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!