic, where I might just travel for several days, reviewing a bunch of airlines and hotels. I’m fortunate that I get to work from anywhere, so usually I’m at home 24/7 with Miles. I think it’s also reasonable to take review trips — after all, this blog is my livelihood.

When can I take Miles on his first Lufthansa 747 flight?!

Bottom line

It’s a whole new world of travel for us, as we now have a newborn. While we’re not quite ready to travel with Miles yet, we are ready to start planning some stuff. I’m just not sure with what timeline it makes sense to travel, what kind of destinations are best, and how newborns do with jetlag, given that they sleep most of the day?

To OMAAT readers who are parents — any tips?

Conversations (103)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. will Guest

    Travel with infant/children etc- I think it all comes down to the parent trying. I was on a flight a few months ago AUH to IAD in W- 2 year old in the row was not happy. Yeah it may have been a bit annoying but I wasn't that upset.

    The reason - the parent tried and cared. Mom was constantly trying to sooth the child, playing, reading, movies, etc. All trying to get the...

    Travel with infant/children etc- I think it all comes down to the parent trying. I was on a flight a few months ago AUH to IAD in W- 2 year old in the row was not happy. Yeah it may have been a bit annoying but I wasn't that upset.

    The reason - the parent tried and cared. Mom was constantly trying to sooth the child, playing, reading, movies, etc. All trying to get the kid to calm down.

    The flight from BWI to MDW with a screaming child where the parents did nothing just let him scream - that was way worse.

    I'd rather be stuck next to someone trying for 14 hours than a parent who doesn't do anything for 2.

  2. Ines Guest

    First of all congratulations!
    I started travelling with my son when he was 1 and he slept most of the time. His first flight was a 3 hours flight so no fuss.
    I asked advice to the pediatrician and she told me that travelling within Europe (I’m Portuguese) was totally fine but advised us to carry antibiotics and antipyretics such as Paracetamol. Just in case.
    A comfortable stroller where he may sleep...

    First of all congratulations!
    I started travelling with my son when he was 1 and he slept most of the time. His first flight was a 3 hours flight so no fuss.
    I asked advice to the pediatrician and she told me that travelling within Europe (I’m Portuguese) was totally fine but advised us to carry antibiotics and antipyretics such as Paracetamol. Just in case.
    A comfortable stroller where he may sleep is paramount specially on city strolls. Even when he’s 6!
    We’ve been traveling with him ever since and he’s becoming a bit of an aviation geek.
    I bet Miles will be passionate about traveling as well.

  3. Kira Guest

    My child is 18 months old and here are my thoughts:
    1. Worst time to travel I: crawling baby, because airplane/airport floor is disgusting. Worst time to travel II: 15 months to 21 months. Attention span minimal, communications skills minimal, but already in a developmental stage of 'I am a person and I have wants'.
    2. Travel from early age applies only after 3rd birthday, until then 'less is more': less contacts, less...

    My child is 18 months old and here are my thoughts:
    1. Worst time to travel I: crawling baby, because airplane/airport floor is disgusting. Worst time to travel II: 15 months to 21 months. Attention span minimal, communications skills minimal, but already in a developmental stage of 'I am a person and I have wants'.
    2. Travel from early age applies only after 3rd birthday, until then 'less is more': less contacts, less change, less everything. Developmentally kids reach a stage around their third birthday that change that and kids start needing more contacts, more sights, more stimulation.
    3. Nap times. Oh, holy nap times. An infant sleeps a lot, but the infant stage is short. Starting from 3 months the schedule settles and messing with it is a pain. Stable nap times come first.
    4. Worst thing when traveling with a baby: sick baby. All is well when baby is healthy, but being on a road when your child is ill is a next level of hell.

  4. TurningLeft Guest

    If you have Miles as a lap infant for an international flight using miles, make sure to get him ticketed before your flight. Otherwise, the operating carrier will charge you more to get him ticketed at the airport. Personal experience, Qantas using AA miles. These airlines keep passing off responsibilities for who will charge the infant.

  5. Dr. McFrugal Guest

    Hi Lucky,

    Congrats again. I think infant travel can be fun.

    I would say less than month old is too young to start traveling. Baby's immune system is still immature. And if baby has a fever, it's a big deal and the workup could be extensive. I currently have a two month old. We started taking him out and doing short-ish (less tha 2 hours) road trips when he was one month old. We...

    Hi Lucky,

    Congrats again. I think infant travel can be fun.

    I would say less than month old is too young to start traveling. Baby's immune system is still immature. And if baby has a fever, it's a big deal and the workup could be extensive. I currently have a two month old. We started taking him out and doing short-ish (less tha 2 hours) road trips when he was one month old. We will start taking him on short flights in the same time zone when he is three months old. I think after three months old, babies are more sturdy and their immune system is more developed. They are done with the "fourth trimester" newborn stage.

    I think staying roughly in the same timezone is a good idea for the first few flights. In general, babies do best with routines and staying in the same timezone helps a little. We took our four year old daughter from LAX to CDG when she was 18 months old. She probably could have done it when she was 9 months old too. I wouldn't hesitate to take my now 2 month old son internationally to Europe when he's 6 months old.

    Type of destination probably doesn't matter too much. A resort is fine since you have all the amenities and convenience right there. Traveling in Western Europe would be equally easy. I wouldn't take a baby to a destination that was a bit too adventurous tho...

    Traveling with an infant is not a recipe for a bad time. You just have to manage your expectations. If you expect to do whirlwind traveling and see a bunch of sites in an action packed itinerary, you'll likely be disappointed and that is a recipe for a bad time. Expect to see just a few things and activities a day. Don't pack an itinerary too much. Allow time for naps. AirBnbs or apartment rentals are generally more comfortable with kids. Obviously, a lot depends on the kid too. Some kids just have an "easy" temperament and some have a "hard/difficult" temperament. My daughter was "hard" and was not a good eater or sleeper. But my son so far is "easy" and is an excellent sleeper, eater, and super easy going. A lot depends on the baby/child's temperament.

    To your last question... gee... I'm not sure if there is a point ever where you feel totally comfortable finding some sort of child care. But to me, I don't feel comfortable trusting another adult stranger (not a trusted relative, nanny, caregiver, etc.) with the care of my child until the child is about 4 years old or when the child has the ability verbally express if something is not right. We usually bring our parents on trips, so they act as trusted caregivers when my wife and I go on date nights when we travel.

    Hope that helps!!!

  6. Lowbeer Guest

    We travelled with our (now) four year old when he was three months on a TATL flight and went to England, Colombia and other destinations with our older (now 7) son when he was 6-12 months. We've done it in all cabins, so can be done, and indeed as many others have said, up until they start crawling it's really easy. A few tips:

    We always had our children sleep in our bed when they...

    We travelled with our (now) four year old when he was three months on a TATL flight and went to England, Colombia and other destinations with our older (now 7) son when he was 6-12 months. We've done it in all cabins, so can be done, and indeed as many others have said, up until they start crawling it's really easy. A few tips:

    We always had our children sleep in our bed when they were young. That made sleeping on the plane real easy. I remember one YYZ - VIE flight on Lot with the 2-2-2 business class flatbeds. My wife, our older son and the younger one set up a very cozy bed side-by-side. Doors and, to be honest, most pod types of seats are less than ideal once the kids has its own seat, as you can see and interact with them directly.

    Don't even bother with a stroller when they are young. They are cumbersome and hard to push around in some places (i.e., cobblestone in Europe). Invest in a great baby carriers and especially when they are young you can take them anywhere. They are happy and feel safe and you are unencumbered. Works well for sleeping on the plane too in regular and P.Econ seats.

    Going out to dinner can be great with an infant. We used to take the detachable car seat and just put them down on the floor beside the restaurant table. Usually they just sleep and let you enjoy your dinner. So in that vein, when they are young, city vacations work well. Just strap them on with your carrier and off you go.

    Enjoy. This age is a sweet spot for travel. Does get trickier when they get older (don't like to walk, or can't sit still). I do remember when my son was 9-10 months I folded down an old air canada classic pod (herringbone) j seat and made a little play pen by sitting near the aisle. My son could play and have fun. But walking up and down the aisle with a two year old who can't sit still, especially on a packed 737 is not fun. But as many others have said, people are generally kind to kids and babies.

  7. Nat Guest

    Ideal time: Before they start CRAWLING, not walking. When they crawl, they know they can get around and don't want to just hang out in your lap. But since they're crawling, you can't put them down on just any floor.

    How early is too early: Really up to you and your family. Maybe start domestic travel early and work up? We did a 1hr flight at 10 weeks and California to Europe at 4.5mo....

    Ideal time: Before they start CRAWLING, not walking. When they crawl, they know they can get around and don't want to just hang out in your lap. But since they're crawling, you can't put them down on just any floor.

    How early is too early: Really up to you and your family. Maybe start domestic travel early and work up? We did a 1hr flight at 10 weeks and California to Europe at 4.5mo. Talk to your doctor about your travel plans and whether you can sneak in some vaccines early.

    Timezones/Jetlag: Kids are more adaptable to natural light than adults. Do what you can on the long haul flight, but when you land, try and get him on the schedule you want him on in the timezone you are in ASAP. Even if you're not schedule-type parents, you do want to sleep overnight at your destination. This means doing his feedings on local time. Sunlight is the best way to reset the body clock -- no matter what, get him outside during his wakeful periods, even if you're exhausted, and it will help reset things. If he wakes up in the middle of the night ready to party, keep the lights low, feed him a really small feeding if you can manage it to hold him over, and try and get him back to sleep. You WILL have to wake him up from his naps for a couple days, which sucks, but it will help him adjust.

    Resort/City: Really up to you. Sure, with a resort, you can get most of your food there. With a city you have to go get things. But for us it depended on whether we could get a room with a door/wall between us. We didn't want to have to tiptoe / be in the same room as him for his naps. When you're out in a city, you can strap him to your front and look at things together.

