It may surprise you to learn that many airlines will let your baby board a plane at two days old. But if you’re cultivating a tiny world traveller, how young is too young to take a baby overseas, really? We looked into legal documents, popular wisdom, and – of course – travel insurance to tell you when is best to start travelling with your little one.
Travelling with kids? Check out our list of kid-friendly articles before your next trip:
According to Dr. Lane France for Baby Center, ‘there are no hard and fast rules for travelling with a brand-new baby … but for most, it makes more sense to stay close to home’. The main concerns with air travel and newborns include their weak immune systems, the potential for pressure to build up in the ears and lack of oxygen.
According to Dr. William Sears for Parenting magazine, ‘generally, pediatricians [sic] advise mothers not to travel with a newborn during the first month. The main reasons for this precaution are that mom needs the postpartum rest and baby needs a stable environment to adjust to life after birth”.
If you do need to travel with a baby younger than one month, though, and assuming your baby is full-term and healthy, keep your baby close and travel carefully. Pre-feed and let your baby sleep as much as possible. Comforting a crying baby can be extremely difficult on board a plane.
If your baby has breathing concerns, be wary of travel, though. The amount of oxygen in the air of a plane is about 30 per cent less than normal during a flight, according to Dr. Steven Jerome Parker for WebMd.
Mom blogger Corinne McDermott of Have Baby Will Travel waited until her son was 10 weeks to take him on a plane, but she provides tips for moms thinking of bringing one-week-olds overseas. She recommends only travelling with healthy babies, some babies grow faster and may be ready for travel earlier than others. If you think bringing your baby into the germ-laden environment of an airplane will seriously compromise their immune system, by all means stay home. But if you have a healthy child, she says go ahead.
Blogger Nicole Wears of Tips for Baby Travel actually suggest parents travel with babies, as opposed to toddlers, and suggests the best time to travel with a baby is when they are younger than eight months old. When travelling she took advantage of the free airfare for infants and suggest travelling before your baby starts to crawl or walk reduces flight anxiety.
Different travel insurance companies have different ages at which they will insure children. youGo Travel Insurance is available for children of all ages, but some companies require children to be older. Carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement for the company you are considering before purchasing.
As with all travel insurance policies, existing medical conditions may change your baby’s eligibility; children born premature or conceived with the help of IVF may have higher rates for insurance.
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— YouGo Travel Ins. (@YouGoTravelIns) July 28, 2015