Ask Dr. Sears: Flying With a Newborn

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Ask Dr. Sears: Flying With a Newborn

Ask Dr. Sears

Q  Our family is planning a trip to show off our new baby to out-of-town relatives. Is a 1-month-old old enough to fly?
A Yes. Traveling by plane can be easy with a baby  — but with longer waits now at airports, it's all the more important to keep your newborn comfortable and safe.


  • When maneuvering through a busy terminal, use a soft front carrier that keeps your newborn secure and leaves your hands free.


  • Choose an aisle seat, which allows you to walk up and down the cabin more easily if you need to lull your baby to sleep. If you can, book a separate seat for your child and take his car seat; this is the safest way for little ones to travel, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.


  • Because the low humidity of the cabin air may dry out and plug your baby's narrow nasal passages, take along saltwater nose drops (available over the counter) and squirt a few into his nostrils every two hours. You can also hold a damp washcloth a few inches in front of his nose to keep the air he's breathing humid.


  • Soothe your child's ears. Letting him suck allows his eustachian tubes (which connect the middle-ear cavity to the throat) to equalize the pressure and prevent discomfort. As soon as the plane begins its descent, start to feed your baby or give him a pacifier.


  • If you're breastfeeding, it's particularly important to stay well hydrated. Drink a few extra glasses of water before, during, and after your flight.

    Enjoy your trip!