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  1. #1

    Airplane ride for newborn

    Hi! As soon as my sister gives birth, they need to get back to New Jersey (from Sydney) where her husband's family is staying (as soon as the babe can be allowed by the paediatrician) I'd like to ask what is the ideal age for a baby to travel considering the long hours and my sister not yet fully recovered from labor... If you have other tips for the travelling smoothly, we'd greatly appreciate them. Thanks!

  2. #2
    The biggest concern during the first few weeks of life is strengthening the immune system for baby, and recovery for mum. Many midwives recommend keeping "visits" to just immediate family during the first couple of weeks to allow for mum to get much needed rest, and for baby to be exposed to as few outside pathogens as possible (i.e. colds and flu).

    During the first few weeks, mum will be feeding her baby colostrum which will help to strengthen baby's immune system. Your sister could ask the Paediatrian now, what his thoughts are on when baby will be able to be in a public place (like an airport or airplane).

    As for actual travel, the baby will sleep most of the time, and will be so small that your sister will be able to easily change his/her nappy on her lap. The actual care of baby will be very easy on an airplane, as she will just place the baby's car seat in the chair next to her and strap it in with the seat belt.

    My biggest concern (aside from baby being exposed to colds and flu from others) would be your sister's health. Depending upon how the birth goes, she may bounce back quickly, or it may take her a few weeks. She will likely need to change her menstrual pad a number of times on the plane, during the trip. She will need nourishing food and drink so she can continue to recover and so that she can have an ample supply of milk for her baby. She should definitely make sure she either takes a lot of water on the plane with her or that it's available to her on the plane. She may also want to take some high protein snacks like peanuts or beef jerky and some dried fruit or fresh, like bananas or apples.

    She should nurse her baby or give baby a dummy or bottle to suck on when the plane is going up and when the plane is going down, to help baby's ears "pop" as the plane pressure changes.

    And probably the thing that will help baby to calm down in the plane, if he/she gets fussy will be swaddling. At that age, they are used to the "tight" feeling of the womb, where they don't have much room to move around. This becomes a comfort to them, as does mum's voice, and sucking (they suck their thumb in the womb).

    So if your sister learns to swaddle her baby before the plane trip, she can quickly do that on the plane if baby gets fussy, then once swaddled, turn baby on her side, put a dummy in his/her mouth, "jiggle" her and then say "shhhhhhhh" next to her ear. Here's an example of how this works - please note how tightly this baby is wrapped. The legs cannot extend, the arms cannot move about freely inside the blanket. The child is bound well, but not so tight that it causes any problems. It's a secure feeling for baby.



    I hope this is helpful.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
    Very very helpful, thanks a lot Kate! She'll get in touch with the paediatrician the soonest...

  4. #4
    So glad you found the information helpful

    Would love to know how the travel goes after baby arrives.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

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