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Top 5 Tips To Help Your Child Fall Asleep On A Flight

September 07, 2022

Top 5 Tips To Help Your Child Fall Asleep On A Flight

Traveling by plane is challenging for many families, especially when it comes to how your child will sleep during a flight. This blog post filled with tips on what to pack and how to ensure your kids will stay asleep while on the plane!

The Problem: Children Falling Asleep On a Flight and Waking Up

We've all been there – you're on a long flight with your child, and they just won't stay asleep. They'll doze off for a bit, but then they'll wake up and be wide awake again. It's frustrating, and it can make for a very long flight.

But there are some things you can do to help your child fall asleep on a flight and stay that way. Here are some tips:

- Make sure they're comfortable. And this friends is where Plane Pal comes into use. Plane Pal is an inflatable cushion, that extends the child's seat and use up the space infront of their seat to create.... a bed! A comfortable child is more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep. So, get yourself a Plane Pal and make sure they have a good pillow, a blanket if they need it, and noise-cancelling headphones if they're old enough. Plane Pal is approved for use on 50+ airlines, including Virgin Atlantic. It's the only comfort aid that's been saftey tested by aviation bodies such as IATA, EASA and CASA.

planepal airplane inflatable seat extender


Plane Pal is the only comfort aid approved for use onboard all Virgin Atlantic flights:

plane pal approved for use on virgin atlantic


- Avoid screen time before the nap. Hard on a plane we know! Which is why tactile and engaging screen-free travel toys are better for journeys than a bright screen but of course screens are hard to avoid and an easy option. Just limit the use. Our famous KeepEmQuiet Busy Bags are perfect alternative to not only limit screen time but a great addition as they are a surprise bag of engaging items for use on the journey but also the holiday itself. We know it can be tempting to let them watch TV or play on their tablet so you can get some peace and quiet, but it's best to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime. The light from the screens can interrupt their brain activity, but we understand on a plane this is hard to avoid!


 best toys for toddlers on planes

How To Prevent the Issue

If your child is having trouble sleeping on a flight, there are a few things you can do to help prevent the issue. First, make sure they are well-rested before the flight. A tired child is more likely to have difficulty falling asleep. Second, bring along some comfortable bedding, a comfort aid such as Plane Pal or a small pillow for them to use. This will help them get cozy and feel more like they are at home. Finally, try to keep them occupied during the flight with quiet activities such as reading or coloring. If they are able to stay calm and focused, they will be more likely to fall asleep.

Different Options For Sleeping Aids

There are a variety of sleeping aids available to help your child fall asleep on a flight and stay that way. Some popular options include:

- Plane Pal - the inflatable comfort aid which turns the airplane seat into a bed, imagine flying 1st class in economy. It's made to be used in all seats, economy, premium and even business class. (Adults can use it too in bulk head and exit row seats).

comfort aid for flying with toddlers

-Eye masks: Wearing an eye mask can help your child relax and block out any bright lights or distractions. Space Masks are a really great product for this, they are disposable but they are lavender scented and they warm up, sending you and your child off into a dream world!

spacemasks warming eye masks for travel

-Noise-cancelling headphones: Listening to calm, relaxing music or white noise through noise-cancelling headphones can help your child drift off to sleep.

-Travel pillows: A travel pillow or neck pillow can provide extra comfort and support for your child's head and neck, making it easier for them to fall asleep.

-Blankets: A cozy blanket can help your child feel warm and comfortable, making it easier for them to fall asleep.

-Melatonin: this is a natural dietary supplement which is available over the counter in the US, our bodies naturally produce it but you can take it in a supplement form to help you doze off. There are children's melatonin brands on the market which are safe to use, but consult your GP first.


Alternatives For Sleeping Aids

If you're looking for alternatives to sleeping aids for your child's next flight, there are a few things you can try. Although not all of these may work for every child, it's worth trying a few different things to see what works best.

One option is to let your child sleep in their car seat on the plane. This can be tricky if they're not used to sleeping in a car seat, but it can be worth a try and many parents take the car seat on board as hand luggage for this purpose, but we have found Plane Pal to be a much better alternative as you can simply inflate and deflate when needed (and it fits inside your hand luggage as opposed to an extra piece to take onboard). If they do fall asleep, make sure to buckle them in so they don't roll around and wake up.

ideas to help children sleep on planes

The best tip we can give you is not to panic. Children will eventually fall asleep when they are exhausted, it may not be when you really want them to but they will tire and nod off eventually. The best thing you can do is make them comfortable.

If your child is really struggling to sleep on the plane, you may want to consider using earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. These can help block out some of the noise from the plane so your child can focus on sleeping.

We hope these tips help your child sleep whilst traveling on a plane, stay tuned for more top traveling tips for children from our parent experts in the coming weeks!

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