    Childcare when traveling: This is a really personal decision, go with what you want to do. We hired a babysitter when we went to Disneyland when my son was 10 weeks. We wanted to practice. Before 8ish months, Miles isn't going to care if you leave him with a stranger. Stranger danger kicks in around 8-9 months. So maybe it's a good idea to get yourselves comfortable with hiring babysitters before that if it's something that's important to you. I will say, sometimes we're so tired from traveling with a kid that we don't want to go out :)

    Add'l tips: Limit location hopping -- it's better to spend several nights or all your nights at the same place. With kids under a certain age, there's no such thing as half unpacking for a night or two nights. You have to unpack and repack all the crap they need so it's really a killer when you want to location hop. If you use a noise machine, consider instead buying a cheap bluetooth speaker and using a spare phone with a white noise app. This packs and travels much more compactly than a whole white noise machine.

    Good luck!

  8. Me Guest

    Buy a seat and use a car seat. If the plane is going to crash, babes in arms are placed on the floor so their dead body won’t kill some other passenger. BUY A SEAT.

  9. David Guest

    I have an 8 month old and she's been on 4 domestic trips this year ranging from 1.5 hrs to 4 hr flights. My advice is find a short flight to test everything out -- 2 hrs and under. We also try to time her feedings to around takeoff so her ears don't hurt. We do lap infant and it works really well, she just snoozes for most of the flight. Also, when buying international tickets with miles, aeroplan is sweet -- 5-10k extra miles to add an infant.

  10. Trey Guest

    Around 6 months is the sweet spot in my experience. They have personality but aren't mobile so you can just strap them in a carrier and go on your way. Social norms at the destination are key too - it seemed the entire country of Italy swoons over babies.

  11. Jeff Guest

    We have a 3.5-month-old and have made the following flights with her
    1-month-old - China to Canada via Doha
    2 months old - Canada to the USA and USA domestic flights
    3 months old - Canada to Europe

    General tips and findings we have made:
    - For international flights, do whatever you can to book a bassinette seat. These are in certain bulkhead rows. Having a "normal" sleeping option for our...

    We have a 3.5-month-old and have made the following flights with her
    1-month-old - China to Canada via Doha
    2 months old - Canada to the USA and USA domestic flights
    3 months old - Canada to Europe

    General tips and findings we have made:
    - For international flights, do whatever you can to book a bassinette seat. These are in certain bulkhead rows. Having a "normal" sleeping option for our daughter for long flights has been incredible. We preferred this to buying a seat for her and having her in her airline-approved car seat as it is a better sleeping position.
    - so far time of day and jet leg hasn't mattered; they sleep so much still that they adapt super easily
    - preboarding is awesome for getting overhead bin space
    - check what free baggage they get, most give a full checked plus 2 baby items (crib/stroller/car seat etc)
    - have a white noise machine for sleeping
    - depends on you but a small UV light sanitizer can be great (we have one that is 2"x2"x2"
    - we always feed during takeoff and landing (or have a pacifier in) to help with pressure changes

    Get a travel stroller, something like babyzen yoyo, Joolz Aer, Bugaboo Butterfly etc. These can fold up to carry on size and come on the plane with you. Reduces wait time for gate checked and risk of misplacement for normal checked. Also having a smaller more nimble travel stroller has been incredible in Europe.

    Our domestic flights with our daughter in our arms were okay with two of us as the flights were 2 hours in length (hour each), anything longer than that I would consider buying a seat and bringing the car seat for them.

  12. Louis Guest

    We’ve travelled all over the world with our kids. We took our daughter on her first trip when she was 6 weeks old on a 10-hr journey to Asia. Indeed the earlier you start, the best travel buddies they become. In general flight attendants are more accommodating for families with young children and go the extra step to make your journey smoother. At least, it's our experience. For young infants travelling in Economy on long-haul...

    We’ve travelled all over the world with our kids. We took our daughter on her first trip when she was 6 weeks old on a 10-hr journey to Asia. Indeed the earlier you start, the best travel buddies they become. In general flight attendants are more accommodating for families with young children and go the extra step to make your journey smoother. At least, it's our experience. For young infants travelling in Economy on long-haul flights: you need to book early for a bassinet. On certain routes, they are in high demand and you compete with other travelers who book the bulkhead for extra space. For flights more than 2 hours on your lap: it’s challenging. Consider booking a separate seat for your child (they will charge you the standard child fare). You can install your car seat on the airplane seat so the baby is secure and comfortable for the trip. Make sure it’s an ‘airplane certified’/FAA approved car seat. It’s of course more comfortable to travel in Business as you have more space. They usually also have bassinets in the Business cabin and it's relatively easy to get one. I don’t recommend booking a separate seat for a baby in Business class on a wide-body as seats tend to be quite separate from each other. It can be hard for the parent to look after the child while being attached to your own seat. Jet lag is not really a problem for babies as they sleep a couple of times per day they don’t tend to be bothered so much by change of time zone.

  13. astrid Guest

    The easier stage will be when they are just drinking milk and cannot crawl/walk/run around. Once they can, will suggest short flights to get a hang of your child temperament whether he/she fuss on flights. Every child is different in their reaction.

  14. Daniel Guest

    As a parent of 2 kids (4 yrs old and 2 month old) I can safely say every child is different. We traveled with our first one at 1 month old and it was easy. He just slept the whole way from HKG to LAX. With our second one it was also very easy. The first 12 months for us was really easy. Because it was just feeding, burping, pooping, and sleeping. When they learn...

    As a parent of 2 kids (4 yrs old and 2 month old) I can safely say every child is different. We traveled with our first one at 1 month old and it was easy. He just slept the whole way from HKG to LAX. With our second one it was also very easy. The first 12 months for us was really easy. Because it was just feeding, burping, pooping, and sleeping. When they learn how to walk that’s when things become more of a challenge… then when they begin to talk it becomes even more challenging because you’ll need to hush them lol but they just won’t stop so you’re forced to use the secret weapon of any parent (iPads and cell phones) personally we don’t allow our kids any screen time during the weekdays but it’s so difficult when you’re on a plane for over 13+ hours. but again every kid is different… see what’s best for you guys.

  15. Br Guest

    At any age, consider engaging a babysitter at the destination, even if just for a dinner out. A babysitter can really help make sure parents & child all have a great experience. Child gets rest or kid activities (which are really important to ensure kids enjoy traveling) -- while parents get a break along with a nice dinner, museum whatever they'd do sans kids -- and everyone is recharged.

    Many larger hotels and resorts...

    At any age, consider engaging a babysitter at the destination, even if just for a dinner out. A babysitter can really help make sure parents & child all have a great experience. Child gets rest or kid activities (which are really important to ensure kids enjoy traveling) -- while parents get a break along with a nice dinner, museum whatever they'd do sans kids -- and everyone is recharged.

    Many larger hotels and resorts can arrange for you via front desk/concierge. Most larger cities have trustworthy agencies as well (search terms: "expat babysitter [city]" or "English babysitter [city]" or "travel nanny [city]").

    We have seen some friends unwittingly overload their families on trips & then say "never again" to long-hauls, which is a shame. I think a lot of parents post-covid have forgotten what their children are capable of and need while traveling, and some newer parents have not had the chance to learn.

  16. ScottS New Member

    So as an parent with a 1 year old, we have traveled with our daughter short and long haul quite a bit over the last year. Here are some of the things we learned:
    1) Start early to get them used to it if it's going to be a part of their lifestyle. We took our daughter on a short 2 hour flight to Portugal when she was 3 months old. She slept the...

    So as an parent with a 1 year old, we have traveled with our daughter short and long haul quite a bit over the last year. Here are some of the things we learned:
    1) Start early to get them used to it if it's going to be a part of their lifestyle. We took our daughter on a short 2 hour flight to Portugal when she was 3 months old. She slept the whole flight, but still gets her used to the noises and surroundings. Now she's been on flights over 11 hours and she does great.
    2) If you are feeling your ears pop, your child likely is too. Have a dummy or a bottle handy for them to suckle on to help ease the ear pain. Also, on take off and landings it can be helpful with pressure changes as well.
    3) Invest in a good travel pram, one that folds up small and fits in the overhead compartment. We made the mistake of taking her day-to-day pram with us the first time to Portugal. It's just too big, bulky and heavy. On top of that, you have to gate check it and won't get it back until you get your luggage. We have a travel pram by Didofy, it's available on the UK Amazon site, or they have their own website. You get questioned by the check in counter staff sometimes if it actually fits, but it fits in most overheads. I'm not sure if it will fit in the E-175 we are flying in a few weeks, but definitely all wide bodies and larger Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
    4) Business class is definitely worth the cost. Don't listen to @Randy and not take your child in the front of the plane. We've been on flights over 11 hours with our daughter and the extra space is worth it's weight in cost. To be able to lie flat or even recline with your child and have the space to be able to comfort them if they do get fussy is great. We've gotten off flights and other people in business class have commented to us that they didn't even know there was an infant in the cabin. You paid for the space, if they get fussy, they get fussy and you do your best to comfort them. Also, access to the business class check-in, lounges, fast track security, all that reduces time spent in lines and give you more time for you to try and relax before the flight.
    5) Food, now my wife is breastfeeding, so that makes it much easier for us in that regards. Bottle feeding is the same though. Have enough formula to get you through the flights. When they start on solids, make sure you bring enough snacks and pouches to get you through the trip. We've had a couple instances where the airline didn't load a baby meal, but we've brought enough snacks and meals that it wasn't an issue.
    6) Toys, you don't need as many as you think. There are plenty of air sickness bags, emergency cards, magazines etc to keep a child occupied depending on how long the flight is. Our daughter loves to open and close the window shade. You'd be amazed at how long that will keep a child occupied. We still take a few for the hotel, but not as many now.
    7) Last but not least, enjoy it. They grow up too quickly (I can attest to that.) They might not be old enough to understand what's going on, but you and your partner will have the photos and the memories to look back on. When they get older, you can explain to them about everything.

