Best Baby Ear Protection For Flying

If you’re planning to travel with an infant, you probably have a long list of things to pack for your upcoming trip. Can I give you one more item which is a must-have for travel with a baby? I know you’re probably overwhelmed already, but I promise, this might make things less stressful during the flight: noise-reducing device like infant headphones for baby ear protection.

No, baby ear muffs are not just about looking cute, they actually are for baby’s health.

Best Baby Ear Protection for Flying On an airplane

If you’ve ever wondered: “do babies need ear muffs for flying?” – then this post is for you.

Wearing the right baby headphones for airplane rides can help muffle sounds going on around your baby and help them feel more comfortable during the flight.

According to many parents, pacifier can help the baby to deal with pressure changes, but babies need something for the hearing protection too!

Speaking from our own experience, when our youngest were less than 6 m.o. we used these Alpine Ear Muffs which are designed for small infants and babies. At this time, our 3-year-old was traveling with these 3M Kids Hearing Protection Headphones which are perfect for older kiddos.

In this post, I look at 6 best baby headphones for airplane rides as well as discuss why it’s good to use infant ear muffs for flying on an airplane.

Preview
Moms' Favorite Choice
BANZ Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection – Ages 0-2 Years (Maroon)
Best For Newborns
Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection for Babies and Toddlers up to 36 Months - CE & ANSI Certified - Noise Reduction Earmuffs - Comfortable Baby Headphones Against Hearing Damage & Improves Sleep - Pink
Best For Older Babies
3M Kids Hearing Protection, Hearing Protection for Children with Adjustable Headband, 22dB Noise Reduction Rating, Green
Best Features
❤️Great for flights, fireworks, concerts, parties, band parades
❤️ Best for babies from 3 months & up (some parents have used them even with 2.5 week old newborns!)
❤️ Comfortable to wear even for longer periods
✖️Older toddlers may be able to take them off on their own
❤️Suitable for newborns and small infants (put the non-slip part on baby's forehead - the band won't slide off)
❤️ The ear protection foam is WAY BETTER than on many other headband style headphones for babies
❤️ They are great for noice cancelling & help with ear popping during flights
✖️Little babies can't take them off, but for toddlers it may be easier
❤️ Fit well older babies (for toddlers and preschoolers)
❤️ Soundproofing is really good
❤️ They work well for flight, fireworks and other loud noises
✖️The instructions for adjustments are misleading (the adjustment for older kids is on the metal part, not the plastic band)
advantage
Recommended by 92% of verified buyers!
Recommended by 91% of verified buyers!
Recommended by 87% of verified buyers!
Moms' Favorite Choice
Preview
BANZ Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection – Ages 0-2 Years (Maroon)
Best Features
❤️Great for flights, fireworks, concerts, parties, band parades
❤️ Best for babies from 3 months & up (some parents have used them even with 2.5 week old newborns!)
❤️ Comfortable to wear even for longer periods
✖️Older toddlers may be able to take them off on their own
advantage
Recommended by 92% of verified buyers!
Availability & Price
Best For Newborns
Preview
Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection for Babies and Toddlers up to 36 Months - CE & ANSI Certified - Noise Reduction Earmuffs - Comfortable Baby Headphones Against Hearing Damage & Improves Sleep - Pink
Best Features
❤️Suitable for newborns and small infants (put the non-slip part on baby's forehead - the band won't slide off)
❤️ The ear protection foam is WAY BETTER than on many other headband style headphones for babies
❤️ They are great for noice cancelling & help with ear popping during flights
✖️Little babies can't take them off, but for toddlers it may be easier
advantage
Recommended by 91% of verified buyers!
Availability & Price
Best For Older Babies
Preview
3M Kids Hearing Protection, Hearing Protection for Children with Adjustable Headband, 22dB Noise Reduction Rating, Green
Best Features
❤️ Fit well older babies (for toddlers and preschoolers)
❤️ Soundproofing is really good
❤️ They work well for flight, fireworks and other loud noises
✖️The instructions for adjustments are misleading (the adjustment for older kids is on the metal part, not the plastic band)
advantage
Recommended by 87% of verified buyers!
Availability & Price

Last update on 2024-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Do I Protect My Baby’s Ears While Flying?

