21 answers

A Calm Flight

Does any one know anything about some of the "natural" or homeopathic remedies for calming children. We are planning a 5 hour plane trip next month to Cal. and I thought it might be helpful to have something on hand if my infant son "lost it" on the plane (this is our first flight with him). Although, I try and practice organic and natural care, when available and appropriate for my 9 month old son, I have never used homeopathic remedies and I am concerned about side effects and the lack of support from most regular pediatricians. Any advice on these over the counter remedies from Whole Foods, or any other suggestions are greatly welcomed.

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Featured Answers

My Mom swears by Rescue Remedy. I've only seen it in drop form and I believe that you can put a couple drops on the skin or in a bottle of water.

You can probably find it at any health food store.

Good luck on the flight.

More Answers

I do not know about organic treatments.
We travel a lot by airplane. We adopted all three of our children internationally. One from China and two from Vietnam. The flights home from those countries is really LONG. We also travel to CA about once a year and also MA.
Every child is different. Here are somethings that worked for us.
Travel so that naptime is during the flight. Bring lots of snacks, or formula for bottles, or juice. Bring new toys that your child has never seen before. Bring his blanket and stuffed animal if he has one. Make sure he is drinking during landing, in case he gets pressure in his ears. Swallowing helps. Be prepared to get up and walk around. Play quiet games.
You might luck out and get a really baby friendly person close by that will entertain your child. Or you might get someone who wants to sit somewhere else and you get an extra seat.
That reminds me. We always buy a seat for our children. This way we can bring their carseats and put them in that. When one of our children was under 12 months, we use to hold him and not get a seat. That only worked with one of the three.
Good Luck. Have a Nice trip.

The key to not having a crying baby on take-off due to pressure on ears is to delay giving the baby the bottle until the plane is taxing down the runway. If you start too early, he won't continue sucking. A new,small, inexpensive little toy to play with will keep him occupied, at least for a few minutes !
Good luck.

I have been using homeopathy for the past 8 years with much success. I have never expierenced any side affects, even when I have chosen the wrong remedy. The most difficult thing about homeopathy for me is finding the right remedy...but when you do, it works immediately!! The immune system also bennifits tremendousely from the remedy as well. I ahve 4 children ages 9 to 15 and we do not have health insurance. I use homeopsthy all the time for all kinds of things from colds, warts, anxiety, sleeping problems, allergies, and the list goes on!! For a plane ride, I have heard of something called rescue remdy or you could always try chamomille in just about any form...tea, remedy, or I think it even come in an ointment?? Anyway, there is all types of stuff online for this. Just google hoeopathic remedies for calming children. Hope you have a good flight!

Lavender is always a good one. Also bring something with white noise like a tape recorder with ocean waves or something. Prior to the flight when it's nite nite put the lavender and the ocean wave noise in with the baby so he gets used to it. Lavender spritz on his pillow or blankie or get him a flying blanket. Also take a clue from the dog whisperer. If you're anxious then the baby will pick it up and get anxious. If you go in with a clear thought in your head that this is going to be an easy great flight and the air plane is a giant car and the baby sleeps well in the car then it's all going to be great! Go in thinking PLEASE don't let my son be one of those horror stories I hear so much about of freaked out babies on planes... see? Keep your mind clear and your thoughts free and your son will pick it up.
Good Luck!

My understanding is that the reason babies lose it on airplanes is the change in pressure that makes your ears clog up and pop. A bottle or a pacifier can help ease this. Also try taking along the baby's carseat, having a familiar place to sit might help him sleep more easily.

where do you live? a friend of mine in McKinney just found a pedi that also uses natural remedies. pretty cool. let me know if you want me to get her contact info.

Hi L.,
I have two grown children and one ten year old. I was at a birthday party at Chucky Cheese when my 20 year old was an infant. She would not stop crying! A lady next to us offered me these little-bitty white pills that she had for her baby. She said "honey, I give these to my baby to calm her tummy if you would like to try some, they really work". Of course I said no. But later someone else told me the same thing, so I went to Walgreens and bought some. They work wonders! They are homeopathic, called Hylands, are in the baby section, in a blue & pink box. They have different types, like for teething, colic, etc...These little "wonder pills" calmed my babies! I hope this helps!

Teething tablets work wonders

I wonder if you could bring with you some sort of lavender oil or spritzer to help calm him. I spray my kids' pillows with the Unwind Lavender Spray from Arbonne. It helps calm them down at night.