  17. Ben W Member

    Both my kids were around 2/3 months old for their first flight. As an expat in Qatar, we would often fly back to the UK, plus elsewhere for holiday. It wasn't as hard as I thought and both spent a fair amount of time sleeping in the bassinet.
    It starts to get harder when they are around 18 months old and still on your lap. Especially in economy it becomes a little tight!

    ...

    Both my kids were around 2/3 months old for their first flight. As an expat in Qatar, we would often fly back to the UK, plus elsewhere for holiday. It wasn't as hard as I thought and both spent a fair amount of time sleeping in the bassinet.
    It starts to get harder when they are around 18 months old and still on your lap. Especially in economy it becomes a little tight!

    My son is autistic and many kids with autism really don't like flying. Luckily mine loves flying and I would like to think its because we had him flying from a young age and often.

  18. iamhere Guest

    Doesn't seem like there was a purpose to this article. Just reiterates some of the previous articles

  19. Sammybk New Member

    I know your employment situation is different, but we travelled as much as possible during the first year to take advantage of FMLA time off. From Los Angeles, within our son's first year we did Taiwan, New York, Portland, Japan, Florida and San Francisco.

    After about 18 months we decided getting an extra seat was a necessity. ANA F was completely doable with a 1 year old lap child. Also, NZ sky couch was amazing...

    I know your employment situation is different, but we travelled as much as possible during the first year to take advantage of FMLA time off. From Los Angeles, within our son's first year we did Taiwan, New York, Portland, Japan, Florida and San Francisco.

    After about 18 months we decided getting an extra seat was a necessity. ANA F was completely doable with a 1 year old lap child. Also, NZ sky couch was amazing for 1 adult and an 18 month old.

    Kids are better at adapting to time zones than adults. Just get them out in the sun.

    No reason not to travel early. Get miles used to traveling and he always will want to.

  20. jcil Guest

    If you want your family or friends to see your child and need to fly to do so, by all means go for it. For purely leisure travel though, don’t kid yourself that it will be for the benefit of your child. Until they are 4 to 5 years old they won’t remember any of it.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I’d go even further.

      At 4-5 they can appreciate many things in the moment, but if you want your children to really “remember” something you’ve got to wait until they’re even older.

      Don’t take your kid to the Taj Mahal at 6 and expect them to remember it.

    2. Dr. McFrugal Guest

      I disagree. My child remembers trips that we took her on when she was 2.

  21. AustinD Guest

    I found that about 18 months was a good age personally. We took our daughter on a direct flight from Portland to Kona (about 5 and a half hours) and she did well. She is a year older now and she still talks about the trip, so I would say at that age it is enriching for sure.

    As for the flight, it is good to prepare some. Having kids hungry at takeoff and landing...

    I found that about 18 months was a good age personally. We took our daughter on a direct flight from Portland to Kona (about 5 and a half hours) and she did well. She is a year older now and she still talks about the trip, so I would say at that age it is enriching for sure.

    As for the flight, it is good to prepare some. Having kids hungry at takeoff and landing is a good idea since their ears aren't developed yet and it helps force their ears to pop when they eat and drink. It was also good for her to I be tired, she slept for about 3 hours of the flight. When she was awake, we had some stuff prepared on a tablet for her to watch.

    All kids will be different, but there are definitely a few things you can do to help make it easier

  22. Mike Guest

    Always buy a seat for Miles. ALWAYS. Just one flight without a paid seat you will learn not to make that mistake again.

  23. skimegheath Gold

    No kids here but I was an expat for many years. Expats have been taking kids including new born babies, around the world for many years - often only 1 parent travelling. Find an expat parenting forum!

  24. Trey Guest

    In the first 3 years, the "sweet spot" for airplane travel is between 6-12 months old, when they're stronger but less fussy than a newborn and before they start walking - sorry it isn't longer. After they're about 2, I would choose an overnight flight (for longer trips - e.g. direct to Europe or Asia), if available, so they child can sleep during their normal bedtime.

  25. PJ Guest

    I've got a 20 month old, 11 Long haul and 8 Short haul down. From Easyjet to Sing 1st. Here some of our comments that we experienced.
    1. Feed on ascent and descent
    2. She always wanted to be on us even when she had a seat. Ours definitely sleeps better when she is flat so going East (We are also MIA based) we try our best to get lay flat. Coming back...

    I've got a 20 month old, 11 Long haul and 8 Short haul down. From Easyjet to Sing 1st. Here some of our comments that we experienced.
    1. Feed on ascent and descent
    2. She always wanted to be on us even when she had a seat. Ours definitely sleeps better when she is flat so going East (We are also MIA based) we try our best to get lay flat. Coming back West I reckon a premium Eco seat is as good as Business because at most they just napping.
    3. European Airlines are typically far more family friendly than than the US based airlines (AA the worst) on a policy and personal basis. (Lufthansa was our top). Having those FAs who have been around the block, typically a little older in the front means they often also have kids and have been through it themselves.
    4. Until +-9m old it was pretty easy and you just take it as it comes. From then on jet lag became a real issue for us.
    4.1 Flying east, ideally take off just after usual sleep time, then a nap on arrival. (remind the hotel persistently to have the cot ready for your arrival).
    4.2. Flying west. We just added an extra day nap and tried to shift immediately into the new time zone.
    5.1. Book a hotel with a decent restaurant and a (rooftop) pool so you can chill out and have dinner while they having a nap in your room.
    5.2 A suite means you can put them in a different room / around the corner so you can have a little light when you getting ready for bed.
    6. Traveling Baby cam solution - Buy a wyze security camera and a GL. Net travel router. It's a bulletproof combo for any hotel / Airbnb wifi setup. This allows you the obvious freedoms
    7. Finding babysitters internationally has been easier than expected and the sitters better than hoped for. From when she had a predicable first few hours of sleep we got sitters and they just sat in the lobby with her on an iPad in case there was an emergency.
    8. Use the concierge's to book the transfers for arrival. They typically get betting solutions than I initially struggled to get. Give them the child's weight so you get the right seat.
    9. Time is of the essence, fastest to get there wins.
    10. We are a no iPad family ..... Until we start traveling. Subscribe to YouTube premium so you can download the nursery rhymes etc.
    11. We travel with small rechargeable reading lights so we don't have to use the room lights.
    12. Travel with a noise machine that can take 110/240v
    13. Always use bottled water (obviously)
    13. Always have anti-bac / alcohol wipes.

    Lastly. There are no rules. Everytime you travel your kid will have changed and every kid is different. He will lick the belt buckle.

    Shout if you have questions

    Have fun

  26. Endre Guest

    In my opinion, if it is not absolutely necessary, flying or any other long(er) traveling with an infant is irresponsible and poor parenthood.

    1. reddargon Diamond

      How is this comment constructive? It doesn’t address the substantive nature of any of his questions. Totally pointless.

  27. VaCavalier Guest

    Before traveling with an infant, I would talk with your pediatrician (in south Florida the best pediatricians are affiliated with Cleveland Clinic, rated best hospital in south Florida by U.S. News and World Report, or University of Miami (as they attract doctors who teach and/or do research in the UM Miller School of Medicine in addition to clinical practice). Specifically, has the infant had all their preventive vaccines yet? And, if too young for the...

    Before traveling with an infant, I would talk with your pediatrician (in south Florida the best pediatricians are affiliated with Cleveland Clinic, rated best hospital in south Florida by U.S. News and World Report, or University of Miami (as they attract doctors who teach and/or do research in the UM Miller School of Medicine in addition to clinical practice). Specifically, has the infant had all their preventive vaccines yet? And, if too young for the Covid vaccine, should that prevent them from plane travel? All other issues besides health are secondary. Right now Miles needs both of you, so having him stay with a parent would not be prudent, even if they would provide excellent care.

    1. AustinD Guest

      I found that about 18 months was a good age personally. We took our daughter on a direct flight from Portland to Kona (about 5 and a half hours) and she did well. She is a year older now and she still talks about the trip, so I would say at that age it is enriching for sure.
      As for the flight, it is good to prepare some. Having kids hungry at takeoff and...

      I found that about 18 months was a good age personally. We took our daughter on a direct flight from Portland to Kona (about 5 and a half hours) and she did well. She is a year older now and she still talks about the trip, so I would say at that age it is enriching for sure.
      As for the flight, it is good to prepare some. Having kids hungry at takeoff and landing is a good idea since their ears aren't developed yet and it helps force their ears to pop when they eat and drink. It was also good for her to I be tired, she slept for about 3 hours of the flight. When she was awake, we had some stuff prepared on a tablet for her to watch.
      All kids will be different, but there are definitely a few things you can do to help make it easier.

  28. dfw88 Guest

    Travel early and often. My kids have been traveling since they were tiny and I think they're better for it. Don't start before they get their 6 or 8 week round of vaccines or their immune systems won't be able to handle it. We've taken kids internationally (western hemisphere) as early as 2 months and to Europe as early as 6 months. Those prewalking months are really great, especially if your son turns out to be a pretty chill baby.

  29. JH Neoh Guest

    I'd suggest not bringing Miles out so early. Given that he isn't being breastfed, his immune system could be lower than that of other kids.

    I would err on the side of caution and wait till he has gotten most of the vaccines for the most dangerous viruses out there (whooping cough, rubella etc)

  30. Chris Guest

    With a Disclaimer that I don't actually have a kid, as tempting as a free ticket for an infant in lap may be, those little balls of joy become hefty projectiles in turbulence. Opt for the seat for their safety.

