Traveling with family can be difficult enough, but when you decide to add a newborn to the mix, things get really interesting! You may have been a pro-traveler while you were pregnant but when your baby is actually here, it’s a different type of travel for you and your family. These little ones need a lot of attention, and there are times when you have no idea what they need or want. Of course, all newborns vocalize their needs by crying, and there are times when they may not be consoled too easily. You probably already have tips on how to fly with a baby, but a newborn can be especially more challenging.
Now, this doesn’t mean you cannot board an airplane and take off flying with a newborn baby. It just means you need to know a few things beforehand and hopefully, you did take a babymoon while pregnant.
How Soon Can a Newborn Fly?
Most newborns can fly when they are two days old, but that age can be different, depending on which airline you are flying, what your baby’s doctor says, and where you are going. Some airlines are stricter than others when it comes to flying with a newborn, so you will need to check with the airline before you book a flight. While each one may have different age requirements, almost all of them will need a note from your baby’s doctor that states your baby can fly.
There are some areas where the doctor may not want your baby traveling, especially if there has been an outbreak of some kind in recent weeks or months. However, that normally doesn’t occur within the United States, so you should be safe.
When Can a Newborn Fly Internationally?
Now, when it comes to international travel, you are going to need to wait a little while before flying with a newborn. Even though your baby was just born, they are going to need their own passport before you can take them out of the country. It takes time to get approval for passports and have them delivered to you, even with the rush option, so your newborn might be a month or month and a half old before you receive it.
Once you have all those questions answered and know that you can safely fly with your newborn, you may think you are ready to jet off to faraway destinations! While this is true, you may want to know a few tricks to keep you sane as you are flying with a newborn.
Here are 7 tips that will help tremendously when you are flying with a newborn baby:
1. Change Your Baby’s Diaper Before You Board
You know how small those airplane bathrooms are, so be prepared and change your newborn’s diaper before you board the plane! You will most likely need to do it again mid-flight, but it is better than juggling a baby, the diaper, and the wipes on your lap in your seat more than once.
2. Arrive Early to Clear Security
Getting through security with a newborn is not as easy as it seems. You have the car seat, the stroller, the diaper bag, the bottles filled with formula or breastmilk, possibly a breast pump, and all the other paraphernalia these little ones need. All that needs to be scanned, as do you, the baby, and the rest of the family. It takes time, and it is not something you want to rush through!
3. Never Pre-Board, Unless Necessary
We never recommend that you pre-board when flying with a newborn baby unless you are using an airline that doesn’t offer reserved seats. If you already have your seats, we recommend waiting to board until almost everyone else is on the plane. This way, you have more space to move around to keep your little one happy, instead of trying to sway with them in your tiny airline seat. If you don’t have your seats reserved, use the pre-board option, so you can sit with everyone in your group and choose a seat that works best for your in-flight needs.
4. Feed Your Newborn During Both Take 0ff and Landing
Babies ears will pop quite a lot during take-off and landing, which is why we always recommend feeding them during those times. The sucking motion will keep the pressure out of their ears and stop them from crying.
5. Secure the Pacifier to Something
We usually never recommend securing a pacifier to a string and your child, but when you are flying with a newborn, you want to avoid having the pacifier hitting the ground or anything else when it inevitably falls. While we know you don’t want the germs on the pacifier, it is also best, so you don’t need to attempt to contort your body to try to pick it up from under your seat. That feat alone would earn you supermom status, though!
6. Bring Sanitizer Wipes
Sanitizer wipes can help you keep the seat that you are using clean while allowing you to wash the germs off your hands throughout the flight. This is especially helpful during cold and flu season when your newborn can catch anything and everything, and so can you.
7. Pack an Extra Outfit for Baby AND You
Every mom needs to know that blowouts happen, and they happen at the most inopportune times! That means the chances of your newborn having a massive explosion is quite good when you are mid-air. For that reason or the fact that your little one could also spit up all over you, we recommend taking a change of clothes for both of you in your carry-on bag.
The first time flying with a newborn will be challenging, but if you use the above tips, you will have a better experience. Plus, you are going to instill a love of flying onto your child, which means you can make amazing memories together as you travel the world! And as they get older, our tips on traveling with kids and a collection of the best kids travel accessories, should ease the discomfort of travel for both you and your loved little one.