If you have a bundle of joy on the way, or have recently given birth and are wondering ‘when can I travel with my baby?’, you’ve come to the right place. The good news is that a healthy baby can fly fairly soon after birth, although there are various health and safety concerns any parent should take into consideration. In this article, we’ve covered the age you can travel with your new baby, as well as tips and tricks for air travel with a baby or toddler.
Bonus tip for parents – If you’re little one hasn’t yet arrived, it’s worth considering taking one last trip with your partner before your lives change forever. Babymoons have exploded in popularity over the past few years, with my companies even offering dedicated babymoon tours for parents-to-be looking for one final adventure, just the two of you.
When can I travel with my newborn?
Most doctor’s generally recommend that you can travel by air with a healthy newborn from 4-6 weeks of age. If babies have been born prematurely, or have respiratory or other health issues, the recommended age will be later. It is always best to speak to a doctor if you’re wondering ‘when can I travel with my baby?’, whether they are healthy or not. Mum’s who have had complicated births or c-sections may also be recommended to have a longer rest period before flying.
However, if you are planning on flying earlier than this, it’s important to check the airlines policy as they may have a minimum age requirement. This could be anything from 2 days to 2 weeks old and in some cases, newborns may require a doctor’s note to fly. It’s also important to remember when asking when can I travel with a newborn, that if you are planning on travelling internationally your baby will need a passport. This can be quite a timely process (in the UK for example, it will take around 3 weeks for a passport to be issued), although you may be able to request an emergency passport if you need it sooner.
Generally, most new parents will wait a few weeks before flying with their new baby. This gives you time to settle into your new life together, and also means your baby is not quite so vulnerable to germs that they may pick up while travelling.
How to travel with children
Travelling pre children is as easy as packing a bag, enjoying a pre-flight drink and making sure you haven’t forgotten your passport, but once you start asking about how to travel with kids, all that changes. Yet while the travelling experience is undoubtedly more complicated, you can certainly alleviate stress by being prepared. And remember, the most challenging part of travelling with children is the actual getting there part. Once you’re in your final destination, you’ll be amazed by how everything else just falls into place (and even more so if you choose to travel on a dedicated family tour).
The first thing to do when asking ‘when can I travel with my baby?’ is to ensure you have packed the following for the flight:
- Drinks and snacks
- Nappies, wipes and changing mat
- A change of clothes
In terms of what to pack for your actual holiday, depending on the age of your child (baby or toddler) you will likely want to pack the following:
- A lightweight buggy
- A baby carrier
- A travel cot
- A first-aid kit, medication and sun protection
- Travel blackout blinds
Once you’re packed and ready to go, there tips may help make the airport and flight process with children go a little smoother:
- Make use of the airport facilities. Many airports even have dedicated spaces for entertaining children.
- Make sure you’ve packed everything that you’ll need for your flight (including the items we mentioned above) into your hand luggage, so you don’t get caught short.
- Travelling at night helps little ones stick to their usual routines. On long-haul flights, you can also request a bassinet for babies to sleep in.
- For little babies, it may be worth bringing a baby carrier on the flight so you can walk them up and down the aisles.
- If possible, sit on the aisle seat you can get up and down easily
- For babies, breast feeding or bottle feeding on take-off and landing can help ease the discomfort caused by changing cabin pressure, while giving a toddler a dummy or an older child a sweet to suck on can also help.
Do you have any further tips for new parents asking ‘when can I travel with my baby?’. Share your advice in the comments below…