    1. reddargon Diamond

      Every airline I’ve been on, other than Delta, gives you a supplemental seat belt that attaches to yours and goes around the lap baby. So for the most part this take isn't valid.

  31. Wayne Guest

    I was 6 days on my first flight from Leopoldville, Belgian Congo, where I was born, to London. I actually have a certificate for crossing the Equator on this trip. My parents said I was a perfect passenger, using the bassinet on a Pan American Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. I flew that same aircraft before it was retired in 1963.
    Since then, I have traveled over 3 million miles as an infant, child, adolescent, teenager...

    I was 6 days on my first flight from Leopoldville, Belgian Congo, where I was born, to London. I actually have a certificate for crossing the Equator on this trip. My parents said I was a perfect passenger, using the bassinet on a Pan American Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. I flew that same aircraft before it was retired in 1963.
    Since then, I have traveled over 3 million miles as an infant, child, adolescent, teenager and adult. My children have joined us on many trips with never an issue.
    Don't over stress on traveling with a child, they adjust and adapt very quickly. Fussing only makes it worse.

    1. Ryan Guest

      No US carrier offers this. Those secondary belts are not FAA approved.

  32. Andy Diamond

    As I said in the post you introduced Miles to us, I personally did not take any damage “only” starting to travel when I was 9 yo. I put “only” into quotation marks because I feel privileged starting to travel so young, thanks to my parents.

    Now as regards travelling babies and toddlers, travelling is stressful to them, their parents and the fellow passengers. Therefore, I really think starting too early offers no benefit to...

    As I said in the post you introduced Miles to us, I personally did not take any damage “only” starting to travel when I was 9 yo. I put “only” into quotation marks because I feel privileged starting to travel so young, thanks to my parents.

    Now as regards travelling babies and toddlers, travelling is stressful to them, their parents and the fellow passengers. Therefore, I really think starting too early offers no benefit to anyone, except maybe grandparents who are too frail to travel themselves. I understand that your mom is still fit to travel, but this might change at some time, hopefully not too soon. Of course, I fully understand that you want to see your families as much as possible and they want to see Miles.

    But travelling to a resort? A City? I’m sorry, but I don’t see any benefit for anyone. There are beautiful places in Florida you can visit in a short car trip and I’m certain everybody will enjoy themselves.

  33. D3kingg Guest

    When Miles is 7yrs old he should start flying first class on the transcon routes , maybe London , maybe Hawaii nothing too crazy. No ultra long haul to Asia or ME.

    They already live in Florida he’s gonna run on the beach and dig in the sand with the other kids in the mean time. That will keep him occupied. He’s not ready for flying .

    Fly main cabin in the meantime together as a family.

  34. Lolo G Guest

    Congratulations and best wishes!!

  35. SMJ Guest

    The sweet spot for having infants traveling on a plane is when they celebrate their 16th birthday. My wife and I have traveled more than 1.5 million miles, each. We far prefer dealing with drunks on the plane, rather than screaming infants. Be considerate of those with whom you are traveling. Leave the kid home.

  36. Duncan Guest

    Got yelled at for not warning you and Ford. Some countries have very strict protocols for travelling with young children, child abduction and trafficing etc. Look at the requirements for South Africa as an example, if you meet these requirements documention wise for every country you visit, then it will be hassel free. Two Dad's traveling with kids is not an everyday occurrence in some parts of the world and a few countries may surprise you.

  37. Lara Guest

    I think the obvious is first get Miles a passport and then apply for Global Entry.
    We have taken our two kids traveling from the get-go. Maybe get him through the first round of shots first before any big trips - just to be safe..
    For those against kids in first and business - don’t mind them. I have witnessed over and over more rude and disruptive behavior from adults than from young...

    I think the obvious is first get Miles a passport and then apply for Global Entry.
    We have taken our two kids traveling from the get-go. Maybe get him through the first round of shots first before any big trips - just to be safe..
    For those against kids in first and business - don’t mind them. I have witnessed over and over more rude and disruptive behavior from adults than from young kids. My kids have flown business and first with barely a peep, they were always pretty easy to calm down if they became fussy. I am sure Miles will be the same way.
    Oh - try to take enough formula wherever you go so you aren’t switching to something new during your travels.
    Take advantage of showing Miles the world! It will be a fun adventure.

  38. Duncan Guest

    The reason so many Aussie families go to Fiji is the Fijians treasure children. You have a whole nation of Aunties n Uncles. As mentioned feed them on take of and landing, dummy even but if they have the slightest head cold don't put them on a flight,

  39. Graham Guest

    Did SFO-IST-OTP with 5 month old in J class. Was absolutely terrified, but it turned out to be all for nothing. Baby was an absolute dream and slept most of the flight.

    Did SFO-PVR at 8 months for beach vacation at hyatt ziva; great value w/ hyatt award points!

    At the airport:
    - wear your baby; better to have 2 hands free
    - fresh diaper change right before boarding

    On the...

    Did SFO-IST-OTP with 5 month old in J class. Was absolutely terrified, but it turned out to be all for nothing. Baby was an absolute dream and slept most of the flight.

    Did SFO-PVR at 8 months for beach vacation at hyatt ziva; great value w/ hyatt award points!

    At the airport:
    - wear your baby; better to have 2 hands free
    - fresh diaper change right before boarding

    On the plane:
    - feed at takeoff & landing (or have them such on something)
    - try to time the flight with their usual sleep schedule
    - pre measure formula in bottle so that you don’t have to scoop mid flight (just add water)

    Gear:
    - Joolz Aer (people obsess over baby zen; but it’s not a true 1 hand fold)
    - Lotus Guava (don’t trust the crib situation at hotels)
    - nuna pipa - works in taxis without base, also accepted for use in flight when booking a separate seat

    If more than 3 hours from home time zone, adjust to local time. If less, keep on regular schedule; better to go ahead, ex. Pst to mst not pst hst.

    Bassinet didn’t really work for us; any turbulence and they make you take them out and wear in seatbelt (maybe just a euro airline thing?)

    Have them wear a bib, and clip their pacifier to it; gives you something to wipe their face, and you don’t lose the essential soothing tool.

    Nothing wrong with flying J with a baby so long as you are ready to be a parent and take care of any issues. I will say though that the experience is best enjoyed when you can kick back and relax - which, with a baby, might be a challenge.

  40. Aram Guest

    Congratulations on parenthood, it's a wild adventures full of ups-and-downs that will rival the best of your adventures (or misadventures) from your trip reports!

    Our daughter turned 3 this month, and over the past 36 months, she's flown 37 flights, travelled to six countries, as well as around the US (both by plane, train, as well as shorter road trips).

    While it's not for every parent, and there are certainly periods where you might consider...

    Congratulations on parenthood, it's a wild adventures full of ups-and-downs that will rival the best of your adventures (or misadventures) from your trip reports!

    Our daughter turned 3 this month, and over the past 36 months, she's flown 37 flights, travelled to six countries, as well as around the US (both by plane, train, as well as shorter road trips).

    While it's not for every parent, and there are certainly periods where you might consider avoiding travel, as they get older and can engage with you, it sure can be fun.

    But you do need to go into it all with your own passion for adventure, as you will be trading off rest for headaches, and you'll need to balance your own desires with the needs of your child.

    As someone once told us, until your child is around seven, there is no such thing as vacation travel anymore: it is just travel.

    From a practical side:

    • apply early for a passport and Global Entry, which I'm sure you've already done!
    • scan copies of your birth certificate and marriage license, as well as health insurance: you may be asked to show documentation to prove that you're not taking the child away from the other parent (or in the case where the last names don't match, prove you're the parents as it happened to us this summer)
    • invest in travel-friendly baby gear, which can also be the same as you're day-to-day: i.e. a Yoyo Babyzen stroller, a Stokke Baby Carrier, etc.
    • talk to your pediatrician about required shots: until they're about three months old, you're best to consider local destinations or shorter road trips than flying internationally.

    From a flight perspective:

    • the honeymoon period for plane travel is somewhere in the 3-6 months range, although this depends so much on your baby
    • once your baby starts to crawl and be active, it can get difficult and you may want to consider shorter trips until they're about 14-18 months, or do road trips where you can stop whenever your need
    • start with non-stops, and try and fly during nap times
    • unless you're traveling internationally (i.e. to Asia or Europe), avoid the late afternoon and evening flights when your child is most tired (and cranky)
    • the air pressure change during take off and landing will bother kids, but if you can nurse/provide a bottle during those times, it goes a long way
    • always travel with one or two full changes of clothes for the flight: blow outs are real
    • prior to boarding, change the babies diaper
    • as difficult as it may be on some of the smaller planes, change the diaper ahead of landing
    • after landing, change diapers in the airport before leaving
    • we found having one-parent pre board with the bags first, and then having the second board shortly before leaving, lowered stress as there is more space in the airport
    • check bags to make things easier for yourself: if you're bringing a stroller, diaper bags, car seat with you, etc. the less you can carry the better
    • we found that sometime after about 14 months, it was easier to buy a seat for our daughter and use the car seat
    • children should not be in a car seat for too long, so it will be your best judgement for how often you will want to take them and hold them – although it's much easier for them to sleep in a car seat
    • using a baby carrier on a plane can be helpful early on
    • different countries have different rules for infant seat belts: in the US, you don't buckle your child in and hold them (hence it's safer for them to be in a car seat on take off and landing). In Asia, they will give you an infant buckle that you use, although in the US this is a no-no
    • a bassinet is a good option til about 6-7 months: sometimes there are available in business class on long haul, sometimes not
    • generally we found Economy Plus/Comfort/Premium Economy to be the sweet spot, as it reduced the stress we felt, but provided just a bit of added space
    • we did fly to Asia when our daughter was 3 months old in Business Class and it was well worth it: the flight attendants were so helpful
    • as your child gets older, you'll need to plan to entertain them on the flight: this is an active role and not one that can just be given to an iPad – this can be tiring!
    • a trip to Daiso (or a similar dollar store) can provide a ton of entertainment on the plane: stickers, bandaids, post-its, clickers, etc. all can be toys early on (as long as they are child safe)
    • traveling to Europe or Asia, aim for an evening flight as you want them to feel like they are going to bed. We used a Stokke Jetkids for our trip to Europe to make it a bit more comfortable, but it's not a necessity at all
    • always, always plan for snacks and drinks: early on it's all about formula and milk, but later on a bag of cheerios, raisins, crackers, or pre-cooked pasta can save you from a melt down
    • and always be prepared for a melt down, and expect them to come at the most inopportune times. but it's how you approach and react to them that will change the outcome. so be patient, consider what options you have to distract, and even in the worst cases, try to find humor in it

