For mothers and fathers preparing to go on their holidays, travelling with a newborn baby may be a new, and potentially discerning, concept.
Taking your newborn into account when planning your travel arrangements is an extra step added to your holiday process and one that you’re not likely to know where to begin with. If you’re travelling by plane, this is no exception.
In this article, we aim to highlight the key advice, regulations, and guidelines for travelling with a newborn by plane so that your baby can travel safely and comfortably and so that you can best prepare for your flight, and first holiday, together.
How Old Does a Baby Have to be to Fly?
When asking the question of how soon can a newborn fly, it ultimately depends on the airline you are travelling with. Some airlines, for example, Ryan Air, do not accept infants below 7 days old on board their flights, whereas EasyJet will only permit babies over the age of 14 days to travel with them.
We would therefore advise that you appropriately research the airline that you are planning to travel with before making any arrangements to ensure that your newborn will be permitted to travel.
When is it Safe to Travel with a Newborn?
Generally, most healthcare professionals agree that travelling with a newborn is much safer when their immune system is more developed.
Air travel increases the risk of catching infectious diseases for all travellers, particularly for babies, whose immune systems are less developed, therefore being more susceptible to these diseases.
According to a healthcare professional, a newborn’s immune system doesn’t develop until the age of 2-3 months. Thus, ideally, you should wait until they reach this age before travelling with a newborn.
You may also wish to wait until your newborn has received all of their routine immunisations under the age of 1 year for added protection. Your newborn will then be much safer when flying, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are better protected from infectious diseases.
Advice for Flying With a Newborn
Preparing to keep your newborn comfortable onboard a flight means you must be aware of the onboard environment. Cabin pressure changes during take-off and descent can cause pressure changes in the ear, particularly for children, resulting in discomfort. However, sucking on a dummy or bottle is one way to alleviate this pain and keep your newborn comfortable.
We would also advise that if your child is sick you do not fly with them unless told it is safe to do so by a medical professional. If your newborn has preexisting health conditions, we would also recommend talking to your GP to discuss the process of flying, and whether it is safe, in your unique circumstances.
Lastly, but not least, make sure you have purchased an appropriate family travel insurance plan for you and your newborn before your trip.
Travelling with a newborn may be a daunting concept, but by ensuring you have taken the necessary steps for your journey, and have purchased appropriate travel insurance, you can enjoy your first holiday with your newborn knowing that you’re adequately prepared.