10/19/2011 11:05 am ET Updated Dec 19, 2011

Simple Steps to Getting a Passport for Your Child

Easy, breezy. Getting a passport for your baby is super simple and should be mandatory. Especially for parents who encourage independence and exploration for themselves and their children. The task can seem overwhelming, but it is actual quite painless if you have all the pieces you need to file. So let's get that baby of yours a passport!

Just a few helpful items:

1. If you are planning a trip to another country. ANY country that is not the USA, you NEED a passport. A birth certificate WILL NOT WORK. You need at least 8 weeks before your departure date to ensure that you get a passport for your child. It usually takes less time, but don't chance it. If you need to jet quickly, you can expedite the process HERE.

2. Domestic travel does not require a passport. I flew with my baby from Oakland to Burbank and we did not need ID for her. I think that is a mistake. They did request her birth certificate and immunization card very kindly, but it was not mandatory. I think it should be. (Think Amber alert.)

3. You don't need a Social Security Number for an infant. That is one thing that the Passport Office is OK about. Since Social Security Numbers are not mandatory anymore, parents don't need to go through that process -- hell, what is social security now anyway? In the section where it asks for the SS# just put "000-00-000." That's it.

OK, now the simple steps to getting your child's passport:

1. Go you your local post office and pick up a passport application. There you will find a list of all the documents you'll need.

- Original birth certificate
- 2 passport photos
- Your passport
- Your baby's mama's or daddy's passport
- A cashier's check or ATM card you can use for the cost of the passport and application

2. Fill out the application and call your local post office to make an appointment to get your documents reviewed and notarized under oath.

- Getting an appointment is very simple, just call your nearest post office and find out if they accept passport applications.

Here is a LINK with all those details.

3. Go to the post office: On the day of your appointment at the post office, show up with your bundle of joy (your baby), the baby's passport photos, the application filled out, the original birth certificate of your child, your passport, yourself, the father/mother of your child who is listed on the birth certificate, his/her passport, and an ATM card or cash to pay for the passport and application.

4. Take an oath: The postal officer will ask you and your partner to swear under oath, then ask for your money and send off your baby's passport application with the original birth certificate and photos.

4-8 weeks later, your baby will have a passport! It is valid for 5 years. Your baby's birth certificate will be sent back is a separate package to you.

Now, go off and TRAVEL with that beautiful baby!

For more details on passports for your infant visit the US Department of State's website.

For more tips on traveling with your baby visit