Have you ever struggled to get your little one to nod off during a long plane trip?
Then you’ll know exactly just exhausting this experience can be… for both you and them.
If your child doesn’t sleep on a plane journey, especially a long one, it can mean a long time in a small confined space with crying, fussing, and boredom. When you arrive at your destination they are likely to be cranky and frustrated. It is, in short, a bit of a nightmare.
If you can get them to sleep, it means a relaxing flight for you with minimal work to do, and it means that when you arrive at your holiday destination your child will be ready to enjoy themselves and engage with their surroundings.
So let’s do everything we can to get them to sleep on that flight.
Here are some of our best tips.
Pick an Evening Flight Time
The easiest thing to do this is to pick an evening flight time. If it is dark outside and other people on the plane are going to sleep, your child will naturally fall asleep much easier.
Airlines turn the cabin lights off on night flights and this should be a big help for making an environment conducive to sleep.
Also, sleeping on the plane should fit into your child’s normal routine if it is in the late evening or night time.
If you aren’t going somewhere with a time change, hopefully then your child will wake up again when it is morning and you have landed in your destination. This means they can just carry on with the new day as normal with minimal confusion.
Bring Good Quality Headphones
Airlines do usually provide earphones or headphones but they aren’t always great quality and they definitely aren’t noise-cancelling.
If you want your child to be able to listen to relaxing music or an audibook before bed, or if you want them to be able to block out surrounding noise, bringing your own good quality headphones from home will really help with this.
There are a lot of noises and distractions on a plane, and good quality headphones can help your child block all of this out. Which will in-turn help them calm down easier and fall asleep easier.
Make a Tent
For some extra darkness and privacy on the plane, you can make a mini tent out of a blanket or jacket. Drape the blanket over the top of your child’s seat, across to the seat behind.
This will block out any distracting light and will help them feel more settled.
Avoid Sugary Treats
It’s easy to give our children sweets and candy when travelling to appease them but if we want them to sleep, this doesn’t bode well.
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks the day of your flight in order to keep their energy levels down and sleepiness up.
You can give them a little treat once they get off the plane to reward their behaviour, but doing so during the flight is a bad idea.
Keep Their Normal Bedtime Routine
Whatever little rituals and routines your child has at home before bedtime, try to keep these intact on the plane.
Read them a story, change them into their pyjamas, and put on their favourite audiobook.
Bring a blanket that smells like home, too.
Keep their environment as similar as possible in order to help them settle.
Hopefully, you will have some sleepy success.