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How to Travel with an Infant

Learn when it is safe to travel with a baby from pediatrician Dyan Hes, M.D. in this Howcast video about newborn and baby development.

Transcript

So when is it safe to travel with your baby? And by travel, do we mean going on a plane, going in a car, or going on a train? So, I recommend that you have your car seat when your baby is born and you're gonna go home from the hospital with your car seat and it has to be installed properly. Babies can drive anywhere. You can go cross country, you can take your kid baby as long as you stop frequently and feed your baby. There's no time limit on leaving your baby in the car seat. If you are travelling abroad or in a plane in the United States, it's perfectly safe to travel with your baby from birth on.

Sometimes parents like to defer travel to any place, a destination that requires an airplane until their baby gets their first set of vaccinations, so they would like to get their first set of vaccines as early as 45 days of life. That's the earliest you can give the first set of combination vaccines, especially now with the Pertussis outbreak, a lot of parents don't wanna fly on an airplane until their child gets a first DTAP vaccine, which I, I think that's a totally justified idea, although it's not mandatory. If you wanna fly, or you need to fly abroad, or fly somewhere with your child, and your toddler has not been vaccinated yet, that is okay, as long as when your child is the appropriate age at two months, you get your child vaccinated.

You don't need to do anything special with an infant to fly, especially when they're, like, you know, under nine months of age. Their sinuses are really not formed. They don't feel ear pain. Although they have sinuses, they're not all closed, so they don't feel ear pain when they're traveling like toddlers do and adults do. What I usually recommend is that if you're gonna go to an airport and your child still fits in a baby carrier, to wear the baby carrier is much easier than pushing the stroller and going through security, having to fold up the stroller and putting that through the security camera and machine.

Some parents, when they're going a long flight, do buy a separate seat for their child and in that case, you do bring your car seat to the airplane and you check the carriage in and the gate and you take the car seat onto the plane and you strap that in with the proper straps and your baby sleeps in the car seat.

Some airlines offer a bassinet that your baby can be in; they're usually the first row seats on a plane and you can like your baby down for a long, like, overnight flight and they even have straps and belts for your baby. Usually, you'll hold the baby on takeoff and landing and the rest of the time the baby's in that bassinet and that's safe, completely safe. It's all a matter of how much you can handle as a parent.

I love to travel with my children. I've taken my kids on an international as early as six weeks of age and it's just how much you can handle. And it's fun to travel with kids and it's easier to travel with an infant. When they're a toddler, it's just a little bit more difficult, but it's completely safe.

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