This was supposed to be my "I" post from yesterday. I started it in the morning and then the day just got away from me with work and coming home to an extremely tired and fussy baby. So today you will get "I" and "J"
(This is part two in the traveling with an infant series. Check out part one: What to Pack)
So you've got your bags all packed and now it's time to go to the airport and navigate security. Scary, I know. Here are some tips to hopefully make things a little bit easier.
*Check in as much baggage as possible to avoided feeling overly bogged down
*You should be able to check your car seat for no addittional fee and gate check your stroller for no fee
*Most of the information I have found says that when traveling with children, you can not check-in online due the need for the airline to verify the child's age. This may vary carrier to carrier, so I suggest you call the airline to find out
*If you don't think you will need a stroller at your destination, and can handle any layovers without one, consider leaving it at home and carrying your baby in a sling/infant carrier.
*Take your baby out of the stroller or infant carrier prior to reaching the security line. The stroller will usually have to be emptied and screened manually by a checker. Some airports do not require that you remove the child from a front or back-carrier, but you will have to send a car seat carrier and folding stroller through the X-ray machine.
*Keep breast milk, formula, or baby food in a separate container from your other carry-on luggage so you can easily declare it to security.
*Try to wear comfortable, slip-on shoes when traveling, since you are required to remove your shoes when you go through screening. If you're carrying a baby, it can be difficult to bend down and lace up your sneakers when you come out, so that's one less thing you have to juggle
* Most airlines no longer allow preboarding for families traveling with young children (not really a tip, but something you should be aware of)
*When you get to the gate, gate-check your stroller by getting a tag for it and leaving it at the end of the jet-way, just before you board the plane. You pick it up when you get off the plane at the same spot. Make sure you fold it when you leave it to make sure it isn't damaged by luggage handlers who may not know how to appropriately fold it. Airlines consider this a fragile item, so they will not pay if it is broken.