Everything you need to know if you’re traveling with a baby

Traveling with baby

If you’re traveling with a baby to New York City, you’re probably thinking about how to make your trip smooth and stress free!

How to pack your luggage if you’re traveling with a baby?

Of course, you have to consider what your baby might need during the flight and this includes:
Baby bottles already filled with water
Baby food in jars or pouches (can be heated up by a flight intendant)
Diapers along with cottons and baby wipes
Medicines (with prescriptions included)
A pajama for the night or a comfortable outfit if you’re traveling during the day. Keep in mind that it’s usually cold on airplanes since they tend to blast the A/C very high so choose warm outfits preferably with a hood that covers the head.
– A change of clothing for the following day or if any accident happens.

You’ll see that immigration officers are really nice and understanding when you travel with a baby. They allow you to bring a big bottle of water (not just 100ml), 3 to 4 baby bottles filled with water, baby formula and medicines. They will let you carry all these items without any problems after verification with a special machine for liquids but this only takes a few minutes.

Traveling with baby

What carry on luggage do you need for a baby?

If you’re traveling with a baby, you are allowed to carry one hand luggage weighting less than 12 kg and measuring 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm.

For checked baggage, most airlines allow:
– A maximum of 15 kg for transatlantic flights- A stroller and/or folding bed

The airplane crib

When you travel with a baby on an airplane, I strongly suggest that you call the airline company to check if they have a crib available and to make sure that you can book the appropriate seats to install the crib.
This type of cribs can only be installed on a wall. Since it can’t be fixed to a seat, you best bet is to get a front row seat by the dividing wall.
The crib is adapted for babies less than 10 kg and measuring less than 70 cm just as you can see on the picture below:

Traveling with baby

Can you take a stroller on an airplane?

Some airlines companies accept strollers as a carry-on others don’t.
And most of the time, it’s up to the crew to decide whether there’s enough room. In addition, they can even refuse your stroller it’s not the required measurements 🙁

As a matter of fact, here are the required measurements:

– For a small stroller, the requirements are 15 cm x 30 cm x 100 cm
– For a folding stroller, the requirements are 55 cm x 35 cm x 100 cm. In theory, it will replace a carry on luggage for the baby and has to be wrapped up entirely in a protective cover. I say in theory because the last time a friend of mine traveled with her daughter to Reunion Island and New York with Air France, we managed to keep our folding stroller and our carry on luggage without any issues.

The following strollers are usually accepted by most airlines companies and notably by Air France:
– The Babyzen Yoyo Zero+ stroller
– The Babyzen Yoyo 6+ stroller

yoyo-babyzen-avion1

The size requirements are the most important otherwise it will go straight to checked baggage 🙁

Reminder:
If you have a large stroller, a baby carriage, an infant car seat or other, then it’s usually possible to use it until you’ve reached the plane entrance. I say usually since most cabin crew don’t allow that. It’s really up to them…
It’s true to say that whenever possible, it’s even more practical to leave your baby in his stroller while boarding: no need to carry him in your arms. He can peacefully sleep, you can feed him in his stroller and you can relax.

Traveling with baby

Taking care of your baby ears on the airplane

If your baby has a cold then avoid traveling because just like for us, it can plug his ears and hurt him!
In order to avoid ears problems during take off and landing, I strongly advise you to give your baby a bottle or a pacifier.

Traveling with baby

Reminder while you’re booking your tickets:

You have to favor night flights so baby can sleep peacefully.

Reminder once you’ve booked your tickets:

Choose seats located in front of the dividing wall in order to attach the crib.
2 or 3 weeks before flying, call the airline company to make sure that your seat haven’t been moved. If you’re traveling with your partner than ask to be seated together. We had an experience where we’ve been separated without previous notice. 🙁

Traveling with baby

Reminder once on the plane:

– Make sure baby drinks plenty of liquids during the flight.
– Think of him and change his diaper before putting him down in his crib and right before landing just to be safe at your arrival at the airport. Note that the changing table is folded on top of the toilet seat and frankly there’s very little room, so take the minimum with you.

Traveling with baby

– If you can put baby quickly down to bed, it’s best for him and you.
You’ll see that most cabin crew will install the crib once the airplane has reached the cruising mode and when the seat belt sign is turned off.
However, some airlines companies like KLM (not to mention it :)) are not very nice with babies since the cabin crew prefer serving drinks and meals during 1h – 1h30 while the seat belt sign is on in order to serve without being disturbed by people getting up. I’m not sure if it’s a common practice but on our way from New York in April 2014, we’re supposed to take off at 10:55 pm but since the plane was delayed we finally left at 11:45pm. As a result, they chose to leave the seat belt sign on for more than 1h30 after take off pretending there were disturbances. Yet, these disturbances didn’t prevent them to serve the meals while the baby had to seat on our lap from 10:30 pm to 1:15 am!! Needless to say, we were not happy with that.
I hope that it’s not their usual routine! 🙁

Traveling with baby

Memo

My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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