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Ultimate Guide: Ensuring Peaceful Baby Sleep on Plane for Stress-Free Travel

Ensuring Your Baby Gets a Good Night’s Sleep on a Long-Haul Flight

Prepare in advance

When traveling with a baby on a long-haul flight, it’s important to prepare in advance to ensure they get a good night’s sleep. Start by booking a flight that aligns with your baby’s regular sleep schedule. This will increase the chances of them falling asleep easily during the flight. Additionally, consider choosing seats that are away from high-traffic areas or near bulkheads where there is more legroom and space for your baby to sleep comfortably.

Pack all the essentials your baby needs for sleep, such as their favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier. Familiar items can provide comfort and help them feel secure in an unfamiliar environment. It’s also crucial to bring any necessary sleep aids, such as white noise machines or nightlights, to create a soothing atmosphere onboard.


  • Book flights that align with your baby’s regular sleep schedule.
  • Choose seats away from high-traffic areas or near bulkheads.
  • Pack familiar items like blankets or pacifiers for comfort.
  • Bring sleep aids like white noise machines or nightlights.

Create a comfortable sleeping environment

To ensure your baby gets a good night’s sleep on a long-haul flight, it’s essential to create a comfortable sleeping environment. Dress them in comfortable clothing and consider using lightweight pajamas made of breathable materials. Bring extra layers like blankets or swaddles in case the cabin temperature fluctuates during the flight.

If possible, try to recreate their usual sleeping conditions onboard. For example, if your baby typically sleeps in a crib at home, consider bringing a travel crib or bassinet that can be attached to your seat. These provide a secure and familiar sleeping space for your baby. If a travel crib is not an option, using a reclining stroller or baby carrier can also provide a comfortable sleeping position.



  • Dress your baby in comfortable clothing made of breathable materials.
  • Bring extra layers like blankets or swaddles for temperature changes.
  • Consider bringing a travel crib, bassinet, or reclining stroller for a comfortable sleeping space.

Tips for Helping Your Baby Sleep Comfortably on an Airplane

1. Choose the right seat

When booking your flight, try to select a seat that will provide the most comfort for your baby. Opt for bulkhead seats or seats with extra legroom, as these usually have more space for your baby to sleep or play.

2. Bring familiar items

Bringing along familiar items from home, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, can help create a sense of comfort and security for your baby during the flight. These familiar scents and textures can make it easier for them to relax and fall asleep.

3. Stick to their routine

Try to maintain your baby’s regular sleep routine as much as possible while traveling. This means sticking to their usual nap times and bedtime routines, even if it means adjusting them slightly to fit the flight schedule. Consistency can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.

The Safety of Babies Sleeping in Car Seats During Flights

Sleeping in car seats during flights can be safe for babies if certain precautions are taken:

1. Ensure proper installation

Make sure the car seat is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and secured tightly on the airplane seat. Double-check that all straps are correctly fastened and adjusted for your baby’s size.

2. Use an FAA-approved car seat

To ensure maximum safety, use a car seat that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These seats are specifically designed and tested for use on airplanes.

Travel Accessories and Products to Help Your Baby Sleep Better on a Plane

There are several travel accessories and products that can help your baby sleep better on a plane:

1. Travel bassinet

A travel bassinet provides a comfortable and secure sleeping space for your baby during the flight. Look for one that is lightweight, easy to assemble, and meets safety standards.

2. Noise-canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones can help block out the noise of the airplane cabin, making it easier for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep.

3. Blackout curtains or shades

If you’re traveling during daylight hours, blackout curtains or shades can help create a dark environment that mimics nighttime conditions, promoting better sleep for your baby.

Creating a Soothing Environment for Your Baby to Sleep in While Flying

To create a soothing environment for your baby to sleep in while flying, consider the following:

1. Dim the lights

Lowering the cabin lights or using a small portable nightlight can help create a calming atmosphere that signals bedtime to your baby.

2. Play white noise

Playing white noise or soft lullabies can drown out any disruptive sounds and provide a familiar background noise that helps soothe your baby to sleep.

