Visiting the beloved aunt in America, catching up on the long-awaited honeymoon now as a third or even emigrating for the job offer in the distance – there are many reasons why families with babies and toddlers get on the plane.
Always with them: fears and worries! But flying with a baby doesn’t have to turn into a stressful nightmare, either for the parents themselves or for the other passengers.
With a few tips and tricks, you can make traveling with your offspring as pleasant as possible.
Table of contents
The First Flight With Baby: Is 9 Months Too Early?
Probably the most frequently asked question among traveling mothers is when the baby is allowed to fly. Many airlines set 7 or 14 days as the minimum age. Flying is therefore already permitted with newborns.
However, this option should only be used in emergencies. Experience shows that at least 12 weeks should have passed since birth. The older the child, the better.
A baby that is 9 months old can already be taken along on trips in a relatively relaxed manner.
And you yourself will also be fit again a few months after pregnancy, especially if you follow the tips for physical well-being after birth.
Before The Trip: Book Tickets When Flying With Baby
Before flying with baby, it’s time to book. Tickets for babies, toddlers and older children can be booked online.
For a long time, the rule was: children under two years old fly for free! This is no longer entirely true. It is not possible to make a precise statement, as the issue of flying with a baby is regulated a little differently by each airline.
Airlines In Comparison
The largest German airline charges nothing for flights within Germany.
Visiting the family in Hamburg or Munich with the baby, who is 9 months old, is therefore not only possible without any problems, but also at a reasonable price. For flights to European destinations and beyond, the Infant fare applies, which is valid until the baby’s 2nd birthday.
In this case, 10% of the adult fare is charged. When flying, the baby does not have its own seat, but will hopefully make itself comfortable on your lap or that of your partner.
Eurowings takes a different approach than Lufthansa and charges a fixed service fee for babies instead of a percentage. This is 25 euros on all short- and medium-haul flights and 75 euros for long-haul flights.
This flat rate is due per leg of the journey, i.e. at least twice for a return ticket. Depending on the destination and the type of ticket booked, the Eurowings version can therefore quickly become more expensive than the Lufthansa version.
On the vacation carrier Condor, 10% of the airfare is charged for each child up to the age of two, regardless of where the trip is going. In addition, the usual taxes and fees are also charged when flying with a baby.
The Austrian airline fully adheres to the guidelines of its German parent Lufthansa and charges exactly 10% of the booked fare for the smallest passengers, such as the baby at 9 months.
The Swiss Lufthansa partner also charges 10%. As with all other airlines, the baby sits on a parent’s lap when flying.
The low-cost airline Ryanair also shows itself to be cost-effective when flying with a baby. For example, if your baby is 9 months old, a flat rate of 20 euros is currently due.
Free priority boarding for families with infants or a free seat selection you look for Ryanair in vain. For the important comfort with your infant, there are additional fees.
Be sure to take this into account when choosing a flight.Also interesting:
- The 10 best child seats of group 1
- The 10 best Steiff cuddly toys
- The 7 most popular Baby Annabell dolls
From When Do Babies Sit In Their Own Seat When Flying?
From the day of the second birthday, infants are assigned their own seat on the plane.
The fare for the ticket also increases enormously from this point on. Some parents forgo the low baby fare and book a seat for the infant as well in order to travel in greater comfort.
If your budget allows it, the extra space is a great asset, especially on long-haul flights.
If your baby is 9 months or older, he or she can also sit in an approved restraint system during the flight. This means a child car seat that has also been approved by TÜV for use on airplanes.
It is absolutely necessary to book a separate seat for the child.
Even without an extra car seat, your baby can sit upright on its own from the age of 9 months. Of course, only for certain periods of time and always under observation, so that nothing happens in turbulence.
International Flying With The Baby: The Passport For The Smallest Ones
Infants are not exempt from the passport requirement when traveling by air. You must therefore apply for a passport for your little one in good time before departure.
