Sep 16, 2019

Interview Transcript

Dr. Gellner: Parents of little ones ask me all the time, "Can I travel with my baby?" The answer is yes.

Announcer: Keep your kids healthy and happy. You are now entering "The Healthy Kids Zone" with Dr. Cindy Gellner on The Scope.

Dr. Gellner: Traveling with a baby can definitely be an adventure. As a new parent, I flew across the country to interview with the University of Utah with my son who was then three weeks old, and he slept the whole plane ride. So it was actually pretty easy.

Luckily, when you travel with a tiny, cute baby, people are really nice to you. The hotel we were set up in actually had several amenities, including a rocking chair and a pack-and-play when we got there. Babies can normally be on airplanes when they are 10 days old or older. Younger than that requires a letter from your baby's pediatrician stating they're healthy enough to fly. Keep in mind how long you'll be in the air, and don't pack your breast pump like I did, especially if there's the possibility of weather delays. Be sure to bring along enough breast milk, formula, diaper, wipes, snacks or foods if your baby is older, and definitely bring things to entertain your baby, books, little toys, anything that is going to help them keep occupied.

Of course, there are a lot of TSA regulations. So I always tell parents to check on the airline's website to see what is and what is not allowed on the planes. Normally, baby food is allowed as long as it is sealed, but you'll have to get bottled water for powdered formula past the security gate. Also, for anything you are checking in, such as luggage, be sure to put a luggage tag on it. Often, strollers can be checked at the gate.

I also get asked a lot about giving babies Benadryl before a plane ride. I am not a big fan of this. I'm not a big fan of Benadryl in particular, but it has some uses. Plane travel is not one of those. While many say that it will keep your baby calm because it makes them sleepy, be aware that there is a small percentage of people, like myself, that get wired if given Benadryl. I don't think anyone wants a wired baby on an airplane.

If you're traveling by car, you'll want to have along a lot of the same items, but you won't have any restrictions about what foods you can have, how much water you can bring. But the tradeoff is it will take longer to get to where you're going usually, so you'll want more entertainment. Luckily, many babies like car rides, so they may sleep through a lot of it. Also, you can take breaks when needed, get the baby out of the car seat, put a blanket down on the grass and let them roll or crawl around, and diaper changing is usually easier too.

I have a lot of parents ask about international travel. First, depending on where you are traveling will determine if your baby and other family members need additional vaccines above what is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Often, you will need to go to a travel clinic for those vaccines as regular physician's offices don't have international vaccines. Be sure to bring all immunization records and required paperwork for everyone traveling abroad. No matter where you go, be sure to have essentials like plenty of weather appropriate clothes, sunscreen if your child is six months or older, hats if it's going to be sunny, age-appropriate pain relievers, especially if your baby is teething.

Traveling with the little ones may seem like a daunting endeavor, but with a little preparation and planning it can actually be quite easy. So start planning and let your little travelers explore the world.

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