The sort of documentation that’s required to take your child on domestic or international flights varies greatly depending on their age, and it’s always wise to check the latest information with your flight provider.
You should check with your airline but most will allow babies from around 2 days old to fly with them, although some will require a note from your doctor stating that both you and baby are healthy.
Up to 2-years old
Under the age of 2, a child can travel for free as a ‘lap child’, on the condition that they are accompanied by an adult. Your airline may require proof of age – either a passport or a copy of their birth certificate, to determine whether they qualify as a ‘lap child’.
Do note that if your child’s 2-year birthday falls while you’re on vacation, they can no longer fly as a ‘lap child’ – booking two one-way tickets may save you some dollars in this instance.
In order to fly out of the country, your baby must have a valid passport, and if needed for your destination, travel visas, too. Ensure you’ve allowed plenty of time for your applications to be processed, however, if necessary, you can pay extra for passports and visas to be expedited.
It’s important to note that until your child’s second birthday, although they can fly internationally as a ‘lap child’, this service isn’t free.
International flight accompanied by 1 parent
If only one parent is flying with your baby, then additional documentation will be required – always check with your airline as rules differ between companies.
Both parents need to give their permission for the child to leave the country, so both signatures are required on a notarized consent form, along with a copy of the stay-at-home parent’s passport.
In the case of one parent being granted sole custody, a jointly signed agreement may be required.
As travel requirements are frequently being updated, remember to check with your fight provider what ID is necessary to travel with your baby.
First time flying with a baby? Check out what it looks like to fly with a baby in an airplane:
For more crucial tips and info before your next flight, take a look at our Flying Tips.