    From a hotel perspective:

    • hotels will almost all have a crib or pack-and-play, but the quality can vary greatly: some will be flimsy and dusty while others will be solid and come with soaps and even toys
    • you mostly get what you pay for, with luxury hotels offering the best and family-friendly hotels (i.e. Hyatt Place) being reliable. Upscale hotels can be a mixed bag, especially if they are business orientated.
    • we've probably stayed 100-150 nights in hotels over the three years (as we visited family, did our own longer trips, etc) and never travelled with our own pack-and-play. Only twice did we run into issues with either a broken crib or no crib
    • always wipe down the surfaces of the crib with a disinfectant (making sure it's of course dry after) to lower the chances of germs
    • always look to travel-proof: i.e. don't put the crib against a power outlet, leave some space around it, etc.

    From a rental car perspective:
    • purchase an inexpensive Cosco car seat to use for travel, along with a bag to use if you want to check-it
    • you can use this same car seat on the plane (or when their younger, use a combo of a BabyZen and Nuna Pipa)

    From a general traveling with Kids perspective:
    • for the first few months, you'll be carting around every possible item in your diaper bag but can likely switch to a smaller go-bag during the day
    • as you'll be using breast-milk/forumula, don't forget to pack a bit of soap and brush to clean bottles; as they get older pack in your suitcase non-refrigerated milk so you have some to give when they ask for it/go to bed
    • it can be extremely tiring, so be forgiving on yourself (and others)
    • we found early on that you want a minimum of two or three nights in one hotel at a time, ideally longer, just to keep yourself sane

    I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of small things, but the thing to remember is, after you get past the nervousness and logistics of a few smaller trips, it becomes easier.

    You'll always be surprised by something and may feel exhausted, but in some ways, travel is easier than day-to-day at home: you have less to worry about at the hotel, folks will give you unsolicited advice (and sometimes compliments), and you'll be proud to impart your love of travel to your child.

    Please feel free to reach out privately if there's other tips or want to chat. Happy to talk more about travels any day and pay back the knowledge that we've learnt from this site ever since it started!

  41. Deby T Guest

    Always take more diapers and formula on the plane than you think you will need. And a changing pad. How is Winston liking his little brother?

  42. Gregsdc New Member

    As I mentioned in the comments when you originally introduced Miles, I'm in the "travel with your kid early and often camp." Turns them into travelers for life.

    Another great point that was raised by a reader...start the passport and subsequent Global Entry processes now! You have effectively lost your Global Entry privileges when traveling with Miles until he gets his own approval. You will not like being relegated to general population at immigration, I promise!

  43. Petri Diamond

    Start early and go everywhere, do everything! Travelling with your child and letting him to learn, the new places and languages, taste the different foods is the next best gift you can give to your child (the best is loving your spouse). I have six children who have been travelling over the Atlantic since the age of three months. The earlier you start the easier it will be. Same applies to languages, they learn so...

    Start early and go everywhere, do everything! Travelling with your child and letting him to learn, the new places and languages, taste the different foods is the next best gift you can give to your child (the best is loving your spouse). I have six children who have been travelling over the Atlantic since the age of three months. The earlier you start the easier it will be. Same applies to languages, they learn so quickly. Mine speak from four to six, each. Probably the most challenging time was for a couple of them around 18 months, at that age they have just learned to explore the world and are not happy to sit at same place for a 10 hour flight. No reason to shy away from from J/F, either. It actually will make your own journey so much more enjoyable, especially if you can swing a seat of his own for the child. Having a large personal space for him makes him more peaceful. (Some new cabin designs with doors make this option a bit of a challenge, though.) Lots of happy miles to happy Miles and his parents! ps The time differences do not seem to bother the very youngest ones.

  44. Barry Guest

    I’m going to say something pretty unpopular here, so going to start with a very big congrats to Ben and Ford. This is super exciting news.
    That being said, for many many people travelling first class is not a common occurrence. For some it’s a once in a lifetime experience (my parents are one such example). There is an age where a toddler is pretty much guaranteed to cry for a big portion of...

    I’m going to say something pretty unpopular here, so going to start with a very big congrats to Ben and Ford. This is super exciting news.
    That being said, for many many people travelling first class is not a common occurrence. For some it’s a once in a lifetime experience (my parents are one such example). There is an age where a toddler is pretty much guaranteed to cry for a big portion of a flight. No big deal on a 2-3 hour flight, kinda big deal on a 14 hour flight. The only way I can deal with this is the assumption that the parents are travelling for a very good reason - like introducing the little one to grandparents who can’t really travel.
    Question is - is flying just so that you can stay at a hotel a few thousand miles away enough of a reason to inconvenience others? I’m not sure it is.

  45. Donna Diamond

    I recall I had to wait until my second son was six weeks old in order to travel internationally back to the US from Europe. I don’t recall the “rule” whether it was the pediatrician or the airline or the Army. In any event, the baby was fine, his older brother at 19 months was difficult for us, very fussy until he finally went to sleep. It gets harder after they start walking.

    Never...

    I recall I had to wait until my second son was six weeks old in order to travel internationally back to the US from Europe. I don’t recall the “rule” whether it was the pediatrician or the airline or the Army. In any event, the baby was fine, his older brother at 19 months was difficult for us, very fussy until he finally went to sleep. It gets harder after they start walking.

    Never fly with a sick child!!! Never turn down help, especially if you’re traveling alone with the child. I’ve had help from FAs on a few occasions. And I’ve helped single parents who were having difficulties.

    I never let our boys run up and down the aisles, kick the back of seats, play loud video games or annoy others. I packed snacks and games and kept the movies going. And, I promised wonderful surprises in the terminal for good behavior.

    My boys, now young adults, speak four languages and have benefited greatly from travel, both domestic and internationally. By all means, make the most of vacations from schools and travel with Miles, you will not regret it.

    1. Donna Diamond

      And one last “no brainer,” bring lots of diapers. I recall a 12 hour weather delay in the Frankfurt airport when my oldest son was around 8 months old and we couldn’t find any place in any terminal with any diapers we could buy. When we ran out, I found a woman with a baby around my son’s age and asked if she had a diaper she could spare. She gave us three! I will...

      And one last “no brainer,” bring lots of diapers. I recall a 12 hour weather delay in the Frankfurt airport when my oldest son was around 8 months old and we couldn’t find any place in any terminal with any diapers we could buy. When we ran out, I found a woman with a baby around my son’s age and asked if she had a diaper she could spare. She gave us three! I will never forget that wonderful gesture. After that, I packed volumes in the event of delays and always wanted to return the favor to other parents in need. And I did, more than once. I can’t wait to hear about your Adventures with Miles! Again, congratulations and best wishes to you both!

  46. Mick Guest

    My tips.

    Travel with a kid up to 6-7-8 months old is great. Ie pre crawling. Same time zones ideal but they nap so much and are in the stroller a lot so no biggie.

    Aeroplan is/was the cheapest to add infants as they didn’t do the 10% of the full fare.

    After 1 I would always travel with a car seat strapped in to the seat. Kids so much happier when...

    My tips.

    Travel with a kid up to 6-7-8 months old is great. Ie pre crawling. Same time zones ideal but they nap so much and are in the stroller a lot so no biggie.

    Aeroplan is/was the cheapest to add infants as they didn’t do the 10% of the full fare.

    After 1 I would always travel with a car seat strapped in to the seat. Kids so much happier when they are strapped in. Don’t fly domestic first because you think it’s easier. Economy plus with the car seat way easier.

    On descent you must have the bottle and as they get older lollipops etc. so many kids scream on descent and I wish the parents knew to give them something to suck on.

    If your kid screams so be it. It’s life. You quickly stop worrying about other passengers.

    Beach holidays rule up to 6 years old. Find all inclusive in Mexico that have a young kids club :)

    Closets in hotels are an extra bedroom

    1. Kimchi Guest

      I second the recommendation to travel with a car seat. I have a 3 year old and he’s so much more comfortable in a car seat and can look out the window as well. I have the piece of mind knowing he’s strapped in securely. I have a Cosco brand one that is FAA certified and really light weight.

      Also, traveling to the Four Seasons is great. I went to the FS Lanai twice...

      I second the recommendation to travel with a car seat. I have a 3 year old and he’s so much more comfortable in a car seat and can look out the window as well. I have the piece of mind knowing he’s strapped in securely. I have a Cosco brand one that is FAA certified and really light weight.

      Also, traveling to the Four Seasons is great. I went to the FS Lanai twice with my son when he was a baby and didn’t have to worry about anything including the diaper genie. They even provided some toys in the room for him to play with.

      Lastly: get your son’s passport and global entry! And have fun getting those photos. I had to hold my son up while not getting in the pic at the CPB office.

    2. Concerned Person Guest

      "If your kid screams so be it. It’s life. You quickly stop worrying about other passengers."

      This seems to be the attitude of every parent with an infant or toddler on a flight. When your infant screams or your toddler kicks the seat in front of them or throws a tantrum, you don't care how it affects anyone else. Thanks for being honest, at least.

