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Why Do Babies Cry On An Airplane - 2021 Review

Ever wondered why babies cry on an airplane?

If you have ever been on a flight, you’ve probably heard a baby cry. When they start, they often cry uncontrollably.


But why, and what can we do?

For parents and grandparents, it can be stressful because of the discomfort of the baby, and the impact on other passengers.

Sometimes it helps to have an expert opinion. AARDY’s CEO, Jonathan Breeze, a former Royal Air Force Pilot and Instructor Pilot, recommends:

  • Look after your baby
  • Ignore everyone else on board the aircraft and worry about the baby.
  • Check for the usual problems.
  • See if you can get her to yawn.

First and foremost, ignore everyone else on board unless they happen to be a helpful parent or doctor.

Focus on Your Baby

You already know what makes the baby upset: is she hungry, thirsty, tired? Is her skin irritated?

Due to the dry air, we all become dehydrated on an aircraft, so make sure you give her more liquid than usual. Hydration is the easiest thing to miss from your regular schedule.

The next most likely culprit is the aircraft pressurization. Her ears hurt. We want her to be able to ‘pop’ her ears. The easiest way is for her to open her mouth nice and wide. See if we can get her to yawn.

Set her on your lap so that she can see you, and then you start yawning, slowly and deliberately. Hopefully, she will start copying you. If so, she will quickly clear the ear pressure. If you get double-lucky, she may even sleep for a while.

The aircraft cabin pressure changes quickly from 0 feet to around 6,000 feet. Those with any form of inner ear problem are going to struggle with inner-ear pain.

As adults, we can typically self-regulate, but babies often have a problem. Babies’ discomfort becomes exacerbated if pilots descend quickly, as it can cause spikes in pressurization. Smooth use of flight controls indicates that you have a well-trained pilot.

Smooth pilots. Yawning babies. Happy travels.

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