Do Infants Require Earplugs When Flying?

Flights can be noisy for adults, let alone infants and young kids. Sometimes, the noise can be so terrible that one would have an earache after the flight.

Infants are not an exception to this possibility, and that’s why it’s ideal to make provisions for noise-cancellation systems like headphones, small earplugs, or even cotton balls. These will help limit your baby’s exposure to harmful noises and eventually make them sleep.

The changing cabin pressure during a flight can cause momentary changes in the middle ear pressure. This can also cause earache. To help ease the pain in your baby’s ears, consider breastfeeding your baby or provide a water bottle or pacifier to suck on during takeoff and the initial descent. That’s because swallowing also helps to cancel noises.

You can also consider timing your baby’s feeding so that your baby is hungry during these times. However, if your baby has had ear surgery or an ear infection two weeks before your flight date, ask a healthcare provider if it’s safe to fly.

Arguments On Infants Wearing Ear Muffs For Flying Ear Pain 

Flying causes air pressure within the aircraft to change, particularly during takeoff and as the aircraft descends for a landing.

This is the cause of the unpleasant and occasionally uncomfortable ear-popping we all have encountered while flying. 

Because they have never felt it before, babies specifically may find this unique sensation to be highly unsettling and frightening. 

Additionally, the Eustachian tubes, a passageway that connects to the mid-ear and controls air pressure, are smaller in children and newborns. 

When a newborn has an earache, the painful pressure experienced when flying may be strongly valued inside these tubes.

Hearing protection devices can be extremely loud, harming someone’s hearing over time. 

This is why every time pilots enter the cockpit; they use an aviation headset to protect their hearing.

Even though the majority of passengers, and particularly infants, won’t frequently be flying, 85 decibels (dB) (the unit used to measure the intensity of sounds) noise exposure for longer than 8 hours might harm the ears permanently. This is cut down to only fifteen minutes each day at 100 dB.

For context, a typical conversation takes place at 60 dB. In comparison, noise levels within the cabin during takeoff and landing can rise to 105 dB, which means your baby’s hearing may be in danger on both long- and short-haul flights.

For comparison, at cruising altitudes, noise levels are roughly 85 dB.

Can A Baby’s Ears Be Permanently Harmed By Flying? 

Fortunately, babies that experience ear pain during flight only experience it for a brief period. 

That’s because your baby Eustachian tubes would perform as intended and will innately open to allow the air pressure to equalize, restoring normalcy and guaranteeing that no long-term issues or harm will arise.

However, it is advised that you postpone traveling if your child has an infection in their ear until it has been adequately cleared up. 

Compared to adults, flying while suffering from an earache/infection is particularly dangerous for infants. 

This is due to the worsened discomfort it could cause in the child’s ear when flying in the ears. Additionally, it will guarantee that a potential eardrum tear or rupture won’t occur. 

As previously said, babies must always use ear muffs when traveling because the noise levels in the airplane can get to levels that can harm their hearing.

Additional Techniques To Guard Your Baby’s Ears Whenever They’re Flying 

The best part you could do to prevent your baby’s hearing when traveling is to wear a decent set of earplugs, but you could also help by doing the following: 

Keep the front of the airplane: Its rear is infamously quieter than its front. So, try not to take a seat at the airplane’s rear whenever feasible. 

Select an aisle: According to a study, middle & aisle seats are 4 dB noisier than window seats.

Cotton Wool, Earplugs, And Ear Muffs

Cotton wool and earplugs are not suggested for infants or younger children. 

Most of the time, ear plugs are too large for a baby’s tiny ear canal and therefore provide a choking risk. 

Balls or Swabs of cotton wool can easily slip out of the baby’s ear, get caught if inserted too deep, and provide a choking risk. 

Because they are simple to use, provide adequate protection, and are safe, babies should always fly wearing ear muffs.

What Flying Ear Protection Is Best For Babies? 

Fortunately, you can cover your baby’s ears on any upcoming travel. 

The Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection are, in our opinion, the ideal earplug for children when they fly.

They’re the only infant ear muffs available in the market that have received CE certification, certifying that they adhere to the strict legal standards of the European Union and the United States of America in terms of safety, health, as well as the environment. 

BANZ Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection

This is considered the best baby/children ear muffs and noise-canceling headphones for flying. 

Baby Banz makes the best infant earmuffs available. They are made especially for babies and young children. This indicates that they are more than just a scaled-down version of adult ear muffs.

