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Ask the Pediatrician

Dr. Jennifer Shu and her team of pediatricians answer your health questions.

Dr. Jennifer Shu

Question & Answer

Question

How long should I wait before traveling on a plane with my newborn?

Answer

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By: Kathleen Berchelmann, MD, FAAP

There is no age limit for infant air travel, and many newborns have flown at just a few days old. In general, however, it is important to avoid exposing a newborn to crowds and germs until their immune system is better developed, usually around two months of age. For example, if an infant gets a fever when under two months of age, she may have to be hospitalized. Therefore, it is wise to avoid flying with infants under two months of age.  

If you do need to fly with a newborn, discuss this with your pediatrician. Bring disposable changing mats for diapering. Bring a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, and use it frequently. Keep your newborn in the sling and use hand sanitizer before you touch her.

Do not hesitate to breastfeed while flying. There are no restrictions against flying with breast milk or breastfeeding on airplanes in the United States.  

Before you fly with your infant, be sure to read these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Additional Information:


About Dr. Berchelmann:

Kathleen Berchelmann, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, and an official spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Kathleen is the co-founder and director of ChildrensMD.org, a blog written by five dynamic mom-pediatricians who share their true confessions of trying to apply science and medicine to motherhood. Kathleen and her husband are raising five children.