While adults might be able to use small ear plugs while flying, there are no such things as safe baby ear plugs. Therefore, we have to look at other options that are suitable for babies.

My favorite ways to keep baby’s ears safe while flying is to use ear muffs designed for infants or baby headphones.

What To Look Out For

Check out the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR rating) – the higher the number, the better it is at noise reduction.

See if the headphones are insulated, as this is better and more comfortable, too.

Look for adjustable, well-padded headbands that can easily fit you baby’s head.

Consider the age of your child – especially if you’re looking for headphones for newborn babies. Make sure the ones you’re choosing are suitable from 0 months+, not 3 months+.

No product can completely stop the pressure changes that occur from flying, but the best baby headphones for plane journeys can help ensure less pressure and noise for your baby’s ears, too.

Tips – What To Avoid

Don’t try stuffing cotton balls or swabs in your baby’s ears, this is dangerous and could lead to other issues if the cotton gets stuck or falls out and becomes a choking hazard.

Therefore, avoid using both cotton balls or adult earplugs, as they are not appropriate for infants.

Best Baby Ear Muffs & Noise Cancelling Headphones For Flying

1. BANZ Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection

Baby Banz Earmuffs are the leading baby earmuffs on the market. They are specifically designed for infants and toddlers. This means they are not simply a smaller version of adult’s ear muffs.

BANZ Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection
BANZ Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection

They offer one of the highest noise reduction ratting (NRR from 28 to 31 dB, depending on the version you choose) in order to protect your baby’s hearing.

Without being bulky, they offer adequate padding to not only reduce sounds, but also help with pressure in baby’s ear changes while flying on a plane.

Pros:

  • Offer one of the highest level of noise reduction at NRR 28 – 31 dB
  • Lightweight (7 ounces)
  • Designed for babies, specifically.

Cons:

  • Older babies (7 months an up) were easily able to remove the headphones.
  • Run a bit small in size, if your baby has a ‘melon head’ (mine does!) you might need another set once they reach 18 months old.

2. Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection For Babies & Toddlers

A great option to protect baby’s ears while traveling is with the Alpine Muffy Ear Protectors, especially if your little one is under 6 months.

Alpine Muffy Ear Protection
Alpine Baby Muffy Ear Protection

First of all, I love that the headband does not push on the vulnerable fontanelle of a baby’s head (the soft spot at the top of the head). The specially-designed headband fits baby’s without pushing down and allows for easy adjustment with velcro straps.

They also have noise-reducing foam inside the headphones to help block out the loud noise of a plane’s engine (or your vacuum cleaner, if you’re at home), while remaining very comfortable. They offer noise reduction from 23 dB levels, and follow US and EU regulations for safety.

PRO TIP: Some parents complain on Amazon that the headband constantly slides into baby’s eyes. This is because they put them on BACKWARDS! There is a Velcro part that goes in the back of baby’s head and the non-slip grip that goes on baby’s forehead. This way the headband doesn’t slip and stays in place really well.

Pros:

  • The awesome polyester straps with velcro for the back and non-slip part for the front
  • Ideal for use with newborns (even few weeks old babies)
  • Noise reducing foam inside the headphones makes these great for flights, movie theaters or events like basketball and baseball matches
  • Great at noise reduction, help with preventing ear pain from pressure changes that can occur on a plane

Cons:

  • Better for young babies; parents of toddlers shared it was too easy for their little ones to remove by themselves

3. Friday 7Care Baby Ear Protection (0-2+ Years) – Comfortable & Adjustable Noise Cancelling Baby Ear Muffs

These Friday 7Care ear muffs are a great choice for travel because they are incredibly lightweight (less than 5 ounces!), but are durable enough to be used every day (like when there is construction work going on right in front of your house).

Friday 7Care noise-cancelling ear muffs
Friday 7Care Noise-Cancelling Ear Muffs

While they don’t advertise to prevent the build-up of air pressure in baby’s ear while flying, their cushioned-cup design really does help reduce the affects of take-off.