As for keeping him totally calm on the plane, the biggest thing I can suggest is the breast! My kids could be in a burning fire but still calm down as soon as they see the milk coming!! If you're not breast feeding, I'd be sure to pack a lot of formula and a bottle or two!!

Good luck! If you want more info on the Arbonne stuff, please let me know!!


Hi L., I am a midwife and mother of three and I use homeopathy often. You can get a little survival pack that has several remendies. Some I would recommend are chamomile, aconite, ignatia and most definetly rescue remedy(Dr Bach Flower remedys) There are no side affectswith homeopathics(not true with herbs etc) so dont worryabout that. It is more important to find the right remedy, they dont always work ifinappropriate. Chamomile and rescue rem almost always work. Try Hylands theething tablets(they have them everywhere) And NURSE your baby lots on the plane to help with the ear pressure. For you(dont forget about you!) Remmber to drink lots of water, walk around every hour and DONT cross your legs att the knee or ankle.
Have fun
S. Evans LM CPM

As a former flight attendant I should tell you that in 10 years of flying.....VERY few kids "lost it"! If they did it was simply due to the pressure change on take off and landing! Be prepared for your son to have something to suck on during those two phases of the flight and otherwise just some fun stuff to entertain him during the cruise portion of the flight. Don't be nervous and enjoy the flight!!!! Safe travels to you and your family!

I say stay away from it... there are some things we have to let nature take it's course. Natrual or synthetic it is drugging your child to stop them from crying. I think these days synthetic or organic options are too accepted of a practice. This might be an expirence we wish would could avoid believe me I remember but, it is a "natural" expirence there might be those who are annoyed, if he does "loose it" but they will get over it, and it will pass. If we remove all the bumps in the road for our children eventally one day when they whn they hit some they will not know how to react...I know we are talking an infant..what would it hurt but then it's a toddler we try to protect from every uncomfortable moment...then a preschooler...then eventually we have a generation of kids that cannot handle life's complication's and uncomfortable moments... I wish I could have my daughter expirence NO TEARS or fears in life, but it is what makes us strong and gives us the ability to come thru difficult situations...I am not trying to sound harsh...

I have always flown with my children even at an early age (2 weeks) and they do unbelievably well. There is constant white noise and that always seems to calm them. As long as you can keep their other needs covered and something for him to suck on, which helps them clear their ears. You shouldn't worry about his crying because that will also help clear his ears if they do bother him. I do recommend taking his car seat, it will give you a break from holding him. Also remember to keep both of you very hydrated, the air in the airplanes has very little moisture and can affect you faster than think. If you do have any trouble the flight attendants are usually very kind and understanding and will let you stand up and walk a little to calm him. I find the younger they are the easier they are to travel on an airplane. Also, you are allowed several things though security that other passengers cannot take. My son regularly takes a cup full of water or juice and yogurt or applesauce, all liquids otherwise banned through security points. So stock up on his favorite things and a toy or two and have fun, take a picture or two. Calm Forte is also one homeopathic remedy I have given my children, but not neccesarily on board a plane. Tylenol is always in my purse for when they just don't feel good and can't tell you.

I would certainly recommend not actually giving her anything homeopathic. I have nothing against homeopathic remedies--there are definitely cases where they are the best option--but a lot of them are not tested by the FDA and you would have no idea how they could affect a 9-month-old baby. Even a lot of tested meds aren't cleared for children, so I wouldn't risk something untested.

My son was 4 months old when he flew for the first time, and he's flown several times since (he's not quite 3 yet). I concur with everyone who's suggested having something for your son to suck on during take off and landing to avoid painful ear pressure. One thing to keep in mind, though--most airlines either strongly discourage or will not allow you to breastfeed during take off and landing (same with during time of turbulence). It's not that they have a problem with the breastfeeding per se, it's a safety issue. So even if your breastfeeding, try to bring some bottles. Then bring whatever will keep him occupied best. Even if you get him his own seat (which I highly recommend, having done it both ways!), try to get an aisle seat for a parent and then sit with him on your lap where he can see other people. That alone was a great distractor for our son, especially since most people can't resist making faces and talking to a cute baby! In the end though, if you've done everything you can and your son just wants to be cranky, try not to stress about it too much. It will only make him crankier, and trust me, most people will understand. For those who don't, remind yourself that it's their own narrow mind causing their stress, not you or your son!

