How to Keep a Baby Calm on a Flight

Reduce your chances of becoming the seatmate everyone hates by learning how to head off a screaming jag.


Up next in New Parents Survival Kit (19 videos)

Whether you're having your first kid or your fifth, there's some parenting news you can use in this Howcast video series, including how to lose the baby weight; how to reignite your sex life; how to calm a crying baby; how to get a newborn to sleep; how to find a good babysitter; how to be a stay-at-home dad; and much more.

You Will Need

  • A seat over the wing
  • A baby bottle, breast milk, or a pacifier
  • Frequent diaper checks
  • A midweek, midday flight
  • A baby stroller


  1. Step 1

    Go midday

    Try to arrange your flight so it coincides with your baby’s naptime or bedtime so they’ll be sleepy.

  2. Fly midweek, and midday if you can; flights then are less crowded.

  3. Step 2

    Sit near the wing

    Request a seat over the wing. That’s where the engines are located, and some moms find the noise lulls infants to sleep.

  4. Don’t check your baby stroller; use it all the way to the gate, and then ask the gate attendants to stow it.

  5. Step 3

    Feed your baby

    Feed your baby during takeoff and landing, or give them a pacifier. Sucking and swallowing helps prevent the painful earache that can develop due to air pressure changes in the cabin. And offer them your breast or a bottle often during the flight to prevent dehydration.

  6. The Transportation Security Administration allows you to bring more than three ounces of baby formula, breast milk, or juice so long as you declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

  7. Step 4

    Walk with them

    Walk your baby up and down the aisle if they start to fuss. The combination of the motion and the change of scenery can stop a crying fit in its tracks. Bring a baby sling to make pacing more pleasant.

  8. Step 5

    Check their diapers

    Check their diapers often so a soggy or poopy diaper doesn’t have a chance to send them into a tizzy.

  9. Step 6

    Escape to the bathroom

    Nothing working? Hide in the bathroom for a while (as long as you’re not inconveniencing other passengers). The close quarters will provide a soothing cocoon for you and your baby, and you’ll escape the nasty looks of your seatmates for a while!

  10. Seventy-one percent of travelers surveyed think families with young children should sit in their own section of a plane.