10 tricks to help children relieve Ear pain while in airplane

10 tricks to help children relieve Ear pain while in airplane

How to lessen the ear pain while in aeroplane

Airplanes and the mystery of ear pain

Hey friends, I’m back with  some amazing travel memories which shall be posted on our Travel blog . One thing which pinched me some times before with my 3year old kid was the “Ear Pain” he suffered for small duration while the airplane takes off and while landing. There were some tricks I applied, which for sure reduced the pain to some level and he did not create a panic for those moments this time. I’m sure everyone of us have been experiencing these ear pains, but handling small kids while ascend and descend of the flight goes terrible.

This prompted me to share some of the tricks I used, with other parents or even adults. But before that, let’s all understand the reason as to why does the ear pain occurs while landing and take off?

Why does Ear pain happens in airplane?

Our ear has three parts basically, The Outer, Middle and Inner ear. (Remember, we all read it in Science when we were small?). Usually the air pressure inside the inner air and outside is same, since there is a tube called – Eustachian Tube which helps in maintaining the ear pressure.

It all happens because, when the plane takes off, the air pressure in the inner ear crosses that of the air pressure outside. [Remember, the air pressure gets lower at higher altitudes and hence the breathing becomes difficult on high altitudes]. This causes the Eardrum to swell outwards and causes ample pain and muffled sounds. Opposite is the process while the plane lands and the eardrum goes inward. Till the time this ear pressure is not balanced with the sudden altitude change, it continues to bother us and creates panic in babies for small durationsWhile landing, the air pressure in the cabin increases. But those few minutes seem unconsolable, atleast I felt so earlier.

Further, kids have narrow Eustachian tubes and they might have it partly blocked due to Cold or Ear infection. In such cases, one should try avoiding flights and travel in planes only if necessary.

How to reduce the Ear Pain in child while in Airplane?

Let’s get onto some tricks I used to follow & applied on my kid, while in flight & some atleast 30-40minutes before the scheduled take off.

1. Drink ample water or juices (Not coffee or caffeinated drinks) :

Drink plenty of fluids before & while in flight. The reason being very simple, drinking stimulates swallowing which helps de-clogging or opening of Eustachian tubes to have a healthy maintenance of Ear air pressure. Get your child to sip water frequently and more during take off and landing. Children can have fun by sipping juices as well.

2. Yawn and swallow :

Try for the artificial yawns, as you yawn the air pressure gets balanced slowly. Swallowing as shared in point 1, helps really significantly in lowering the ear pain.

3. Why not treat them with the Hard candies or Lollypops little before landing?

Oh yes, its not a party place but then sucking the lollypops have to be given credit to help maintaining the air pressure due to consistent swallowing. My kid enjoyed his landing party time with his favourite lolly:).

4. Love chewing?

This can be suitable for kids above 3 or more years who know that chewing gums can just be chewed and not let it pass in the food pipe. Try giving kids chewing gums little before take off and landing. This trick I used to follow sometimes.

5. Pacifier / Breastfeeding /Bottle feeding :

Incase you are travelling with your infant/toddler, make sure that you give him either of these three options. While bottle feeding, a child should sit straight rather than in a sleeping position. Breastfeeding helps tons, this is what I did in airplane till my kid was 2 years while take off and landing.

6. Don’t sleep, stay awake and talk to your kid :

Simple reason, while sleeping, we don’t swallow much so keeping the air pressure in the middle air becomes difficult. If your baby is sleeping, try feeding him breast/bottle milk so that he swallows.

7. Special Ear plugs :

Ear pressure regulating ear plugs  – Well, these are available for both adults and child, check them out. They basically slow down the pressure change and hence the effect and ear pain reduces. My husband had used them this time and he was pretty comfortable. Insert them in the ear properly and as recommended. Get one for yourself on amazon.

8. Breathing Exercise :

This is my favorite and I do it every time I travel in airplane. But this could be somewhat not compatible with small children, although try out at home once with them. Incase kids are comfortable, do it while takeoff and landing.

Breathe in, then pinch the nostrils part of the nose and then try to exhale through the nose keeping mouth closed. There will be some force but don’t exert extra force as it might hamper the ear drum. As you try exhaling through pinched nose, you’ll feel that the air pressure is getting balanced and the ear opens with ear pain being relieved.

9. Decongestant’s :

One can try out Decongestant’s atleast an hour before the flight takes off, even nasal spray helps a bit. Check out on your spray/kid’s spray with your doctor.

10. Mild Pain relievers :

If you feel that nothing seems to work and your child is in a lot of pain, then give him mild pain relievers. But give only after discussing with your paediatrician.

Hope some of these points work out successfully for you and children to relieve the ear pain in flight. May you have a pleasant flight and inflight experience.

Happy Travelling with Kids! Say bye bye to ear pain now!

10 tips to reduce the ear pain while airplane lands and takes off


Quest to live the life surrounded with the charming little bundle's of joy. When they speak, I sing, When they smile, I rejoice , When they hug, I hold them never to lose, Such is my passion for these Gifts of God.This love urged me to navigate separately from my Travel Blog & establish an "All-In-One" Blog for budding mothers. Mum's have multi-tasked this world ,with all her professional commitments , she still makes an extra effort to be a loving, caring and be an intellectual mommy! Cheers, for me too come from the same fraternity, post having a superb academics & close to 8 years of professional experience and blessed with a little one "who has indeed changed my life from Autumn to Spring";)

This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. Sweet Coralice

    Hear are such great tips! I always have them gum if they were old enough and knew how to chew but tha hard candy and lollipops are brilliant! ? – Cori

    1. Jhilmil

      That’s so true , hard candies and Lolly’s are win-win situations!

