How to Encourage Great Sleep During Flights for Your Baby

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Anna McMillian, of Little Winks Sleep, shares her experience of flying with her little one on a long flight overseas. She shares great tips to help make the journey pleasurable for her little one, herself and all those around her on the plane. Anna passes along wonderful tips to help keep your little one on a great sleep schedule considering they are flying 38,000 ft in the air.

Traveling with a baby and working with their sleep schedules can be daunting. Even babies who have excellent sleep skills can still be challenging on long flights.

Here are some tips to create the best sleep atmosphere while flying high in sky:

  • Pack your carry on and diaper bag strategically. Place similar items in ziplock baggies so that you can grab easily and not have to dig through your bag

  • Bring your little ones comfort items. (ie: lovie, blanket, sleep sack etc)

  • Pick flights that coincide with your little ones sleep schedule or normal nap/sleep times

  • Book your seats ahead of time. Choose seats that have a little extra room if possible, or if your airline offers a bassinet to rent/use, take advantage of that so your little one has somewhere comfortable to sleep and you can give your arms a rest. If travelling with your partner or another adult, book the aisle and window seat, the middle seats are the last ones to be taken by other passengers, so there is a good chance you can have the whole row to yourself.

  • Pack new books or toys to help engage your child during their awake time. Although screen time is usually not advised, letting your child have screen time on a long flight can help make the journey move along a little faster. So don’t be afraid to download some youtube or netflix and let your little one indulge.

  • Don’t be afraid to use the people around you. Most fellow passengers would rather help make your baby laugh or help entertain then listen to a fussing baby

  • Create a dark area. Pack an extra blanket to drape over the seats to create a dark tent. This will help your little one stay asleep longer once they fall asleep

  • Try to keep yourself calm and cool and rest when you can as well

  • Have help arranged at your destination. Ask whomever is picking you up on the other side to be prepared to let you get organized or help you catch up on sleep by helping watch/entertain your little one