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Traveling with a Newborn

traveling with a newborn

Our surrogate lives in Pennsylvania and we are in Texas.  I only get about 2 weeks to get up to Pennsylvania once our gestational surrogate goes into labor.  We are looking to get setup for a 7 day post birth appt. with a pediatrician in Pennsylvania, but we need to figure out our travel plans back home.  Anyway, my question about to travel back to Texas with our newborn. 

Some people told us it will be easier to fly, but we worry about the recycled air and possible infection with a newborn.  Other option is to make the 20 hour drive down with a rental car. I've heard that we would need frequent stops though - possibly doubling our time in the car as well. 

I agree neither choice is ideal. Air travel is quicker, but carries a greater risk of infection. Your baby could pick up a variety of infections in a crowded airport or on the plane itself. Newborns with fever (greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees need to be hospitalized. see more on fever in newborns.

While car travel would decrease your baby’s infectious risk, it is certainly not without challenges. Traveling with a newborn means frequent stops. Your 20 hour car ride would likely be interrupted by stopping every two hours to warm bottles, feed and change diapers. As a Florida boy, the thought of driving a newborn through Pennsylvania in January chills my bones. I have no experience driving in the snow and ice. Do you have any experience driving in icy weather? If your rental car breaks down, how would you keep your baby warm?

Given the two options, I would recommend you fly. Do your best to keep your baby away from crowds. Get a flu vaccine yourself now to minimize your baby’s influenza risk. Use a thin baby blanket sized sheet to cover your baby in their car seat. Ask the airline, if they can help with early boarding or preferential seating. Feed your baby a bottle or offer a pacifier during the plane’s take off and landing. Congrats on the new addition!


Follow up 2 months later

newborn that traveled

Everything went great. Thanks for the help! We had a few scares with our surrogate and then with labor. But luckily everything worked out for the best for everyone.

We ended up flying back. We had been recommended that we keep her covered in a car seat and sit towards the front of the airplane away from the bathrooms in the back. Our baby, did better on the flight I did ( I don't like flying).



Written December 2013 by
Gregory Gordon MD, Orlando Pediatrician







gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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