J.J. asks from West Mifflin, PA on January 08, 2011
Air Travel with Infant During Flu Season
Hi Everyone! So I have a 3 week old baby and I want to go visit my parents. When is it safe to travel with an infant? I'm worried because its flu season and he might catch something in the air on the airplane. Its a direct flight thats 2 hours long.
O.L. answers from Los Angeles on January 08, 2011
I think it's totally reasonable to be concerned about traveling with a 3 week old baby on a plane. I would talk with your pediatrician to get their blessing. It's very important to keep a newborn away from the flu, especially since they cannot be vaccinated so young. Make sure that you wash your hands and that everyone who comes in contact with the baby does the same. Did you get your flu shot? If not, I would make sure to do so...
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D.W. answers from Gainesville on January 08, 2011
Get something like a mayawrap so you can keep baby close and people out of his/her face and don't let any well meaning folks touch the baby. That was the hardest thing for people to understand, I swear! My son was a preemie and at higher risk for things like RSV and people were shocked when I would ask them not to touch him. They would ask me what was wrong with him!? I'd look right at them and say "when was the last time you washed your hands?". That shut them up!
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J.F. answers from Philadelphia on January 08, 2011
I was talking to my daughter's ped yesterday and I think she said it's flue season through March. Regardless of when you travel just don't let anyone get in the babies face. Good luck!!
M.S. answers from Pittsburgh on January 09, 2011
I keep reading that its a myth that airplane air is so germy. Its never recycled and always new, so they claim is tons cleaner than stores, malls, doctors offices, etc. We flew before Christmas and got sick from the folks we were visiting. So, even if you get sick, it might not be from the plane. I would definitely wear the baby and not let anyone near. I did this with my premature son and it worked wonders (even when he was 9mos old - something about wearing him so close to my chest kept folks away - maybe they thought I was nursing at the time?). Good luck!
A.A. answers from Philadelphia on January 09, 2011
My pediatrician (whom I trust completely) told me I was nuts to even consider taking an infant on a plane during flu season until the baby can be vaccinated. So I think I'd definitely wait until April until flu season has passed, or better yet, a couple of weeks after s/he can be vaccinated at 6 months old. Really, it's not worth taking the chance. Can your parents maybe come to you instead?
M.S. answers from Philadelphia on January 09, 2011
I flew with my son at about that age. I had the same concerns as you, but he actually did really well. I highly recommend getting a hot sling or similar pouch sling so you can keep him really close to you. My son slept the WHOLE flight! We fed him a bottle on the way up (so their ears pop) and he slept the rest of the flight. If he's really close to you, it will prevent others from poking and prodding (and wanting to closely admire) your baby.
S.B. answers from Wichita on January 08, 2011
just take the regular precautions, hand washing, etc, and it should be fine. Dont let strangers in the baby's face, bring some hand sanitizer and maybe even a small container of sanitizing wipes for the plane, and have a great time!
A.D. answers from Philadelphia on January 10, 2011
I think if you are taking him public places then it is ok to fly. I do like the idea of a sling or wrap for the plane unless you were buying him a seat. And, I think wiping down the tray and armrests is a good precaution also.
We didn't fly with my daughter until she was 4 months (that was just the first time the opportunity arose). She flew 3 times before she was a year. One bit of advice I do have, bring cloth diapers or some other padding to keep between you and your son and extra clothes for both of you. Babies diapers (and perhaps their digestive systems) do strange things with the changes in cabin pressure. A couple of times my daughter's diapers leaked all over her or both of us. Joy!