In the 14 weeks that Cruz has been Earthside, he has already been on two flights. The first was at 8-weeks old when I flew with him solo from Montana to Texas while Ross drove the car down with all of our stuff. The first leg of the flight was smooth as he slept most of the time, but the 2nd leg presented new challenges. With a super short layover, I didn’t have time to change him or give him a proper feeding. He was unsettled and pee soaked by the time we got off the plane. I didn’t have a chance to eat and both baby and I got off the plane hungry, grumpy, and tired.
I wanted to prepare better for our flight to Mexico but forgot one key piece – to purchase an infant ticket. On an international flight with AeroMexico you have to pay $37 USD worth of taxes to cover baby’s ticket. I should have done this beforehand by calling the airline but instead, it took about 45 minutes at the counter to get it all organized. Save yourself the time and book the ticket beforehand.
In this post, I’ll share with you 7 essential tips for international air travel with a baby. Below is a video highlighting our actual journey.
1. Prebook infant seat
When I flew within the USA I called the airline to add baby and they told me it was unnecessary; to simply add him at the counter. When I checked in, I didn’t need to pay or even show ID for him. It was super simple. Since this was how my first flight went, I didn’t even think to pre-book an infant seat for Cruz on our international flights. Turns out you need to. We booked through a third party vendor so there was no option to add him when purchasing, but I could have simply called the airline and handled then. Instead, it took about 45 minutes of waiting and processing at the ticket counter upon check-in. Each airline is different so do your research beforehand so you know the associated fees.
2. Research infant baggage allowance
Baggage allowance with AeroMexico for an infant is one free checked back and two carry-ons. We had four bags we were checking for our trip so we paid for three and used the infant baggage allowance on the fourth, saving us $55. Check beforehand to see if you get any free bags with a baby. Save those $$ for your vacation!
3. Gate check stroller
During these flights, I learned that you can check a stroller for free. You can check it at the counter through to your final destination OR you can bring it through security with you to use while in the airport, check when boarding at the gate and then use during your layover. This was super helpful for us as we used the bottom part of the stroller to hold our backpacks and free up some extra weight. Either way you choose to do it, checking your stroller is F R E E. Woo hoo!
4. Request a bassinet (if available)
Some airlines have bassinets available by request. AeroMexico did not which brings me to my next tip but if they did, I definitely would have utilized it. Be sure to ask in advance of your flight!
5. Bring a wrap or carrier
I wore Cruz while on the plane allowing me to have my hands free and also doze off safely. If you gate check your stroller, you can bring your wrap or carrier on with you so you don’t have to hold baby in your arms the whole time. This is especially helpful if you are flying solo and don’t have anyone to pass baby to. My favorite carrier is the Ergobaby carrier.
6. Feed during takeoff and landing
The sucking motion of feeding prevents baby’s ears from popping so during takeoff and landing give baby a boob, bottle, or pacifier. If they are passed out asleep, no need to wake them up; just let them continue sleeping. We didn’t have any troubles or discomfort with Cruz after our flights by following this tip.
7. Be ready for anything
As with anything in baby world, be ready for anything. Pack snacks for mom and dad, extra diapers and clothes for baby, and know that travel often comes with a couple unplanned twists and turns. It will all be worth it when you get to your destination!
I hope these tips were helpful! Happy and safe travels for you and your family.