Sure, after reading Brooklyn Decker’s plane story about missing her flight because she needed to breastfeed in an airport bathroom, it can seem like traveling after just having a baby is a total nightmare. Fortunately, this is not the case, even if you’re traveling with your newborn! Whether you’re settling in for a summer road trip or jumping on a flight after comparing cheap fares, there are easy ways to make the journey a pleasurable one. We asked Dr. Peter Jung, pediatrician and author of What to Know Before Seeing Your Pediatrician ($10), for some insider tips on just how to manage everything from cabin pressure to playtime.
1. It’s totally doable — and worth it! Dr. Jung says that babies are physically ready for a plane ride or car trip from the day they’re born, but offers a caveat for those concerned: The two-month mark is a milestone age that will make travel much easier. At this point, babies are much more in control of their neck and movements and have had their necessary immunizations, so there’s less to worry about on your end.
2. Gear down. When it comes to what to pack, Dr. Jung believes that less is more: “Could you rent a car seat when you arrive? Could you buy diapers when you land? Will there be a crib available at the hotel you are staying? Could you borrow a stroller from your friends or family?” He says one familiar toy, one new toy and practical essentials (stroller and/or car seat, diaper bag) are all you need to bring.
3. Security is comfort. Keeping baby happy is all about making sure they’re comfortable. In a car seat, that means having someone sit in the back with the baby, “making sure their heads don’t tilt awkwardly, making it difficult to breathe,” Dr. Jung says. For a plane ride, Dr. Jung suggests nabbing an aisle seat so you can walk around freely, and feeding during take off and landing to help alleviate air pressure changes.
4. Stranger danger is real. But maybe not in the way you think. Dr. Jung says that while there is a greater exposure to germs on an airplane (and thus potential sickness), “Germs are mostly spread by direct contact, so as long as you minimize who touches your baby, they should be fine.” He recommends carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer for any handsy seat mates, just in case.
Do you have plans to travel with your new baby this summer? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know where you’re headed!
(Photos via Getty)