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Flying with a Newborn Baby

Tips and tricks for a smooth journey with your newborn baby

A mother holding her baby's hand

Can I fly with a newborn baby?

Yes! Travelling with a newborn can be a challenge, but it is possible.

We've created this guide to show you everything you need to know about flying with a newborn baby. You'll want to know what essential gear you'll need to take on your flight, how to navigate the airport with your newborn and how to keep your baby comfortable during the flight.

It doesn't matter where you're flying or why - this guide will help you have a stress-free flying experience for you and your newborn.

Baby travel essentials

Before you fly with a newborn

There are a few important things to know before booking a flight with a newborn including the age of your baby, the airline's regulations, required documentation and packing essentials.

Most airlines recommend that you wait 2-3 months before flying with a newborn. This is to lower the chances of health risks that your baby might have while developing their immune system. The minimum time you can wait before travelling with a newborn is 7 days.

Every airline has its own policies on newborn age restrictions, fees for bassinets and car seats, and booking procedures for both. It's best to check directly with the airline to make sure you understand their requirements and avoid any surprises at the airport.

If your newborn is healthy and born at full-term, a passport (for international travel) and a copy of the birth certificate are all you need. However, if your baby was born prematurely or has any health concerns, you'll need to get a doctor's clearance for travel required by the airline.

When packing for your flight, you should pack a carry-on bag specifically for your baby's needs. This should include plenty of diapers, wipes, bottles or formula (if you're not breastfeeding), pacifiers, a change of clothes for both you and your baby and a swaddle blanket. You may also want to consider a baby carrier for more convenience.

A dad changing a baby's diaper

Getting around the airport with a newborn

Flying with a newborn baby means you'll need a little extra preparation at the airport, especially when getting through security procedures and check-in.

Baby food and breast milk are exempt from liquid restrictions at security, although you might be asked to present them for separate screening. Be prepared to answer questions about the containers and potentially have them tested.

If you're taking a car seat on your travels, most airlines will let you gate-check your car seat so you can use it to carry your baby throughout the airport. Once you reach security, remove the car seat from the baby stroller and place it on the conveyor belt just like any other carry-on item. You might need to carry your newborn baby through the metal detector yourself.

Your hands might be full when travelling with your newborn baby at the airport - you can minimise the amount you're carrying by checking in any non-essential luggage. This frees up your hands for your baby and any essential carry-on items.

Everybody knows that airports can be chaotic. Getting through the airport with a newborn will require extra time, so you should consider arriving at the airport at least 3 hours before your flight. This should allow you enough time to check in, get through security procedures, find your boarding gate and settle your baby.

A newborn baby sleeping while mother holds head

On the plane with your newborn

You're almost there! After you've boarded the plane, you will want to consider the safety and comfort of your newborn baby.

To keep your baby secure during the flight, use an FAA-approved car seat or harness. This will not only protect them in case of turbulence but also keep them comfortable throughout the flight. Airlines offer a limited number of bassinets that attach to bulkhead walls (seats with no rows in front) - this is ideal for younger newborns, however, booking well in advance is essential. For older babies, a car seat is a more suitable alternative for sleeping.

The cabin air is drier so you should feed your baby more frequently during the flight. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding during takeoff and landing can also help ease ear discomfort that is caused by cabin pressure changes. If your newborn baby kicks up a fuss, try rocking, singing or offering a pacifier to calm them down.

In-flight entertainment provided by the airline won't be suitable for a newborn baby - we recommend bringing along age-appropriate distractions such as soft toys with different textures and high-contract books with bold colours and shapes. You can also sing lullabies to keep your newborn baby occupied. Even simple interactions like talking and making faces can be stimulating for a young baby.

Additional tips and tricks for flying with a newborn:

Comfortable clothing for your baby

The temperature in the aeroplane cabin can fluctuate, so make sure your baby is wearing loose-fitting clothing in layers to allow for easy temperature adjustments and diaper changes. You should also pack a hat and socks for extra warmth.

Keep you and your baby hydrated

The dry cabin air can result in dehydration for both you and your baby. It's recommended that you bring a refillable water bottle for yourself, as well as frequent breast milk/formula feedings for your newborn baby.

Be patient

It's inevitable that a newborn baby will cry. You will want to manage your expectations and understand that your flight may not be peaceful and quiet. Just take a deep breath, relax and focus on soothing your baby.

Plan your arrival

It's important to prioritise your baby's needs once you land at your destination. Focus on finding a comfortable space in the airport for diaper changes and feeding. Many airports have designated lactation rooms for nursing mothers. Once you've tackled these tasks, you can head to baggage claim and travel to your accommodation stress-free.

A Qatar Airways plane flying

Baby-friendly airlines


Emirates is a popular airline for families flying with a newborn baby. It has luxurious cabins with complimentary bassinets for infants under 2 years old, priority boarding and a generous baggage allowance for baby essentials like strollers and car seats. Emirates also gives you a complimentary baby food pouch!

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is well-known for its service to families with newborns. You get complimentary bassinets, priority boarding and a free stroller to use at the airport in Doha.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic offers special infant seats that can be used in ANY seat on board. This is a great option if you don't want to book an extra seat for your newborn. There's also a varied selection of baby food and purees available to purchase on board.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines offers bassinets for newborns, priority boarding and a selection of baby meals. It also provides amenity kits for children with toys and activity books - handy if you need to keep an older child entertained while you tend to your newborn.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand's Skycouch is a row of three seats that can be converted into a couch - perfect for families flying with young children as well as newborns. Priority boarding and baby meals are also available on board.

More airlines are baby-friendly that haven't been listed here - read our blog post on the best airlines for babies here at Alternative Airlines.

Book baby-friendly flights with Alternative Airlines

At Alternative Airlines, we understand that travelling with a newborn can be daunting and stressful. To give you the smoothest journey possible for you and your newborn, you can search for flights to your destination with over 600 global airlines that we ticket. You can also choose from 40+ ways to pay for your flights, including Buy Now Pay Later plans and traditional credit/debit card methods.

If you need help while booking flights for your newborn baby, feel free to get in touch with our friendly Customer Service Team.

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Flying with a newborn FAQs

Can you fly with a newborn?

Yes, you can fly with a newborn, however, most airlines recommend waiting 2-3 months due to health reasons. The minimum amount of time you can wait before flying with a newborn is 7 days.

How to fly with a newborn?

Flying with a newborn baby requires planning and preparation. You should pack light essentials, such as diapers, wipes and milk), dress your baby comfortably, nurse or bottle-feed during takeoff/landing and focus on keeping your baby calm during the flight.

How soon can a newborn get a passport?

You can apply for a passport for your newborn as soon as they are born - there is no waiting period.

Processing times can take anywhere from weeks to months so you should plan ahead if you have any international travel coming up.

Do I need to book a separate seat for my newborn?

In most instances, no. Many airlines allow infants under 2 years of age to travel for free on your lap. However, if you'd rather not have your newborn baby on your lap for the entire length of the flight, you can book an extra seat. You can then put a car seat in that booked seat to provide more comfort and safety for your baby - this comes with an extra fee.

Choose what best suits your travel style and budget.

How can I fly long-haul with children?

Long-haul flights with children, whether they're newborns, infants or toddlers, can be stressful. You've got to think about keeping everyone's documents in order, making sure every child has suitable clothing to wear and that they stay entertained on the flight.

We've put together a handy guide on how to travel on long-haul flights with kids covering all of the important tips and tricks to follow.