The Blog

Tips for air travel with children

Family Travel Bags | Baby Sleep while Traveling by The Sleep Sense™ ProgramYou’ve saved up your money, planned out a fun family trip and you’re all packed and ready  to go. So why the stress and worry? Probably because most parents know that no matter how much fun the idea of a trip might be, the reality of travelling in an enclosed plane with young children can be downright terrifying.

We’ve all been on planes when the child next to us is screaming his head off for 45 minutes. Being trapped in that little seat with no means of escape (except the emergency exits) is no fun for the parent or for the other passengers.

The good news is, most of us have been there. I remember being on a 5-hour flight with my daughter once. She had an ear infection and fever and she screamed and thrashed around so much I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

But before you scrap your holiday plans and stay home where you can safely contain your spunky little munchkins, here are some tips to follow to make the trip bearable for everyone.

  1. Accept the fact that you are travelling with kids. This is a big one. The days of sitting back with a good book and a gin and tonic for the duration of the flight are long gone. You won’t be doing any relaxing, and just forget about watching the in-flight movie. It’s going to be work, but you’ll get through it. Acceptance is half the battle.
  2. Plan ahead. You don’t want to lug six bags of junk with you, but you also don’t want to be underprepared. Plan for lots of snacks, and even some treats you wouldn’t normally offer as well as books, crayons, card games, and whatever you can think of that travels light and could entertain your child. You can distribute snacks and activities every half-hour so they don’t get get bored of them.
  3. Let your baby sleep…even if she’s not supposed to. I know you’ve worked hard to get your baby sleeping well, but if she needs to sleep on the plane, then it’s okay to revert back to some old familiar props. Just note that they might not work as well as they used to, but if they do, then go ahead and enjoy the few minutes of peace and quiet. Just make sure you make it a one-time thing, and get right back on track once you land.

Plane travel with kids is unpredictable, like most aspects of raising children. But if you’re prepared, it should be smooth sailing. And even if your child cries, don’t panic. Just do what you can to soothe him and he’ll calm down soon enough. In my experience, other passengers can often be very understanding and sometimes even offer to help.

Bon Voyage!

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

Get One-On-One Help!

Yes, The Sleep Sense™ Program is a great Do-It-Yourself guide for solving your baby or toddler’s sleep problems!

But if you’re looking for full-service, one-on-one help, I’m here to help!

The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
If you’re going to let me help you with something as precious as your child’s sleep, you probably want to know a little bit about who I am and exactly how I think...

Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

  • What The Heck Is A Sleep Prop?

    As parents, one of the biggest concerns during the first few years of a…

    View Post
  • Sleep Issues in Older Children

    Bedtime resistance, night-time wakings, irregular sleep schedules, there’s no shortage of problems that can…

    View Post
  • Late Night Visits From Your Toddler?

    So, listen. I'm not claiming that I was immune to the cuteness of my…

    View Post

Client Testimonials