Are you pregnant and already looking forward to that first family vacation? Maybe you have a new little one, and you’re anxious to show him off to your far-away friends and family in another part of the country.
Before you book that plane ticket, here are a few things to consider before traveling with your newborn.
No hard and fast rules
Ideally your infant should be at least a couple of months old and already have his first set of immunizations before traveling. Remember: any baby under 2 months old who gets sick may end up in the hospital with an IV, blood work, and even a spinal tap. You may want to think twice before you book that plane ticket and bring your baby on an airplane filled with germs. You might want to wait until his immune system is a little bit stronger.
There are certainly life circumstances that may make it necessary for you to travel with your infant. Whether you have adopted a newborn or have a family emergency across the country, there may be times when you need to travel. If this is the case, be sure to protect your baby from germs as best you can. It might be a good idea to wear your baby in an infant carrier or sling to keep him close to you at all times.
Each airline has different rules when it comes to traveling with infants. Some require a doctor’s letter stating it is safe for the baby to fly. Others simply won’t allow your baby under 1-2 weeks of age to get on an airplane. If you do decide to travel, be sure to check with the airline before you book your flight to make sure there is no confusion. Also, bring proof of your baby’s age to the airport so there are no surprises when you get there.
Hold off as long as possible
Remember, you will have plenty of time to make vacation memories with your child. So if possible, hold off as long as you can before traveling with your newborn.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019