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When can we safely travel with our 6-week old baby?

When can we take our baby out?

We have a 6-week-old baby. We would really like to take her on some trips to see relatives - but, when can we safely travel with her about 3 hours from home?

Carey Ertz | Family Medicine

Carey Ertz

Traveling with an infant at this age is common, especially if you have family members and friends who can’t wait to see the new little one! Often, traveling with young infants is the easiest time to do it as all they need is a full belly, clean diaper and comfortable place to rest.

There are some things you should keep in mind, however:

  • Make sure the car seat is properly installed and rear-facing only in the back seat. 
  • Expect it to take longer to get to your destination. You will have to stop to change diapers, feed and console your baby if he is fussy.  Resist all temptation to give a bottle or breastfeed while the car is in motion to save time. Find a safe stopping place and then get him out of the car seat to feed and burp.    
  • Try to maintain his normal day to day patterns as much as possible but realize that some deviation is to be expected. I am the mother of a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old, and we have found it helpful to try to plan our travel time around nap times when feasible. 
  • Remember that once you reach your destination, staying close to a routine helps him to adjust to a new environment. Time zone changes can cause some disruption to your baby’s sleep and feeding patterns.
  • Pack everything, especially if you are not staying with friends or family.  You won’t believe how many things your baby uses day to day, so it helps to start a list a few days before you leave of items he will need. Always pack a little extra of the common things such as diapers, wipes, change of clothes and formula for the car ride that is easily accessible.  
  • Make sure you have made arrangements at your destination for a sleeping place for your baby such as a crib/bassinet or pack ‘n play (bring that too if needed).
  • If you are visiting friends or family, don’t be surprised if they forget you are even there!  Your baby will likely be the center of attention, which is not always a bad thing as you should take advantage of the extra help. 
  • Make sure everyone is washing their hands and ask anyone who is sick to avoid direct contact as your baby is still building up his immune system.
  • Finally, enjoy this time celebrating your new arrival and drive safe!
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