Solve Ear Problems While Flying with Babies
Hello! Taking your baby on a trip is super exciting, and a little nerve wracking! Ear pain is something that can definitely throw a wrench in your travel plans. We have taken babies on so many flights and none of my 3 kids have EVER had hear pain from the change in pressure. Here are our tips and tricks! I hope they help you and your little one. I remember so many painful flights as a child, tears just streaming down my face from ear pain. It's the worst and I try very hard to keep my kids from dealing with that. I've been 100% successful so far - but I'm sure I am jinxing myself right this very moment! Ha!
-First off, you need to be paying attention to your own ears. Whenever your ears fluctuate, your child's ears are doing the same thing. They don't know the tricks that you do to clear them though....so that pressure you are able to release quickly is just building up for them. This is step one - be observant of your own ears and when you are clearing your own ears.
-Second, this is critical. Begin having your child drink or chew on something when the airplane's wheels take off from the ground. DO NOT jump the gun on this step. I have made this mistake a few times and here is what happens. We get on the plane, get settled, and get started on snacks (or nursing/bottle) while we are taxying out to the runway. But I didn't know that the runway is 63 miles long and there are 47 planes in line to take off before me! AHH! My kids are all finished eating/drinking and we are still sitting on the ground. When it's finally time to take off, there's no more food/drink and we are out of luck. It's terrible. Make sure you wait!
-For little babies, nursing or a bottle will totally do the trick. For big kids, get something you know they love, something they won't hesitate to gobble up when the time comes is key. I'm totally guilty of letting my kids eat sugary treats on fights. We eat pretty healthy and don't mind some sugar here and there at all :) Eat, eat, drink, repeat!
-Once you get up in the air and are cruising, your ears should be stable and you won't have to worry too much about it until you start descending. The pilot makes an announcement for this, but your ears will tell you this as well. Repeat the same trick - and you should be totally fine! My 3 kids and their hundreds of flights have never had a problem with ear pain.
- If you do get into trouble, try to stay calm. My mom used to have the flight attendant put hot water onto a papertowel, and then smoosh that hot towel into the bottom of a styrofoam cup. Something about this does relieve some of the pain. It doesn't fix the problem, but it lessons the pain by about half.
- Whatever you do, don't worry about the other passengers if your baby in uncomfortable. I know it's easier said than done, but here are some points to consider. 1) everyone has had ear pain and will empathize with your sweet little one. 2) more than half of the ppl have headphones on and can barely hear anything at all 3) airplanes are noisy and have a white noise effect going on constantly. If your baby is crying, it's effecting you the most. Others won't find it as loud as you, and will be tunning it out just like they are tuning out the rap from their neighbors headphones and the chatty friends in the seats in front of them.
-Thanks for reading and I hope you have a happy flight and a wonderful trip with your little one! -Valerie