How soon after birth can a baby travel by car

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How soon after birth can a baby travel by car

When you welcome your newborn baby and get discharged from the hospital, this is the first time your little one will be having a car ride. You have to be prepared for that. The most important thing is choosing the right car seat for your baby.

Traveling home will not be that long. What about lengthy trips? How soon after birth can a baby travel by car? What risks are involved and what important things to consider? Is your child’s immune system ready for that? That and much more useful information you will find out from our article.

Can you go traveling with a newborn?

In modern days it is almost impossible to stay at home with a baby after her birth. Especially if you were quite busy before having a baby. You might want to go to visit your family and friends. Grocery shopping and other daily routine tasks do not disappear with the advent of a child.

The solution is to take your baby with you but to be prepared and fully stocked up with things you might need on the go.

Most doctors recommend putting on hold any long-distance trips you have planned until the baby’s immune system is built.

How does a newborn’s immune system gets built?

It takes up to three months for a baby’s immune system to become fully developed. So it is advisable to wait until your baby reaches the age of at least two months. Of course, if there is no other option and you have to go traveling with a newborn, you have to do it. Just if there is a possibility of you staying home, opt for it.

Note for young babies born premature, the newborn’s immune system will take even longer to be fully developed. Bear that in mind when arranging your trips for the future.

How soon can a newborn travel long distance in a car?

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For the daily routine of short distances, it is okay to take your newborn baby with you as long as all the safety precautions are considered and your baby has no medical issues.

A long car ride of over an hour in length should be arranged at the time the baby reaches the age of three months old.

We also recommend that you read the instructions for the baby monitor if you are going on a long trip with your child.

How must a baby travel in the car?

Your newborn baby is allowed to be in a moving vehicle as long as she is strapped in an infant car seat.

Note that the car seat manufacturers do not recommend exceeding two hours rule of a baby being in a car seat.

1. Infant car seats

The variety of models of baby car seats for infants is vast. It is the case of finding the perfect one that will meet your requirements and will be safe for your child.

All the infant car seats are facing the rear to support the still-developing baby’s neck and spine cord. It reduces the risk of injuries caused by an impact in the event of a car accident.

For young babies, the infant car seats have extra padding that supports their head and protects it from falling forward and causing difficulties with breathing.

Also read: What To Consider When Buying A Car Seat

2. Convertible baby car seats

With convertible seats, you can save money in the long term. Such a car seat will last you up until your baby turns seven years old.

A convertible car seat can be installed both ways: rear-facing for infants and forward-facing for older kids aged two and up.

As a general rule, doctors recommend getting an infant car seat at least for the first year of your baby’s life as it is smaller than a convertible one and more comfortable to deal with.

How long can I leave my baby in a car seat during a long car ride?

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If you are planning a long-distance road trip you have to know that the car seat manufacturers recommend leaving your newborn baby in a car seat for not more than two hours a day. It is not a compulsory rule to follow, it is more like an estimated timing.

If you plan to be traveling with a newborn for longer than two hours, make your baby feel comfortable. Stop where you can to take her out of the car for a stretch and a change of scenery. Do not forget to feed the baby on demand so she can stay happy.

General tips for car seat time on the long car ride

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1. For a newborn baby

Up to a month-old babies are very vulnerable. Car travel time should be minimized. If you don’t have the urge to go somewhere, rather stay at home.

Can you go traveling with a newborn? Yes, you can, but as long as the road trip is not longer than 30 minutes. A baby must the car travel in a car seat only. The car seat must be attached properly.

To keep your baby safe make sure the car seat has a five-point harness system and the child is fastened at all times.

2. Two-hour rule

The two-hour rule applies to the time babies should spend in a car seat in one go, based on what car seat manufacturers recommend.

If you plan a long car travel, it should be fine, as long as it is not on a daily basis.

3. Frequent stops

Car travel for a long distance must include stops, so the baby can get the rest from sitting in the same position for a long time in a car seat. Every two hours park your car somewhere safe and have a break for 30 minutes. You can feed the baby, change his diaper and just carry her around so his can stretch.

A long-distance trip with a small baby isn’t easy, but manageable.

