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Flying and leaving your little one behind? It's a difficult decision for any parent to make. But it's not as simple as the deep feeling you have for your baby. As we know, not all air travel is a walk in the park. A minimum of precautions must be taken to ensure that your baby gets the most out of it.

Is it really that risky for a baby to fly?

Air travel is the safest form of transport today, that's a fact! However, infants do not yet have the stamina to cope with stress. In addition to an excess of luggage to plan for, you will have to succeed in the difficult task of keeping them calm and in good spirits during the flight. But it doesn't stop there.

There are quite a few things your child can be exposed to during a flight. When the air pressure changes, the membrane of the eardrum can shrink or swell. This leads to a sharp pain similar to that of an ear infection. The same cause can also lead to abdominal bloating, especially if the flight is long.

While it is true that a baby over a week old can fly with peace of mind, it can be complicated if he or she is prone to ADHD. ADHD is a behavioural disorder with hyperactivity that can complicate a child's response to the demands of an airplane flight. This manifests itself as a rigidity of the limbs that prevents him from moving. In this case, it is recommended that the child continues treatment if he or she has started it.

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What documentation is needed to travel with a baby on a plane?

As far as age requirements are concerned, there are regulations on the minimum age of a child flying. But in most cases, airlines apply their own rules. It is worth specifying that you travel with a child at the time of ticket purchase. This will ensure that you are allocated a seat where you can comfortably seat them.

If you are travelling within the country or Europe, you will not need anything other than the ID card. If you are travelling further afield, however, a passport is imperative until he or she is three years old. But if you're lucky, you may be able to get a discount on the price of your little one's plane ticket. Some airlines even offer them for free.

Applying for a baby ID is relatively simple as it is largely done online. Only the collection of the document requires a visit to a branch. Applying for a passport is a little more complex. This has a cost for minors under 15 years of age. Valid for five years, the passport takes an average of one month to issue. If the child is over 12 years old, you can apply via the internet or at a town hall. In countries like Belgium, these documents are known as Kids-ID. They allow a child under the age of 12 to travel in the European Union and to several other destinations.

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