Recommended Sleeping Positions for Babies on Planes

The recommended sleeping positions for babies on planes are as follows:

1. Back sleeping position

  • This is the safest position for babies to sleep in, as it reduces the risk of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Ensure that your baby’s head is well-supported with a pillow or cushion to prevent it from flopping forward.

2. Side sleeping position

  • If your baby prefers to sleep on their side, ensure they are securely positioned with rolled-up blankets or towels on either side to prevent rolling onto their stomach.
  • Always monitor your baby while they sleep in this position to ensure their airway remains clear.

Overcoming Challenges of Getting a Baby to Sleep on an Airplane

Getting a baby to sleep on an airplane can be challenging, but here are some strategies that may help:

1. Establish a pre-flight routine

Create a calming pre-flight routine that includes activities such as reading a book or singing lullabies. This routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

2. Use comfort measures

Offering comfort measures such as gentle rocking, patting, or providing a pacifier can help soothe your baby and make them more relaxed for sleep.

Adjusting Your Baby’s Sleep Routine Before Traveling by Plane

To adjust your baby’s sleep routine before traveling by plane, consider the following tips:

1. Gradually shift bedtime and nap times

In the days leading up to your flight, gradually shift your baby’s bedtime and nap times closer to the schedule they will have during the flight. This helps them adapt more easily to the new time zone or travel schedule.

Sleeping Arrangements for Babies Onboard Different Airlines’ Planes

The sleeping arrangements for babies onboard different airlines’ planes vary. Some common options include:

1. Bassinets

Many airlines provide bassinets or carrycot seats for infants under a certain weight limit. These can be reserved in advance and offer a comfortable sleeping space for your baby during the flight.

2. Lap-held position

If you choose to hold your baby on your lap during the flight, consider bringing a travel pillow or cushion to support their head and neck while they sleep.

Potential Health Risks of Babies Sleeping on Planes and How to Mitigate Them

Sleeping on planes can pose potential health risks for babies, but you can take steps to mitigate them:

1. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

To reduce the risk of DVT, encourage movement in your baby’s legs by gently flexing and extending their knees or taking short walks up and down the aisle with them.

2. Ear pressure changes

To help alleviate ear pressure changes during takeoff and landing, encourage your baby to suck on a pacifier, bottle, or breastfeed. This swallowing action helps equalize the pressure in their ears.

In conclusion, ensuring a comfortable and restful sleep for babies on planes is crucial for their well-being and the overall travel experience.

Can you sleep on a plane with a baby?

During long-distance flights, you have the option to request a bassinet or sky cot for your baby to sleep in. However, in order to secure one, you must book a seat in the bulkhead area, which is a row with no seats in front.

How do babies sleep on long flights?

If you are booking a long-haul flight, it is recommended to contact the airline and ask for a bassinet. This will provide enough room for your baby to sleep comfortably throughout the flight. In case bassinets are not available, consider purchasing an inflatable foot pillow or footrest to increase your child’s comfort once the seatbelt sign is turned off.

How do I get my baby to sleep on a plane?

Babywearing provides comfort and helps babies feel secure, allowing them to sleep more peacefully on a plane. By using a baby carrier like Ergo Baby or Toddler Tula and walking around the aisles, we have successfully put our baby to sleep multiple times during flights.

What can I give my baby to sleep on a plane?

One of the advantages of Gravol is its ability to alleviate nausea, but it and the antihistamine Benadryl are also recognized for causing drowsiness in children. This is why many parents opt to administer these medications to help their children relax and sleep during plane journeys.

Can I give 1 year old melatonin for flight?

No, babies and toddlers are too young for this. It is important to consult with your pediatrician before considering melatonin or medication. Some individuals may opt for antihistamines like Benadryl because they can cause drowsiness.

What is the safest age for a baby to fly?

Typically, doctors advise waiting to travel by plane until your baby’s immune system is more mature. This could be as early as one month for babies born at full term, although most doctors suggest waiting between three and six months.

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