This blog will teach you how to fly with your stroller safely and securely. When flying with a stroller, the first thing parents should know is how to keep it safe.
Some of the most prevalent causes of this are inadequate stroller security or a collision with the stroller by an airline staff. You can avoid these problems by wrapping your baby’s car seat in a blanket or towel.
Keeping the vehicle seat from bouncing around on uneven roads will be easier with this in place.
Why Fly With a Car Seat and Stroller?
What if the difficulty of taking your car seat or stroller on a plane isn’t worth it? The American Society of Pediatrics encourages the use of a child restraint system during a flight, even if it is ultimately a parental decision. However, the FAA recommends its usage but does not make it mandatory.
A Car Seat Protects Your Child In Flight
It’s a common misconception that the FAA permits children under the age of two to travel on their laps because it’s deemed safe by the agency. Not at all!
Accident investigations have found that children being held on a lap have been seriously injured, and in rare cases have died. Turbulence has resulted in the deaths of youngsters who were not properly restrained.
An FAA-approved car seat dramatically increases the chances of a youngster surviving a car accident and avoiding serious injury.
Car Seats Provide Comfort on The Airplane
Using a car seat makes traveling with a young kid or newborn much more pleasant for everyone involved. For children who may be frightened by the upheaval of travel, a familiar car seat can provide a sense of security.
Safer Than Car Seats and Strollers at Your Destination
Some parents opt to rent equipment instead of bringing their own car seat and stroller. This may appear to be an ideal option, but it has a number of drawbacks.
- You may not be able to rent safety gear at your destination.
Equipment provided may not satisfy the safety standards we have grown to expect at home, such as adhering to the expiration dates for car seats.
- Even if you’re only traveling within the United States, you have no way of knowing whether or not the equipment you hire has been properly cared for. for.
The Best Car Seats and Strollers for Flying
Buying “travel systems” for a car seat and stroller was the biggest blunder I made when searching for these items. That is not the case!
The stroller was a bit of a pain to fold and unfold, but it was great for getting our sleeping babies out of the truck without waking them. Consequently, we purchased a lightweight, compact stroller for our travels.
Many lightweight strollers aren’t suitable for babies since the seats don’t recline all the way. There is no need for an upright stroller until a baby is ready to sit up and hold its head in place.
We purchased the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo Stroller after a lot of research since it is compatible with an infant car seat. With the stroller folded down, we were able to fit our newborns in their existing seats on most flights. Because the stroller didn’t have to be checked, you didn’t have to wait in line to get it once you got to your destination.
We prefer the Chico KeyFit 30 car seat because it is lightweight, which is especially crucial in larger airports where you may have to walk a long distance to get to your plane. For the sake of your child’s safety, you don’t want to feel like an athlete training for a weight-lifting competition.
How to Check a Car Seat or Stroller
When you have a child, it seems like every “first” is filled with anxiety. A car seat or stroller is not an exception when flying. If you prepare ahead of time and pick your gear wisely, it won’t be nearly as tough or unpleasant as you imagine.
The most important thing to remember is to remove any attached things, such as toys and cup holders, before checking your items. After that, double-check that all straps are in place. If you don’t check a bag, you’ll have less to worry about getting caught and damaged.
At the Ticket Counter/Curbside
Checking your stroller or car seat at the curbside or the ticket counter is as simple as checking any other baggage. Your stroller or car seat will be checked at no additional cost if you alert the airline staff. Your checked luggage will be identified with a luggage tag.
At the Gate
Checking in at the gate is as straightforward as it was at the airport’s check-in counter. Make sure your child’s car seat or stroller has a label attached firmly by the gate attendant or flight attendants. Even if you don’t plan on checking your luggage right away, I recommend asking a gate agent for the label as soon as you arrive.
When you are ready to board, you can quickly attach your label and the entire checking process will be expedited.
Our flight was delayed once since we didn’t get our luggage labels until the last minute and the gate agent didn’t have any. The problem was solved in about 20 minutes. Passengers are irritated, the flight is delayed, and a valuable lesson is imparted.
Can I Bring My Car Seat or Stroller as a Carry-On?
A car seat or stroller must follow the same guidelines as any other piece of luggage when traveling by plane. Generally speaking, as long as it can be stored in the airplane’s overhead compartment, it is acceptable. Yes, you will need to inspect the item.
Only if you buy a seat for your child and utilize their car seat in the airplane seat is there an exemption to this.
13 ways of protecting your stroller when flying
The following are our top recommendations for protecting your stroller while traveling with children and their strollers!