To safeguard your baby’s hearing, they provide the most fantastic noise reduction ratings (NRR around 28 – 31 dB, based on the type you select). 

They provide enough padding without being clunky to assist with pressure changes in a baby’s ears while flying and reduce sounds. 

The noise reduction ranges from 28 to 31 decibels, among the highest available. 

Seven ounces of lightweight specifically made for newborns. 


  • Older infants (from 7 months and older) found it simple to take the headphones off. 
  • If the baby has a “melon head” like mine, you may need to buy another collection once they turn Eighteen months old.  
  • Run a little small in size.

Alpine Muffy Baby/Children Ear Protection For Infants And Toddlers 

The Alpine Muffy Ear Protectors are a fantastic choice for baby ear protection while traveling, mainly if your infant is under six months old. 

Firstly, I appreciate that the headband doesn’t press against the baby’s delicate fontanelle (the soft area at the top of the head). The precisely created headband is easily adjusted with velcro sashes/straps and fits the baby’s head without pressing down. 

They also contain noise-canceling foam in the earphones to help you stay as comfortable as possible while blocking out the noisy roar of an airplane’s engine (or the vacuum cleaner when you’re at home). 

In addition, they provide noise reduction starting at 23 dB levels & adhere to safety standards set forth by the US & EU.


The fantastic polyester straps/sashes with velcro are used for the back & a non-slip area for the front. These are perfect to be used by newborns (even just a few weeks aged babies) 

The noise-canceling foam in the headphones makes them perfect for movie theaters, flights, or sporting events like baseball and basketball.

They are excellent at blocking out noise and help prevent ear discomfort from pressure shifts that can happen on an airplane. 


Better for newborns; parents of toddlers complained that it was too simple for their children to remove on their own. 

Friday 7care Baby Ear Protection (0-2+ Years) – Comfy & Adjustable Noise Cancelling Baby Ear Muffs

Because they’re so light (less than five ounces!) but solid and sufficient to be utilized daily, these Friday 7Care ear muffs are an excellent option for travel (like when structure work is going on right in front of your house). 

Although they don’t specifically mention it, the cushioned-cup form of these products helps lessen the effects of takeoff. 

They successfully muffle harsh noises so your child may sleep soundly anywhere—on an airplane or at a loud event. They’re perfect for infants and young children.


They are lightweight and strong, and they can be used frequently. They also have a 4–6 times noise decrease rating. 

Suitable for use with newborn infants 


Not fully noise-canceling, although it does reduce noise. It is sufficient for airplane travel, but not if you’re at a noisy concert or, for example, an air show with planes flying overhead.

BBTKCARE Baby Ear Protection Headphones With Noise Cancellation 

These ear muffs are popular with parents at loud sporting events or to put babies to sleep during flights. These leather and plastic baby headphones include plush padding around the baby’s ears. 

Whether your kid is 3 months or 23 months old, the headband may be adjusted for the ideal fit. 

Although they describe these as “noise-canceling headphones,” I believe “sound reduction” would be a better phrase. This is because they muffle sounds instead of truly blocking them out, which may be all your infant needs to sleep on a flight.

However, the manufacturer provides a 3-month risk-free trial period with a 100% money-back guarantee, allowing you to decide whether you prefer the headphones.


Baby can wear it comfortably while napping because it is lightweight. 

An expandable band. The headband has lots of cushions. 

Infants from three months to two years of age and older can utilize it (reviews shared that these even fit a six-year-old child). 

Parents claimed that they slept better when their kids wore these while flying.


Not appropriate for babies. Only infants three months of age and older. 

Avoid truly “canceling out” noise (think of them as muffling, instead). 

3M Children’s Hearing Aids 

The 3M Kids ear muffs are another popular option for children who are older (three years old and up). 

These earphones have a noise reduction rating of 22 to support your child’s slumber during the flight (or during shows and a cheering/screaming crowd). 

The best noise cancellation I could find for children’s headphones is in these. They are excellent for hearing protection; however, I hope they are suited for tiny newborns.

The adjustable band means that your child will use these for an extended period throughout the toddler and preschool years, which is a plus.


It folds up a little, making it convenient to travel with. 

Provides a 22-noise reduction rating to safeguard young ears. 

Children find the extra padding inside the cups to be quite pleasant. 


Although the band size can be changed, doing so is difficult. In addition, some parents complained that they couldn’t discover the adjustment point (which is the metal component) and that the directions weren’t clear enough to show it; therefore, it was a tight fit for their child’s head.

