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Family Travel Question:

Q | When can I start traveling with my newborn?

When can I start traveling with my newborn? What kinds of things do I need to know before doing so? -Mandy, Rhode Island

A | Traveling with a newborn for the first time

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Generally you can travel with your newborn as soon as your pediatrician agrees that he or she is ready. You should also check the policy of the airline you are considering (some airlines have no restrictions, while others would like your baby to be a few weeks old)

In addition to your baby’s health, you should consider your own recovery and ability to lift things. For example, you would not want to be carrying heavy baggage shortly after a c-section.

Flying with a newbornWhat to bring

Bring along plenty of diapers and a change of clothing for baby. You might also want to bring along a spare shirt for yourself just in case. Here is a complete list of what to pack in your carry-on when traveling with a baby.

Baby’s comfort

Dress baby in layers as the temperature may change and airplanes can sometimes be very cool or quite hot. During takeoff and landing, you can help clear baby’s ears (and stop him or her from crying) by nursing or with a bottle or pacifier. Here are more tips for flying with babies.

Seating

The safest place for baby is in his or her car seat, with the seat installed into one of the airplane seats. However, FAA rules do allow you to fly with your child on your lap. Most US carriers will allow lap infants to fly for free, but if you are traveling internationally you may need to pay a fee (usually 10% of the adult fare).

If you are flying internationally, ask ahead of time about reserving a bulkhead seat with a baby cot. You’ll be able to lay your baby down in the cot while the airplane is in flight (assuming there is no turbulence)

Related links:

Tips for Flying With Babies, Toddlers and Kids

Favorite Travel Gear for Flying with Babies

Got your own family travel tips to share? Please leave a comment.