Tips For Cry Baby: Surviving With Your Infant On A Plane

Tips For Cry Baby: Surviving With Your Infant On A Plane

Flying with your infant can be a nerve-wracking experience. The noise, the confined space, and the catastrophe risk all add to a stressful day. However, it's not all bad. As usual in life, the negative aspects are almost always outweighed by the positive ones. Flying with your baby allows you to spend quality time together before returning to work and school. You also see new places and explore others from an aerial perspective. Because there are bound to be more downs than ups when traveling with your infant, we've compiled some practical tips for flying with a baby on board.


1. Understanding why babies cry on airplanes


Most people know that a baby doesn’t just cry to annoy the parents; instead, the infant is trying to communicate some sort of need or desire, and crying is the only instrument available. Having a baby teaches you so fast that they scream frequently. Or, there are stages of growth where crying is more prevalent.

Wails and tears are universal expressions of distress, weariness, hunger, loneliness, boredom, rage, pain, and other negative emotions. Also, the crying may get rather loud at times. In most cases, only a child's parents or caretakers would hear and react to their screams. But aboard a crowded flight, you're not alone in feeling anxious. Believe me, the last thing you need, as a parent, at that moment are snide remarks, eye rolls, or loud sighs. Immediately attending to your baby's needs is the top priority.


2. Get to the airport early


In general, you should allow yourself two hours to navigate from your house to the airport – even if you're flying out of a local airport. If you're visiting an international destination, you should give yourself even more time to get there, just in case there's a traffic delay or you run into any other problems. While you avoid being late for your flight, you also don't want to rush your infant.

Remember that babies and toddlers often have shorter attention spans than adults. If you rush through the airport and have to stop to change or feed your baby five times, you're likely to run out of time before you even board the plane. So, ensure that you have extra time on your hands to make your little one feel comfortable.


3. Bring toys, books, and other distractions


Flying with a baby is bound to be stressful for you and your infant. If you're lucky, your infant will sleep through most of the flight, but don't count on it. Even if your infant is a little angel who sleeps like a log, you'll probably find a bundle of nerves. To help pass the time and keep yourself calm, bring some toys and books for you and your infant to play with and read.

You can also ask the airline for some extra toys for your infant to play with. While waiting to board, check out the airline's website and peruse their suggested reading materials. This will give you something to do before your flight and a chance to learn about the airline's offerings.


4. Check If the stroller is allowed on board


Most airlines allow you to bring your infant on board in a car seat or stroller, but every airline has rules and regulations. Before you leave for the airport, make sure that your stroller is allowed on board and that it's been approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find this information on your airline's website or by calling their customer service line.

Ensure your car seat complies with airline regulations if you want to use it after you get to your location. You may rent one at the airport if you don't bring a car seat.

Note: You're welcome to bring your car seat onboard, but the airline won't help you set it up in the cabin's center seat.


5. Pack lightly


Newborns and infants are generally content to be held, fed, or changed, so you don't have to worry about them getting bored and becoming disruptive. However, they can also be fussy at the best of times, so you don't want to weigh them down with too much stuff. Make sure that you pack light and only bring the essentials. Before you leave for the airport, pack everything you'll need for your flight and beyond into a small bag or tote. Ensure that any liquids you plan on taking are less than 100 ml and that all necessary documentation is easily accessible. Once you're at your destination, you'll have less to carry.


6. Dress your baby in layers, including socks, shoes, and a hat


You'll almost certainly want to dress your infant in layers during the cooler months. This will help keep him warm and comfortable and keep him from over-heating in the enclosed space of an airplane. Make sure that your infant has a hat on board, as well as thick socks and shoes. Even if your infant is currently in his first pair of adorable baby shoes, you don't want them to be out of them once you're airborne.


7. Professional Opinion


Leisha Poage, a flight attendant for United Airlines for the past 12 years and a new mother of twins, offered her advice on approaching this circumstance as a fellow traveler. Communicating with the children might take asking them questions, singing to them, or even talking to them.

Poage also suggested investing in some quality noise-canceling headphones and giving the parents a break if you'd instead not become involved. She further advised that passengers could approach a cabin attendant for help if it didn't work.


8. Feedback from frequent travelers


Most of the time, all other passengers need to do to appease frantic parents is not make things any worse. Put on those noise-canceling headphones and ease up on the parents, as Poage advised.

Of course, there may be other proactive methods you may aid the situation and, in turn, help quiet the crying infant, but this is the most general suggestion.

If a parent is in the middle, offer them a seat on an aisle. Leaving your seat between two total strangers and moving to the aisle where you'll have some breathing room may make a difference. Don't feel obligated to give up your seat. However, this is one option to consider if you want to do something useful.


9. Put a smile on someone's face or a kind word in their ears


Simple gestures of comfort like a grin, nod, or encouraging remark may go a long way toward calming a fussy parent and their young child during a flight. Knowing that it's a common experience and things will (eventually) improve may help parents relax and attend to their wailing baby.


10. Involve yourself directly and help out


Do not be hesitant to provide genuine assistance if you can do so. Maybe you may buy the child's silence by offering toddler-friendly food or toy. Or, if the parent is the lone adult traveling with the child or children, they may be relieved to have someone else try to quiet the infant. A kind offer of assistance, should it be needed, is never out of place. Do not take it personally if a parent declines your offer of help. They will still be grateful. 


11. Use a pacifier or bottle


According to Dr. Claire McCarthy, M.D., of Boston Children's Hospital, "if you feed or breastfeed a baby during takeoff and first descent, it may assist with the ear pain." Pacifiers, bottles, and other sucking toys can all help relieve ear pressure and soothe a child. She further recommends trying out a Boppy pillow so that your baby may rest easier and nurse in comfort.


12. Know Your Medications


Dr. McCarthy recommends giving your child half an hour's worth of Tylenol (at any age) or Ibuprofen (after age six months) if they are experiencing ear discomfort or congestion prior to take-off. However, before giving your child any medication, it's a good idea to check with a physician.


13. Give It Some Time


It's true that sometimes nothing seems to help. Simply put, a youngster is overstimulated or overtired. Dr. McCarthy advises that the babies "figure it out" for themselves. At such times, "we all have to be very empathetic toward parents who are doing their best."




Parents flying with their babies have every reason to be stressful. No wonder why they feel most exhausted, frazzled, and ill-prepared passengers on the plane. Understand what your baby needs and help pacify them with various toys, bottles, or distractions- such as a change of scenery. In the end, don’t fuss, enjoy every experience and give it some time. Know that it’s a common experience, and you are not alone. With these suggestions from, we are sure that flying with a newborn will be a breeze.

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