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12 Tips for Flying with a Lap Infant

flying with an infant in lap

Flying with a lap infant can be a huge money saver. However, sharing an airplane seat with your little one can present a few challenges. After multiple flights with a lap infant, ranging from 11 weeks to just shy of two years old, we’ve learned a few things. Read along for lots of great tips to make for a smooth check-in and flight.

PS- make sure to click below to get our free infant packing list for your carryon. Everything you need without a bunch of stuff you’ll never use!

  1. Make sure to take the correct documents for your little one. For a lap infant on most airlines, you will need a copy of the birth certificate. If traveling on an international flight, baby will need his own passport.
  2. Try to avoid flying at nap time. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but avoiding the cranky times of day can make for a less stressful flight. We usually aim for early morning flights if possible.
  3. Remember- free ends the day she turns two. So, if your baby turns two during the trip, she will need a ticket for the return flight.
  4. Call the airline ahead of time for international flights. Taxes and fees are still required for international flights, even with a non-ticketed lap infant. Some international booking websites will let you pay this ahead of time, but for many you will need to call.
  5. Make sure to keep all receipts if you’ve paid the international fees beforehand. We got held up for a bit in Italy as they had a hard time finding that information without an actual ticket. Luckily, we had all of our receipts saved to our email, which helped to hasten the process.
  6. Soft sole shoes will be your best friend. For some reason, babies always want to stand in your lap during the flight. After a while, those little shoes start to dig in, and it isn’t fun.
  7. A baby sling can help facilitate naps. I figured out (after a few cranky flights) that boarding with baby in a sling is a game changer, leaving your hands free and baby confined and content. flying with a toddler and a baby
  8. Change baby’s diaper right before boarding, and take plenty of extras on board. You don’t want to be stuck mid-air with a stinky diaper and no more for changes. Trust me (I’ve been that parent).
  9. Make sure to take an extra change of clothes- for baby and you. I always take an extra shirt for myself. We’ve had a few spills mid-air, and it’s easy to run to the bathroom and change if needed.
  10. Window seats are great for short flights. Infants and toddlers love looking out the window.
  11. Aisle seats are our favorite option for long flights. This gives babies on the move some space to walk around, and keeps you from climbing over your neighbors every time you need to get up and down.
  12. When all else fails- snacks always save the day!

Have you taken advantage of flying with a lap infant? Did you have a good experience?

Looking for more tips on flying with kids? Check out our post where we answered all the questions related to flying with kids.

Make sure to download the infant carryon packing list here!

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