Parents, here’s the answer to your question, “When can a newborn travel?”
With people learning how to live with COVID-19 in our midst and the lifting of travel restrictions, many families have resumed their vacation plans. Yet it remains – travelling with a newborn is always challenging. However, there are precautions you can take to ensure that you and your infant have a safe and enjoyable journey.
When Can a Newborn Travel
In general, doctors advise delaying flying until your baby’s immune system has matured. For full-term infants, this might occur as soon as one month, however, most doctors prefer three to six months.
Because of the reduced air pressure in an airline cabin, premature newborns or babies with heart or lung disorders may have difficulties breathing. If this is the case with your child, consult with your paediatrician first before making any travel arrangements.
If you’re thinking about taking your baby on a road trip, here are some guidelines to keep your baby safe and pleasant throughout the ride.
When Can the Baby Travel by Car
When can newborn travel: Consider travelling when it is most convenient for your infant’s routine and plan on things not going as planned
Other than the basic warning about immune-system development, your newborn most likely arrived home by automobile, so there are no limits on road journeys. However, you still need to ensure your child’s safety while he’s in the car. Take note of these travel safety tips:
Inspect the car safety seat.
If you intend to take a long drive, ensure your infant’s car seat is properly installed. The car seat must be installed rear-facing and at the proper angle.
Stay in the backseat with your child.
It is usually preferable to have an adult or a responsible older child in the backseat with your baby so that you can easily take care of their needs during the ride.
To avoid unrest, you and your infant should get out of the car every few hours and stretch. For a day journey, try to take a break every 2 to 3 hours and every 4 to 6 hours at night to change diapers or soiled clothes or to feed your baby. Breastfeeding should never be attempted in a moving vehicle.
Keep the necessities close at hand.
Pack a diaper bag or a cooler on the back seat to keep things close at hand. This could include:
- extra diapers, wipes, diaper cream, changing pad, clothing, diaper rubbish bags, and hand sanitiser
- formula or breast milk stored on ice or in a cooling bag, as well as bibs
- pacifiers, a favourite calming toy, books, and a device to play music for entertainment
- a thermometer
Have snacks and drinks on hand for yourself as well! If you need to stop for a coffee on the way, do not leave your kid in the car, even for a few minutes. In overheated automobiles, children can swiftly succumb to heatstroke.
Consider travelling when it is most convenient for your infant’s routine.
If you need to travel for a few hours, consider going early in the morning while your kid is still asleep, or during longer nap times. Consider travelling at night, when your infant is generally asleep for the night, for longer excursions.
Plan on things not going as planned.
Travelling with an infant can be challenging. It’s critical to take minor setbacks in stride and not become overly concerned when things don’t go exactly as planned. Consider the advantages: travelling by car allows you to make as many stops as you need and to follow your own timetable.
When Is It Safe to Travel With a Newborn by Plane
Although newborns can fly soon after birth, parents should be aware of a number of health and safety problems.
According to Elizabeth Berger M.D., most paediatricians believe that a 4 to 6 week old baby can handle aeroplane travel. However, this only applies to healthy babies who have received the go-ahead from the doctor.
Premature infants, as well as those suffering from respiratory or other health problems, may fare better on the ground. In addition, doctors may advise an extended rest period for mothers who experienced problems during birth or C-sections.
Always get a go signal from your infant’s paediatrician when you’re making plans to travel to another destination via plane.
Image source: iStock
How Soon After Birth Can a Baby Travel by Plane
Infants must be at least 16 days old to travel by air. Infants under the age of two must be held by an adult during takeoff, landing, turbulence, and when the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign is on.
A parent or guardian who purchased a seat for a newborn but did not have an approved child restraint system (CRS) must remind the infant to be held on their lap throughout takeoff, landing, turbulence, and when the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign is illuminated.
Considerations for Air Travel With a Newborn
Although flying travel is generally safe for babies, parents are advised to keep the following concerns in mind:
- Germs and illness. Many airlines use recirculated air, which means that if one person gets a cold, the ventilation system spreads germs across the plane. Adults have matured immune systems that can fight off pathogens, so this isn’t a concern. However, an infant’s immune system is ineffective against certain viruses and germs that circulate on planes and in airports. Wash your hands frequently and avoid sitting near sick passengers.
- Air pressure and ears. Ordinary cabin pressurisation can cause severe pain in the ears of newborns. However, this can be mitigated slightly by letting the baby suck or drink during ascent and descent.
- Breathing problems. Because aeroplanes have reduced air pressure, babies may have difficulty breathing, particularly if they are premature or have heart, lung, or respiratory disorders. If your child meets the criteria, consult your doctor for more information.
- Fussy behaviour. Screaming, crying, and overall fussiness may arise because of the unfamiliar environment as well as unpleasant ear pressure. Make sure you’re prepared to deal with the worst-case scenario.
- Other people. While other passengers and airlines are more accommodating to their younger passengers, it’s best to come up with a plan in case your baby gets too fussy and disturbs other passengers. Breastfeeding usually works, or keeping the infant entertained with a toy or your voice.
Should you travel via plane with your newborn, do not forget to make the necessary arrangements such as making sure you request a bassinet for your baby when booking your flight, and checking in with the airlines if you can bring your baby’s water or breastmilk on board.
Travelling with a baby allows you to see the adventure from a different perspective, allowing you to adjust to a slower pace. Not only is it safe to travel with most babies, but here’s even better news: you and your family don’t have to abandon your travel goals.
However, for your baby’s wellness and safety, make sure to consult with her paediatrician first before going on a long trip, especially ones that involve long-haul plane rides.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.