How to Help a Baby’s Ears on a Plane

Traveling can be challenging with babies as their usual comforts and daily routines are disrupted. If your family is soon taking flight with a baby, you may wonder how your baby’s ears on a plane will handle the pressure changes in flight. Knowing what to expect when it comes to your baby’s ears on a plane will help you better prepare for how to handle flights with a baby. In this blog, we will cover why your baby may feel ear discomfort and some ways you can help provide relief and protect your baby’s ears on a plane.

How to Keep Baby’s Ears from Popping on a Plane

Table of Contents

How does flying affect baby ears?

Changes in pressure during flights can cause your baby’s ear some discomfort or pain. For adults, this pressure can make it feel like our ears are plugged and can even muffle sounds. This effect is much greater for babies as they have less developed eustachian tubes, making that pressure feel even greater. 

Can flying damage a baby's ears?

The ear pain or discomfort babies feel in a plane is only temporary. For children and infants who may be suffering from a cold or ear infection, the change in pressure on an airplane can become even more painful or longer lasting. It’s often recommended to delay travel in a plane if your child is experiencing ear pain or infections. It may be best to check in with your care provider if this is the case.

Why infants and kids experience more ear pain than adults on airplanes

Infants and children can experience more ear pain simply because their tiny ears and eustachian tubes may not be fully developed. This, in turn, makes the pressure we as adults feel even greater on their ears during a flight. While many adults have experienced this feeling before, it is new for babies and kids. Be mindful that this sensation can be scary for your  little one and can heighten their reactions. As you will read more in detail below, allowing your baby to cry can help aid in relieving this pain.

Symptoms of mild ear pain in babies

Baby’s ears on a plane can experience temporary discomfort or pain. This mild pain, to be expected for babies, is typically accompanied by some or all the following mild symptoms: pulling on the ears, fussiness, and crying. While these symptoms are temporary, they certainly don’t make traveling with a baby any more manageable. Read more as we discuss ways to keep your baby comfortable and achieve a more peaceful flight for all. 

How do I protect my baby's ears when flying?

No parent wants to see their baby in discomfort. To protect your baby’s ears on a plane, you can do a few things to aid in relief for a baby’s ears on a plane. Some of the most common methods for relieving a baby’s ears include feeding or using a pacifier. By doing these things, you can reduce the pressure on your baby’s ears.

How to prepare baby’s ears before flying

While there are a few things parents can do to help ease the pain in their children’s ears or try to prevent this discomfort on the flight, there also are some ways to prepare before flying. Since feeding can help a baby’s ears on a plane, you can adjust their feeding schedule around your flight time. This may allow you to time their feeding during take-off and landing, those times of greatest discomfort due to pressure changes. The Tushbaby Carrier can be worn while seated and doubles as a breastfeeding pillow in flight. Consider traveling with a Tushbaby to make traveling with a baby easier for everyone. 

Should babies wear ear muffs on planes?

 There are certainly a lot of noises during travel, from general plane noise to take-off to even chatty seat neighbors. If you’re worried about the loud noises of a plane, you can certainly pack along some baby-safe earmuffs. Earmuffs can be used for hearing protection and noise reduction, which can help ensure your baby (and you) can rest peacefully on a longer flight. 

What can help ease ear pain while flying?

Methods for helping your baby clear the pressure from their ears include using pacifiers or breastfeeding during the flight. Tushbaby’s Paci Pod allows you to keep your pacifier handy for those moments of higher pressure during the flight. Simply clip your Paci Pod to your Tushbaby hip seat carrier, your purse, your  Totebaby, or even your carry-on. This will save you from ruffling through your baggage for that pacifier when you need it most—and ensure it’s not somewhere at the bottom with all the gunk.

What to do if baby’s ears hurt on the plane

For adults, there are many tips and tricks for ridding that nagging clogged ear feeling on a plane. For babies, there are a few ways to help them get rid of the pressure or pain they feel in their ears. Both feeding and the use of pacifiers can help alleviate the ear pressure that is causing pain for your little one. While this one might not be a parent favorite, allowing your baby to cry will also help clear up your baby’s ears. The opening of the eustachian tube through crying works much as it does for us adults when we yawn or even chew gum on a plane. 

How to pop a baby’s ears on the plane 

When we feel that magical ‘pop’ feeling in our ears on a flight, it can alleviate some of the pressure or pain felt from flying. Your baby may experience that same ‘pop’ or clearing by doing some of the methods  we have mentioned. Breastfeeding, using pacifiers, and even allowing your baby to cry may all help your baby’s ears on planes to provide that ‘pop’ of relief.  

Breastfeeding for take off and descent

As we mentioned, breastfeeding is a great way to soothe your baby and prevent pain in their ears on an airplane. By feeding your baby during take-off and descent, you can help ease the pain during the greater pressure changes in the cabin during those times. This might leave you wondering how to best breastfeed your baby comfortably on a plane. Finding a comfortable way to feed on a plane can be tricky, but Tushbaby has you covered. Using Tushbaby’s hip seat carrier for breastfeeding support gives your baby a comfortable resting place as you breastfeed at your seat. Not only will your Tushbaby offer excellent support for breastfeeding, but it will also help make traveling through airports while carrying your kid much easier. For more tips on confidently breastfeeding in public, read How to Nurse in Public.

From baby carrier to breastfeeding pillow to parent-hack fanny pack. . . Tushbaby is a must-have for traveling with a baby. Order yours today!

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