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Pilot shares hacks to stop babies crying on planes — and one is ‘out there’

Traveling with babies can be quite a hassle — especially at 30,000 feet.

The change in pressure during takeoff is uncomfortable for a majority of passengers, but while older children and adults have tricks to alleviate the pain, babies don’t have that luxury.

Discomfort for babies on planes often causes them to burst into tears, with parents unsure how to calm them down.


A baby crying and screaming on an airplane flight
Adults can swallow or chew gum to get rid of the gases inside their body, he explained, but it’s more difficult for babies. Dennis – stock.adobe.com

However, a Sydney-based pilot named Jimmy Nicholson claimed that he has “done the research for you,” discovering ways to “stop your baby crying on a plane.”

“I asked a ton of moms, and apparently these two work,” Nicholson, who starred on Season 9 of “The Bachelor Australia,” said in a TikTok video, adding that the second tip is “out there.”

He started by explaining how when the aircraft increases altitude, the gases in the body expand “like when you release a balloon,” and when it descends, the gases need to leave your body through the ears, nose or butt.

Adults can swallow or chew gum to get rid of the gases inside their body, he explained, but it’s more difficult for babies.


Young tired father and his crying baby daughter during flight on airplane going on vacations. Dad holding baby girl on arm. Air travel with baby, child and family concept.
Discomfort for babies on planes often causes them to burst into tears, with parents unsure how to calm them down. Irina Schmidt – stock.adobe.com

The first tip he provided to stop the babies from crying in response to the discomfort was to breastfeed on the descent.

“Apparently it works,” Nicholson said. “The sucking and swallowing motion gets rid of the trapped gases in their ears and sinuses.”

The second tip — the “out there” one — involves an ice cube.

“Ask your flight attendant for an ice cube, give it to your baby and try and get them to suck on the ice cube, and this will help unclog their ears,” he shared.

However, the ice cube trick was met with some disagreement.

“Absolutely no ice cube for children under 5 sincerely nurses everywhere,” one person commented.

“ice cube can be an obstruction risk,” another warned.

“Ice cube is a massive choking risk,” someone concurred.

Some parents chimed in with tips of their own so people can avoid the “out there” ice cube hack.

“Mine had a bottle up and down. They were fine each and every time,” one said.

“Bottle on take off and landing every time! 👏🏽 about 1-2 mins after take off I find,” another advised.

“I used Defender headphones she slept the whole time,” someone else shared.

“Just a bottle with milk or water works – or olbas oil on hanky in front of nose opens airways again,” a user wrote.

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