    3. Mick Guest

      Ha sorry that came out wrong. You are right. That’s not the right attitude ie “screw everyone else”. More that most parents are trying their absolute best to stop tantrums, bad behavior etc but sometimes kids go past the brink, especially on long haul flights and there’s really nothing you can do.

      The amount of people who turn and stare as your 2 year old is crying is pretty astonishing. Or people who recline...

      Ha sorry that came out wrong. You are right. That’s not the right attitude ie “screw everyone else”. More that most parents are trying their absolute best to stop tantrums, bad behavior etc but sometimes kids go past the brink, especially on long haul flights and there’s really nothing you can do.

      The amount of people who turn and stare as your 2 year old is crying is pretty astonishing. Or people who recline fully on you when you are holding a child on a short day time flight…. Who then proceed to sit cross legged on their seat and read their Harvard business textbook :)

  47. dander Guest

    Traveling with infants is usually easy. On trans ocean flights there are lots of grandmothers that know how to calm babies. To many holding a baby is a treat, One request Don't take the tyke on first class. The people up there are spending bank up there some its a bucket list thing so please don't ruin it for them with a fusst baby. Be considerate of others around you.

  48. John Guest

    First, many congratulations to you and Ford. Having a little one is awesome.

    As for traveling with a little one, we found that the 3 or 4 month age was actually perfect to start traveling. Even long haul. At that age they stay where you put them, which is nice. We were lucky enough to have empty seats in business on long hauls at the 3-4 month range for both kids so were able...

    First, many congratulations to you and Ford. Having a little one is awesome.

    As for traveling with a little one, we found that the 3 or 4 month age was actually perfect to start traveling. Even long haul. At that age they stay where you put them, which is nice. We were lucky enough to have empty seats in business on long hauls at the 3-4 month range for both kids so were able to turn the seat into a bed and they slept great.

    At 3.5 years old my son has been to France, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Turkey, Vienna, and Mexico (twice, and I'm writing this from the MEX-CLT flight home from the latest trip). He's a great traveler. Always up front and always gets compliments from flight attendants and other passengers about how great a traveler he is. So don't let anyone discourage you from hitting the road hard. But you'll also get tons of advice about raising a kid. People have successfully raised kids for a long time and just seem to figure it out. It's an adventure. Give yourself an extra hour to get through the airport and try to relax.

    On an unrelated note, we have a boatload of baby stuff in our basement. If you want a box of stuff just let me know.

  49. Ryan Guest

    We took my daughter to Tokyo when she was 2 months old (in 2019 pre-pandemic). We also just went to Florida with my 2nd daughter who is 2 months old and will go to Mayakoba next month when she is 3 months old.

    It's definitely true that the easiest time to take them on flights is in their first few months of life, because they just sleep or nurse. Still, my 3 year old has...

    We took my daughter to Tokyo when she was 2 months old (in 2019 pre-pandemic). We also just went to Florida with my 2nd daughter who is 2 months old and will go to Mayakoba next month when she is 3 months old.

    It's definitely true that the easiest time to take them on flights is in their first few months of life, because they just sleep or nurse. Still, my 3 year old has been to Japan, Spain, Guatemala, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, and Mexico like 8 times and that's even having been born only a year before Covid. Now she's a great traveler. She walked all of DFW with us while the baby was in the stroller, and she loves a good Admirals Club or PP lounge. ;)

    My advice is just do it. Do what you want to do and don't let having a child ruin things for you. Find ways to make it work. We took my first daughter to San Sebastian when she was 10 months old and she sat through an entire meal at the 3 michelin starred Arzak. She never cried, but in the event that she did (and she has at other fine restaurants to be sure), we just take her out of the restaurant immediately so she doesn't bother other diners.

    Point is, just go for it and you'll figure out what works, how to make it work if it isn't working, or what doesn't work.

    1. Ryan Guest

      Also, our daughter gets as much iPad as she wants when we're on flights...it works wonders. ;)

    2. John Guest

      Great advice. Just go for it.

  50. TJN Guest

    We have two children, ages 6 and 3, and have been traveling with them since ages 5 and 4 months old, respectively. Here are my tips:

    1. Every kid is different! Every trip is different! Be flexible and build in extra time to do everything. Start to think in terms of: what’s easiest with kids? Because there will still be challenges, but you can alleviate stress by thinking things through.

    2. I say fly...

    We have two children, ages 6 and 3, and have been traveling with them since ages 5 and 4 months old, respectively. Here are my tips:

    1. Every kid is different! Every trip is different! Be flexible and build in extra time to do everything. Start to think in terms of: what’s easiest with kids? Because there will still be challenges, but you can alleviate stress by thinking things through.

    2. I say fly your kid for free whenever you can, but that’s just me. My oldest flew as a lap child until about 18 months. He was squirmy etc but since it was just the three of us, we could handle him on shorter flights between my husband and I. I got him a seat when he was about 22 months because it was a longer flight, and he was just too difficult. However, my second flew as a lap child up until 2 days before her 2nd birthday and although a little squirmy, we could handle her fine. Different kids, different temperaments. Just gage your own kid and adjust as needed.

    3. Front baby carriers are your best friend. If you wait to travel until about 3-4 months, you can use them since they can hold their heads up on their own. Wear them in the airport through security. Don’t use the stroller for them there because you have to take them out.

    4. Check everything you can but always have extra everything for the plane. Don’t be caught without diapers, wipes, food or change of clothes (and clean shirt for you) if you have delays, blowouts, kid pukes, etc. because airports and airlines do not have that stuff available, and it is VERY stressful not having what your baby NEEDS! I’ve also gate checked strollers when I needed it to carry bags etc if I was not traveling with my husband.

    5. I think the golden age for travel is 3-7 months old (depending on the kid) because once they are older, they don’t want to be held for long, etc and it’s more difficult. Adjust your travel at that point and keep adjusting as your kid grows. We do a lot of different things, but at this age, we go to beach resorts a lot because we can sort of relax as parents and the kids love them. The days of going to 3 museums and broadway shows and taking 6 trains a day go go go are gone gone gone at least for awhile. But maybe your kid will be interested and always be well behaved and won’t try to break every priceless heirloom they see or have epic meltdowns because they are tired or don’t like whatever’s happening like ours do lol

    6. The USA imho is pretty child friendly when it comes to travel. Things like changing stations in bathrooms, etc. in Europe was terrible! We made do, but I can count on one hand the number of places that had a designated place. Not even the airports had them, at least where we went, and we were there for a month. Also consider ground transportation options because it’s no longer a simple thing to just grab an Uber to go somewhere when you need a car seat, etc!

    Have fun! Kids are a wild ride :)

  51. Randy Gold

    As a courtesy to those in Premium international cabins - don't travel with a baby or young child. Nothing more annoying than being on a 15 hour flight in International F or even business with a crying baby in the cabin. Parents with 1 young child do better to sit in a section of 3 seats in the back of the aircraft.

    Once on a QF 380 - a passenger in the first row of...

    As a courtesy to those in Premium international cabins - don't travel with a baby or young child. Nothing more annoying than being on a 15 hour flight in International F or even business with a crying baby in the cabin. Parents with 1 young child do better to sit in a section of 3 seats in the back of the aircraft.

    Once on a QF 380 - a passenger in the first row of business had a baby crying all the time. (the first three rows in the mini cabin are considered Emerald row). The passenger made a bed in the lounge sofa of the Qanta A380 upper deck - but the flight attendant would not allow it. So passenger spend a good bit of the flight carrying the baby around the aircraft in the back of the plane.

    1. Randy Gold

      The passenger had only bought one seat - so there was someone next to him. I don't think Qantas has a bassinet there - but if they did - that would not work with a stranger in the seat next to you.

    2. Ryan Guest

      To Lucky - f*ck this guy's opinion. Take your children on rides premium cabins. Let the a**holes be a**holes while you enjoy your life.

    3. TJN Guest

      I say if you can figure out the insane world of international lap child award tickets and fly in premium class, do it because it won’t last long when you have a couple kids and you try finding award space for 3+ people with decent flight schedules that don’t also cost you hundreds of thousands (or millions?) of points for one trip! We flew first class 3x with a lap child, and it was awesome...

      I say if you can figure out the insane world of international lap child award tickets and fly in premium class, do it because it won’t last long when you have a couple kids and you try finding award space for 3+ people with decent flight schedules that don’t also cost you hundreds of thousands (or millions?) of points for one trip! We flew first class 3x with a lap child, and it was awesome having that much space and amenities as we traveled! Now we’re in economy all the time because I prefer to travel more than once every other year, which is what we would do if we flew first class as a family.

    4. John Guest

      I have found that the vast majority of travelers, even up front, have a "those are the sounds of life" attitude. That was actually what a business traveler once told us when our baby started crying. The crying lasted a few minutes. All was fine. Most people were a baby at one point - it's just part of life, and 99% of the travelers out there smile a ton when they see you with a...

      I have found that the vast majority of travelers, even up front, have a "those are the sounds of life" attitude. That was actually what a business traveler once told us when our baby started crying. The crying lasted a few minutes. All was fine. Most people were a baby at one point - it's just part of life, and 99% of the travelers out there smile a ton when they see you with a baby, even up front.

      Note to Ben - always take crackers or pretzels with you once teething starts.

    5. Chris Guest

      Curious why a crying baby in economy is better?

    6. reddargon Diamond

      This is obviously a ridiculous take. As pointed out by Chris a crying baby in economy is no better. As an expat living in Europe we’ve taken our under 2 year old home twice in business class. Both times it was great because she was able to sleep virtually the whole flight both directions. Obviously YMMV but if you can fly business class, do it.

  52. Never In Doubt Guest

    Travel like a madman while you can.

    The pre-walking/post-walking transition ends up being relatively minor.

