Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat: no one loves hearing crying babies on airplanes. Or crying babies anywhere, really. Because it’s stressful. But let’s not forget who it’s most stressful for: the parents of the crying baby.
One mom recently responded to a TikTok that lamented the whole “babies on airplanes shouldn’t be a thing” thing, and her response really resonated with parents everywhere. Why? Because babies are part of the same society we all belong to, and they have every right to be on airplanes whether fellow passengers like it or not.
“Why isn’t there such a thing as adult only flights?? I would pay so much money,” begins the video the mom, Lisa P., responded to on her TikTok account. In the stitched video, the woman asking the question can be seen listening to a wailing child near her on an airplane.
“You know, there’s nothing wrong inherently with wanting adult-only flights,” Lisa P. responds. “As a parent, I would love family-only flights because then I wouldn’t get gross looks when I take my kids on airplanes.”
She calls out the person who complained for taking her phone out to record herself “playing the victim in the situation instead of having compassion and empathy.”
And you know what? She’s absolutely right. When I think about all of the public spaces I’ve shared with fellow humans who have offended me, crying babies and children don’t even rank anywhere near the top of my list. And now that I’m a mom, I feel even more strongly that it’s not only acceptable to bring your babies and toddlers out into potentially stressful experiences in society—it’s vital. For everyone. Though it seems like children and infants learn and adapt better than most adults can, at least in my experience.
Crying babies are stressful. For the parents most of all.
“Yes, hearing a baby scream for three hours is awful,” Lisa P. continues. “But leading with kindness and empathy is really gonna go a long way when you’re in public spaces. Because in public spaces, kids exist. And sometimes they cry, and we can’t really do much about it. And honestly, the parents are more stressed about it than you are.”
She suggests putting on some noise-canceling headphones and “minding your business” if you can’t handle the sounds of upset children. Flying with a baby is so incredibly difficult as it is—things would be so much better if people stopped to consider that fact before reacting negatively to it on a public forum.
Other moms have also shared similar opinions on TikTok, with one mom recently bringing up a great point about traveling with kids in another video.
“It’s not rude or inconsiderate to bring a baby on a plane. It’s rude and inconsiderate to pressure moms into staying home, stopping them from visiting family and living a happy, healthy life postpartum.”
This is why I am personally against being apologetic about traveling with kids, especially when I’ve brought my own babies on airplanes. You won’t be getting an “I’m sorry” letter with earbuds and candy if you’re flying with me. You’ll be getting me, doing my best, in a stressful situation that ultimately allows my children and I to get from point A to point B.
No one is entitled to a quiet, peaceful, dreamy flight without babies and children. And if that’s what you’re looking for, I suggest you find a private jet. Because airplanes are basically just sky buses, so to pretend they should be anything other than that is going to leave everyone feeling disappointed.