At What Age Is It Safe for a Baby to Fly?

It’s generally considered safe for your child to fly when they are two to three months old. By this time, the baby’s immune system has developed and they can resist germs. Besides health, the baby has already settled into a routine which makes it easier for you to manage them with breast feeding or bottle feeding.

If you need to fly much earlier than that, you could be given the go-ahead after the child’s two weeks checkup. That said; this would only be allowed if the child was born healthy and when the mother went through with her full pregnancy term with no complications.

Airlines will not allow a baby younger than a week on board without a written medical consent. Premature babies are more vulnerable to germs and it may take them a much longer time to go on air travel. The best person to answer whether or not your child can fly is therefore your pediatrician.

Please note that the Federal Aviation Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not have detailed recommendations or specific travelling advice for newborn babies. If you must fly with your newborns, you need to get the green light from your pediatrician.

Why Is It Better to Wait till Later?

While a newborn child can fly when only a week old, it’s usually better to wait until he or she is a month old or six weeks old. This gives both the baby and mother a chance to settle down. The mother also needs the rest especially if they gave birth through caesarean section and should fly after about 10 days. If the child has a cough or cold, he or she is more likely to suffer from ear popping which is quite unpleasant. Generally, you need to limit your child’s exposure to crowds so as to reduce chances of developing sickness. Trips come with exposure to viral ailments or infections. Airports, airplanes and family gatherings are not the best places for newborns or infants.

Tips on Flying with Newborns

1. Care for the Baby and the Mom

Newborn babies can be very unpredictable. They tend to have irregular sleeping and feeding patterns and needless to say the crying can also get uncontrollable. This not only drains the child but the mum too and this is why it is recommended that you have an organized schedule before travelling. This could take anything from a few weeks to months. The mother’s health must be considered, women are generally at a greater risk of developing blood clots after delivery and when they sit for long periods of time. Wear supportive clothing such as hose and stretch throughout the flight. Also keep your body well hydrated.

2. Get Well Packed

Be prepared and carry essentials that will keep you and newborn comfortable throughout the flight. Carry diapers, plastic diaper baggies, baby wipes, spit-up cleaners, extra bottles and an extra clean blouse.

Make sure that you dress your baby with a highly absorbent diaper before taking off as this helps to prevent frequent diaper changes during your flight. As you can imagine or already know, changing diapers in bathroom on planes is not enjoyable.

3. Get Isle Tickets

Book front isle seats. Aisle seats give you greater freedom in terms of mobility. You also get faster access when boarding the plane and exiting. If the tickets are not sold out, you can request to have the seat next to you left empty. If you were not able to book for your desired seat, you can always ask the agent upon check-in to help relocate you to a more suitable seat.

4. Wear Your Baby

Baby carriers help a great deal. Get your child used to sling type carriers as they are most comfortable and versatile as well. A baby carrier helps you nurse discreetly and you can carry your child in various positions as well as soothe them to sleep. This also discourages strangers from wanting to touch your child. Generally, it’s easier to travel with newborns than older babies as they sleep most of the time.

5. Relive Ear Pressure and Pain

Most parents are worried about changes in air pressure affecting the baby’s ears. Well, there is reason to be worried and this is because these changes which often occur during take-off and landing can cause lasting damage to the ears. The pressure could be especially uncomfortable if the baby is suffering from an ear infection and in such cases its best to postpone the flight. It’s important to keep the baby comfortable and giving them something to suck on such as a pacifier during take-off and landing could help. You can also carry instant pain relievers like acetaminophen to help soothe the ear pain.

6. Pre-feed Your Baby

If you feed your baby before boarding, chances are that they will sleep right through the flight. Lower atmospheric pressures expand the intestines and feeding your child could lead to a bloated tummy, cause colic or abdominal pain. Also ensure that the baby burps before boarding the flight.

7. Is Passport Needed for International Flight?

We all need passports to travel to most foreign countries and that includes infants. When applying for a child’s passport, the parent or guardian needs to apply in person with the child present. Both parents need to be present during application but when this is not possible, a signed and notarized statement of consent from the absent parent must be availed. If you are a single parent, you must provide proof. Where proof is not available, you will have to provide a statement of explanation under the special circumstances box. It would be rather complicated to get a passport the first time. Documents like the baby’s birth certificate are necessary. Countries also have different requirements on passport and visa. You can go the following website for more information and better prepare for the process.



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