    Once he’s going to school (4? 5?) your travel life will change for the next 13-14 years, as you’ll only be able to easily travel during school holidays. Get while the getting is good.

  53. Till Guest

    First and foremost: Huge congratulations!

    Just quickly: Most comments here focus on *flights* which I find odd because flights usually only make up the minor share of your time on a trip (maybe except if you’re a travel blogger ;) ). You will always be fine after a flight with an infant / baby / child of whatever age. Sometimes more, sometimes less. From our experience this depends much more on the departure time...

    First and foremost: Huge congratulations!

    Just quickly: Most comments here focus on *flights* which I find odd because flights usually only make up the minor share of your time on a trip (maybe except if you’re a travel blogger ;) ). You will always be fine after a flight with an infant / baby / child of whatever age. Sometimes more, sometimes less. From our experience this depends much more on the departure time and direction of travel (east/west) than e.g. the travel class, seat availability, car seats etc. etc. .
    I personally find “hotel hacks” and experience much more interesting to share.
    (I had already started writing a much more lengthy comment with my learnings from traveling with two kids to all continents but it started going off rails so will rather send Lucky an email privately. Or start a blog myself ;) )

  54. A M Guest

    Ben -

    I started traveling with my kids since they were 3-4 months old. Always start with short flights and then adjust. Each kid is different so what works for other children might not work for Miles.

    1- get him a passport and immediately apply for a Global Entry.

    2- bring a carry on stroller. They will make navigating the airport much easier.

    3- once he gets a bit older, bring whatever will keep...

    Ben -

    I started traveling with my kids since they were 3-4 months old. Always start with short flights and then adjust. Each kid is different so what works for other children might not work for Miles.

    1- get him a passport and immediately apply for a Global Entry.

    2- bring a carry on stroller. They will make navigating the airport much easier.

    3- once he gets a bit older, bring whatever will keep him occupied on board (e.g. toys, coloring books, ipads)

    4- for the next two years, he WILL cry because of ear pressure during landing. Bring something to comfort him. Be prepared mentally :)

    5- for 7+ hour flights, a red eye is always better than a morning flight.

    6- I would opt for stroller-friendly destinations or resorts. Living in the middle east, our first destination with kids was always Dubai and Maldives.

    7- you need to be flexible with schedule and always give yourself extra time. If you think you need typically 5 days to see a city, you may now need 7 - 8 days. Always give time for breaks, diaper changes, etc..

    8- Most important - saying this with tears in my eyes - time flies! Enjoy and cherish every moment. Do take him and travel the world. They will be grown up and get on with their life in no time. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, worth more than those precious moments and the joy they bring to your life.

  55. gus Guest

    Congrats on the great news!
    it's fairly easy to travel with lap infants actually-- for long international flights, many airlines have bassinet seats in business class, which helps a lot when baby is less than 6 months old. I used LH and Swiss business class when my daughter was a lap infant.
    Few babies sleep properly through the night before 1 year of age (sorry, it'll be rough), so jetlag doesn't necessarily matter...

    Congrats on the great news!
    it's fairly easy to travel with lap infants actually-- for long international flights, many airlines have bassinet seats in business class, which helps a lot when baby is less than 6 months old. I used LH and Swiss business class when my daughter was a lap infant.
    Few babies sleep properly through the night before 1 year of age (sorry, it'll be rough), so jetlag doesn't necessarily matter all that much.
    Enjoy the free or cheap lap infant travel. Some infants are terrible travelers, some are great -- fingers crossed your son is easy to travel with and doesn't throw tantrums.
    Things get very expensive once they turn 2. Until then, you can definitely travel business or first class -- it's definitely worth it with a lap infant! While the baby won't appreciate first class, and you should probably cut out the champagne while caring for him, you'll be glad to have space and comfort, and help from the crew, and bigger bathrooms...
    Once they turn 2 and need their own seat, they're not able to actually sit still in a large seat of their own -- so then it needs to be premium economy at most, or economy. So your days of flying business are counted -- do it while you can. Before long you'll be booking 3 economy seats on every flight and reminiscing about the good old days of your Singapore Suites flights.

    1. Till Guest

      Interestingly the rules on when airlines allow basinets vary drastically. Some are by age, others by weight. Cathay Pacific was one of the most ‘generous’ from our experience. Our 15 month old daughter was even allowed in the basinet and that worked great for her (and us ;) ) !

      And our “can not sit still in a large seat” experience is different. Both kids: (almost) no problems at various ages.

    1. Petri Diamond

      "...leave it at home", says it all. Instead: Go with him everywhere, enjoy your life!

  56. Nicole Guest

    Our son is now 16 months and our 1st strip was at 4 month old to Amsterdam and Belgium. We chose a city trip as he likes to be pushed around in strollers and was fussy when moving. We flew United Polaris from EWR and we couldn't get a bassinet going as the flight attendant wouldn't ask the gentleman in 1A who had global services if he would mind switching seats. The flight back the flight...

    Our son is now 16 months and our 1st strip was at 4 month old to Amsterdam and Belgium. We chose a city trip as he likes to be pushed around in strollers and was fussy when moving. We flew United Polaris from EWR and we couldn't get a bassinet going as the flight attendant wouldn't ask the gentleman in 1A who had global services if he would mind switching seats. The flight back the flight attendant did ask and our son slept about 2 hours in the bassinet.

    We've been taking car trips as they are definitely easier. Our next trip is in October to Europe and as much anxiety I had about our first flight this is much worse and he is walking and does get vocal if he is not happy. Looking back traveling at 4 months was pretty easy due to the lack of mobility and amount of daytime sleep at that age.

    I am looking forward to your reviews as I assume some will lean toward family travel. Congratulations on your son Miles and I look forward to being on this journey with you!

    1. Jordan Gold

      I'm sorry, so its the responsibility of the person in 1A to give up THEIR seat to accommodate your lack of planning?. There are bassinets in PE and Y.

    2. Br Guest

      Drop your entitlement - you chose to have the kid, not them an in 1A.

  57. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Good comments here but I will add that, the simpler and more flexible you make life at home, the easier it will be to travel. Travel takes away routines so build enough of the "unexpected" into the routine that your child can deal w/ the "unroutine" that is life away from home. If you are rigid (I don't know you and am not suggesting it), your child will struggle to adapt on the road.
    ...

    Good comments here but I will add that, the simpler and more flexible you make life at home, the easier it will be to travel. Travel takes away routines so build enough of the "unexpected" into the routine that your child can deal w/ the "unroutine" that is life away from home. If you are rigid (I don't know you and am not suggesting it), your child will struggle to adapt on the road.
    Take care of the basics and make sure you have enough of them but learn to travel light. Traveling w/ a child becomes difficult when they and you think you can't make do with simpler solutions.
    Start early and do it often. We started at 6 weeks and our family loves to travel - separately and together. Build independence and cultural awareness.
    I would not and have not used overseas babysitters other than with friends I have known for many years. but then I do the same in the US.
    by all means, build great family memories. Even 3 and 4 year olds can remember aspects of travel if you make them distinctive and memorable.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      one more... encourage your child to learn languages, esp. beyond those that you know. Being multi-lingual will open enormous doors for your child and you.

  58. SENflyer Guest

    We started at 3 month with trips within Europe and took our baby car seat for her up to 1 year (maxi cosi - have one which airlines allow and have the type list from the airline printed at hand as many crew is not aware to avoid discussion). As we opted for Business Class with usually a blocked middle/side seat in Europe we paid only the 10% and we always got a seat for...

    We started at 3 month with trips within Europe and took our baby car seat for her up to 1 year (maxi cosi - have one which airlines allow and have the type list from the airline printed at hand as many crew is not aware to avoid discussion). As we opted for Business Class with usually a blocked middle/side seat in Europe we paid only the 10% and we always got a seat for here (thanks to the blocked seat). Long haul we started at 10 month and then to New Zealand and a 1 day stop-over in Business with Mileage Tickets where the Infant was at a handful of € for taxes only. Here we had here on the lap for start and landing, respectively in the baby bassinet or on an own seat (if one was free by accident) - so I agree a lap child is troublesome in Economy, business works quite well as she sat on a longer latch on the armchair, side tables or was robbing on the ground between our feet.

    Always have enough essentials with you and something to avoid ear pressure during landing, feeding her/milk bottle, etc. - chewing gum only works when they are 4+, since then always in use.

    On weekend/city trips we usually avoided carrying a stroller, carrying her in a Manduka was much more handy with one or two carry-ons on top of that. The car seat strapped to the one and you were perfectly equipped with technically always one hand free. You would like to avoid waiting at airports longer than required, you need to be flexible in the city and you will start notice that a lot of cities are not made for a stroller, respectively you will see the world through the eyes of persons who can’t manage stairs.

    1. Dogtor Guest

      I second the feeding during descent. Sometimes ascent also. Until they can clear their ears themselves, eating/drinking can save you from being the one with the screaming child.

  59. Eric C Guest

    Having done both, I would buy them their own seat no matter their age and put them in their car seat (make sure it is approved for airplanes) for two reasons: (1) If you hit unexpected turbulence, it is hard do hold onto a child-I saw many stories online about this and they can airborne themselves - not in a good way and (2) It is much better for both of you - you are...

    Having done both, I would buy them their own seat no matter their age and put them in their car seat (make sure it is approved for airplanes) for two reasons: (1) If you hit unexpected turbulence, it is hard do hold onto a child-I saw many stories online about this and they can airborne themselves - not in a good way and (2) It is much better for both of you - you are not struggling to hold a baby in your lap while doing everything else and they are happier. After one initial trip with our daughter as a lap infant, we quickly bought her her own seat and did not look back. At least from what I have seen, most screaming babies are lap infants (though I have seen car seat babies be fussy too).

