A few weeks ago, we took our 6-month-old on the plane for the first time. Five hours into a ten-hour flight, with no warning at all, he vomited (and spectacularly, not a little milk burp). A week later on the way back, despite being careful not to overfeed him etc, he did it again. On both occasions, it happened after the plane hit a tiny bit of turbulence and we were instructed to lift him out of the bassinet where he'd been sleeping happily.

We're fairly sure this is specifically about planes, since he's never vomited before, between the flights, or since, nor do we have any reason to suspect ear infections, gastro, etc. He had his 6-mo checkup shortly after we returned and passed with flying colors. He's also completely OK with boats and cars, including twisty mountain roads, and he's eating solids happily.

Unfortunately we've got the same pair of flights coming up again 3 months' time, and this time one of them is a daytime flight, which is likely to be even worse.

So, without further ado, how do we stop him from throwing up next time he's on a plane? I'd definitely be open to (real) medication, but no homeopathic hoo-ha or anything lacking actual evidence of effectiveness.

Update: In the almost a year since I posted this, the baby has been on ~8 flights and thrown up precisely zero times, with no particular precautions. So it was (take your pick) a phase, some random latent stomach bug, or just random coincidence.

  • I'd ask the pediatrician about the "real medication" part. Feb 4, 2014 at 15:47
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    I always thought kids were less susceptible to motion sickness than adults. That was my experience when our family took the ferry between Britain and Ireland a few times a year every year of my childhood. (Ferries these days are larger and have stabilisers. Doing the same trip now as an adult I still don't get sea sick.) Maybe babies are different.
    – TRiG
    Feb 5, 2014 at 19:40
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    Yes, apparently motion sickness in kids under two is quite rare, but that's not much of a consolation for us... Feb 6, 2014 at 1:25

3 Answers 3


I would suggest a reminder that "correlation does not imply causation." When my daughter was around that age, I didn't have a car and it was a 30 minute bus ride to-and-from home. One day, she woke up in my arms, smiled at me, and promptly threw up all over my chest. It was A LOT!!!! I got off at the next stop and unprepared to have to change my clothes (I always had stuff for whatever she would need), I winged it. Got on the next bus and continued the trip. De ja vu is a polite term for what happened next. I got off the bus and walked home at that point b/c I was just too embarrassed to be that messy and smelly on a public bus.

Very young children are sensitive to things beyond quite a bit of "logic"... it's a logic nature understands, but as much as we try, it's beyond our understanding. Your child was not hurt; you were not hurt; and from what you indicate there are no medical issues at bay. All that taken into account, the best anyone can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. (Trust me, it sucks to be vomited on in a place where there's little-to-nothing you can do about it!)

Medication can work wonders, but as pointed out by woliveirajr, at such a young age few doctors will prescribe medications without sufficient cause -- for good reason. So, preparation on your part, abidance by your doctor's recommendations, and loving care by you is most likely the best you will be able to do.

It may be frustrating, I'll admit, but sometimes the solution we want for our child(ren) -- that everything will be OK -- is not the solution offered to us by reality. In those cases, we can just give it our best and make sure that our child(ren) know we love them and care for them.

All that said, I sincerely hope you don't have a repeat experience!


Well, first of all, probably nobody will give you advices about real medicine here. It's kind of easy to do some googling about it, and no one is willing to take the risk of advising you about some medicine and it having side effects. Asking your pediatrician is the best advice.

More on, your baby doesn't even have 2 years old, and almost all drugs aren't recommended for such age. In general they're only given under prescription, since the side-effects can be worst in babies.

What you'll get (at least from me) as an answer are the alternatives: green apples. The same that are used in cruise ships to prevent mal de mer. But I'm not sure whether your baby could eat them. My little one has only eaten some sweet, non acid apples, and I'm not sure how she would react to green apples. So I don't know about your baby, too.


Do a search for "Pericardium 6" on the internet. My littlest one had awful motion sickness from birth until he was about a year old in the car. He would cry, vomit, etc etc...this is the only thing that would calm him. I would apply very firm pressure to his wrist and within a few minutes, he would calm down and usually fall asleep, as babies are supposed to do in the car. I had to do this EVERY time we went out. No matter how short the ride.

I know you said "no homeopathy hoohaa" ( your description, not mine) but isn't this worth a shot?

Much less invasive on your little person than drugs.

If you're still determined to drug your child for the comfort of yourself and travel companions, please consult a doctor, not a bunch of strangers on the internet.

  • I'm not sure if this is related, but my mother worked in a medical office for awhile and she was instructed to apply a pressure point to a part of the thumb for issues regarding the stomach (I'm NOT a med person, so don't know the right terms.) When it comes to our child(ren), though, I'm of the attitude of "It doesn't matter where the advice comes from or its nature so long as it helps!" Feb 6, 2014 at 7:34
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    "Is it worth a shot?" Well, no, since they don't work, and babies are too young to even enjoy placebo effects. skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/14988/… Feb 6, 2014 at 11:04
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    You might've mentioned in your original question that you already tried using the pressure point method, since you KNOW it doesn't work?
    – Jax
    Feb 6, 2014 at 12:36
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    @Doc Can you point to a study showing some of that scientific and medical proof then? Because I can only find ones that say they don't work. Feb 6, 2014 at 22:43
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    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18440769 This is a link to a review of several studies of the effectiveness of acupressure treatment for nausea and vomiting. If I was skeptical, I'd read them all to come to my own conclusions. I'm not skeptical though, since it worked great for my child, and I give much more weight to my own experience than clinical trials.
    – Jax
    Feb 6, 2014 at 23:19

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