If you're a parent, chances are you've experienced the dreaded ear pain that comes along with air travel. And if you haven't yet, just wait—it's only a matter of time before your little one starts complaining about the pressure changes during takeoff and landing.

The good news is that there are ways to ease your baby's discomfort, and one of the best is by using ear protection.

In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the best options for infant and toddler ear protection when flying, as well as answer some frequently asked questions.

So let's get started!

Types of Ear Protection Suitable for Babies and Toddlers

There are several types of ear protection that are suitable for infants and toddlers: foam earplugs, silicone earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, ear muffs and sound-blocking curtains. Each type has its own pros and cons, so it's important to choose the option that will work best for your child.

In-ear Plugs

In-ear plugs are one of the most popular types of ear protection for babies, as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. In-ear plugs are made from soft, flexible material that forms a seal around the baby's ear canal, blocking out noise.

In-ear plugs can be reused multiple times and are typically made from hypoallergenic materials, making them safe for even the most sensitive skin.

There are two types of in-ear plugs: silicone and foam . Silicone ear plugs are generally more comfortable, but they can be harder to insert and remove. Foam ear plugs are easier to use, but they may not provide as much noise reduction.

Noise-cancelling Headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are another popular option for baby ear protection, as they are effective at blocking out noise. Noise-cancelling headphones work by creating a sound wave that cancels out incoming noise, making it much easier for babies to sleep on long flights. Noise-cancelling headphones can be expensive, but they are typically very comfortable and can be used for many years.

Noise-cancelling headphones for this purpose are often referred to as Ear Defenders. If you want to learn more about ear defenders you can check out my blog: Baby Ear Defenders – The Best Way to Protect Little Ears.

Ear Muffs

Ear muffs are a type of ear protection that is designed to fit over the baby's entire ear. Ear muffs work by blocking out noise with their padded cups that fit snugly over the ears.

Ear muffs can be adjusted to fit any size head and are typically very comfortable, making them a good option for long flights or loud environments.

The downside to ear muffs  is that they can be bulky and may not fit properly on some babies.

Sound Blocking Curtains

Sound blocking curtains are a unique type of ear protection that can be hung around the baby's seat on an airplane. Sound blocking curtains work by absorbing noise, making it much quieter for the baby to sleep or play during a flight.

Sound blocking curtains can be expensive, but they offer a high level of protection from noise and can be used for many years.

FAQs About Baby Ear Protection for Flying

Now that we've gone over some of the different types of ear protection available, let's answer some common questions about using them when flying with young children.

Q: What is the best ear protection for babies on airplanes?

A: The best type of ear protection for babies on airplanes will depend on your child's needs. In-ear plugs and noise-cancelling headphones are two of the most popular options, as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Ear muffs and sound blocking curtains are also good options, but they can be more expensive.

Ultimately, it is up to you as the parent to decide which type of ear protection will work best for your child.

Q: Is it safe for babies to use ear protection on airplanes?

A: Yes, it is safe for babies to use ear protection on airplanes. In fact, it's recommended by many pediatricians as a way to reduce the risk of pain or damage to the ears during takeoff and landing.

Q: How old does my child have to be before I can use ear protection?

A: There is no age limit when it comes to using ear protection on airplanes. However, infants under 6 months old should not use noise-cancelling headphones because they need to be able to hear outside sounds in case of an emergency.

Q: Do I need a prescription from my doctor?

A: No, you do not need a prescription from your doctor in order to use any type of ear protection on an airplane.

Q: How do I know if my child is in pain?

A: The easiest way to tell if your child is in pain is by his or her crying or fussiness. If your child seems unusually cranky or is rubbing his or her ears, this may be a sign that the pressure changes are causing discomfort.  It is best to take your child out of the ear protection if he or she is in pain.

Q: Do airplanes hurt baby's ears?

A: There is a lot of debate on this topic. Some people say that the change in air pressure can cause pain in a baby's ears, while others claim that the noise from the plane can be harmful. In either case, it is always a good idea to bring along some ear protection for your baby just in case they do experience any discomfort.


Flying with young children can be stressful, but using ear protection can help reduce your baby's discomfort during takeoff and landing.

Overall, using ear protection on airplanes can be a great way to protect your baby's ears from loud noises and pressure changes. With the right type of ear protection, you can ensure that your little one enjoys a comfortable and safe flight.

Each type has its own pros and cons, so it's important to choose the option that will work best for your child.

Remember—if you have any questions about using ear protection on an airplane, be sure to ask your pediatrician before take off!