Long Haul Inflight with a Toddler or Young Child: a how to sleep guide.

Ciao amici!

 I haven’t posted in a while, sorry! I’m really quite terrible at this whole blogging regularly thing. 

Anyway, I’ve been seeing/hearing a lot people have difficulty with their littles inflight. I can’t promise to work miracles, but I can tell you we have had two fantastic international round-trips with our son at 13/14 and 16/17 months. With babies under 12 months (or pre-walking) you really shouldn’t have to worry, the boob or bottle will knock them right out! But for our now curious travelers who are in the toddler stage inflight seems to be a bit more difficult. 

We slew this dragon with establishing an inflight routine. 

To successfully create an inflight routine we used the following items. However, you can alter these based on your own preferences.

iPad games: fisher price has great free ones, kids doodle, coloring book apps

iPad shows: we have Little Pim in French and Italian, Little Einsteins, Thomas and Friends (whatever your child likes or none of them if you don’t do screen time) 

Bedtime books: if you have specific books you read only for bed or nap time bring them on the plane!!!! I can’t stress this enough!! Or if you have a lovey or something that signals bedtime to your little bring it!

Snacks: whatever your babe eats at home. Nothing new and exciting, we are going for routine and minimizing the stimulation that your little is already getting enough of from the new environment.

So you have your supplies now what? Time to get your itinerary down. Ours goes like this:

1. Board and get everything organized for ease of transition. No pulling bags down from the overhead to get the books, lovey etc. Keep all of that with you from the start. If you didn’t have time to do a diaper change before you boarded do so now. 

2. Snack time. Eating and drinking during takeoff help their little ears feel better during the pressure changes. 

3. Watch a show/play iPad games

4. Meal is served. Eat.

5. Depending on the lights dimming, watch shows or play iPad games. Also take a stroll to the bathroom to do a diaper change into an overnight diaper. Let your little stretch their legs and walk to the bathroom holding your hand. Changing into pajamas is also a good idea if that helps your little get in the sleepy mood. 

6. If the lights are dimmed or they have announced they will do so soon, pull out the bedtime books. Read them with the overhead reading light or until the lights are dimmed. 

7. Now that the cabin is darker, sleep! Your little should be pretty ready for this after a full tummy, fresh diaper, their bedtime books and the lights now low. 

For domestic just alter the routine to the amount of inflight time:) 

Happy Travels! 

Also note the baby neck pillow* 


6 thoughts on “Long Haul Inflight with a Toddler or Young Child: a how to sleep guide.

  1. Hey lady! We are actually in Chicago this weekend! Hubs had a conference and Gia and I flew up yesterday! We went to the Aquarium today while my husband finished up. We are staying in the loop(?) neighborhood. I think that’s what it’s called. By millennium park! Any recommendations for the weekend?

    I hope your renos are going well and that your motivation returned when your husband got home! Please tell me yall are doing the kitchen with white cabinets, marble countertops and subway tile backsplash!!! It’s the best way to do a Victorian house (I’m obviously biased 😂)


    1. I just saw this!! We lived in the new east side (the part of the loop with all of the skyscrapers right north of millennium park and over looking the lake) and would live there again in a heartbeat if we could afford a big pent house! Hope you had a great time!

      No, I’m pretty adventurous and not afraid of using color in our interior design. Our cabinets are robin’s egg blue, dark mahogany butcher block counter tops and either herringbone pattern mother of pearl or marble subway tile backsplash. We are still up in the air on it. We just had all of the boring crown molding ripped out and walls repaired from the interesting method of application they used. All the ceilings are now white too! It’s slowly but surely coming along.


      1. Your kitchen sounds like it’s going to be very French chic! Are you putting fancier molding in?

        Chicago was fun, but it was so cold and windy!


      2. Yeah a lot wider, more ornate and WHITE!
        The weather has actually been really great this year, but compared to Georgia I imagine it’s brutal. We usually still have a good amount of snow in March, so we’ve been pretty happy with Mother Nature. I actually missed the snow this year:( I’m basically Elsa, but my husband is not😂

        I’m getting excited for Savannah! A friend just got back from visiting and looks amazing! She said the city is small enough to walk everywhere, and I love walking. We walked from my brother’s apartment in Montmartre all the way back to our place on Rue Cler and it was the best part of our trip!


  2. Do y’all buy Bash his own seat? Last time we flew, we got Gia her own seat, and I can’t decide if it’s more hassle than it is worth.

    We didn’t make it to St. Augustine. Gia woke up with the stomach flu the night before we were supposed to leave 😦

    Did y’all close on your house? How are renovations going?


    1. We haven’t bought him one yet, but on our flight home from Dublin we had an empty seat in our row and sat him there after takeoff. He was really chill, so it worked out great. I’m pretty cheap, so I won’t buy one despite really wanting to. By our next international trip he will be two, so we will have to go that route. I’m ready for it though because I’m pretty thin and my son is huge. He was crushing me on the flight home from Paris. When he’s awake we sit him between us, but boy oh boy when he sleeps he’s heavy!!

      We were upgraded to first on our last flight to Orlando, and that was actually a disaster. We weren’t home even 24 hrs before boarding that flight at 7 am. I was a hot mess, I was super sick and Sebastian full of morning energy saw the extra legroom as a standing area😑 I was trying to use the tray to write my eulogy for my grandpas funeral, but he wanted to stand in that area despite hitting his head a few times. No way to sit him between us with the big arm rests, it was so terrible. The only good thing was being served breakfast bc I realized I hadn’t eaten since before leaving Paris. I won’t be excited to do first again with a lap toddler if we get upgraded. Sounds crazy bc before I loved first, but not with a walker.

      Poor thing! Hope she’s better and you guys get the chance to go some other time.

      We have! We started on the kitchen this past weekend, but my husband is in Tokyo this week so not much happening now. I brought the cabinet doors back to sand and paint, but all of my weekend warrior motivation left when my husband did. Renovating alone isn’t fun. I should be sanding right now, actually. Lol!


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