The children’s passport is issued from birth to the completed 12th year and currently costs 13 euros. The experienced staff at the photographer will help you to take pictures of your baby according to biometric specifications for the passport.
Note: In a few countries, the child passport is not accepted and babies and toddlers must also be issued a regular passport. The most traveled country from this group is the USA. Other destinations with mandatory full passports include:
- Pacific island of Nauru
- Pacific island of Tuvalu
On the official website of the German Foreign Office you can get detailed information about the entry requirements of your vacation country.
Sleeping Above The Clouds: A Baby Crib On The Plane
The baby crib – also called bassinet – is a special service offered by many airlines on long-haul flights.
The baby cot is offered mainly by premium airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, American Airlines and many more. The baby crib is attached to the partition to Business Class in the first row of Economy Class.
If there is a Premium Economy Class on the plane, there may be another row where a baby c rib is possible. A crib can also be attached in Business Class itself.
Apart from take-off and landing, your baby, who is around 9 months old, can easily sleep away the flight in a comfortable lying position in the baby crib. You and your partner will have more space to eat, watch movies and relax.
Due to the limited number of baby beds, you have to be quick and smart when booking.
Lufthansa allows the use of a baby crib up to a maximum weight of 14 kilograms and/or a maximum height of 83 centimeters.
Other airlines, such as Condor, set the maximum weight at 8 kilograms. Before booking, make sure you know whether your baby is allowed to use the crib to avoid unpleasant surprises when flying with your baby.
In 4 Steps To The Crib When Flying With Baby
Choose The Right Flight
Baby cribs are not available on every flight. Find out about the airline’s regulations before you book.
Book The Right Seat
A baby crib is of no use if you don’t sit in the designated seat. On the website SeatGuru you can check in which rows a baby crib can be placed.
You have to reserve these seats – usually for a fee.
Reserve The Baby Crib
Booking a flight ticket in the baby fare does not automatically mean that you will be given a baby crib. This must be requested directly from the airline.
It is even easier to book a baby crib if you call the airline’s hotline in steps 1 to 3 instead of booking the flight on the Internet.
In general, the service hotlines are very informative and helpful when it comes to questions about flying with a baby.
Getting The Baby Crib
Be at the gate in plenty of time before departure and ask the ground staff again if the reserved baby crib is really available.
Actively asking prevents you and your baby from being rebooked in a different row or something similar. The baby crib is attached by the flight attendants.
Since parents with babies and toddlers are allowed to board before most other passengers, you have enough time to settle into your seat.
Stroller & Co: Luggage When Flying With Baby
An additional suitcase is not provided when flying with baby for the smallest passengers without a seat. However, strollers are usually allowed free of charge up to the gate.
After landing, the stroller stowed on the plane will be returned to you immediately.
What Must Be Included In Your Hand Luggage When Flying With Your Baby
This checklist will help you to make sure you don’t forget anything for your first flight with your baby:
- Wet wipes
- A change of clothes.
- Socks and warm clothes for the often cold airplane air.
- Wound protection cream (max. 100 ml).
- Cuddly toy for sleeping.
Baby food is exempt from the liquid restrictions at the security check and may be brought on board even in quantities exceeding 100 ml.
Flight attendants will also be happy to warm up food for your baby. If your baby is 9 months or older, it is best to take only your favorite complementary foods with milk and not to experiment on the plane.
During takeoff and landing, the baby should drink in any case to make the pressure equalization.
Tips Against Boredom For The Baby: Keep 10-Month-Olds Busy On The Plane
Despite the baby crib, your child will be awake for longer stretches on a long-haul flight. Then it is called playfully bridge the time.
The following items should also be included in your hand luggage when flying with your baby:
- Picture books
- Low-noise toys
- Finger puppets for finger games.
You can find more tips against boredom when your baby is 9 months old in our selected finger games.
With a little preparation and creativity, flying with baby is easy.