Archie will be five months old when he goes on royal tour, but when is it safe for babies to travel?

Baby Archie will be accompanying his parents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on a royal tour to South Africa in the autumn [Photo: Getty]
Baby Archie will be accompanying his parents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on a royal tour to South Africa in the autumn [Photo: Getty]

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s much anticipated royal tour to South Africa later this year has been confirmed by Buckingham Palace, and baby Archie will going along for the ride.

The royal couple, who will visit the country in the autumn, also took to social media to confirm the news in a post on their official Instagram account.

“The duke and duchess are really looking forward to meeting so many of you on the ground and continuing to raise awareness of the high impact work local communities are doing across the commonwealth and beyond,” the Instagram post read.

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“This will be their first official tour as a family!”

Baby Archie will be around five months old when his parents take him on his first official overseas trip.

And he’ll follow in the footsteps of his his big cousins when it comes to clocking up the air miles at such a young age.

Prince George undertook his first overseas visit to Australia in 2014, when he was just eight months old.

While a super cute Princess Charlotte accompanied her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and big brother George on a royal tour of Canada in 2016, when she was just a year.

So how old do babies have to be before they can fly?

According to the NHS there are no specific regulations regarding how soon newborns can fly.

While some airlines permit babies who are 2 days old to fly, others will only allow babies who are at least 2 weeks old on board.

They advise checking with your airline before booking.

“In some cases, if your baby is less than 2 weeks old, you may be asked to provide a letter from your GP stating they are fit to fly,” the site states.

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How you gave birth may also be a consideration.

“If you have given birth by caesarean section, you may not be allowed to fly until after your 6-week postnatal check-up and if your GP gives you the all clear,” the site continues.

Though there’s no official age restriction on travelling with an infant, Lucy Shrimpton, The Sleep Nanny and sleep expert at The Baby Show says there are some considerations to consider if you are planning on taking a very young baby abroad.

"It should be noted that doctors recommend you wait until your baby's immune system is more developed before flying, usually at least one month, though most recommend anywhere between 3-6 months,” she explains. “It is usually down to the parent's preference.”

Lucy says newborn babies aged 0-3 months 'can' be quite easy to fly with as they'll sleep such a lot.

“It's when they are around one year that the more challenging behaviour comes, as they want to walk around constantly, which isn't always possible on a flight,” she adds.

Prince George was just eight months old when he went on a royal tour to Australia and New Zealand in 2014 [Photo: Getty]
Prince George was just eight months old when he went on a royal tour to Australia and New Zealand in 2014 [Photo: Getty]

No doubt, new parents Harry and Meghan will be well prepared for their first official trip with their little one, but as any parent who has travelled with a baby will no doubt testify, travelling with an infant can be testing.

Here are some tips for the royal couple to help make baby Archie’s first venture overseas a success:-

Switch to local time ASAP

"By getting straight into the rhythm of the day with meal times and bedtime routine, your little one will adjust more quickly,” Lucy advises.

“The natural daylight hours will also impact the body clock and help you all adjust. Luckily South Africa is just one hour ahead for Meghan and Harry so they won't need to worry too much about that!”

Throw out the rules on travel day

Even if you have a routine you regularly stick to. "It will most likely mean main meal times may alter and you may be sleeping at different times,” she says. “The general motion of travel, whether on a plane, boat, car etc. can lull you to sleep at obscure and different times. During the journey stay well fed, hydrated and rested. If your little one is trying to sleep let him as he obviously needs it.”

Adopt a holiday routine

Picking and choosing the aspects of the ‘home’ routine your little one will need to stick to. “Continue with your usual bedtime routine, even if you then settle your little one to sleep in the pushchair and head out for dinner,” Lucy advises.

“Be sure to keep up with their required daytime sleep even if it is on the go while you’re away. When you get home, switch back to your ‘home rules’ and things should fall back into place.”

Create a familiar environment

“If you usually sleep in separate rooms but have to room share while way, you can create a screen or move furniture to make a specific sleep space for your little ones,” Lucy suggests.

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“A pillow case or sheet from home with a familiar scent can help as can a travel black-out blind to ensure the room is dark enough,” she adds.

Prep for climate changes

We may be enjoying the hot weather right now, but your little ones may find it challenging at first in a very different climate so pay close attention to how you dress them, says Lucy.

“It will also help to make sure they are eating and drinking the right foods, not just for energy but to help regulate body temperature too,” she adds.

Find a settle/soothe balance

Though your little one may need extra comfort as they settle into an unfamiliar environment, Lucy notes it shouldn’t be at the expense of starting a bad habit.

"Your attention as well as any special cuddly toy or comforter will help just try not to start allowing something that could undo your little one’s ability to self settle and become relied upon," she explains.