You鈥檝e got a six-hour flight ahead of you, and the woman sitting next to you has a two-month-old. One minute in, the baby鈥檚 wailing 鈥 and she鈥檚 not stopping anytime soon. There was a time when this irked you beyond belief, but now that you鈥檙e a mama too, you see things differently. Recently, Indian budget airline IndiGo announced that they would have child-free 鈥渜uiet zones.鈥 This isn鈥檛 the first time that a carrier has decided to ban babies from sections of the plane. AirAsia X, Singapore鈥檚 Scoot and Malaysia Airlines have all tried out kid-free zones. (They鈥檙e not on US flights 鈥 yet.) While there might have been a time when you were all about traveling in total peace and quiet, it鈥檚 worth wondering whether these zones are going a step too far. Read on to see what the deal is with these quiet zones and how you can make traveling with a little one just a little bit easier.

Mother with her baby boy in an aircraft

鈥淨uiet鈥 Zones

First things first, let鈥檚 take a moment to understand what a quiet zone really is. There are no physical barricades, and you won鈥檛 find a velvet rope partitioning off these in-flight areas. IndiGo鈥檚 designated kid-free zones are rows 1 to 4, 11 through 14. Passengers under age 12 aren鈥檛 allowed in these areas. So, even if you鈥檝e got a rowdy 13-year-old, he鈥檚 welcome to sit in row 3.

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

The point of an in-flight quiet zone is to give passengers (especially those who are traveling for business) the chance to work in a library-like space. There are no shrill wails from a colicky baby or cranky toddler tantrums in these rows, right?

Sure, in theory. But, what happens when you get to row 15? Or 16? It doesn鈥檛 matter if you鈥檙e one row or 12 rows away from the quiet zone. Everyone can hear that baby scream. They can also hear the exuberant four-year-old who thinks she鈥檚 starring in her very own one-woman re-enactment of Frozen 鈥 and her two-year-old sister who is trying to join in. That鈥檚 not even mentioning the two-alarm tantrum that is going on between rows 5 and 10!

Baby on airplane pointing

Discriminating Against the Diaper-Wearing Set

Okay, so it鈥檚 fairly obvious that the inability to physically separate the kiddos from those quiet-time-needing adults makes this idea impractical (and pretty nonfunctional). But that鈥檚 not the only reason why some people aren鈥檛 all for airplane quiet zones.

Keeping families out of certain areas of a plane is seen, by some, as a discriminatory practice. Let鈥檚 say you always fly in row 11. It鈥檚 your lucky number and you want to book a seat in the middle of it. While you鈥檙e more than welcome to sit there, your 12-month-old isn鈥檛. Hmm鈥 suddenly banning you from a row simply because you have a little one seems pretty unfair.

Travel Tips

Taking a flight with a young child isn鈥檛 always easy (and that鈥檚 putting it mildly). That said, you can do it! Tune into your baby鈥檚 needs. Have a pacifier ready to go if her ears are bothered by the altitude, keep a bottle (or a snack) on hand and absolutely, positively do not forget your child鈥檚 lovey. If Gerri the giraffe makes her giggle, you will need it to keep her smiling.

If your little one simply won鈥檛 stop crying mid-flight, pick her up and gently rock her as you walk up and down the aisle. Keep in mind, the noise and brightness of the cabin may lead to overstimulation. Use earplugs (for yourself, and maybe bring some for your neighbors too) and pull the window covers down to keep your child calm (or at least, calmer).

Do you have a favorite trick for traveling with your baby? Share your tip and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)