When is the right time to start traveling with a baby?

When I, a travel blogger, told you guys I was pregnant, there were soooo many questions wondering when we’d start to travel with the baby, when are we planning on flying with our newborn baby, when is it ok to travel internationally with a baby, what are some ways we’re easing into traveling with our baby, etc. etc.  I could not WAIT to bring our little one around the world when we found out we were going to be a family of three, but there were a lot of things we thought about, researched, and talked to our doctors about when it came to figuring out when you can travel with a baby or when the best time is to travel with a baby, and all of the things to consider when you do! So I thought I’d share our thought process and our plans.

When is the right time to start traveling with a baby?

Most pediatricians recommend waiting until after the baby’s first round of immunizations before traveling with the baby. When we talked to ours, she said to wait about a week after those immunizations ideally, and when we traveled, to be extra cautious about germs. She recommended us to bring extra pacifiers (because they will fall on the ground and the last thing you want is plane germs on your paci!), and to wear the baby in the airport vs a stroller (that way, they’re facing you and less likely to interact with germs. Besides those tips, she said to go out and enjoy the world! Like most moms I talked to, she said that if we feel up for it, there’s nothing stopping us from seeing the world with the baby. 

Also, besides the reasoning of waiting for his immunizations, I found it really nice to be at home the first couple of months with the baby! It really got him comfortable in his house and got us comfortable with being parents and our new routine! I feel like it was great to lay that foundation before we start traveling with him. 

Can you fly with a newborn baby?

You can technically fly with a baby as young as you want to, as long as they’re over a week old! But you just need to keep in mind that newborn babies don’t have a strong immune system built up yet. The TSA does not have a standard rule for how old newborns need to be before they can fly on planes. While it is under the parent’s discretion, airline policies can vary for how old babies have to be. Many say if they’re under a month old to have a pediatrician note saying they are ok to travel. 

Most infant car seats are certified for air travel. This is the one we have, that’s approved for airplane travel. Although airlines typically allow infants to ride on your lap during flight, (which is a great way to save money when your baby is under 2), the Federal Aviation Administration recommends that infants ride in properly secured safety seats. If you want to guarantee a comfy carseat-seat for your baby on the plane, you need to purchase a ticket. However, if you choose not to purchase a separate ticket for your baby, you can ask about open seats when you board the plane, in case one can be assigned to your infant. 

My #1 tip for traveling with your baby : Ease into travel!

Before any big trips we have planned, we decided to ease into travel with a couple little mini 24 hour vacations (or staycations). We took our first trip as a family of three (and baby’s first hotel stay!) to Kiawah Island – a quick 45 mins from Charleston! and we learned a ton about traveling with a baby for the first time. This helped us feel SO much more comfortable and confident traveling with him, as well as help teach us what he needs away from home, how he sleeps, etc! I highly recommend doing a little road trip vacay (maybe 1.5 hours away from your home at max) before doing a bigger vacation as a family to gain some confidence and learn what you do and don’t need when traveling with an infant

Is a baby allowed to be in the sun? Should you bring your baby on a beach vacation?

Babies 6 months and younger are recommended to stay out of direct sunlight and aren’t supposed to use sunscreen yet. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking your first vacation before they’re 6 months old! You just need to practice baby sun safety, and keep baby out of direct sunlight. We invested in a lot of adorable baby bucket hats, which have been great, and we always keep him in the shade at the beach. Here are are all the things we do to keep baby safe from the sun, whether we’re on vacation or not!

Is there any way to rent baby equipment so that I don’t have to pack so much STUFF?

YES!!! Look up this company. They offer baby equipment rentals in destinations all over!!! You can rent clean, safe & insured baby gear rentals – things like strollers, cribs, wagons, beach gear, toys, high chairs, baby baths, bouncers and swings, etc! It’s a genius company, that makes travel so much easier for parents who already have so many bags to bring! 

Our travel plans with our baby boy

We have an international wedding in Europe this September, when he’s about 3.5 months old, so that’s our “big trip” we’ve been excited for and are gearing up towards! Before that, we have a big cross-country trip out to California planned and we’ll see family, hit up Napa (of course, you guys know I can’t go to my hometown in CA without hitting Napa!), head to Palm Springs for a few days, and see Harrison’s great grandparents in San Diego. This will all be when he’s about 3 months old! We cannot WAIT to see the world through his little eyes and to get back in a plane after such a long break from travel!!! Will obvi be sharing all the tips with you guys along the way!! What do you want to know? 

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.