Get a stroller bag
The VolkGo Stroller Bag, available on Amazon, is an excellent option for preserving your stroller while traveling by plane.
If you’re traveling or going on a road trip with the kids, this will keep your stroller clean and germ-free.
Carry a waterproof and durable stroller bag, as baggage handlers have a bad reputation when it comes to protecting your belongings while flying.
Things to look out for:
- Ensure that your stroller’s travel bag is the correct size.
- Make sure it’s watertight before using it.
- The lowest option is not always best.
- Inquire about the product’s quality and longevity.
- The luggage should be locked.
- Your stroller will be much easier to spot if it is painted a bright color.
Both the VolkGo Stroller Bag and the Stroller Gate Check Bag (which is less expensive) check all the boxes above and have received rave ratings, so they are the two that I’d recommend.
Take it on board the aircraft
When flying, it’s advisable to keep your stroller with you at all times.
You’ll need a lightweight and compact stroller like the BabyZen Yoyo (Amazon) or the Pockit Stroller to do this (Amazon).
These strollers are ideal for flying because they fold up small enough to fit in the overhead bin.
As a result, you won’t have to worry about gate-checking your stroller, which might save you money.
You should, however, make sure to check your airline’s policy on strollers before flying. Our BabyZen Yoyo has been a great addition to our team thus far.
Bandage or wrap foam handles
It’s pretty uncommon for the foam handles on strollers and bags to be slashed if they come into touch with something sharp or forceful.
As a result, a simple stroller hack to help reduce this danger is to use bandages like these from Amazon or duct tape to reinforce the stroller’s foam handles.
Things can slide about during takeoff if they are not properly anchored. This trick will help keep your handlebars safe from sharp objects.
If you’re going to be gate-checking your stroller, this is a terrific idea.
Use bubble wrap or tape
Think about utilizing bubble wrap (Amazon) and adhesive in order to protect your stroller’s frame when gate-checking it
If you’re flying, you’ll want to protect your stroller from getting scuffed and scratched during the journey.
I wish I had done something like this when our first stroller was damaged by an American Airlines aircraft.
Use plastic wrap at the airport
Between $10 and $15, you can have your checked luggage covered in many layers of plastic film.
This is a regular service in airports around the world, and it’s definitely worth the money if you’re traveling with a pricey stroller.
In addition to protecting your stroller from the elements, a plastic wrap will keep your stroller clean and germ-free during loading and unloading.
Make sure the airport has courtesy strollers you can use to get to and from the gate if you plan on using this service. Then you might want to investigate a baby carrier sling (Amazon) – we use this one and it’s fantastic! Traveling with this device is a breeze.
Using bubble wrap and duct tape, you can make a DIY version, although it may not be practical if you need to keep your stroller at the gate.
Use zip ties to stay collapsed
To prevent your stroller from opening on the plane if you do not have a travel bag, you might want to invest in some zip ties (such as these from Amazon).
Once your stroller is folded up, just wrap the zip ties over each of the stroller’s legs and secure them in place. Strollers that are closed tightly in the cargo hold are less likely to open, which means less potential for harm.
This is a simple, yet effective, fix! Zip ties must be removed, and scissors may be required. That’s the only drawback.
Use the airport courtesy strollers
There are a number of international airports that provide complimentary strollers for parents who need to take their children to and from the terminals.
If you don’t want to carry a stroller around the airport, you may just check it in at the check-in desk and utilize the airports.
Leaving your stroller at home ensures that it will arrive in one piece, but you may find it difficult to transport a little child once you there.
Make sure you apply some kind of stroller protection and check it in with your luggage at the baggage desk before carrying a stroller on your trip.
Get a second stroller for traveling
The fact that you’re concerned about your costly stroller getting destroyed while on vacation is quite natural.
Consider purchasing a second stroller just for travel purposes.
If you’re thinking about bringing a second stroller, be sure it’s small and light enough to store in the plane’s overhead bin.
There is a less expensive choice, the Pockit Lightweight Stroller (Amazon), which is just as good for traveling as the BabyZen Yoyo (Amazon).
Buy a cheap or used stroller
Consider purchasing a used stroller if you need a second stroller but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Check out our guide to buying a used stroller for all the information you need to find some great deals.
While it’s not ideal, you may still use your old stroller for trips without fearing that it will be scratched.
Even if you’ve already purchased a stroller, I’d definitely recommend looking into some of the protection options mentioned.
