How Should a Baby Sleep on a Plane?

Many parents put off taking a summer holiday overseas and delay flying with their baby due to concerns about disturbing other travelers and coping with a baby whilst flying, particularly at naptime. However, there are several strategies you can use to encourage your little one to drift off to sleep while flying, to help make the journey smoother and ensure you all feel fresh on arrival!

Choose a Night Flight

If you can try to select a late departure time, settle your baby to sleep before boarding the plane and try to disturb them as little as possible during the flight.

Dress them in Pyjamas

Dress your little one in their pyjamas or whatever they would normally wear for bedtime or naptime. Several thin layers which are easy to remove will help keep them comfortable and make it easier as the cabin temperature changes.

Many parents put off taking a summer holiday overseas and delay flying with their baby due to concerns about disturbing other travelers and coping with a baby whilst flying, particularly at naptime. However, there are several strategies you can use to encourage your little one to drift off to sleep while flying, to help make the journey smoother and ensure you all feel fresh on arrival!

Keep your Routine

Try to keep your sleep routine the same as you would at home. If you normally give your baby a little massage, followed by a story or lullaby and a feed then try to keep to that routine. The familiarity of their normal sleep routine will help them to settle whilst flying.

Purchase a Bassinet Cover

If you plan on using a baby bassinet whilst onboard, then consider purchasing a bassinet cover to block out any bright cabin lights and help your baby to sleep undisturbed.

Swaddle and Settle

Use a swaddle blanket, such as the Love To Dream™ Swaddle UP™ and then settle your baby before placing in the bassinet. Swaddling your baby whilst flying will help little one to feel calm and safe and should also help them to sleep longer.

Familiar Items

Bring along some items from home, that could be a blanket, favourite toy or something with a familiar scent of home.

Bring Snacks

Baby food isn’t always easily available when flying, but some airlines will allow you to request baby food before flying. It’s always good to also bring along your own food, as this will also help if you’re delayed. Snacks such as bananas also have sleep inducing qualities!

Choose your Seats

If you have a toddler or older child, consider pre-booking the two aisle seats and leaving a space in one of the middle seats. Single middle seats are always the last to be filled, so if the flight is not fully booked, you could end up with a spare seat for free and can stretch out! Another option is to book a seat for your baby and use a car seat. Make sure it is airline approved first and be aware that Iso-fix seats are not suitable.

Don’t Sit Together

Another tip to contemplate is planning to not sit altogether. That way you can take turns in parental duties whilst the other has some rest.

If you are going overseas this summer and have some tips of your own to share with our Love To Dream family then we would love to hear from you! Get in touch on our social media…

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Written by

Katie Hilton
Katie Hilton graduated from Staffordshire University with an RN Dip HE in Adult Nursing. She then went on to gain her BSc Hons Midwifery. Katie worked as a Midwife in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and Cambridge before relocating to Vancouver in Canada. Katie spent this time working as a Registered Perinatal Nurse at a busy downtown hospital splitting her time between Labour Delivery Postpartum and the Neonatal Unit. On returning to the UK Katie continued to work as a Midwife, predominately in Labour & Delivery before completing her MSc SCPHN Health Visitor at the University of Wolverhampton. Throughout her career, Katie has gained a wide myriad of experience in all areas of obstetrics, child and family health.