This TikTok About Flying With a Crying Baby Is Going Viral

One mom shares her thoughts on those judgey stares from airplane passengers when baby won't stop crying and how we can all lead with empathy.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Published September 2, 2022
mother kissing baby's head while sitting on airplane

As many people take to the skies this weekend for labor day travels, a viral TikTok reminds us to lead with empathy and compassion for our fellow travelers.

As many parents know, traveling with kids, especially a baby, isn’t easy. While airports and state governments are enacting laws to make the journey a little smoother for parents, there are some things they don’t have any control over. In fact, there are some things that none of us have control over. One of those things—when baby decides to cry mid-flight.

An inconsolable child mid-flight is pretty much a nightmare for mom, dad and passengers alike. Not being able to help or soothe a baby isn’t a good feeling for parents and that icky, guilty feeling is often double-downed on when passengers start throwing nasty stares and angry glances. The combination of the small space and judgment from others is enough to make even the best parents reconsider traveling with baby.

One mom won’t be made to feel guilty though. In response to a recent TikTok of a woman complaining about a crying baby on her flight with the caption “Why isn’t there such a thing as adults-only flights? I would pay so much money,” popular Mom-Tokker Lisa P. explained why passengers should think twice before judging parents.

“There’s nothing wrong inherently about wanting adult-only flights. As a parent, I would love family-only flights because then I wouldn’t get gross looks when I take my kids on airplanes,” Lisa says in the video. “At the same time, you took your phone out and felt the need to play the victim in this situation instead of having compassion and empathy.”

“Yes, hearing a baby scream for 3 hours is awful, but leading with kindness and empathy is really going to go a long way when you are 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. So put on your noise-canceling headphones, put on your big girl pants and mind your business.”

Lisa’s video resonated with many parents who chimed in the comments, “I think adults forget they were once that crying baby or screaming child,” and “As a mom, I just know that mother was already mortified and stressed worrying about her child screaming. Motherhood is hard.” One user even kindly offered help, “As a mom whose kids are grown and is ready for grandkids, you can pass them to me if you need a break. Flights are boring, kids can be entertaining.”

The comments also struck a balance though of defending the original poster. “It’s sad that so many parents are attacking her. She wasn’t rude or insulted the child or the parent. Not everyone likes kids, and that’s ok,” one commenter said; another added, “Three kids… and you know what? I will never shame a childless person for feeling aggravated when children are disruptive. Parents, compassion is two ways.”

No matter where you stand or how you weigh on this conversation, most commenters can agree the most important thing is to have patience, compassion and empathy for your fellow travelers.

If you are a parent with anxiety around an upcoming trip, check out these six tips for traveling with baby. Safe journeys!

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