Traveling Tips for New Parents
For new parents, the first big trip with their child can be daunting and anxiety-provoking. Here we answer the top 5 questions we receive from parents traveling with young children. With a few tips and some advice from our team of pediatricians, you can be better prepared and more likely to have a stress-free time!
- Will my child experience ear pain during a flight? During take-off and landing, your baby might show signs of ear discomfort or pain. For children, as with adults, swallowing can help reduce discomfort, so offering a bottle, the breast or pacifier may help. For older children, they can try drinking through a straw, chewing gum, or sucking on a lollipop to relieve some of the pressure.
- Should I give my baby something to make them sleep during the flight? No, we don't recommend giving any medications like Benadryl that will make your baby sleep.
- How old should my baby be before I can travel? Generally, we recommended waiting until your baby is at least two months old and has received their first round of shots before considering any flight travel. Car travel is ok earlier but take stops every three hours and remove your baby from the car seat to give them a break. We also recommend that with small babies, an adult sit in the back seat with the baby to monitor them in the car seat.
- What items should I pack? We suggest packing useful items such as hand sanitizer, bandaids, a thermometer, medicine for pain or fever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if older than 6 months), 1% hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic ointment (such as Bacitracin), diphenhydramine for any allergic reactions, and sunscreen (if spending time outdoors and baby is older than 6 months). Remember to always know your child’s weight and proper dosing of any medications so you don’t have to be searching for dosing when you need it most. A dosage chart is on our website for easy reference - click here to view it.
- Can my child travel if she is sick? Generally, if your child has a fever, they are contagious and limited contact with others is recommended. Children should be fever free for 24 hours (off of fever-reducing medication) before they are considered not contagious. If your child simply has a common cold or mild illness without a fever, and is acting like herself, it is likely fine to fly.
Once you arrive at your destination, consider that most places you visit will not be childproofed. If your child is very young, be aware of things in your hotel room such as cords from window blinds, electrical outlets, sharp edges on furniture, or furniture or TVs that can tip over. In addition, if you are traveling internationally there may be further recommendations for vaccines or preventive medications With these few tips in mind, you're more likely to have a great trip, so take a breath, relax and call us with any questions.