Traveling with a newborn by plane

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If you are planning a long-distance journey by plane, it is even more crucial to give your baby’s immune system enough time to be fully developed.

Being stuck in a closed area for a few hours will expose your baby to viruses and if the baby’s immune system isn’t strong enough, it won’t be able to fight them and your little one can get sick.

How soon can a newborn travel long distances by plane?

Traveling with a newborn by plane isn’t recommended until the age of two-three months. An infant’s immune system might not be able to cope with the impact of the surrounding environment. Germs and viruses around your baby might cause her to catch a disease. Do not forget, he is still new to this world.

Many airlines will allow small passengers on board, but if your baby is less than a week old, you might be required to present a doctor’s note allowing your kid to fly.

What documents are needed if you air travel with a newborn?

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The bare minimum is your passport and a baby’s birth certificate. Depending on your baby’s age and her medical status you might be required to present a doctor’s note as well stating that she is allowed to air travel.

In some cases, the documents from the hospital are also needed to be presented. You should pack all of them with you.

In any unknown situation, you should call your airline to find out all the information regarding traveling with a newborn over long distances by plane.

Does my newborn have to have a passport if we travel long distances by plane?

Your baby will require to have a passport if you are going to cross an international border.

Getting a passport requires a lot of paperwork to be done. This is not an easy process and also is quite lengthy. Apart from the documents you will have to provide a decent photo of your baby which will have to be done considering all the requirements for a passport photo. It is also not that easy as small babies can’t do what you will ask them to do due to their age.

What documents do you have to provide when applying for an international passport for the baby:

· A filled form DS-11, signed by both parents

· A birth certificate

· Parents’ IDs

· A photo of your baby

Both parents have to be present at the moment of the application.

The baby in the photo has to be with open eyes. It is best to take a picture of your baby lying on a white sheet. It has to be just a baby in the picture.

Even if you don’t intend to travel significant distance any time soon, consider getting a passport for your baby anyway as you will need it in the future.

Tips for traveling longer journeys with a newborn by plane

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Let’s discuss the important things you need to know before you arrange a flight.

1. Prepare yourself that it is not going to be easy, but you are not the first parent flying with a newborn. It is difficult but doable.

2. When the plane takes off and lands, you have to hold your baby in your arms strapped with the belt to your safety belt. This rule is enforced by the airlines.

3. If your flight is going to be a few hours long, we would recommend reserving a bassinet in advance as they are limited quantities on the planes. Having your baby in a bassinet will help you to get some rest.

4. If you are traveling with a baby you are allowed to take your stroller to the plane’s door and hand it there to the flight attendants. It is convenient because you can also use the space in a stroller for carrying luggage as well.

The downside of taking the stroller to the plane is that sometimes you have to wait a long time before they return it after a flight.

5. Another good and helpful idea is to purchase a baby carrier. It can spare your hands when you don’t have a stroller with you. Your baby will feel comfortable being next to you so you won’t stress out as much.

6. When a plane is taking off or landing there is a significant change in air pressure which brings discomfort to your baby. It is a known fact that sucking and swallowing help a baby to cope with it. Feeding the baby during those times might be an option.

7. Changing a diaper on a plane can be quite challenging. Some planes do not have large restrooms with a changing board. Make sure your baby is clean before boarding the plane. Maybe you will be lucky enough and your baby’s diaper will not need to be changed.

8. If you need some warm water to make your baby formula, the airplane crew is quite helpful. Do not hesitate to ask them for help. Including the moments when you are flying alone with your baby and you have to go to the toilet. They will help you to hold your little one while you are busy.

9. It is a known fact that because of working air conditioning on the plane, people get dehydrated fast. Ensure your baby gets enough milk or formula. Do not forget about yourself and drink enough water to provide enough milk for your baby if you are nursing.

10. If it is possible try to minimize the amount of bags in hand luggage. Take the necessary things, the rest must go into the main travel bag.

11. Another useful tip is to book the flights that overlap with your baby’s night sleep schedule. That way you might get a baby that will be sleeping through the whole flight, which is a great help for you.

12. Never hesitate to ask your neighbors or flight attendants for help, there is nothing wrong with it.

Tips for car travel with a newborn

1. Creating a similar sleeping environment

It is recommended to take the sheets or blankets that your baby knows with you when going away for car travel. The familiar environment will bring your baby comfort and she will sleep better.