They effectively block out loud noises so your little one can rest without problems, whether thats on a plane or at a noisy event. They are ideal for newborns up to toddlers.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable, can be used on a regular basis.
  • Have a noise reduction rating of 4 to 6 times
  • Can be used with newborn babies

Cons:

  • Sound-reducing, but not truly noise canceling. It is enough for flying in an airplane, but not if you’re at a very loud concert or, say an air show with jets zooming by.

4. BBTKCARE Baby Ear Protection Noise Cancelling HeadPhones

Parents love these ear muffs to help babies sleep during flights, or for noisy sports events. These baby headphones are made of plastic and leather and feature plenty of soft padding around your baby’s ears.

BBTKCARE Baby Ear Protection
BBTKCARE Baby Ear Protection

They have an adjustable headband for the perfect fit, whether your baby is 3 months or 23 months of age.

While they advertise these as ‘noise canceling headphones’ I think a better term would be ‘sound reducing’. They don’t really block out noise, rather muffle it, which might be all your baby needs to rest on a flight.

However, the company offers a 100% money back guarantee, so you can try out these headphones for 3 months and see if you like them without worries.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, comfortable for baby to wear while sleeping.
  • Adjustable band. Plenty of padding in headband.
  • Can use for infants from 3 months up to 2 years of age and beyond (reviews shared these even fit a 6 year old child).
  • Parents reported their children slept better when flying while wearing a pair of these.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for newborns, sorry. Little ones from 3 months old and up, only.
  • Do not really ‘cancel’ out noise (think of them as muffling, instead).

5. 3M Kids Hearing Protection

Another popular choice for older kids (3 years old+) are the 3M Kids ear muffs.

3M Kids headphones for flying for kids from 3 y.o.+
3M Kids Hearing Protection

These earphones offer a noise reduction rating of 22 to help your kid continue sleeping while during plane travel, (or during concerts and a cheering crowd). This is the greatest noise protection I found on kids headphones!

I wish they were suitable for little newborns as they are fantastic for hearing protection.

On the positive note, there’s an adjustable band which means your child will be able to wear these for a long time, throughout the toddlerhood and preschool years.

Pros:

  • Easy to travel with because it folds up compact
  • Offers a noise reduction rating of 22 to protect little earsExtra padding in the cups is very comfortable for kids.

Cons:

  • While the band size is able to be adjusted, it’s not easy. Some parents shared they had problems finding where it could adjust (it’s actually the metal part) and that the instructions didn’t properly show it, making it a tight fit for their kid’s head.
  • The heaviest headphones on the list at 12 ounces. An option for older babies, but not young infants.

6. Snug Kids Ear Protection Noise Cancelling Sound Proof Earmuffs/Headphones For Toddlers & Older Children

Snug Kids Earmuffs Hearing Protectors
Snug Kids Earmuffs Hearing Protectors

I’m including these on the list because they are awesome headphones, but I should say upfront that they aren’t for planes or travel, or even for babies. So what are they for?

If you have a toddler or older child with autism or sensory processing disorder (some sound levels can cause actual pain) or who can easily become overstimulated with some sounds, then these headphones are for you.

They come in awesome designs that look stylish, which is great if your child needs to wear them on a regular basis. They are incredibly durable and fit young kids, up to even some adults.

They are incredibly comfortable (we know that’s essential for kids with sensory issues) and they are bendable and swivel for different angles.

Pros:

  • Headphones for older children with sensory processing disorders, helps to muffle sounds and reduce pain associated with certain sounds
  • Stylish design your child will want to wear all the time
  • Durable, bendable and rotating ear muffs to fit all shapes and sizes
  • Snug Ear company offers a 5-year guarantee on their products

Cons:

  • Not intended for babies
  • Not necessarily for travel or flying
  • I would like to see the noise reduction rating better advertised for consumers

Final Decision: What Are The Best Baby Headphones For Airplane?

The best baby headphones for traveling with a young infant (under 6 months) are the Alpine Muffy ear muffs, because of the special strap that secures them around little heads, which keeps their ears protected without pressing on the ‘soft spot’.

