At what age our babies are too Young to travel?
Surprising enough, the age limitation by most airlines is between 2 to 14 days from birth day (in case of Premature birth, the date is calculated according to the due date). Most airlines might either offer free ticket for child under the age of 2 Years in case that the child sit on his parent lap mainly on domestic flight, or reduce the cost of the child ticket.
So, should we start planning our vacation with kids 2 weeks after birth day? The answer is no, since there are still some additional constraint we need to keep in mind.
Baby immune system
First thing we must consider is the immune system of our babies. A baby is born with antibodies which they received from their mother, but those antibodies don’t last long and will start to decrease in the first few weeks after birth so now his own body need to create new antibodies every time they are exposed to a virus or germ, but it takes time for this immunity to fully develop.
Now in order to improve his immune system, we need to give our baby his vaccinations which are scheduled to be apply first at birth (Pregnant women get vaccinated for 'whooping cough' during their third trimester and pass it to her embryo), then at the age of 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months and so on during his first few years of life.
So if we think of all the times we feel ill after the flight, considering that the plane is a closed place, with many people, where we stay together for a long time - we can easily conclude that the plane is actually a habitat for bacteria and bacteria. Now let's try to remember what happens to our baby when at the age of 6 months we start taking them into a nursery for several hours each day - during the first year, most of the time our baby comes home sick.
Further constraints taking the baby on vacation are affected by the immune system of our baby and the target country that we strive to travel to. If our goal requires all visitors to receive a vaccine. This fact requires us to check if our baby is old enough to be vaccinated. For example, there are countries that require tourists to take an anti-malaria vaccine or a yellow fever vaccine, both of which have a minimum age at which to get them - the minimum age of antimalarial is 2 months, whereas for yellow fever is 6 months.
Ears pain during the flight
The second thing we need to consider is plane pressure and the plane causes pain to our ears. Now, as adults, we know what to do to reduce the change in such pain, but young babies can not understand us in order to follow our recommendation, so they will probably suffer from their earaches during the flight. To help them avoid the pain, we can provide them with a bottle or pitcher to suck during takeoff and landing.
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Our body after giving birth
Third point we need to consider is the baby's mother which her body just passed a traumatic procedure while giving birth – in case of Caesarean section, we must wait after the postnatal checkup after 6 weeks and consult her doctors for recommendation. But also, in case of nature birth, we still need to wait at least 3 weeks in order for her body to return to her normal condition.
Looking at the big picture, both the mother and the baby had a big experience affecting both their body and mind, so it's best to wait and give them at least a month for all their body system overcome the birth process.
Fourth point to consider is where will the baby stay during the flight. So let's consider the 'free' or 'reduce' ticket if the baby sit on his parent's lap, since babys at the age of 6 month still can't sit and only start to raise correctly their head when holded on sitting position - it isn't the recommended position to 'sit' on his parents lap. Best alternatives might be asking during the pre booking for a travel cot for our baby or just take with us onboard the place our baby's car sit.
Baby document of identity
As every citizen which is flying abroad, also our baby will need his own passport and we might even have to get for our baby a Visa approval depending the destination. Now what will happen in case our baby don't have same family name as us - well, in this case we must take with us the baby birth certificate as well as a writeen approval from the baby's parents.
My personal conclusion
Ok, so if we take it all in account while considering when it's best to start taking our babies to vacation abroad, well, it seems that we should consider to wait until they are at least 1 year, although there is a claim that we can do so if our baby is older that 6 months of age, since our baby immune system before the age of 6 month isn't strong enough - I still believe that taking all constraint together, it's still best to wait untill the baby get to his first year of life at least.