Overview of Traveling with a newborn

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Overview of Traveling with a newborn

Traveling with newborns can be a joyful experience, but at the same time a challenge for the whole family. However, proper planning can make the trip a smooth one for the family involved. When traveling with a baby, there are many factors to consider. In this situation, the consulting pediatrician plays an important role in preparing families, especially for long-distance travel, international travel or in the presence of a related medical condition. So far, associations have only issued a few travel recommendations for both the newborn and the breastfeeding mother.

The preparation of the trip varies depending on the type of trip, the destination and the duration of the trip
By car:
Make sure each passenger is buckled up and that small children use the appropriate safety seat in the car. Safe driving precautions should be strictly followed.
Using the car seat is a must for the toddlers. All infants should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat up to the age of two. Once your child has grown beyond the rear-facing height or weight limit, they should ride in a front-facing car safety seat.
All infants should ride in the back seat of vehicles.
Never install a rear-facing car safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an airbag.
Babies often become restless or irritable on long car rides. Keep them occupied by bringing soft, colorful, light-weight toys and soothing music.
Plan to stop driving and give yourself and your child a break every two hours or so.
Never leave your child alone in the car, not even for a minute. Temperatures in the car can reach deadly levels within minutes and the child can die from heat stroke.
On the airway:
The medical journal recommends that babies under 6 weeks should avoid air travel . Few ear problems such as middle ear infections/effusions and certain recent ear surgeries have traditionally been considered relative contraindications to air travel for 2 weeks post-surgery.
Arrange for a secure car seat at your destination or bring your own. Airlines usually allow families to take the car seat with them as an extra piece of luggage at no additional luggage cost.
When traveling by air, a child is best protected when properly restrained in a car safety seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight and size. The car safety seat should have a label stating that it is approved by the Federal Airlines Administration (FAA).
Although the FAA allows children under the age of two to be seated on an adult’s lap, the AAP recommends that families look for ways to ensure each child has their own seat. If it’s not possible to purchase a ticket for an infant, try to choose a flight with likely empty seats where your child could be strapped into the safety seat of their car.
To reduce ear pain during the descent, encourage your child to breastfeed or suck on a bottle.
Consult your pediatrician before flying with a newborn or infant with chronic heart or lung problems, or upper or lower respiratory symptoms.
Consult your pediatrician if flying within 2 weeks of an incident of ear infection or ear surgery.
International Travel:
If you’re traveling internationally, check with your doctor if your baby needs any additional vaccinations or preventative medication. Bring mosquito repellent in countries/areas with mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria.
To reduce jet lag, adjust your baby’s sleep schedule 2-3 days before departure. Upon arrival, children should be encouraged to be active outdoors or in brightly lit areas during the day to encourage adjustment.
Travel health package:
Expecting that the baby may get sick at any time, a ready-made travel health pack should be an important part of the travel bag. This includes a health card that notes important medical and surgical dates, blood type, and any allergy-related information. It should also include specific emergency medications to take at odd times.

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What should a travel health pack contain?
Digital thermometer
Adequate supply of current prescription medications (if any) and copies of generic names
Analgesics/antipyretics such as ibuprofen or paracetamol
diaper rash ointment
Skin Moisturizer / Topical Antibiotic Ointment
Disinfectant solutions such as 10% povidone iodine or chlorhexidine
Nasal drops with saline solution
Auxiliary items such as diapers, baby wipes, garbage bags for disposing of the diapers, extra clothing, food items such as bottles, nipples, formula and paladi or spoons should also be kept.

Travel Advice for a Nursing Mom:
Travel should not be a reason to stop breastfeeding. A mother traveling with her breastfeeding infant may find that breastfeeding makes traveling easier than it would have been with a bottle-fed infant. A mother traveling with her breastfeeding infant under six months of age does not need to make arrangements to supplement breastfeeding, even when traveling internationally. Breastfed infants do not need water supplementation, even in extreme heat. If accompanying their mother, nursing infants and children can be breastfed on request. Expressed milk can be stored so that it can be used when the mother is not around to breastfeed. The most effective way to maintain breast milk supply while traveling, is frequent and unrestricted breastfeeding. This is also the best way to meet the physical and emotional needs of the infant or child. The traveling mother can also use a breastfeeding-friendly baby carrier. With a suitable baby carrier there are also other advantages:

Easing the burden of carrying a child for long periods of time
More opportunities for unrestricted breastfeeding, effective in maintaining an abundant milk supply
maintaining skin-to-skin contact with the infant, which helps maintain milk supply
Protect the child from some environmental hazards
With these important basics in mind, parents needn’t rack their brains when it comes to providing the child with the best possible care; a well-planned trip will take care of that. Compliance with these guidelines is as important as their establishment.

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