How to Help Your Older Kids to Sleep On A Plane

So we’ve talked about “How to Help Your Baby Sleep On A Plane” now let's talk about your older kids.  How can we help them (and you) to get more sleep on the plane?  Like your babies, it is to your kid's advantage to get some sleep during air travel.  So the challenge now is, how do we do it? Like I have said, throughout the course of my career as an expat, I have learned a few tricks to make our lives and the lives of those around us much easier in-flight. I pray these tips can help you a bit in helping your bigger kids sleep on your next family vacation.


  1. Book a night flight for your family. The idea is to have them sleep on what seems to be their regular sleeping schedule and when they wake up, it's about time to walk out the plane.  Take advantage of the time they are sleeping.  You also need to sleep remember?
  1. Be strategic when choosing your family’s seat. If it is three of you flying, then choosing a HIJ seat and intentionally skipping the K seat, may mean you end up with a row of 4 for free, as center single seats are almost always the last to go - and it is highly possible, that the person who booked that seat is almost always more than willing to swap to the aisle seat so you can all be together.
  1. Dress them in their favorite pajamas and keep the bedtime routine the same as you would do it at home. 
  1. You can bring their favorite blankets or stuffed toys during flight, this helps them to calm down, as familiar items surround them.
  1. Provide extra snacks. If they are full and well fed, it will be easier for them to sleep.
  1. Lastly, I have considered bringing in their car seats so they can sleep in it. But according to some research, this is not advisable. So I simply decided to have their car seat gate checked.

You’ve heard the stories, about car seats checked in along with your baggage.  If it’s not damaged, it gets misplaced by the baggage handlers and your car seat gets delayed by a  day or two.  It is not worth the hassle!  So better get a car seat travel bag. Check out AMT PRO  and get this awesome car seat travel bag ONLY $29.77! TOTAL CONVENIENCE for a gate check car seat bag FOR LESS THAN $30.