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How soon can you fly with a baby? A comprehensive guide to plane travel with a baby

How soon can you fly with a baby? A comprehensive guide to plane travel with a baby

Travelling with a baby can be an exciting yet nerve wracking experience for new parents.

One of the most common questions is "How soon can you fly with a baby?" This question is not only crucial for planning family trips and holidays but also for ensuring the safety and comfort of your little one.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of plane travel with a baby and provide you with all the necessary information you need to make an informed decision. 

When can you start flying with your baby?

There are no universal rules regarding when babies can start flying so different airlines have different policies.  It's essential to check with your specific airline before booking your tickets. Generally, most airlines allow babies to fly when they are at least two days old but others require them to be at least two weeks old. 

Despite these policies, many doctors and pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is at least two months old (or eight weeks) before taking them on a flight. This allows time for your baby's immune system to mature and reduces their risk of catching an infection during travel.

Considerations for plane travel with a baby  

If you want to fly with your baby there are several factors that parents should consider, which include:

  1. Baby's health: The health of your baby should be the primary consideration. If your child has any health issues or was born prematurely, it's advisable to consult with a doctor before planning any trip.
  1. Vaccinations: It's recommended that babies receive their first set of vaccinations before flying. This precaution helps protect them from potential diseases they might encounter during travel. 
  1. Cabin pressure: The change in cabin pressure during takeoff and landing can cause discomfort in infants due to undeveloped Eustachian tubes (the tubes connecting the middle ear and throat). Feeding or giving a pacifier during these times can help alleviate this discomfort. 
  1. Travel duration: Long flights can be challenging for babies due to the confined space and changes in routine. If possible, try to plan your travel around your baby's sleep schedule or consider breaking up long journeys with stopovers.

Tips for flying with a baby 

Now that we've covered when and what to consider when flying with a baby, here are some tips to make your baby travel plane experience smoother:

  • Take the essentials: Make sure you pack all the things your baby will need during the flight, including nappies, wipes, formula or breast milk, snacks (if your baby is old enough), and a change (if not two) of clothes. 
  • Baby's favourite comfort items: Bring along your baby’s comfort items eg a favourite blanket or toy to help soothe your baby during the flight.
  • Book seating in advance: If possible, book a seat with extra legroom or near the front of the plane where it's typically quieter. For international long haul journeys, see if you can book a seat with an airplane cot or bassinet which most airlines can provide if booked in advance.  Click here to read our useful post on how to use a SnoozeShade with an airplane cot or bassinet
  • Stay hydrated: Air travel can be dehydrating for both you and your baby. Ensure you both stay hydrated throughout the flight.
  • Pack your SnoozeShade in your carry on luggage: You can use it to cover the airline cot, pop over your head when holding your baby so they get a break from the overhead cabin lights which can be distracting. It’s also useful in case you get delayed at the airport or when you arrive so your little one can have a nap wherever you are. 

Flying with a baby may seem overwhelming at first, but with careful planning and preparation, it can be a manageable task. Remember that every child is different; what works for one might not work for another. So don't stress if things don't go exactly as planned. The most important thing is that you and your little one arrive safely at your destination. 

Remember to consult with your doctor before making any travel plans and always prioritise the health and comfort of your child over everything else.

Happy travels!


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