The 12-ounce headphones weigh the most on the list—an alternative for older babies but not for newborns. 

Snug Kids Noise Cancelling Sound Proof Earmuffs/Headphones For Kids & Older Kids 

These headphones are fabulous, so I include them on the list, but I should point out that they aren’t appropriate for use on airplanes, during travel, or even with young children. So, then, what do they serve? 

These headphones are for you if you have a toddler or older child with autism or sensory processing disorder (certain sound levels can hurt) or who is easily overstimulated by some sounds.

They have amazing designs and are fashionable, which is perfect if your youngster requires wearing them frequently. In addition, they are exceptionally sturdy and suitable for infants, children, and even some adults.

They are flexible, swivel for various angles, and wonderfully comfy (we know that’s vital for children with sensory difficulties).


A Stylish design you would want your child to wear all the time.

Resilient, bending, and rotating ear muffs to suit all sizes and shapes.

Headphones for older kids with sensory processing problems. This help to muffle sounds and minimize pain associated with specific sounds. 

The Snug Ear firm provides a five-year warranty on its products.


 I want better consumer advertising for the noise reduction rating. It is not recommended for babies. Not necessary for travel or flying. 

Best Baby Headphones For Airplanes.

The Alpine Muffy ear muffs are the ideal baby headphones for traveling with a young baby (under six months old) since they keep their ears covered without pressing on the “soft spot” thanks to a particular strap that fits them around small heads.

The Baby Banz earphones have the maximum noise-reducing rating and may help avoid the sensation of pressure inside the ear canal, and they are the best baby headphones for older kids or young toddlers.

These are the most excellent options if you’re searching for anything to make flying with your baby (and, let’s face it, the other passengers, too) more comfortable.

Other Techniques For Guarding Your Baby’s Ears During Flight 

Do Infants Require Earplugs When Flying

You can use a few techniques in addition to headphones to make your infant more at ease during air pressure changes during a flight.

Encourage them to move their jaw or suck by offering them a bottle, nursing, or just placing a pacifier inside the mouth. 

The most excellent method to make an infant more comfortable on a flight is to be prepared for the change in the ear canal that occurs during takeoff. 

After takeoff, put them to sleep. In most cases, attempting to put them to sleep before takeoff does not stop the uncomfortable ear popping; instead, your child may awaken screaming and remain awake for the duration of the flight.

Until you’re in the air, please make an effort to keep them interested and awake. Then, once you are at cruising altitude, put them to sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Flying Require Ear Protection For Babies? 

According to experts, infants under one year old should wear ear protection when flying. 

First off, compared to adults, newborns’ hearing is significantly more sensitive, making them more susceptible to hearing impairment from loud noises such as the takeoff of an airplane. 

Another factor, which is likely one of the main worries for parents, involves the pressure on the aircraft. You understand what I mean if you’ve ever had to pop your ears after takeoff or landing.

When the pressure in the air changes, you can hold your nose & blow to release the tension. 

Babies are unable to do this; thus, baby headphones are necessary to stop pressure from building up in their sensitive ear canals in the first place. Babies typically cry during takeoff and landing for this reason. 

The plane’s noisy cabin could quickly wake up your sleeping child. When traveling with infants and toddlers under three, it’s a great idea to use ear muffs to help children get a good night’s sleep on a lengthy flight.

Does Flying Affect Baby’s Ears? 

Although it is rare for flying to harm your baby’s ears, loud noises can result in damage to or even loss of hearing. 

According to medical advice, you should safeguard your kid with earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones if they are around intense noises, such as the engine of an airplane. 

Should Babies Wear Headphones on Flights? 

Baby earmuffs or headphones should be used on airplanes by infants. However, since adult headphones are unsafe for babies or younger children, don’t try to use them while holding a newborn. 

Use the proper earplugs or headphones to keep your infant secure.

When Could Flying Be Risky For Your Baby? 


Although it is possible to travel with a baby, it is best first to obtain your doctor’s approval. 

This is due to young children not having robust immune systems, & airplanes are environments where many different pathogens are present at once. Unfortunately, your child may contract an infection since babies are prone to infections at early stages.

Ear Infections Recently

Please see your doctor before boarding the next aircraft if your infant has just had an earache/infection. An infant may experience acute ear discomfort, particularly air pressure shifts, due to an ear infection. 

If you have confidence that your child is secure and at ease during the flight, your trip will be a bit less unpleasant and more pleasurable.

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