If you’ve been on any flight with small children or babies, you know that at some point one of them will probably cry, often times when the plane is descending. My baby has been one of the babies screaming on the descent (but only on two flights out of almost three dozen). I have learned how to increase my baby’s comfort and happiness in order to decrease screaming which is really uncomfortable for the parent, and everyone else on the plane.
First, if possible, I choose night flights. Those flights are the best, even if they are long. Veda has passed out on me (cozied up to me in a baby wrap), stirring to feed once a while, for 10-12 hours straight on night flights when she is typically sleeping.
Second, I make sure baby is warm with a long-sleeved outfit with footies, a cap when she was really small, and snuggled close to me with easy access to my breasts.
Third, I try my best to breastfeed baby when the plane begins descent to relieve the ear pressure and prevent pain and screaming. If you aren’t nursing, bring pacifiers, bottles, or anything baby enjoys sucking on, and for older children bring something for them to chew or suck like suckers or gum.
Fourth, I bring along a reasonable number of entertaining baby toys to keep her engaged when she is awake.
Fifth, I see the plane through the baby’s eyes. That means I try to look at everything as a toy and try to find new games/ objects to keep baby engaged and entertained. I get up with her and walk up and down the aisles, let her crawl up and down the aisles, and say hello to people (lots of people are bored too, and are delighted to smile and coo at a baby).
Sixth, I make sure I pack in my carry-on some essentials like teething toys and teething relief if baby is teething, as well as something for gas relief and pain relief, just in case.