Put stroller accessories in your baggage
Stroller accessories should be removed whether you’re gate-checking your stroller or boarding a plane with it.
If you don’t want to risk losing your cup holders, umbrellas, and trays on the plane, put them in your checked luggage instead.
You never know when a stroller umbrella or cup holders will break, so it’s best to be safe than sorry.
Use pool noodles for protection
You can cut pool noodles to suit your stroller’s handlebars, legs, and frame for a reasonable price on Amazon.
This will provide additional padding and protection for the journey to and from the plane.
However, if you’re going to do something like this, I recommend using bubble wrap and taking it with you instead of the other options.
If you don’t want to deal with the trouble, you can pay $10 to have the airport employees handle it for you.
Keep your stroller in the box
You may protect your stroller while flying by putting it in the box it came in, as well. Your stroller and any protective bubble bags it may have will be completely shielded from harm this way.
Checking a stroller at the baggage claim will cost extra due to the bulk and weight of a stroller’s original box if you plan to travel with it.
Don’t hesitate to call your airline if you have any questions or concerns.
Don’t take a stroller
Finally, if you don’t need it, you can skip bringing your stroller altogether.
To get to and from either end of the airport, you can make use of the free courtesy strollers provided.
Upon arrival, you have the option of purchasing a low-cost stroller, borrowing a friend’s stroller, or carrying your child in a baby carrier.
Other Tips for Flying with Car Seats and Strollers
Car seats and strollers can be tricky to fly with, so here are a few of my best recommendations for flying with children.
- When traveling with a car seat or folding stroller, be sure they will fit in the overhead compartment on each flight. Depending on the airline, you may not be able to bring the same amount of luggage as you did on your previous flight.
- If you can, find out how strollers and car seats are handled on the other side of your flight. If you’re flying with a large amount of luggage, you may want to inquire about their availability when you land.
- Consider a baby sling for airport use if you are checking a stroller or car seat. If you have to go through passport control before you can get your stroller back, this is a lifesaver.
- In advance, take a picture of your car seat and stroller to ensure they are in good condition. If something happens to your car seat or stroller while it is being transported as checked baggage, you will be able to file a damage claim more easily.
- Even if you’re flying with your own stroller or car seat, do some research ahead of time to see if there are any available at your location. If your child’s car seat or stroller is broken beyond repair, or if it is lost in transportation, having a back-up plan in place is a wise precaution.
12 Essential Tips for Flying With a Baby
1. Get to the Airport Early When Flying With a Baby
While some new parents argue against getting to the airport too early because it entails entertaining your infant for a longer period of time outside of the comforts of home, the basic fact is that airport stress is governed by your departure time.. Even if you don’t have a baby or a lot of extra stuff, the less time you leave yourself to get from the parking garage to the gate, the more anxious you’ll be. Flying with a baby takes a lot longer than flying solo. Even if the check-in and TSA lines are long and slow, arriving 90 minutes to two hours before your departure guarantees that you won’t have to worry about missing your flight. When they get at the terminal, parents can order lunch, feed the infant or buy a book they won’t be able to read.
2. Use Curbside Check-In
This may be the most important piece of advice on the list. Extra equipment such as a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, and larger luggage is required when flying with a baby. Life will be much easier if you don’t have to wait in the long check-in line to get rid of your checked bags (and potentially the car seat and stroller). Don’t walk by a check-in counter at the airport and expect that life will be any better inside. It’s not going to happen. There will be longer, slower, and more obtrusive wait times. Spend a few dollars on the porter’s tip, and you’ll be happy to do so.
3. Gate-Check Your Stroller and Car Seat
As a bonus, car seats and strollers are included in the cost of flying with children under the age of 12. Simply walk them down the plane’s jetway and then check them in before boarding, guaranteeing that both will be there when you get off the plane. This is a no-brainer for parents with children in a stroller. There is no reason to carry your child through the airport when you can push them. In the event that your flight is delayed or your child becomes unruly, it’s a good idea to have at least an umbrella stroller on hand.
A more contentious issue is whether or not to gate-check a car seat that won’t be traveling with you. However, the arguments are quite simple: When checked in at the terminal, car seats can cost hundreds of dollars, and many of those get tossed around like flies as they make their way to their final destination. Even if the car seat doesn’t make it on the plane, you’ll still be stranded at your destination without a means of transporting your child. If you check your car seat at the gate, you may have to schlep it through the airport, which is a pain, but it ensures that it will arrive at its final destination undamaged. Even if you don’t plan to use it, a travel bag will safeguard your investment and make it easy to tote around. Consider purchasing a lightweight travel car seat, which can be purchased for less than $75 and weighs less than 10 pounds.