In my experience I have never needed anything to calm my children during flight. I have flown several times overeas where the plane ride is 8+ hours, plus time in the airport. If your child is an infant it will be hard to "entertain" him; however, you can walk around with him on the plane. They don't mind you doing that. Also, if he is nursing, I would encourage nursing during take off and landing and anytime in between for comfort. If he takes a passy, let him suck on that. The thing about babies losing it is that they will eventually fall asleep!
Good luck.

well i am not too sure about homeopathic remedies but i know a lot about air travel with babies as we travelled from my home in the uk to houston (a 10 . 5 hour flight) with our baby boy twice every year, and also flew a lot around europe with him.
9 months is still a good age to travel because they cant walk yet, once they do that is the pits! also my son never napped during the day so i had to find things for him to do during the flights.
we usually packed a bag for him with some little treats, new books and toys, and brought them out one by one during the flight, we would walk back and forth to the bathroom a lot, and by the time you have a little meal and a few diaper changes you will be at cali.
we did try benadryl once to try and make him drowsy but that was a big mistake as he wasnt used to it and it made him cranky. i would not try any remedies, homeo or not as you dont know how it will affect him, it may make hime worse.
5 hours really isnt too long to entertain him, you can do a practice run by sitting at home in one room with him.
my son did "lose it" once on a flight and cried the whole way, but what can you do? most people understand, and the ones that dont can ask to be moved lol
good luck

I use essential oil's on myself, my husband and on my children. Peace and Calming is one I love. It's a blend of various oils. A drop or two on the bottom of your feet is all you need. Lavender essential oil is another wonderful calming oil. These oils may help. You can find them at: www.youngliving.org/sherylhawkinson
Purchase the oils early before your trip and try them out first. I use Peace and Calming on my son at night and he is asleep within minutes. Feel free to contact me if you have any question.

When my oldest daughters were two and almost four, we went from Oklahoma City to St. Louis, and then had an eight hour layover at Ft. Myers. It was just the girls and I on the trip. We were joining my husband in Germany, where he was stationed in Kaiserslautern. I took purses for each of the girls with small toys and books. This was years ago. The girls are now 38 and 40 but I don't see why the same proceedures wouldn't work now, even for a boy.

We then left Ft. Myers on a flight to Frankfurt. The flight wasn't bad, nor were the layovers. I'm sure it was because they had plenty to do to keep them busy.

For a boy, you could put small toys and books in a book bag. As long as I child has something they really like, and it might be something that is kept just for such trips.

No matter how old our kids and grand kids are, I think we can still be of service to the younger generation!

Consider Rescue Remedy.
It's available in liquid, spray or pastilles (melt-in-your-mouth type lozenge.)
It is a Bach Flower Remedy and cannot go through x-ray. It will need to be hand-checked.

Hi L.,
Hey, I can't sit still for that length of time without "losing it"! I think most people understand that a person traveling with a child of any age is going to have their "moments." For what it's worth, it's usually ME who gets the seat next to the screaming child during the flight. It's not so bad.

I also have a son (who is 11 years old now) who traveled with us on aircrafts as a toddler/infant. One thing to remember is just to keep plenty of juice or water in a bottle (or cup with straw) during the flight. If your ears are prone to popping and getting stuffy during take off and landing, then your childs is probably doing the same. They don't know how to clear them like we do and it can become painful. Drinking sips of liquids allows the swallowing action to clear their ears. The same could be said of a pacifier.

I've also noticed that it is almost a lulling action to the child once in flight. Kind of like a car ride. Most children drift off to a peaceful sleep and stay that way for the better part of the journey.

Chamomile and Lavender have very relaxing, natural qualities. Just a few sips of a non-caffeinated, herbal blend Chamomile green tea should be okay for your child. This is just a suggestion--I'm certainly no pediatrician. Also, there is no harm in using a scented body lotion of the same ingredients prior to the flight, or during the flight. These scents calm and relax and the air on the flight can be drying. A mini massage befor take off! How relaxing is that!?!

I know you wouldn't purposely do this, but some people dump Benadryl or something of the like into their childs system for fear of a problematic flight. That KILLS me. My son suffered from allergies and on one trip, we were told by the Pediatrician that the pressure from the flight would aggravate his symptoms. We had to dose him with his allergy medication, and of course, it was the best trip we ever made with him. I would never do it if it wasn't required. The general public understands that you are traveling with an infant and it's just a lottery as to if they will have this sort of flight. I would be ticked if it happened at a movie theatre...but totally understanding about it happening on a form of public transportation.

My Mom swears by Rescue Remedy. I've only seen it in drop form and I believe that you can put a couple drops on the skin or in a bottle of water.

You can probably find it at any health food store.

Good luck on the flight.

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