Being agile and flexible while traveling is key whenever you're traveling through an airport with a baby. You also want to make sure that baby stays comfortable and calm in the midst of the hustle, bustle, and sometimes stress that is navigating an airport during the height of your travel day.
Two ways this can be achieved is by keeping Baby in a stroller or Baby Wearing!
While there are certainly pros and cons to each, in this blog I want to focus on why baby wearing through the airport might be the best choice for you.
If you're traveling with Baby by yourself, baby wearing will keep your hands clear for anything else you need to do during your journey.
The physical contact of baby wearing increases your ability to respond to baby’s cues even when things may get hectic.
Additionally, the close proximity to your baby can help keep them calm.
You may be able to navigate the airport crowds a bit better while baby wearing as opposed to pushing a stroller.
When boarding the plane, you will be able to handle your baggage much easier while baby wearing than trying to hold Baby within your arms and do the same.
My Ideal Airport Carrier
When baby wearing at the airport, I want something lightweight and compact. Depending on where I am and what I am doing at the time, I may need to take Baby in and out of the carrier multiple times throughout the journey so getting a carrier that is quick and easy for myself is super important.
Additionally, if it can be easily stored while not in use that only adds to the benefit of bringing it along while traveling.
For that reason we absolutely LOVE our Tula Lite Carrier.
Baby Wearing Through Security
According to TSA’s website, infants may be carried in a sling/carrier through the walk-through metal detector but may be subject to additional screening.
Modified screening procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of a pat-down; however if you have things like metal on your carrier that may set off the alarm, you are likely to receive a pat-down from a TSA agent.
Baby Wearing on the Plane
Once you are on the plane, baby wearing may seem to make the most sense to keep your lap infant close and comfortable during takeoff or landing.
However, it's actually prohibited! If you have Baby in a carrier when you board, you may be asked to remove them during takeoff.
According to the FAA, “vest- and harness-type devices that attach the child to the parent, the parent’s restraint system, or to the aircraft seatbelt” are prohibited.
In 1994, the FAA issued a study entitled, The Performance of Child Restraint Devices in Transport Airplane Passenger Seats. The research for the study conducted by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) involved dynamic impact tests with a variety of Child Restraint Systems (CRS) installed involving aircraft passenger seats. The results of this study were used as the basis for prohibiting several devices during ground movement, takeoff, and landing.
The study found that the result of the harness devices allowed excessive forward body excursion, resulting in the test dummy sliding off the front of the seat with a high likelihood of the child’s entire body impacting the seat back of the seat directly in front of it.
Basically the force traps the child in between the parent and the seat in front, resulting in a great deal of damage.
Now because the FAA does not use the term baby carrier, some flight attendants may interpret this information differently so it is not guaranteed that they will require the baby to be removed from your carrier before take off. However the regulation is there so if asked, it is best to do as your flight attendant asks (as it is with almost every airline situation).
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