2. Follow your usual day-to-day routine

Ensuring that you commit to your normal schedule will make it easier for the baby to go through. She must feel as comfortable as at home. Use all the same technics putting her to sleep as you use when you are home.

3. Anything new must be tested before leaving for a car travel

You you have happened to buy something new, it can be a toy or a travel bassinet, introduce your baby to it before you head out. Babies need to be surrounded by a familiar environment. It will your trip more pleasant for everyone.

4. Be prepared for your baby to be disturbed and fussy

Despite your effort, anything can happen as the baby is still small. Do not get frustrated if your baby can’t calm down. Make sure you support her and try to comfort her as much as you can.

5. Prepare to feed the baby on demand

Breastmilk is the best way to boost your baby’s immune system. If you are nursing, make sure you have enough stops during your traveling time so you can feed the baby.

You have to take your baby out of the car seat. After feeding allocate some time for burping your baby as it is also important to ensure she settles in afterward and will have a nap in a car seat.

Note, the baby must be strapped in a moving vehicle at all times to ensure her safety in case of car accidents.

For formula fed babies the process is exactly the same. Make sure you pack all the necessary things to make the formula on the go.

Following the two-hour rule will ensure your baby make it through the trip happy, fed, and rested.

6. Following a sleeping routine

It is best to wait until your infant’s immune system will be fully developed before planning long trips. If there is an urge to go somewhere, try to make this experience as easy for your child as you can. That includes following the known sleeping routine for your baby.

Try to arrange the leaving time for when your baby is usually napping so he can sleep in the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle.

Don’t forget about the two-hour rule and have at least 30 minutes break after each time interval.

7. Ensure you are well-rested

Especially if you are the driver. You have to make sure you had enough sleep before leaving. If you feel tired and exhausted during the trip, find a place to park and have some rest to ensure the safety of your child and yourself.


Is it OK to travel with a newborn?

If you can not avoid traveling with a newborn, it is okay to take him with you. If you have an opportunity to postpone the trip and wait until the child’s immune system is mature enough to handle all the viruses and germs around, rather opt for that.

What is the earliest you can travel with a baby?

It all depends on the medical status of your little one. If everything is good, the short trips around your city are perfectly fine. The longer journeys might be best to put on hold until the immune system of your kid is built.

Can you travel by car with a 2 week old baby?

If the car travel is going to be short, there is no problem and you can take your newborn for a ride. If you plan to drive long distance, rather arrange it later when your baby’s immune system is ready for it and can withstand the germs and bacteria in the environment around her.

How long can my newborn be in the car?

Up until the age of 3 months old, the longest car travel should be no more than two hours. This is just a recommendation and if you do have to arrange a traveling with a newborn, do not forget to make the stops to give your baby a break from a car seat.

Can I drive 4 hours with a newborn?

It is best not to, but if there is no other option, you can. Make sure you keep your baby safe when you drive long distance. Choose the appropriate safety seat and strap the kid according to the instructions. You will have to remember about the stops. The two-hour rule includes a 30 minutes break after each time interval.

Can I drive 2 hours with a newborn?

Avoiding long car travel is the optimal decision but in case of an emergency, you can drive with a baby for a couple of hours.

How do you fly with a little baby?

If you are planning a trip to see your family, for example, you have to be prepared for flying with a newborn. Read our guide above about different tips and tricks that will help you to have a smooth journey.

To summarize

To answer the question of how soon can your newborn travel long distances – it is best to postpone the long journey until your baby’s immune system is fully developed. That happens at the age of around three months old. Up until then your baby is vulnerable and can’t stand up against catchy viruses as well as you do.

To not risk your kid’s health, do not plan car travel that is longer than two hours. Once your baby is older, you will be able to enjoy longer journeys.

If you have found our article helpful, please share it with your friends. Do not hesitate to leave any questions in the comment section below.

Alice Brooks

Hi!!!My name is Alice Brooks. Here I share my observations and conclusions from my experience and the experience of my friends. First of all, I pay attention to safety and only then to trends. I want to help other parents to choose the right product.

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