If you’ve recently had a baby and are considering traveling, you may have some questions regarding safety for you and your baby. Let’s explore some important things to consider before and during travel to promote a healthy and happy trip.
Consider the Age of Your Child
Most healthcare professionals recommend that you do not travel with a newborn. This is mainly due to their inexperienced immune systems. Have you ever gotten sick after travel? Your baby’s even more susceptible to illness due to their weaker immune system.
If you must travel with a newborn there are some precautionary steps you can take to help keep your family healthy. This can include:
- Frequent hand washing
- Avoiding crowds and avoiding ill travelers
- Wearing masks in public places
- Ensuring that all of your baby’s and your immunizations are up to date
Plan for Ear Discomfort
If you are going to be traveling on a plane you should know that your baby’s ears will not be accustomed to the changing air pressures during flight. These pressure changes often cause babies to become irritable and cry. To help prevent your baby’s discomfort and fussiness you can try feeding them or giving them a pacifier to suck on. This sucking motion helps relieve the ear pressure, similarly to how chewing gum on a plane helps.
If your baby has had any ear surgeries or recent ear infections, you should consult your healthcare provider on whether or not airline travel is safe.
Consider the Car Seat
If you’re traveling on a plane, and it is financially feasible, you should consider purchasing a seat for your infant. While most airlines allow babies to sit on your lap for the duration of a flight without additional charge, it is safer for your baby to be in their car seat. This is due to the risk of turbulence during flight.
If you are traveling by train, most train cars do not have seatbelts and you will be unable to attach a car seat. But trains stop at much slower speeds so it is considered safer to travel without a car seat on a train than a plane. If you have a long train ride planned, you can bring a baby carrier or sling so that you’re able to give your arms a rest from holding the baby.
Do Not Give Your Infant Benadryl
You may have heard the old trick of giving your child Benadryl to make them sleepy during travel, but Benadryl is not considered safe for infants. It can cause babies to have irregular heartbeats or seizures.
It’s a best practice to try and maintain your baby’s natural sleep-wake cycle during your trip. You can look for flights or transit tickets during your baby’s natural sleep time to encourage their rest during travel.
- “Is air travel safe for an infant?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic. 25 February 2022.
- “Benadryl Dosage Charts for Infants and Children”. com, Drugs.com. 29 November 2022.