Tips For Flying With A 3 Month Old Baby
This was the age our eldest had her first flight. She was 11 weeks old when we embarked on a long haul flight from the UK to Cape Town, proceeded by a short haul from London Heathrow to Glasgow. This is definitely one of the easiest stages to fly with a baby: When you are flying with a newborn or a little older, they stay in one place, are purely on a milk diet and sleep a fair bit!
Whilst I go into some detailed general tips for flying with a baby here. The following tips are specific for flying with a 12 week old baby/ or 3 month old.
Tips for Flying with a 3 Month Old.
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Things to do before you book your flight with a 3 month old.
- An obvious one, but apply for their birth certificate and passport as soon as possible. Many domestic flights don’t require a passport ID for an infant, but all are required for international flight.
- Specific countries have different documentation requirements, which could range from official forms stamped by a solicitor, taking original birth certificates and more – South Africa is one of these. If in doubt, check with your local embassy. I have some more information on travel documents for children here too.
- Decide whether you want to purchase a seat (this is usually 60-100% of an adult fare) and use an airline approved car seat or if your baby will sit on your lap for the flight. A lap baby often travels for free on USA domestic flights but in other cases the fare is usually 10% of an adult fare + any applicable taxes.
- For more information on car seats and approved Child Restraint Devices, see here. If you decide on flying with a lap baby, then check whether your airline provides a bassinet. Airline bassinets vary in size and regulations but if you are flying with a 2 month old, then they will meet these requirements.
- Check vaccinations requirements and discuss with your GP
Packing for a 3 month old – what to have in your carry-on
- For carry-on I packed anti-bacterial wipes, and as I had begun bottle feeding, I also brought lots of sterilised bottles with pre-dispensed powdered milk which fitted inside the bottle.
- Due to the flight being at night, and knowing I would likely be tired, I also popped each bottle into a Ziploc bag and wrote the time she would be due for a feed, so there was no confusion. For some travel baby carry-on bag ideas see here.
- Always bring more nappies/diapers/milk than you think you will need. You never know if a flight is delayed or if baggage goes missing.
- Pack any medicines under 100ml in your hand luggage too. if they are over 100 ml and don’t meet the 3-1-1 liquid requirements, then check with your airport and make sure you have a letter from you doctor. I like the Calpol paracetamol liquid 5ml sachets. I am not sure if the USA Tylenol has a similar thing? Do let me know if so.
- Don’t forget a change of clothes for you too, and a couple of plastic bags in case of any accidents.
- At this age, not much entertainment is needed. Just pack a couple of familiar toys and maybe a new one. For some great travel toys we have tried and tested travel toys ourselves, see here.
- Pack or use a good baby carrier or sling. I prefer to check in my travel stroller rather than have the stress of folding it away just as I board. (Despite practising, I still got stressed with it all the first time.)
- A baby carrier on future flights just made it so easy to move around especially when disembarking on steps. Alternatively, there are some excellent travel strollers, which meet the size of cabin baggage requirements.
Flying with a 3 month old
- Some babies may become a bit grizzly on take-off or landing due to the change in cabin pressure. Feeding or sucking on a dummy/pacifier is recommended if this happens.
- Ask to have your hot water or milk heated in plenty of time from the crew – just in case they are about to start the service or overheat it. Alternatively, get baby used to room temperature milk – perfect if you have pre-made baby milk cartons.
- If you are flying with your partner, take turns on being on ‘duty’. This way you can both relax, sleep, watch a movie. If you are breastfeeding, then you can still work out rough times after a feed so you can still have a break. If you are flying solo, these tips may help you too.
- This is one of the easiest times to fly with an infant, seriously! We found she slept most of the 12 hours on the night sector of the long haul flight, and was quite amenable on the return day time sector. Our flight when she was poorly at 1 on a 24 hour flight to Australia was a slightly different story – but I think everyone has a travel tale involving sick kids!
- Have you remembered any items you need to help your baby or toddler sleep on the plane?
- Would you like a free printable (no sign up) packing checklist? If so see here.
- Find out which airlines/airports provide courtesy airport strollers here.
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