Flying, holidays and trips can be stressful at the best of times but getting ready to travel with a newborn can be even more so. Whether you’re going to see family or taking a break from all the chaos of labour and a newborn baby it can be hard to know what the best time is to take your baby on a flight, what precautions you should take and if it’s going to harm you or your baby. We’ve put together a few facts and tips to make flying with a baby a little bit easier for you and make travelling with your new arrival fun.
What age can a baby fly?
From 2 weeks your baby will be allowed to fly on all airlines. Some airlines allow a baby from 2 days old if there’s been no complications but 2 weeks seems to be the usual, you should check with whatever airline you plan to fly with in advance. This being said pediatrician Lane France of BabyCenter.com recommends that you wait until your baby is 2 to 3 months of age to be on the safe side. You should also check with your own doctor when it is safe for you to fly yourself. If you had a cesarean section you may need to wait until your 6 week check up before you fly so be sure to check in with your obstetrician or midwife.
Things to do beforehand
When flying with a baby make sure they have their own passport. These can take a few weeks to get so make sure not to book anything until you’re certain that the passport will have arrived. If you’re travelling to a place that requires a VISA, your baby will need one to. If you have a different surname to your baby you’ll need to bring a copy of the birth certificate and a signed letter from the other parent with you as a precaution.
Although airlines are happy for babies and children to sit on your lap during the flight, you will need to buy your baby a ticket and them have a seperate seat. Most airlines let you reserve your seats when you check in so be sure to do so early to reserve seats with plenty of room and easy access to the aisles in case you need to get to the bathroom or walk your baby up and down the aisle to soothe him or her.
Check vaccinations. It’s best not to take your baby somewhere where he or she isn’t old enough to been vaccinated for any diseases. For example, if your baby is younger than 2 months old it’s not safe to take anti-malarial medicine or if he or she is under 6 months he or she can’t be vaccinated for yellow fever.
You can also request a carry cot for the flight. These come at a first come first serve basis so be sure to ask as soon as possible. Be sure to check with the airline you’re flying with the allowances for a baby change bag and be sure to only take the correct amount of baby lotion or nappy cream. While there are restrictions on liquids on airplanes these do not apply to food and drink for your baby. These include baby formula, expressed milk or cow’s milk, boiled water to make a feed (must be in a baby bottle) and baby food (including finger food).
What should you take with you?
Make sure your carry-on/change bag is prepared for delays as well as changes to your babies routine. They might be hungry when they’d usually be tired due to time zones and it’s good to be prepared for any situation. We recommend you take:
– Baby wipes, nappies and nappy sacks
– If your baby still uses dummies be sure to take a few that are sterilized
– Bring a blanket and sheet from home as the smell will be comforting for your baby
– Bring some favourite toys but also buy a new one as a distraction for your baby
– Spare clothes for you and your baby. Babies are messy work anyway but even more so if there’s any turbulence
– Enough food for the entire journey as well as delays on either end
– A book or tablet for yourself in case your baby falls asleep
How to make it fun
It can seem like a stressful event taking your baby on a plane for the first time but think of it as time with him or her without any distractions. You don’t need to worry about doing laundry or work, you can just focus your complete attention on your baby for the duration of the flight. Take this time to play, read and cuddle with him or her and you can use it as a teaching opportunity. Walk your baby up and down the aisles and let them explore and if they fall asleep enjoy the time to read a book or watch a movie.
Regardless of whether you’re going abroad this year, or opting for a staycation, here at Kiddies Kingdom, we have everything you need to ensure you have the perfect family holiday together.