Whether it’s for a pleasurable vacation or simply an unavoidable trip, sometimes parents face no option but to fly with their newborn.
If you’re facing this upcoming scenario, you’re no doubt wondering when exactly can you take a flight with a baby?
Technically you can fly with a newborn as young as 2-14 days old depending on your airline, although doctors recommend waiting until your baby is around 3-6 months old, because their immune system will be better developed by this age.
How Soon Can You Travel By Plane With A Newborn?
According to doctors and other medical professionals, air travel is safe for healthy, full-term infants.
But as “infant” is a loose term when it comes to age, you’re probably wondering when is the earliest your newborn baby can fly.
This comes down to several factors including your airline’s policy, the health of your baby, and what you’re comfortable with.
There is no blanket policy that covers all airlines when it comes to the allowable age to fly with a newborn baby.
So you should definitely check with your airline about their specific policy regarding flying with newborns.
To highlight the differences, some major airlines will require you to have an approval letter or medical release if you wish to fly with a baby that’s under 7 or 14 days old, while other airlines will not have any restrictions in place at all.
Your Baby’s Health
As mentioned, it’s generally safe for full-term newborns to fly even if they are only a few days old.
But if your baby was born preterm or prematurely, or has any serious heart, lung or breathing problems, then you should certainly speak with your health care provider before taking them on a flight.
In general the advice form most doctors is to wait until your baby is 3-6 months old before flying.
This is because their immune system will be better developed at this age vs when they are a newborn.
So ultimately the decision to fly with a baby younger than 3-6 months comes down to what you’re happy with, and whether or not you think your baby’s immune system is up to the task.
But for extra piece of mind it can be a good idea to speak to your pediatrician first.
When Can A Newborn Fly Internationally?
Whether you are flying domestically within the USA or internationally, it seems airline policies remain the same.
So flying internationally with a baby as young as 2-14 days is likely to be fine, provided your have an approval letter from a medical professional.
Again, it’s best to check with your airline regarding their policy, just in case you need to arrange for any documentation which you may be required to show.
Can A 2 Month Old Baby Travel On A Plane?
Many parents like to wait around 2 months before flying with a baby, because this gives your baby some time to develop their immune system.
As 2 months is slightly below the 3-6 month recommendation of many doctors, it’s still best to speak with a medical professional before flying with a 2 month old.
Best Place To Sit When Flying With A Baby
When flying with a newborn or infant, it’s important to know the best place to sit, as this may make the overall experience a little bit easier.
Back Of Plane
The back of an airplane can be a great place to sit with a baby for several reasons:
- It’s close to the galley, which is space you may find useful if you want to stand up with your baby. It’s also convenient if you need some hot water to prepare a bottle of baby formula.
- You’re unlikely to get stuck behind the food or drinks cart.
- Most people prefer to sit closer to the front of the aircraft, so it may be quieter at the back and therefore more private.
Bulkheads are also popular with parents traveling with young babies because:
- The increased legroom provides more room to store a diaper bag or your baby’s car seat if you’re taking one on-board.
- There is more space for manoeuvring, feeding or to put your baby on your lap.
- You won’t have to deal with passengers reclining their seats in front of you.
- You may also be able to request a bassinet that attaches to the wall, increasing the likelihood your baby will sleep given the increase level of comfort.
Lastly, many parents traveling with babies prefer window seats to an aisle for several reasons including:
- More privacy for breastfeeding
- No need to worry about anyone knocking into your baby’s head vs the aisle (especially if their head is by the window side).
- No need to be disturbed should the passengers in your row need to use the restroom.
When Can A Newborn Travel By Car?
There is no minimum recommended age before traveling with a newborn by car.
However, if you are planning to drive long distance then you should keep in mind experts recommend waiting until your baby is 6 weeks old before taking them on a long distance journey by car.
Pediatricians also recommend you limit the time your newborn is sat in a car seat to 30 minutes, because longer stretches may result in your baby experiencing breathing difficulties.
How Soon Can You Travel With a Newborn By Train?
Because trains are similar to airplanes in that they are contained spaces that are often crowded, the general advice is to wait until your baby has a more developed immune system before embarking on a train journey.
So if possible, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 3 months before traveling by train.