4. Wear Your Baby and Your Diaper Bag
When traveling with children, parents have a limited supply of hands to deal with all the carry-on luggage, strollers, diaper bags, and your coffee, not to mention the actual infant. Even when pushing a stroller, both hands are required to remain active. The simplest approach is to get a child carrier and wear your infant around the airport; this is especially beneficial when passing through airport security. ‘ Just be aware that most airlines won’t allow you to use the carrier on the plane. Be prepared!.. Wear your diaper bag while you’re at it. Purchasing a backpack diaper bag that can also be used as a carry-on for one parent is an excellent idea. With just one less bag, you’ll save time by not having to fumble around for your tote every time you take a step.
5. Board the Plane Separately
When flying with a young child, it may not be the best idea to board the plane first. If you’re flying with a baby, keep in mind that it normally takes half an hour for everyone else to board and the plane to begin moving. If you’re concerned about germs, sanitize the armrests and tray tables on the plane before boarding the plane with one of the parents, stowing the carry-ons and diaper bag, and gate-checking the stroller/car seat. Aparents alternate walking and entertaining their children until all passengers are aboard and then one parent boards last.
6. If You Can Afford It, Buy the Baby a Seat
If you’ve got the money, book an extra seat. Obviously, this decision depends on one’s circumstances. This is a game-changer for parents who don’t want to spend three hours in the car with a wriggling baby. The chances of them falling asleep on the plane are higher than if they’re curled up in your arms or resting on your shoulder, which isn’t always convenient for parents, either. You’re pretty much trapped in that posture for the duration if the infant falls asleep in your arms.
7. Fly During Nap (or Happy) Time
However, it’s a better idea to arrange flights that coincide with your child’s bedtime if you want to ensure a more restful trip. Even if you can’t fly when they normally sleep, schedule the trip around times of day you know will make them happy, like the morning for most babies.
8. Book Two Aisle Seats Across From Each Other
Even though many breastfeeding mothers prefer the solitude of a window seat, scheduling two aisle seats across from one another can give an infant with a much-needed change of scenery. Each time a youngster is transferred back and forth, they’re introduced to a new surroundings, new neighbors, and so on, which can help reinvigorate their interest. Not only that, but getting up and crossing the aisle is easier for either parent to get up and comfort the infant.
9. Nurse or Feed Them During Take-off and Landing
The most important tip for flying with a baby is to nurse or feed your child during takeoff and landing. This will keep the rest of the plane from disliking you. It’s common for them to have a “armageddon-like breakdown” when their ears are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in air pressure during certain parts of the flight. The swallowing keeps the cabin quiet and the ears from popping by nursing or feeding them a bottle (er). Give them a pacifier if they don’t want to eat.
10. Use Baby Food as an Activity
Eating on a plane is as engrossing as watching an iPad for toddlers and newborns who are old enough to eat solids. Let the infant eat some Cheerios if they’ve had enough of listening to books or playing games for a while. Is Cheerios going to spread? Sure. Even so, a wailing baby and rowdy travelers are better than nothing at all. Eating is an activity in and of itself, thus kids can’t yell or weep while they’re eating.
11. Bring Cheap Toys
Stock up on cheap toys you don’t mind losing or leaving behind at the dollar store before your flight. Wrap each one in a cheap piece of wrapping paper as though it were Christmas Day. Break out a new toy and assist your child unwrap it if they get bored on the plane. When they’ve exhausted the toy, let them play with the paper, and when they’re done with it, there’s always Cheerios.
12. Stay Calm
Finally, maintain a level head. Parental nervousness can lead to an anxious youngster, and the calmer you remain the more likely your child will mimic you. Many of the anxieties associated with flying with a young child arise from the need to consider the well-being of other passengers. When traveling with a young child, expect to hear them cry on the plane. You won’t offend anyone if you don’t put on your Beats as soon as your child starts wailing, especially if they have children of their own. As for those who do not, if they do not, then I say, “Screw them.” There are places your infant needs to go, too.
In The End
Traveling with a car seat and a stroller doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It’s as simple as checking your luggage or backpack when it comes to registering your stuff as baggage. Even at the gate, a car seat or stroller can be checked for free.
Doing enough of research to ensure you have the information and equipment necessary to keep your child safe will go a long way toward making your trip a breeze. However, keep in mind that you must also comply with a wide range of airline and airport rules.