How do you keep your baby from crying?
By Kathryn Crawford
As stressful as it can be for yourself and your fellow passengers, the simple fact of the matter is: babies cry!
It is their only means of communicating with you when they want something, are hungry, thirsty, tired, have a wet or dirty nappy, have a sore bottom, are too hot or too cold, are disturbed by noise or sudden movement or are experiencing pain or discomfort.
When you think about it, it isn't really that big a list. But the trick is to identify which of the above is your baby's reason for crying.
Travelling with babies should be no more stressful than travelling alone or as a couple.
If you address all the issues frequently, there is a very good chance that your baby will be happy, won't feel the need to cry and will either sit quietly or even fall asleep. The most effective pacifier for virtually all babies is being fed, having a clean nappy and being cuddled by a calm and relaxed parent. Most babies even have a particular type of cry for a particular problem. It is their own language and it is surprisingly easy for a mum or dad to learn this language and be able to determine the best remedy.
If your baby is well rested before the flight, has been changed and fed, is wrapped up warm (aircraft air-conditioning can be quite severe at times) or kept cool (sometimes the boarding gates at holiday airports can be like furnaces), then he should be reasonably happy from the outset.
As any parent will know, it's perfectly normal for a baby to cry, so never feel pressurised to 'shut the baby up' for the benefit of other passengers.
Babies' ears can often be uncomfortable for a short while after take off and before landing due to the changes in cabin pressure. If you make sure you either feed him during these times, or at least make sure he has a dummy or finger to suck on, the discomfort will be minimised and he will be less inclined to cry.
As any parent will know, it's perfectly normal for a baby to cry, so never feel pressurised to 'shut the baby up' for the benefit of other passengers. They were all babies themselves at some point. By following the above tips, the flight should be peaceful and relaxed, even if baby does interrupt to ask a favour now and then!
Kathryn Crawford is the editor of leading pregnancy, baby and parenting website, thebabywebsite.com.