Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Traveling with Your Baby/Toddler: Traveling Internationally

Post 6 of 6 on Traveling with Your Baby/Toddler

You will need a passport for the baby. Both parents need to be present at the passport office to sign the papers. Make sure to have 6 weeks lead time. If you are in the US, you can get the passport pictures taken at most drugstores. We had HB’s pictures taken at 4 weeks before she could even hold up her head. Just make sure that any props or hands holding the baby are not visible in the picture. If you are in Canada, they are much more strict about passport pictures, and you will need to go to a special photo studio that can handle infants.

If the baby is traveling internationally without both parents, you will need a notarized letter of consent from the non-traveling parent. You can find example letters online. Make sure to get it notarized so that there will be no question of its validity.

8 comments:

  1. nectarines4:46 PM

    We had our son's passport done when he was about 8 weeks old, very early in 2007. At the time, the drugstore/Kinko's places in town all flatly refused to take his photo, insisting that rules were slightly different for baby photographs. We had to find a professional photographer who had done this before.

    To be fair, we were living in a very small Midwestern city at the time; it may just be that the locals didn't have many chances to take baby passport pictures. But just a warning that it can be an issue, even in the U.S. Fortunately, once we realized we needed a professional, it wasn't too hard to find one - even in the middle of nowhere!

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  2. @nectarines - Thanks for the warning. I had HB's photo taken at the local drugstore, and AB's at CVS. Both times, I called ahead to see if they could accommodate an infant. YMMV, so it's good to call ahead so that you don't make a special trip for nothing.

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  3. Jennifer1:05 PM

    We took our babe's photos at home. Laid her on the white bedspread and took a bazillion pictures until we got a couple that met the criteria (eyes open, no props, etc). Sent them to walgreens and cut to size. YMMV but it was 15 minutes of work and a quarter for printing. Both the US and the UK found them acceptable.

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  4. @Jennifer - thanks for the great tip! Yes, in the US, you are allowed to take your own passport photos, as long as they meet certain requirements. The tip about laying your baby down is great! At CVS, they laid AB on a white mat to take his pic. Much easier than trying to prop them up! You can also bring your own digital pictures (on a compact flash) into the CVS and they have a special resizing program made just for passport pics. Call ahead to make sure your CVS has this capability.

    In Canada, you are not permitted to take your own pics. They must be taken at a photo shop that has a special stamp for the back of the picture.

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  5. Great series. Very thorough. My kids have never needed passports. The last time we were out of the country, to Canada, maybe five years ago, Scout didn't need a passport. We carried a copy (or maybe an original) of his birth certificate.

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  6. @ladybughugs - I'm glad you liked the series! As far as passports for visiting Canada, the requirements have recently changed. Passports are now required of children when re-entering the US by air. When re-entering by land or sea, the passport is not required as of now. Please check the Department of Homeland Security web page before you travel to make sure.

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  7. I was hoping you'd have tips for the actual *travel* -- i.e., how do you actually entertain a toddler, or let them nap, when you're talking about an 8-12-hour flight? How much do you trust to finding supplies at the other end rather than taking them with you? What other unexpected limitations might one run into -- from conflict between the Pack'n'Play and luggage weight limits, to inability to plug in some critical appliance, to differences over breastfeeding in public, etc...?

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  8. @ACM - those are all really great suggestions. I will try to write about them sometime soon!

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