  2. lifeshelives11

    These are great tips! I don’t have kids myself, but do sometimes suffer from ear pain while traveling – and I fly a good deal! I usually find that chewing gum helps me, and yawning to sort of trigger that ‘ear pop’ feeling.

    1. Jhilmil

      Oh yes, chewing n yawning are what I too practise while on flights!! Thanks for coming by:)

  3. Nina

    Every time I fly, there’s always kids crying. I’m not complaining at all as I know it’s stressful for them and they could also have ear pain. I was somewhere and there was a kid with ear problems. They got a cup of steaming water and had the kid hold it up to his ear. That can sooth the pain, apparently.

  4. Stefanie

    I always have that problems when i´m flying and I tried everything… but nothing won´t work..

    1. Jhilmil

      Oh that seems really strange..even the decongestant or medicines didn’t help then?

  5. Tammymum

    These are some excellent tips. I always let my little boy have his dummy at take off and landing as it really helps. I have let them have a lollipop in that past or rather a passenger gave it to them! Like you say it helps so I didn’t mind

    1. Jhilmil

      That’s great to know… Sometimes we have to stop minding giving Lolly’s;)

  6. Erica

    Great tips, thank you!

  7. Marcie

    Great tips! Neither my kids seem to be bothered with their ears when we fly, but they usually are snacking throughout the flight, so maybe all that swallowing pays off.

  8. Shell

    I never heard of those special earplugs before but will definitely order some before our next trip.

  9. Chelsea

    My kids are usually ok during take off, but landing they usually get uncomfortable. Lollipops help, and usually take their mind off it.

  10. Moipone

    Useful tips you have there , thank you

  11. Minakshi bajpai

    Thats really useful tips for us. And i like the idea of chewing gums the most. And kids love to have these also. interesting article. Thanks for sharing

  12. thesaltymamas

    My daughter really suffered from ear pain on her last flight. She’s flown dozens of times and we’ve been fine, so I was very surprised! Love having these tips available in case it happens again next time!

  13. With a baby on the way I have heard of the bottle feeding (etc) tip and I totally am going to try it someday. All the rest I am going to take note of so I can keep that in mind for future use.

  14. These are wonderful tips! Nursing was the best when my daughter was younger. Now that she has weened we do snacks and water during landing. So far it has done the trick.

  15. Stephanie Eiler

    These are such great tips! I remember as a child getting horrible ear pain on planes, and I still do today. I will definitely remember these when I have a little one of my own someday!

  16. Paige

    Oh wow I will apply most of this to myself!

  17. TheMrsTee

    Thank You!! These are great tips! My oldest daughter hates flying because she suffers so much from ear pain. Perhaps these tips will help me make that less of an issue for her on our next flight.

  18. Danielle

    Cool tips for the little ones to be more comfortable during flights.

  19. kreativemommy

    These are all great tips for kids and also for adults like me as I get a lot of ear pain while landing. Thanks for sharing

  20. taylermorrell

    I’ve been very lucky. I have two kids–a three year old and a seven month old. WE’ve flown a handful of times, and neither kid has ever had an issue with take off or landing. We are so GRATEFUL for that!

  21. Jyo

    These are such great tips for when traveling with kids!! I’m expecting my first and am eager to travel with our kid 6 months in, I’m going to bookmark this page!

  22. Ellie Chan

    these are great tips! I used to get such bad earache when travelling on a plane, my Mum always had me suck on a hard candy for the ear-popping.

  23. thebeautytymscom

    These tricks will be really helpful….. I don’t fly often… But I have seen parents struggling with their kids…

  24. Anamika

    You have shared some very useful and helpful tips I will definitely remember thses tips. Thanks again for this post.

  25. Sangeeta

    These flying tips will not only help kids but also adults.

  26. Shaila

    This was seriously one of the best blogs I’ve read.. And this is a serious problem even I face.

  27. ghazala786

    Nice post with useful tips , will keep in mind, thanks for sharing, giving them lollypop is a good idea ?

  28. viharin

    These are some great tips! I didn’t know that deep breathing exercises are good too!

  29. Namrata Kumari

    Few of the tips are helpful for me as well. I get weird pain in flight because most of the time I am tired and I sleep in the flight.

  30. myteenytot

    Such an informative article !! Thanks for sharing this will definitely help my husband !!

  31. Minakshi Bajpai

    Such great tips. I am sure next time we are flying anywhere, we are trying a few of these tips for sure, even for myself.

    1. Jhilmil

      Do that , one or the other shall work!

  32. Nisha Malik

    Yes Kids are quite prone to ear pain during flights. I try to make my son chew on something eatable. Your tips are great and really practical

  33. rakhiparsai11984

    Luckily my daughter didn’t have this problem on her first flight but when I was a child I used to suffer with bad pain., This is a very helpful post for parents.

  34. Charu

    This is such an important topic. As a new mom I was glad to have known about suckinga dn swallowing and how it helps ear pain. But for most it is a new thing

  35. Snigdha

    This is very informative.. I have a small kid and the tips are really helpful for me… Thanks for sharing.

  36. The Aristochic

    I make my kid yawn to relieve ear pressure while flying..or some chocolates!

  37. Papri Ganguly

    Chewing candy can always help. Thanks for sharing such awesome and helpful tips. Will keep in mind for sure

  38. Anjali

    Ah! Finally u talked about it.. It’s almost 2 yrs that I haven’t took flight coz fear of ear pain which my son may experience ?

Leave a Reply