Why We Shouldn’t Judge Parents Who Are Flying With an Infant

Family & kids
4 years ago

More than half of surveyed airline passengers shared that they’d prefer if people traveling with small children were required to sit in a separate part of the plane. Well, traveling with an infant may be a challenging experience, but getting judgmental looks from fellow passengers doesn’t make it any more pleasant. And the parents, who are doing their best to keep their child calm, have to deal with all the pressure and put up with a negative vibe from other passengers for not trying “hard enough.”

Bright Side understands that no one wants to hear a child screaming during an entire flight, including their parents, but we’d like to explain why we should all be more patient and we are ready to share 7 compelling reasons for this.

An infant knows no other way to express their irritation.

Babies get tired on planes, just like the rest of us. Traveling may interfere with their sleeping and eating schedule or they may feel overstimulated because of all the noises and people around them. And since they can’t complain to their parents about how sick and tired they are of the journey and how much they want to go home, they use the only available way they have to show their negative emotions: crying.

Our brain makes us anxious when we hear a baby crying.

Scientists suggest that our brain processes the sound of a baby crying in a special way that triggers our survival mode. So hearing a crying baby on a plane may be irritating because we can barely ignore this sound — our brain just won’t let us do it. It tells us to stay alert, when we don’t want to be and we can’t escape this situation or resolve it.

Parents experience stress and it makes the baby cry even more.

Most parents are perfectly aware that their kid’s behavior irritates other passengers, but sometimes they just can’t do anything about it. If people make rude comments or express their frustration in some other way, it only worsens the situation, making parents anxious. And since infants often pick up emotional cues from their parents, they’re likely to feel stressed too and might start crying even more.

The child might not feel well.

An infant can’t talk to their parents and tell them what’s bothering them, and they also can’t control their responses to pain. A baby may have some stomach problems, be going through teething, or have some health problems. And parents can’t cure them right away, so it’s probably better to just accept the situation, instead of making it harder for everyone.

Kids will always be kids.

Infants just act according to their age. They don’t understand that they should keep quiet in public places or why they should suppress their emotions. But it’s up to the other passengers to assume their position as adults and be mature enough to not blame the parents for kids being kids. We all used to behave like that and an infant won’t immediately acknowledge all social norms just because people on the plane want them to.

Some children just cry all the time and parents can’t control it.

Babies may cry a lot for no obvious reason. While their parents may be trying to do everything they can, their child might still refuse to calm down. This doesn’t mean that parents are doing anything wrong or don’t care enough about their child or the comfort of other passengers. On the contrary, they’re more likely to feel stressed, hopeless, and unable to manage the situation.

Judging definitely won’t help at all.

If the parents have already gone beyond their limits to calm down their child, but the infant still doesn’t feel like it, it means that they can’t do anything. And judging them won’t improve the situation. Instead it’ll just contribute to all the negativity. So it’s probably wiser to choose to be kind and understanding rather than irritated and judgmental. No one has ever felt happier after making somebody else miserable and unhappy, after all.

What do you usually do when you hear a child crying on a plane or if it’s your baby who is making all the noise? Do you know of any tricks you can use to quickly calm a child down? Share your stories and personal experience in the comments.

Preview photo credit depositphotos.com, depositphotos.com


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I think I can consider myself lucky. I had a couple of flights where little kids were on the plane, but they were so sweet and calm that no one experienced any discomfort at all


In any situation, parents shouldn't be judge by the behavior or their kids


I agree with no being judgmental, but sometimes parents need to know how to control their children


I think that either way if it's about a kid or a grown-up, being in a plane is stressful enough! Let people be!


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