Traveling with a baby can be a daunting task for a parent. You not only have to navigate through all the airport protocol, but you also have the responsibility of doing so while carrying your baby around and meeting all of his or her needs and demands.
But as much as carrying the little one is likely to help keep everyone calm, will you be allowed through the airport security while wearing your baby?
You can wear your baby through airport security, and it is generally much more convenient than getting a stroller through security. Often if you are wearing your baby, you will be sent through the metal detector rather than the full-body scanner, although this depends on the airport. You may also have your hands swabbed to confirm there are no chemical residues.
A wrap has many advantages, including offering breastfeeding privacy and keeping the baby safe and comforted, as well as allowing you to have the use of both hands to handle luggage, tickets, passports, etc.
Are you planning to catch a flight with your baby, but you are unsure if you can wear them at the security desk? This article will address your concerns and discuss the TSA rules governing traveling with a baby. Also, I will share some survival tips when traveling with a baby at the airport.
TSA Security Rules That Govern Traveling With A Baby
According to the TSA, all travelers must undergo a security screening. Nevertheless, the process is done differently depending on a child’s age.
If your baby has any medical condition, is disabled, or uses a medical device, TSA demands that you inform one of their officers. This will help alleviate any concerns that might pop up during the screening process.
The other rule is about baby formula, breast milk, or juice you may be carrying for your baby. TSA allows parents to carry the items but in reasonable amounts. Nevertheless, you must take them out of your baby’s carry-on bag for a separate screening. You must also inform the TSA officer that you have the items before the screening begins.
In some airports, the officers will open the containers carrying the formula, juice, or breast milk while others won’t. You can also request that they don’t open the containers but instead use other methods of clearing the liquids.
Other baby feeding accessories like breast milk pump equipment and coolers are also subject to screening.
Most parents worry that the x-ray screening may damage their babies’ foods and drinks, but there’s actually no cause for concern here. The x-ray levels are so low as to be a non-issue when it comes to food safety.
Are There Special TSA Rules For Travelling With Small Babies And Infants?
Besides the above-discussed rules, TSA has set the following special rules, and you should be aware of them for smooth navigation at the airport and travel.
Any child under two years must sit on an adult’s lap and be fastened with a seatbelt. If you want to purchase a seat for your baby, it must be approved. Mostly the seats are the same as you use in a personal car, although some airlines do not allow child seats onboard.
You will need a permission letter from a doctor if you are traveling with a baby less than a week old.
Any child below 5 years must travel with a parent or guardian.
Every traveling child must have identification documents regardless of their age. Some countries will demand that you submit a consent letter if both parents do not accompany the child. This is done to prevent cases of child trafficking.
There are changing tables in the airport’s toilets and on the plane.
How To Navigate Airport Security When Traveling With a Baby
As much as traveling with your baby is fun, especially if it’s the first time, I’m sure you’re aware of the anxiety it comes with. Here are some survival tips that will make your time at the airport a breeze.
Be At The Airport Early
As much as it seems obvious and easy, getting to the airport early is a challenge for most parents. It is important to be early when traveling with a baby because the screening process may take longer than when you are alone.
Being at the airport at least two or three hours before your departure time will be helpful since you won’t have to be stressed about getting through the screening. You’ll even have time to relax and allow little ones to stretch their legs as you wait for your flight.
Know Which Baby Items Are Allowed Through Airport Security
Knowing what you can bring to the airport before leaving your home is important. You don’t want to carry some baby-related items only for them to be withheld by the airport officers.
In most cases, parents can carry baby food pouches, formula, breast milk, and juices.
One of the tricks that will help you hack it all well is the TSA Pre checklist. In some airports, the checklist will help you skip the security screening line.
Carefully Pack Your Carry-on
This is not critical if you are on the TSA PreCheck list, but it is essential if you don’t have one. Without the PreCheck, you will have to remove everything in the bag, and it might be stressful with a crying baby on one hand among travelers who are already stressed out or irritated.
Ensure you are well prepared and have packed the things you need to access at top of the bag. Also, ensure all the baby’s liquids are in a see-through bag so you can easily pull them out once the TSA screening officer requests.
Can I Bring A Baby Stroller Through The Airport?
You can bring your baby’s stroller through the airport, but once at the screening desk, you must take the little one out. However, as much as a stroller is a lifesaver at the airport, it can be stressful at the same time.
You must inform the TSA officer that you have the stroller once you have placed all your items on the conveyor belt. Everything in the stroller must go on the conveyer belt.
They will direct you to walk through the scanner, carrying your baby. The stroller will also have to go through the x-ray machine to be scanned.
All these steps may be a lot of work compared to wearing your baby.
What’s The Best Baby Carrier For A Smooth Screening At Airport Security?
The market has different types of baby carriers, and choosing the best might be tricky. If you want a baby carrier that will make the screening process at the airport easier, here is what you should look for.
A simple baby carrier will make your time at the airport less stressful. You don’t want to wear something whose wrapping techniques are complicated and keep people waiting for you. Look for a carrier with a few simple wrappings because it is easier to manage.
Softly Structured Carriers
These types of carriers are easy to use and will allow you to carry your baby in various positions. This will come in handy in ensuring that you are comfortable until you board the plane.
Avoid Carriers That Feature Metal Parts
The airport security screening can be a real hassle if you have metal on you. That’s why you should avoid any carrier with metal on it because it will complicate the whole screening process or lead to additional screening procedures.