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Baby on board: 5 tips to safe infant travel

Photo Credit: Kyle Chan

Four months ago, I wrote 10 Tips for Airplane Travel with Babies. It was travel advice based on my observations and tips from seasoned travelers. A slew of adorable babies have been born. And I wish Facebook came with a Hide Baby Bodily Functions Posts option.

Now, the next cycle of friends, Romans and countrymen are making people. I gave up knitting baby blankets—I can’t keep up with the production schedule. Since FedEx also dropped off my crew badge this morning, work and babies are on my mind.

So, what can you do to keep your baby safe in-flight? Five easy tips are below.

  1. Buy a seat for the infant. If you wouldn’t drive around town with your child on your lap, why would you do it in a vehicle that goes 10 times faster? Most airlines offer a discounted fare for infants in carseats.
  2. Make sure your toddler is restrained by FAA approved child restraint systems (CRS). Make sure any car seat or restraint you buy has an FAA approval label on it or you may not be able to use it in-flight. CARES Child Aviation Restraint System is an easy traveling restraint for toddlers.
  3. Straight from the horse’s mouth: “The FAA recommends that a child weighing:
    • Less than 20 pounds use a rear-facing CR
    • From 20 to 40 pounds use a forward-facing CRS
    • More than 40 pounds use an airplane seat belt”
  4. The car seat goes in the window seat. On a plane with two aisles, they can also go in the middle-most seats. This is non-negotiable so when you’re settling in, make sure you put the seat in the right location or risk having to move.
  5. Buckle them in. Turbulence can happen at any time. If they’re buckled in, an unexpected drop might be scary (or fun) but not harmful.

Useful Links to children specific info:


United Airlines

  1. September 12, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Thanks Mona Madry. great tips dear, specially when we traveling with our children – I appreciate that you posted them!

    Thanks again for the tips!

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