Tips for International Travel with Newborns

Traveling while your child is still young does have its benefits. They are less noisy and fussy, and they will stay on your lap. What’s more, they don’t cost you an extra seat.

Some airlines might charge you for your infant in your arms. The option to pay for this is not available online. Call up your airline in advance to check and ask to avoid the hassle of paying in person.

Newborns may not be less fussy, but they are completely dependent on you. This can make them easier to travel with.

While there’s no comprehensive list, this guide will address most concerns you have as parent traveling internationally with a newborn.

Passport and Documents

Your little one probably won’t need an airplane ticket, but they do need a passport.

Both parents being present with the baby is important. Also, carry evidence establishing your relationship. The birth certificate should work.

If either parent has sole custody of the child, be sure to carry proof of the same. Get all necessary paperwork completed at least two months in advance to ensure the passport arrives on time.

Depending on where you are traveling from, you need certain documents upon entry into the U.S. Visas are also needed for some countries, but not all.

When crossing the border into the U.S. with a minor, consider the following (as applicable to individual cases):

  • Guardian escorting a child: Carry a letter of consent from both parents.
  • A single parent accompanying the child: Carry a letter documenting the other parent’s consent.
  • Sole custody: The documents used for getting the passport should work here.

Visit Your Pediatrician

Airline travel could be precarious to your baby’s health. Consult a pediatrician to see if your baby requires any prior vaccinations.

Consider your baby and his or her needs. Are there any health problems that will persist during travel? Discuss with your doctor, and express any fears or concerns you might have in order to be well prepared for your upcoming travel.

The Fussy Hour

Do consider the traveling hours of your flight.

It would be to your advantage to choose a flight time that matches with your infant’s sleep schedule. Avoid peak hours, and book a non-stop flight if you can.

No matter how quiet your baby might be, he or she is likely to kick up a fuss at some point during the flight. This is bound to happen as the fluctuating air pressure causes ear blockage. Breastfeeding is the best option to help with the ear congestion; you may also bottle-feed.

Your pediatrician will help you with other pointers on how to placate your child when stress gets to them.

And don’t forget to pack your baby’s favorite toy. Sometimes, the familiar toy in an alien place helps calm them down more than coddling.

Keep It Minimal

Your hands will be full of your baby already. Avoid packing too much for your flight. Pack a change of clothing and essentials, but don’t overdo it to the point that the baggage gets hard to carry.

Be considerate of yourself, too. Do make sure you have the necessary gear needed for nursing.

A stroller is bulky and might aggrieve your fellow passengers. If your flight isn’t a continuous one, this is all more the reason to ditch the stroller.

Wear your baby on you. It’s easy to move around, and your baby will be happier to share your warmth. However, if you have a good collapsible stroller, then you can use it as a break from carrying the baby.

We recommend a collapsible stroller because it will need to go through a security check.

Your Seat

Be early to the airport if you didn’t pre-book your preferred seat. Choose a window seat, and see if you can manage to get a vacant seat next to you.

You can ask the flight attendant for help. While the baby might be comfortable on your lap, it can be claustrophobic for both of you. This is especially true during longer flights.

Your child will get a welcome break from your lap, and appreciate napping on a separate seat.

Your Phone is Your Best Friend

It can get tiresome when your baby refuses to stop screaming. Have some soothing, ambient noises that will keep your baby engrossed. Keep them downloaded on your phone.

A little phone exposure will not hurt your child. It will make your long flight bearable for yourself and your co-passengers.

There are many apps in the Apple Store and Google Play Store that have these sounds in them. If sounds fail to make your baby calmer, cartoons might help.

A long flight with a restless infant tends to wear out even the strongest parents. Try to take hostile stares and criticism with a pinch of humor.

We do hope this article helped placate some of your doubts, if not all.

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