    1. Paul Guest

      Kids are a lot easier to travel with when first born than you think. We live in the UK and had our kid in Arizona through surrogacy and flew back when he was 3 weeks old. Totally fine.

      They won't have a schedule until 2-3 months anyways, so no worries on jet lag.

      We've wimped out since and only done 2-3 hour flights since and he seems fine with it. Time the flight...

      Kids are a lot easier to travel with when first born than you think. We live in the UK and had our kid in Arizona through surrogacy and flew back when he was 3 weeks old. Totally fine.

      They won't have a schedule until 2-3 months anyways, so no worries on jet lag.

      We've wimped out since and only done 2-3 hour flights since and he seems fine with it. Time the flight with his lunch nap, try to schedule a feed as the plane takes off and then have him sleep. Also have milk for the way down as the chewing / sucking motion helps their ears adjust to altitude.

      The nightmare age is 8/9 months - 2/2.5 years old when they start to move but can't yet effectively be bribed with an iPad.

      If you are doing formula, try to get your child used to cold formula (this will save you a lifetime of hassle) and don't cheap out and buy the premixed liquid kind. This is a great investment for travel.

      Every trip is a gamble and an adventure and might go off course at any time, but then again so is parenting. After you've taken reasonable efforts to placate your child, stop thinking about the feelings of your fellow passengers. They are largely adults and will probably be understanding, and if they aren't they should know better.

      Good luck.

      Ps. Might I add how appropriate your son's name is for a frequent flier blog. Well played!

  60. Dany Guest

    Actually I could say you just one or two things. If you enjoy the flight and are calm he will enjoy it with you. When you get nervous he will bi also. I went on plane as soon as they got 1 month and the initial flight was always a short one after that keep practice.
    Second think about which airline and aircraft. Special baby’s realize the better air in newer planes. I actually...

    Actually I could say you just one or two things. If you enjoy the flight and are calm he will enjoy it with you. When you get nervous he will bi also. I went on plane as soon as they got 1 month and the initial flight was always a short one after that keep practice.
    Second think about which airline and aircraft. Special baby’s realize the better air in newer planes. I actually often took the car seat into the plane so they know the seat and are in a place they know.

    That’s it. As he grow all of you enjoying it more and more.

  61. vuffir New Member

    I didn’t start traveling with my little one until 4 months, we felt more comfortable after some initial vaccine shots. From 4 months until 2 my daughter was traveling every 6 weeks around the US mainland. Most of the trips were to cities for work, and while she may not remember we sure do! In cities we found all the usual things we liked such as parks, food we wanted, etc. We did have her...

    I didn’t start traveling with my little one until 4 months, we felt more comfortable after some initial vaccine shots. From 4 months until 2 my daughter was traveling every 6 weeks around the US mainland. Most of the trips were to cities for work, and while she may not remember we sure do! In cities we found all the usual things we liked such as parks, food we wanted, etc. We did have her a lap buddy until 20 months at which point it was too challenging. We relied quite a bit on a baby carrier, which worked out well. I agree the more we traveled the more everyone was comfortable. We did not have any more meltdowns traveling compared to home so that’s a success. We didn’t travel internationally until two and a half, and honestly she survived better than mom and dad as she was so used to traveling by then. Enjoy the travels!!

  62. Cy Guest

    Travelled with our now 8 year old from when he was 3 weeks old. First int’l trip at 6 mo (Spain), Thailand at 9 mo, Romania/Bulgaria at 1.5 yo, China at 2 yo. I could keep going. Covid slowed us down for a year but we have two kids now and travel a ton. The 8 year old has been to over 30 countries now. The bottom line is just go. Live your life, adapt...

    Travelled with our now 8 year old from when he was 3 weeks old. First int’l trip at 6 mo (Spain), Thailand at 9 mo, Romania/Bulgaria at 1.5 yo, China at 2 yo. I could keep going. Covid slowed us down for a year but we have two kids now and travel a ton. The 8 year old has been to over 30 countries now. The bottom line is just go. Live your life, adapt with the kid. They do fine and they’ll learn to love traveling and you’ll enjoy doing it with them. We go a bit slower then we did when it was just us, but we love it and wouldn’t do it any other way.

  63. fatherof1k Guest

    Check with your pediatrician who may tell you to wait to fly until you have Miles vaccinated with some basic protections (if you’re into that kind of thing). Also why lap child when you can get your son started on lifetime status by buying him a seat (for his car seat) and transporting him in a safer method than having him on your lap?

  64. Kyle Guest

    Agreed with Kim, after they get big enough (~6 mo), buying a seat and using a car seat is the way to go and give you the best chance for a nap. That said, we've had good experiences with an under two year old when we can get a 2-seat first class or extra legroom row, or by flying Southwest when the odds are high you can get a 3 person row to yourself. 2/3...

    Agreed with Kim, after they get big enough (~6 mo), buying a seat and using a car seat is the way to go and give you the best chance for a nap. That said, we've had good experiences with an under two year old when we can get a 2-seat first class or extra legroom row, or by flying Southwest when the odds are high you can get a 3 person row to yourself. 2/3 seats in regular economy is miserable.

    Carry on as little as possible (just what you need), and check or buy what you need when you arrive.

  65. NycAlex Member

    It depends on the child. I flew across the country and did a month long road trip with a 3mo (4mo by the end). The plane ride was the easy part. Getting him to sleep more than an hour straight in random hotels/B&Bs was the hard part. My wife hated it because she was just exhausted the whole time.

  66. Ryan Guest

    Thanks for this post! Going through the same thought process, just a few months behind you in timeline.

    An addendum to this that I’d be really curious about is best practices for securing infant’s passport. Have gotten some advice from friends, but a little nervous about it as we’re planning intl travel about six months after birth.

    1. Till Guest

      Out of curiosity: What’s the issue with getting the passport? I assume you’re in the US?
      In Germany you can get a biometric passport in 3-4 working days [1]. Hence I am wondering if I really understand correctly that in the US 6 months could not be enough time?

      [1] https://www.hamburg.com/publicservice/info/11936539/n0/

    2. Never In Doubt Guest

      Get the passport now.

      My son’s first passport photo shows my fingers holding his head up since he was too young to do it himself!

    3. Jimmy K New Member

      That's funny. Perhaps a handy tip: we took the photo for our daughter's passport with her lying down on the floor (light coloured carpet) to avoid that.

  67. Pam Guest

    Lap babies only realistic work until about 6 months. Once they get wiggly, you definitely need to buy the extra seat. I have done both, and just the thought of trying to hold an 18 month old on a plane for more than 30 minutes is enough to bring me to tears.

    1. Coolbeans202 New Member

      Yes, this! We did the lap infant once with my son (at around 1 year-old, he's 21 months now) from DCA-MCO and it was awful. He would not stop squirming and just hated being held for that long. We vowed never again and always just get him is own seat. Plus it give the added benefit of you getting the whole row to yourself (assuming two parents).

    2. Will Guest

      This. I've flown with my 2 year old son on several 4-6 hour segments since he was 4 months old. If you're lucky, he'll sleep on you for part of the flight. After 6 months, get him his own seat and buy something to keep him restrained and entertained. You'll have a much easier time.

    3. Phillip Gold

      And this is where European Business Class’ blocked middle seats come into their own!

  68. AJ Member

    1) Kids are resilient. Just travel like normal but make room (e.g. time extensions) for things to go wrong bc THEY WILL!

    2) Southwest companion pass

    3) be patient. It’s not going to be like the “good ol’ days.” It’ll be better (but def at a slower speed)!

    4) Take as many pictures as possible! Time flies, you won’t regret the decision to have 1 mil photos.

    1. AJ Guest

      I forgot to add this…(similar to most things in life) the earlier you start traveling with them, the easier it will be later on. When Miles is 2-3 yrs old, they’ll see it as “normal.” My daughter (now 4) always asks “do we get to eat breakfast for free (aka go to a lounge) or are we in a rush?” Lol

    2. father of two Guest

      I could not agree more! Their own seat, and car seat only, even when they are very small. For safety and comfort. Be prepared for discussions with the crew. Many of them don't know their companies policy regarding car seats and they can be very different. Some insist you take infants out of the car seat for take off and landing, which makes no sense at all, or have ridiculous constraints regarding the seatbelts of...

      I could not agree more! Their own seat, and car seat only, even when they are very small. For safety and comfort. Be prepared for discussions with the crew. Many of them don't know their companies policy regarding car seats and they can be very different. Some insist you take infants out of the car seat for take off and landing, which makes no sense at all, or have ridiculous constraints regarding the seatbelts of the carseat itself. We made good experiences with Lufthansa, they also publish a list of accepted models. Easyjet was the worst (just in terms of policy, it is so unclear and not logical, we even had to have the captain come and confirm our seat once because the crew would not accept it).

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mike Guest

Always buy a seat for Miles. ALWAYS. Just one flight without a paid seat you will learn not to make that mistake again.

2
Trey Guest

In the first 3 years, the "sweet spot" for airplane travel is between 6-12 months old, when they're stronger but less fussy than a newborn and before they start walking - sorry it isn't longer. After they're about 2, I would choose an overnight flight (for longer trips - e.g. direct to Europe or Asia), if available, so they child can sleep during their normal bedtime.

2
Barry Guest

I’m going to say something pretty unpopular here, so going to start with a very big congrats to Ben and Ford. This is super exciting news. That being said, for many many people travelling first class is not a common occurrence. For some it’s a once in a lifetime experience (my parents are one such example). There is an age where a toddler is pretty much guaranteed to cry for a big portion of a flight. No big deal on a 2-3 hour flight, kinda big deal on a 14 hour flight. The only way I can deal with this is the assumption that the parents are travelling for a very good reason - like introducing the little one to grandparents who can’t really travel. Question is - is flying just so that you can stay at a hotel a few thousand miles away enough of a reason to inconvenience others? I’m not sure it is.

2
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published