If you’re a frequent flier, then no doubt you’ve come across a screaming baby or 1,000 on your travels. Heck, even if you’ve flown only once in your life, you’ve probably come across a screaming baby or two on your sole flight. You know why? Because it’s a part of life. Literally. RELATED: Should Airlines Offer Kid-Free Flights?
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No one enjoys the sound of a screaming baby but especially on a flight. When I was a bachelor and was crisscrossing the globe every few days, I just came to expect it. But it’s essential to do your part and travel prepared. That’s why I always travel with:
1. Earplugs (these Loop Earplugs are pretty cool and offer high-fidelity hearing protection and noise reduction)
2. Noise cancelling headphones (Bose and Beats make excellent options but they’re pricey; check out these Anker noise cancelling headphones that look just as good at a fraction of the cost)
3. A playlist with a variety of songs from classical (to help me sleep) to pop (to pump me up)
4. A balloon
I’ll get to the reason for the balloon in a minute. But what inspired this post was a TikTok created by former flight attendant Kat Kamalani. Kat’s 26-second video has over 2,000 comments and is titled: “THIS ? i promise you, you wont win… just be a kind human and dont dont this @Dylan”
Yeah, I had no idea either what the video was about until I watched it since the description is cryptic. But once you watch it, you’ll quickly understand.
Kat starts off by showing a video (embedded below) of a passenger shushing a couple’s baby across the aisle. Then she adds this commentary: “I promise you, there’s nothing that irritates us more. As a flight attendant, when people complain about babies crying. So if you’re traveling: bring noise canceling headphones or maybe ask the parent if they need help. Don’t even ask us to be moved to a different seat. Because I promise you, no one else wants that baby to stop crying more than that parent.”
@katkamalani THIS ? i promise you, you wont win… just be a kind human and dont dont this @Dylan ♬ original sound – Kat Kamalani
Kat’s exactly right that no one wants that baby to stop crying more than the parents. As a relatively new parent myself, (yeah, I started late) I completely relate, understand and agree. RELATED: Kid Screams For 29-Hour Flight: What Would You Do?
I remember when our first child was born six years ago, my wife and I were so nervous to take him on his first flight because we had no idea how he would react. Would he hate it and scream the whole time? We had the same worries with our daughter Olivia, who arrived three years later.
Fortunately for all involved, our kids rarely cry and they love to travel, a huge relief for us. My son has been on over 70 flights but our daughter has only been on a handful since she was born just before the pandemic.
Oftentimes, when we’re disembarking a plane, fellow passengers come up to us and commend our children on how well behaved they are. Actually, they and most other children are better behaved than many adults (you don’t see kids getting escorted off a flight by the police, now do you?)
One reason why our kids are so well-behaved is because we come prepared. These are 14 things we always travel with to keep our kids quiet. And we almost always follow these tips:
1. Make sure our kids get a good night’s sleep.
2. We avoid red-eyes just in case they can’t sleep. We don’t want a whole plane of evil eyeballs glaring at us on a night flight.
3. We pack snacks, drinks and all kinds of distractions like books and, most importantly, iPads with kid-friendly headphones. What’s also important to note is that our kids rarely get to use their iPads except when we’re traveling or have an important lunch meeting where we need them to stay quiet. It’s a treat for them so it really works to keep them quiet, happy and engaged on a plane.
4. I book seats together and usually the bulkhead so they can’t kick anyone’s seat in front of them.
5. I carry a balloon. I learned the balloon trick from the late, great, Luke Perry, which you can read about here.
We also always bring chocolates for the flight attendants and pilots so they’re extra nice.
And truthfully, I also have the attitude that I don’t care what other people think. I’ve flown millions of miles with screaming babies and I never said a peep or gave the parents the evil eye. Babies are a part of life and everyone’s (usually) just trying their best. I think that’s the key for parents. As long as you’re trying with your kids, most people will be understanding. The problem is exacerbated when parents appear to be doing nothing.
I’m not alone in this as the top commenter on Kat’s video wrote: “i had a flight attendant tell me…”let her cry, you won’t see these people again anyways”. helped me so much.”
I ALWAYS keep a bottle of Stress-Away essential oil blend in my carry-on to pull out whenever a baby (or an adult) starts fussing. A few drops on my cocktail napkin diffuses very quickly – doesn’t “smell up” the plane at all (it actually smells fresh and tropical) – and the molecules reach, and soothe, the fusser within minutes. It’s worked every time. Every single time.