Friday, December 7, 2012

Taking on the Airport alone!

Reader Sarah recently asked about traveling solo with a baby and what to expect getting through security.

Sarah wrote: 
Trying to decide if I should check my stroller and car seat at ticketing....or gate check. I'm traveling solo with my 4 month old and don't know if having the gear will be too much for me through security. Recommendations welcome
Getting through security with a baby can be interesting - some TSA agents are more understanding, it can be a big pain to go through security!

  1. Babies/Children can not be in strollers/car seats/carriers going through security's x-rays.  Babies must be held, but not in a carrier.  Carriers must go through the x-ray machine (some may let you continue wearing, but it may cause additional screenings, including taking the sling off and going thru the x-ray)
  2. Strollers and car seats will have to go through a metal detector or be scanned, so anything in the storage baskets will have to be removed.
  3. Children under 12 don't have to remove their shoes (seriously - this one was ridiculous anyways!)
  4. Baby food, juice, formula/milk bottles are exempt for the liquid rules however they may ask to test to the liquid - it's painless, I've had this done!  And, I've seen them demand to toss juice, but according to the TSA website, this is allowed for children!
  5. When traveling alone, it is okay to ask for help!  Traveling with a baby can demand a lot of attention and goodies, so try to carry-on lightly!
  6. If you're taking an older child, check out the CARES harness (pictured in this post) - it buckles easily into the seat (not quite as securely as the car seat, but..) and folds up super small! So much easier to carry than a big heavy toddler carseat!
My best tips would be to baby wear and carry on a backpack full of your in flight/airport necessities.  I recommended to check the stroller and car seat as soon as possible because it really tends to be a hassle in security.  Babywearing is always my top tip and while going to the restroom can be a bit awkward, it can be done and it's worth it for the ease of the rest of the trip!

What are your top tips for traveling the airports with a baby?


  1. My son is going to be 16 months when we travel (next month, wish me luck) and I've decided not to gate check his carseat- instead I've purchased the Gogo Babyz Travelmate which attaches to the carseat and will allow me to wheel him around until I am ready to gate check it. My airline told me that I could ask the gate if it was a full plane, if it wasn't a full plane that they could move me next to an open seat so that my son could stay in his carseat so I am keeping my fingers crossed that is the case, I'm not sure how it will work out with him just on my lap! I plan on carrying on the bare minimum since my hands will be more than full with my little guy!

  2. I've seen those and they're great options, but check out the CARES harness - they're not too expensive and they make the child feel almost as secure but it's MUCH easier!