You may be asking, “When is my newborn baby old enough to fly?” - if you didn’t complete all your traveling while pregnant.
In my case, I delivered two of my babies on our furlough (break from the mission field). We were on a tight schedule since we only had a limited amount of time with both of our families and supporting churches while in North America. Since my second and third children were born in Canada (where Craig’s family is from), we planned to travel to the States to visit my family shortly afterward to spend some time there. We wanted to leave as soon as we could after the baby was born.
Special note: If you are traveling internationally, be sure to leave plenty of time to obtain any government approved paperwork in order to secure the travel documents you may need. This can be a headache, considering you don’t have a whole lot of time if you’re traveling within the first few weeks of your baby’s birth. Do the research before the baby is born so you can be prepared to get all the travel documentation organized on time for your trip.
While there are probably some who disagree, if your newborn is healthy, there is no reason why he or she can’t fly. I understand there are risks associated with being around lots of people and contracting the common cold or such, but flying does not have to be prohibited. I also understand that some people prefer not to take their newborn baby out in public for a few weeks. Obviously, this is a personal decision based on your preferences.
Flying With Newborn Babies
Most airlines allow babies who are at least two weeks old to fly. It is important to double check with your airline to confirm this before booking your flight.
I would recommend getting a doctor’s note to take with you in case you are questioned at the check-in counter. The doctor just needs to verify the baby’s age and give a clean bill of health. My pediatrician in Canada wrote a very brief (2-3 sentences) letter informing the airline that there were no health concerns and that it was fine for my newborn baby to fly. You may not even have to present the letter at check-in, but you’ll be glad you have it with all of your important travel documents just in case.
My two youngest fliers had to have a doctor’s note because they were not yet even two weeks old on their first flight. (They first flew on Southwest Airlines.) My son flew at just 13 days old, and my youngest daughter was only 12 days old. The good news?? They did just fine. They arrived at our destination without any sickness. In fact, they probably didn’t even know they had been thousands of miles in the air. They slept better than anyone on the flight! Come to think of it, I slept too. When they weren’t sleeping, I was able to breastfeed on the plane, and they were perfectly content.
FYI: Newborns are much easier to travel with than a crawling 10 month old or a busy two year old. But, don’t worry. There are ways to keep even the busiest of children entertained on the plane.
Would you ever fly with a baby as young as two weeks old?