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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.


  • Step 1: Go midday Try to arrange your flight so it coincides with your baby’s naptime or bedtime so they’ll be sleepy.
  • TIP: Fly midweek, and midday if you can; flights then are less crowded.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Don’t check your baby stroller; use it all the way to the gate, and then ask the gate attendants to stow it.
  • 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.
  • TIP: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • FACT: Seventy-one percent of travelers surveyed think families with young children should sit in their own section of a plane.

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

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