A family visit, holiday gathering or long overdue vacation — there are many reasons to travel with your newborn baby. Whether you’re planning a trip by plane or car, traveling with a newborn comes with a few challenges you’ll want to prepare for. Here’s our advice and best practices to ensure safe, enjoyable travels with your family.

Flying With a Newborn Baby

Airlines and airports are usually quite accommodating when it comes to families with newborn babies. Here are our top three tips for a comfortable flight:

  1. Reserve an aisle seat: The aisle seat is always preferable for short or long flights. You can easily get up to walk or change your newborn in the restroom. Keep in mind that some airlines charge a fee when flying with your baby in arms, while others let infants fly free. When you arrive at the ticket counter, remember that it doesn’t hurt to ask if there are any empty seats on the flight and if you can be seated next to one. The extra space can make all the difference.
  2. Pack as light as possible: The lighter you pack, the easier you’ll travel. Leave the majority of your baby gear at home, especially clothes and shoes. Doing so will help enormously when you’re navigating airports, taxis and new locations. Travel with just enough diapers and wipes to get you to your destination, then buy more once you arrive.
  3. Request a baby bassinet: For international flights, one of the best kept secrets is the baby bassinets for your newborn to sleep in. Most of the time, you can’t reserve or book the bassinets before the flight, but it’s a good idea to call ahead and request one anyway. On the day of your flight, arrive at the gate early, as many airlines assign bassinets on a first come, first serve basis.

Traveling With a Newborn by Car

Your baby’s first road trip is an exciting adventure. Follow these three tips to enjoy a smooth, safe journey with your newborn baby:

  1. Use the right car seat: Your child’s car seat should be rear-facing from birth through at least two years, and beyond if possible. Check to make sure the car seat is safely installed. Local fire departments and police stations hold occasional car seat checks, so do some research in your area.
  2. Prepare and pack ahead of time: A few days before your trip, start packing bags with essential gear for you, your partner and your baby. Divide up supplies between what you will need access to in the car (toys, snacks, drinks, diapers) and what you won’t (clothing, extra shoes). Packing as much as possible into the car the night before will reduce stress and start your road trip off on the right foot.
  3. Tag team between driving and sitting with your baby: While it’s tempting to install a mirror to see your baby while driving, this gadget will take your eyes off the road. Instead, bring your partner, family member or friend along so that they can sit in the back and look after your newborn. Switch places after each stop.

Western Fertility Institute Is Here for You

If you’re dreaming of traveling with a newborn baby of your own but have struggled with infertility, we invite you to contact us. Our compassionate and knowledgeable fertility specialists are here to offer encouragement and a path toward parenthood.

This content was medically reviewed by the Western Fertility Institute medical team on August 19, 2019.

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