Q: As a baby, I flew cross-country at 4 weeks old. When is the youngest you’d suggest a baby can make a plane flight?
A: The pediatricians I work with agree that any age is safe, but suggest the best age is after your infant has received his/her vaccines at two months. If possible, avoid air travel during flu season.
Most airlines allow children up to 2 years of age to sit on your lap. You should consider buying an extra seat because your baby should be snapped into his/her car seat during the flight, as recommended by the FAA. I always recommend an aisle seat so you can get up easily and walk with your baby in case he or she becomes restless.
Your carry-on bag should include several diapers, clothing changes and any hygiene products you regularly use. During take off and landing offer your baby a pacifier or bottle of breast milk or formula to equalize the air pressure and avoid ear pain.
Elizabeth Stein is a nationally recognized women’s health expert and Certified Nurse Midwife of 25 years. Her practice Ask Your Midwife, PC is based in New York CIty.