There is more to babies crying on airplanes than you might think, and also a few ways in which you can help to make them feel better.
Whether we have been on a plane with a crying baby or we are the parents trying to soothe a crying baby on a flight, we have all experienced it. If you ever have been that parent, you normally have a lot more sympathy for the little one. The truth is until you have experienced the helplessness that is trying to figure out why your baby hates flying so much, you simply can't understand.
Anyone who has taken a flight knows that ascending up into the sky can have a strange effect on your body. Nothing to worry about, of course, but it can feel a little odd. The main thing you'll notice is your ears popping. However, once you stop ascending and you have yawned and swallowed a few times, everything goes back to normal until you begin to descend.
The assumption is that a baby's ears popping is what causes them to cry uncontrollably. To an extent that is indeed the case. Who knows what the little one must think is happening, and there is no way of reassuring them that everything is fine. However, as outlined by Live Science, when a baby or toddler's ears pop during a flight it is actually a much worse experience for them than we realize.
Experts explained via the site that what causes our ears to pop is something called the Eustachian tube in our middle ear. Air needs to be let into the middle ear via the tube, and yawning, chewing, and swallowing does that. Since a child's middle ear isn't as developed, that process is a lot more difficult and can actually cause the little one pain. Nothing to worry about though, it won't last long and won't cause any damage.
The biggest issue is trying to get your baby to yawn, chew, or swallow while they are screaming at the top of their lungs. One handy tip to help them out with their ears popping is to have a bottle or pacifier on hand or even to breastfeed while the plane is ascending and descending. Also, try to make sure that your baby is awake during these times too.