How to avoid your baby crying with ear pain on a plane

Are you planning a trip with your family in 2020? 

I've traveled overseas dozens of times with my kids since they were newborns. In this time I've been through the planning process and have it down pat.I'm sharing my trip planning checklist with you, to make your travel planning calmer and reduce your stress in the process. 

It includes steps from 3 months before (vaccinations, passports, travel dates, flight and accommodation) up until the day you leave including a checklist of what travel documents to tick off before you leave the house. 

You can download it here. 

A baby crying on a plane is a parent's worst nightmare. 

How can I stop my baby crying on a plane due to ear pain? 

One of the main reasons a baby will cry on a plane is that they are in pain from the air pressure changes in their ears. 

To avoid ear pain you need to equalise the pressure in your babies ears. The best way to do this is to get your baby to swallow. If you feed your baby then they will automatically swallow. 

I fed my babies on take off and landing to avoid ear pain from the pressure difference. We did over ten flights with 2 babies under 1 year old, and never had a screaming baby on a plane. (Or it was luck!). 

It helps to plan it a little in advance so that they are willing to feed when the flight is taking off. If you can avoid feeding them in the 30-45 minutes or so before you board the plane then this is ideal. They will then be hungry enough to feed for the time for the first 15 minutes after take off. This is the time that the pressure usually causes ear pain.


You then have to plane ahead for this again at the end of the fight, and if possible avoid feeding them in the last hour of the flight until you start to descend. This is the time the pressure build up is the worst, and you really want to breast or bottle feed your baby at this time. 

What can I do to avoid crying from ear pain if my child is older and not having a bottle?

You will still need to get your child to swallow. The best option is to encourage them to drink, but you need to do it at the right time when the ear pressure is adjusting.  If you don't mind giving your child a sweet or lolly a lollypop can be a good option as it will take a while to suck on and swallow. Make sure you hide some for the end of the flight as this is the time ear pain can be the worst. 

Some other reasons your child may cry on the plane

They are tired and need to sleep- read here tried and tested tips to get your baby to sleep on a plane. 

 They are bored and need some hands on activities. Don’t fear the journey – make it part of your child’s precious holiday memories! Our jumbo travel activity pack has been designed (by me) to be entertaining, and captivate kids for the whole long haul trip. Check it out here.

Jumbo Travel Activity Pack for kids lots of crafts, games, mazes and fun for kids

Comment below, have you been on a flight with a crying baby? What did you do?

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