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What Upsets Babies On Planes: 5 Things To Know In Advance

Taking a baby on a plane makes all new parents nervous. You don’t know how your baby is going to do, you don’t know how other passengers are going to react, and this could end up being the most stressful flight of your life! 

But don’t panic yet. You can get through this calmly! All you need to know is how babies and planes tend to mesh. As such, here are five things that could affect the way your baby behaves while on board.

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Babies Like Routine

And going on a plane isn’t a regular part of that! When you take a baby out of their normal day to day, they’re going to need some time to adjust. Whether they need 5 minutes or 5 hours, allowing them calm time and plenty of space as possible before a flight is key. 

It’s why getting to the airport early is such a good idea. You don’t have to rush anywhere, but you also let the baby get used to what’s going on. During this time they can get used to the crowds from a distance, and you can help them feel more relaxed in their surroundings with cuddles and a bit of playtime. 

Flying Tends to Take a Long Time

Babies have to be on a flight for at least an hour at a time. That’s a long time in their world! Even adults can get antsy after two or three hours, so it’s best to pack as many things as you can to ensure your baby doesn’t get bored and start crying and fussing as a result. 

You don’t necessarily need to pack all of these 43 newborn essentials, but you will be needing something for the baby to snack on, something to play with, and something to snuggle and get comfortable in. A favorite cuddly toy always works, as does as much baby formula as the airline will allow you to pack. Check the rules surrounding this before you get to the airport. 

Cabin Pressure Can Be Uncomfortable

Do you feel your ears distort and pop as the plane climbs from the ground into the sky? Maybe it gets even worse when the plane is beginning its descent? Now imagine how that feels to a little baby who doesn’t know what’s going on. 

If you find your baby fussy during these two times in particular, this is probably what’s going on. However, swallowing can help the feeling to go away. You can prevent their ears from feeling painful, and avoid tears right at the start and end of the journey, by giving them a bottle to drink from, or even just a pacifier to suck on.

If You’re Tense, They Will Be Too

Babies pick up on a lot more than we expect. They can feel emotions quite deeply, even if they don’t know what they are yet. Above anything else, they pick up on how their parents are feeling. If you’re feeling quite tense about what to expect while on the flight, your baby could start feeling on edge as well. 

Staying as calm as you can when loading onto a flight is key to ensuring everyone can relax. Make sure you take plenty of deep breaths, have something along with you to distract you, and if you’re afraid of flying, talk to your doctor about the issue before you go. 

If you can, take someone along who can help care for the baby and give you some space.

Babies Can Get Motion Sick

Motion sickness affects around a quarter of the world’s population, so it’s an incredibly common feeling! But your baby won’t be able to tell you what’s wrong, other than crying about it. 

Fixing the feeling of motion sickness can be very hard in babies. Placing something cool on their head can help, as can soothing them to sleep. However, they may routinely wake and start crying again. 

If you think this is the problem, it might be worth it to ask your doctor. Motion sickness can be grown out of, or it might be something your baby grows into as they get older. While it’s a common thing, it’s still incredibly disruptive and can affect people at any point in their lives.

That’s A Wrap!

Understanding what upsets babies on planes is essential for smoother travels for both parents and fellow passengers. By knowing these five key factors in advance, from discomfort due to air pressure changes to hunger and fatigue, parents can better prepare and mitigate potential issues.

Equipped with this knowledge, families can approach air travel with confidence, knowing they are well-prepared to keep their little ones comfortable and content throughout the journey. So, whether it’s bringing along familiar toys, scheduling flights around nap times, or being mindful of potential discomfort, being proactive can make all the difference in ensuring a more enjoyable and stress-free flying experience for everyone involved.

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, Vegas.com). If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

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What Upsets Babies On Planes, 5 Things To Know In Advance
Author

I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".

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