For older babies or young children, the Baby Banz earphones are the winner for best baby headphones because they have the highest noise reduction rating and the design might also prevent the feeling of pressure in the ear canal, too. If you’re looking for something to make plane travel more comfortable for your baby (and let’s be honest – the passengers around you, too) these are the best.

Protecting Baby’s Hearing During A Flight – Mom’s Tips

Other than headphones, there are a few tricks you can do to help your baby be more comfortable when the air pressure changes on a flight.

  • Get them to suck or move their jaw – you can encourage this by giving them a bottle or nursing them, or just popping a pacifier in their mouth. Being prepared for the shift that occurs in the ear canal during take-off is probably the best way you can help baby be less bothered during a flight.
  • Put them to sleep after take-off. Trying to get them to sleep before the flight departs usually doesn’t prevent the painful ear popping, and instead, your baby might wake up screaming and then be awake for the rest of the flight.Try to keep them awake and entertained until you are in the air and put them to sleep after you’re at cruising altitude.

Baby’s Ear Protection – FAQ

Here you’ll find out why babies need hearing protection when flying on an airplane and when flying may be dangerous to them.

Do Babies Need Ear Protection For Flying?

Experts suggest that newborn babies need some sort of ear protection while traveling by airplane.

First, babies’ hearing is much more sensitive than adults, and loud noises (like the plane engine during take off) could potentially damage their hearing more easily than yours or mine.

Another reason – and probably one of parents’ biggest concerns – has to do with air pressure on the plane. If you’ve ever needed to pop your ears after take off or landing, then you know what I’m talking about.

The change of air pressure builds up, you might hold your nose and blow to relieve that pressure. Babies cannot do this, so they need the help of baby headphones to prevent the build-up of pressure in their delicate ear canals in the first place. That’s usually why babies cry during take- off and landing.

Also, the noisy environment of the plane could easily wake your sleeping baby. To help them get a good rest on a long flight, it’s a good idea to use ear muffs for travel with babies and toddlers under 3 years of age.

Baby Banz Earmuffs

Can Flying Damage Baby’s Ears?

While it’s uncommon for flying to damage your baby’s ears, loud sounds can cause hearing damage or, potentially hearing loss. Doctor recommendations suggest that if your baby is around loud noises (which might be a plane’s engine) that you protect them with earmuffs or noise canceling headphones.

Should Babies Fly With Headphones?

Babies should fly with baby headphones or baby earmuffs. Don’t try using adult headphones with a newborn, because they are not safe for infants or young children.

Keep your baby safe with an appropriate pair of ear muffs or headphones.

When Flying May Be Dangerous For Your Baby?

Newborns

While you certainly can fly with a newborn, it’s always best to get an okay from your doctor, first. This is because newborn babies don’t have strong immune systems and an airplanes is a place where they will be exposed to a lot of germs at one time. Unfortunately, other passengers might share an infection with your little one.

Recent Ear Infections

If your little one has recently had an ear infection, please ask your doctor before getting on that upcoming flight. An ear infection paired with air pressure changes, especially, can cause excruciating ear pain for a baby.

Your trip with be a little less stressful and more enjoyable when you have peace of mind that your little one is safe and comfortable on the flight.

How To Make The Air Travel With Baby Easier

Consider taking a baby carrier or baby wrap to your travel – babywearing makes traveling with baby so much more convenient and easier. You’ll be able to quickly get through the airport and keeping the baby close to you during the flight will also help to relieve your little one’s discomfort.

If the flight with your baby overwhelms you, check out my tips for the first air travel with infants and toddlers.


Sources of pictures:

Pictures of Banz Earmuffs belong to Banz Brand.

Pictures of Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection belong to Alpine Hearing Protection Brand.

Pictures of Friday 7Care Baby Ear Protection (0-2+ Years) belong to Friday 7Care Brand.

Pictures of BBTKCARE Baby Ear Protection belong to BBTKCARE Brand.

Pictures of Snug Kids Ear Protection belong to Snug Brand.

Pictures of 3M Kids Hearing Protection belong to 3M Brand.


The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.

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About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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