Helping your kids sleep on a plane so you can too
I don’t know what it is about planes but they have a nasty way of turning the best little explorer into the most novice traveler in the span of 10 minutes. Maybe it’s the perception of freedom (vs a car or train cabin) or that the hundreds of other people silently (and not so silently) judging everything thing you and the kids so, or the fact that you are no longer focused on driving somewhere and have the time to pay more attention to them. Either way, kids need a lot of help settling down in a plane and even more help falling asleep. We are here to help your kids sleep on a plane so you can too.
These sanity-saving products have made it possible for parents to binge watch the latest blockbuster movies, get tipsy off some wine, and perhaps even get some much-needed shut-eye.
How to sleep better on an airplane
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RestZone Inflatable Air Travel Pillow for Leg Rest
This inflatable travel pillow fills in the space between seats and allows little ones to fall asleep laying down. Easy to inflate with the included pump or by mouth, this footrest is great for kids or parents wanting to change positions and get a little more comfortable during a long flight.
JetKids BedBox Ride On & Toddler Bed for Plane
The BEST Toddler Bed for Plane Travel
The JetKids BedBox is a carry-on luggage, ride-on, bed, and extended footrest all in one. The unit itself is strong enough to pull a small child while riding it, inside of the box has enough storage space for distraction activities and comfort items during the flight. The lid and extension plate elongate the seat to create a larger surface area while the mattress and side panels create a comfortable space on the seat.
Kids’ Travel Neck Pillow
If the children are too tall for a plane bed or you insist they stay in their car seat, a neck pillow may be a great idea.
Here are a few fun facts about flying with a car seat:
- Car seats can recline, which means that your little one can fall asleep more easily.
- Your child is familiar with a car seat and therefore will feel more secure and at peace in one.
- Flying with a toddler car seat will help you stay sane when your child hits the busy toddler years.
Saline Nasal Spray
Airplanes are notorious for being dry and leaving noses and throats scratchy. A little nasal spray will go a long way to soothing that dry feeling and helping little ones get comfortable.
This is also great if they have a sniffly nose, initial stages of a cold or have persistent ear infections. Since the ear canal and nasal cavity are connected, having a stuffy nose can lead to mucus backup and ear infections (been there, done that). Preventative therapy, like daily usage of a nasal spray, can help stave off infections and relax a dry cough.
These little guys are fairly new to us but they are amazing. They are a plush toy during active play, and open up to be a colourful pillow when it’s time to nap.
Most kids will need a pillow at one point in their airplane journey but the provided ones aren’t very comfortable (or hygienic, if you follow some of the rumors on social media). This is a cute way to save space by having a single item do double duty.
Packs Lots of Food
Just as food is the way to a man’s heart, it also leads the train to sleepy town in just about anyone. Fill up their tummy’s with yummy, recognizable (non-sugary) food, and you will have a couple of happy, calm children.
We always advise parents to bring foods from home and avoid the convenience of shopping at the airport itself, so you will have to limit the amount of liquid or semi-liquid (applesauce and peanut butter, for example) items that you bring passed security. We try to eat relatively healthy but know that there will come a time during the flight when bribes need to happen and there are chocolatey snacks for when it is needed.
Be sure to bring your own refillable water bottle and top up at the airport water fountain before boarding the plane. According to several flight attendants, onboard water is not exactly fresh and can upset little tummies. Purchasing drinks before boarding is also an option, though it isn’t exactly great for the environment. Try having a meal at a restaurant and asking for a drink refill for your children’s bottle if they insist on having something other than water.
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