Since you became parents, your whole life has changed. However, your desire to travel is still there. The notion of traveling with a baby is new, but it is still on your mind. But is it possible? How do you go about it? Can you travel with a newborn? Even though a grand expedition in “backpack mode” in the middle of the Amazon rainforest or at the top of the Himalayas is to be excluded for a relatively long time , there are plenty of destinations to consider even when you wish to travel with a baby.Pack your bags and follow the guide: we tell you everything you need to know so that you can explore with your little one! Before asking ourselves if a baby is old enough to travel the world, let’s ask ourselves if they can even travel. The answer is yes!
Every year, couples go to even the other side of the world or on a long road trip to travel with their baby. For their well-being, your little ones need their daddy and their mommy to eat, to be cuddled, to be comfortable, and to sleep: the rest is secondary. Overall, a baby adapts to everything as long as they have their parents to comfort them. Is there an age boundary to travel with a newborn? More importantly, when is it safe to travel with a newborn? Afterall, any boundary is there for their safety. Theoretically, you can start to travel 7 days after giving birth. Regardless, you should know that the first weeks of life, especially if you are breastfeeding, are special. You get to know your little one and set up your new family life. You have to feel ready so that you can live this life elsewhere, rather than at home. If you are not sure that the conditions are ideal for you, wait a few weeks for your own best time to travel with a newborn. Yet again, if you’d like to consider breastmilk storage to have some of your plans on schedule, definitely search more on best methods to maintain breastmilk storage.
Those who tell you that traveling with a newborn is pointless because your little one won’t remember it are partly right. But only partly! All child specialists recommend reading stories to your baby, but then again, they won’t remember them, will they? By traveling with you, they will live unique moments with their family, and will make a thousand discoveries, learn new smells, tastes and colors. Traveling with your baby will offer them an open window on the world and its beauty, on the differences that enrich us deeply. And it’s never too early to pass it on! On the side, you can make albums of each of your trips and they will love to dive into them and look at them again, and again when they grow up. Each time, it will be an opportunity for them to ask you: “When are we going back?” So, travel promotes the development of our children! It feeds their thirst for discovery and their curiosity. Moreover, children who travel adapt to everything and will feel at home wherever they go! Although it may include hardships in some ways, traveling with your little one will give you, as a traveler, a completely different experience. The little company you carry can be a real catalyst to interact with the locals: it makes the contact easier, and even more magical.
People come off as more natural while talking, and often are more willing to share a bit of their history or culture with you. You will be amazed with the way it adds different perspectives to your destination. Also, the pace is slower when you travel with a baby but this is not a bad thing: you may not see everything your destination offers, but you will soak up its atmosphere a lot better. Another bonus of traveling with a baby is that until a certain age, you don’t have to pay for a plane ticket.
In some ways; flying can be the best way to travel with a newborn. This method opens up new perspectives and allows you to plan a family trip as soon as you want! It is possible to travel with a newborn by plane 7 days after birth on most airlines, while 3 weeks for long haul flights are preferred. Nevertheless, your baby is not yet vaccinated. If you don’t want to take any risks, the safest thing to do is to wait until your baby has received their first vaccinations at 2 months of age. Then, you can leave with a peace of mind. Now, what do you need to know while flying with a newborn?
Before the age of 2, you can carry your baby on your lap and benefit from a very significant discount on their plane tickets (nearly 90%). Therefore, it really doesn’t cost much to travel with a newborn! Or, you can buy a ticket for your child who will then occupy a seat next to you. In this case, your child will benefit from a discount reserved for children over 24 months of age (around %20 to 30% depending on the flight). As far as luggage is concerned, your child is entitled to as much luggage as you if they have their own ticket and assigned seat.
In any case, you have the chance of putting a stroller and a car seat in the hold. It is free of charge on airlines. Sometimes, for international travel with a newborn, certain airlines allow only one piece of childcare equipment in the hold: so remember to ask beforehand. In the cabin, you are allowed to take a bag with you. Some strollers are even accepted, but they must not exceed certain dimensions: ask your airline for information before the big day!
How Is Air Travel with a Newborn?
Globally, traveling on a plane with your baby is very practical. The companies are rather “kid friendly”:
- You can warm up your baby’s bottle if necessary.
- It is possible to order a meal for your child if it is a long-haul flight (this must be done several days before).
- There is a changing table in the airplane’s bathroom for your child.
- For long-haul flights, some airlines offer cribs for babies who weigh less than 10kg and measure less than 70cm. If you wish to take advantage of this service, you must reserve it at least 48 hours before your flight. You will be placed in the first row (where there is legroom) as the cradle is hung on the wall in front of you.
- For older babies up to 2 years old, if you take them on your lap, a belt that hooks onto yours allows you to attach your little one as well.
Tips for flying with a newborn
- When you are traveling with a baby , please go to the airport well in advance: you are never safe from an unexpected event with a baby! Specify that you have a child to board first.
- Prefer short flights if possible. If not, choose a night flight for long flights (preferably a non-stop flight) so that your baby can sleep for at least some part of the trip.
- Remember to give your little one a drink or a pacifier during takeoff and landing because of the ear pressure. Warning: if your baby has a very bad cold, we advise you not to take the plane.
Finally, traveling with a baby requires you to take the necessary precautions for their health and safety. We can check all the newborn travel essentials almost in one hand:
- A baby first aid kit
With all the trips, camps or weekends that we could have, we can say that yes, it happens that babies get sick in the middle of their journey. And it is not so rare: long or short, any travel with a baby is full of unexpected events! Take a first-aid kit especially for your baby so that you won’t lack anything in case of a boo-boo, fever, mosquito bite or important diarrhea. Put in it a thermometer, physiological serum, antipyretic, compress, disinfectant, bandages, rehydration solutions. You can then add a few more things and complete it according to your destination, add an anti-mosquito spray for example.
- A small travel bag for baby
During the trip itself, you will need some things for your little one. Use a changing bag or a backpack with compartments to keep the necessities with you:
- Things to change the baby: diapers, wipes, change of clothes;
- Things you need for the meal (bottle, bib, spoon…);
- Things to help your baby sleep (pacifier, sleeping bag);
- Things to warm your baby if the air conditioning is a little strong (a light blanket);
- A comforter, and one or two toys.
No matter where you are, you can help your baby develop with the right choice of toys. There are numerous mind developing toys for three-year-olds, for instance. Here again, it is up to you to modulate the contents according to what you prefer: some parents like to carry the minimum. In my experience, it’s better to bring a little more than none at all!