Passport Requirements for Infants: A Comprehensive Guide
As every parent knows, having a newborn is an adventure of its own. It's like being thrown into the deep end of a pool filled with diapers, baby formula, and, if you're anything like us, plenty of organic baby food. But what if that adventure extends beyond the confines of your home? What if you're itching to take your little bundle of joy across borders and show them the wonders of the world? Ah, here's the catch. It turns out, your infant is going to need something more than just an adorable smile and a suitcase full of organic baby food.

Yes, my friend, you guessed it. We're talking about passports. Specifically, infant passports. "Do infants need passports?" you might ask, barely concealing a chuckle. The answer is an emphatic yes, they do. And before you ask, no, sticking a photo of your cherubic baby in your own passport doesn’t count. Nice try, though.

The World of Infant Passports

There is a common misconception that those adorable, tiny humans we lovingly call infants don't need passports. But the truth, as it often does, bites harder than a teething toddler. Every U.S. citizen – and this includes your drooling little darling – requires a passport to travel internationally, regardless of age.

"Do infants need passports even if they're not going to remember the trip?" Yes, and they will also need a clean diaper despite the fact they won't remember that either. A slightly amusing comparison, but an accurate one nonetheless!

Infants on a Plane

If you’re imagining your infant sitting next to you on the plane, tiny passport in hand, you’re not far off. As much as we wish our little ones could just be added to our own passports, that’s no longer the case. Until the late 1980s, children could travel on their parents' passports. Today, however, even newborns require their own individual passports for international travel.

So yes, your little one, who probably just discovered their own toes, will have an official document saying they’re allowed to cross borders. Bizarre, isn't it? But hey, in a world where we're making organic baby food out of avocados and chia seeds, it really shouldn't be the strangest thing!

Navigating the Application Process

Applying for an infant passport isn't as scary as it sounds. It's like making your first batch of homemade organic baby food. The first time, it seems daunting with all the peeling, chopping, and puréeing, but once you have the process down, it's a breeze.

To apply for your baby's passport, both parents must appear in person at an approved passport application facility (like a post office or courthouse), armed with a DS-11 form filled out (but not signed) and the following items:

1. Proof of your baby’s U.S. citizenship (like a birth certificate)
2. Proof of your relationship to the baby (also the birth certificate)
3. Your own identification (like a driver's license)
4. A photocopy of the front and back of the ID that you just presented
5. An adorable passport photo of your baby (no grins or funny faces!)

Remember that getting a decent passport photo of your little one can be a bit like trying to catch a greased piglet, but hang in there, and keep those wipes handy!

The Wait Begins

Once you've submitted your application, the hardest part begins - waiting. But hey, we parents are no strangers to the waiting game, are we? We wait for those first steps, the first words, and if you're anything like me, you're also waiting for a full night's sleep (don't worry, it's coming… someday).

So, "Do infants need passports?" Yes, they certainly do! But look on the bright side: when your child grows up and complains that they never go anywhere, you can whip out their first passport and show them just how jet-set they were before they even had their first tooth. The passport is more than just a ticket to your family's next adventure, it's the start of your child's own journey in the world. A journey that, we hope, is always powered by the best organic baby food.

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