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Rested Mamas Are Happy Mamas: How Do You Get Baby To Sleep on a Plane?

Rested Mamas Are Happy Mamas: How Do You Get Baby To Sleep on a Plane?

As I write to you, I’m currently on an airplane…with three children. And where are we headed?? DISNEYLAND. My three-year-old daughter is the most excited and can’t wait until we get there. She’s been telling me all about it, and keeps asking me if it’s time.

I constantly have to explain the schedule to her in great detail. Today’s conversation went like this: “First, you’ll wake up and go to preschool. Then, we will pick you up from preschool, grab G-Dad (her granddad) from work, and then he will take us to the airport. Once we get there, we have to get on the plane that will take us to Los Angeles. Once we get there, we will drive to our hotel, and go to sleep. When we wake up the next day, we will go to Disneyland!” Her response is a typical three-year-old response: “Let’s go to Disneyland tonight. That should be first.”

Well, today is the day! The time has finally come! I packed snacks, toys, movies, books, and made sure I had enough entertainment to last two hours. But you know what I didn’t pack? I didn’t pack a book for me to read, or a good movie to sit and watch, and I’m assuming you know why…there is no way I would have free hands, or a free lap, to do any of those things with twin lap infants and a toddler.

The only way I know how to get this done is to bring my kids’ car seats on the plane, buckle them in, and make sure they know they can’t get out. Ha. Too bad I have two lap infants (AKA they don’t get their own seats unless there are empty seats for them.) But, to get my kids to sleep on a plane takes either letting them fall asleep in my arms the entire flight, or letting them have their own car seat. And that’s ONLY if it’s time for a nap or bedtime. So even though it’s SO much cheaper to fly with a lap infant, or two, sometimes I wonder if I should just get them their own seats.

So how do you deal with your lap infants, or other children on a plane? Do you get them to sleep through flights? Are you a rested mama when it comes to flying? If you are, this time, I need YOUR advice! I need you to tell me all of your tips and tricks! Usually, I’m just a frazzled, CRAZY, mom that can’t please enough kids, at one time, in the smallest space ever. My toddler wants everything her sisters have, or wants to switch activities every five minutes. My one twin has to be with me, and no activities are worthy of her full attention. My other twin is hit and miss. Usually, she can read a book to herself for a while, or eat for a bit, but usually ends up wanting something as soon as the other two need something.

Wouldn’t it be so nice to have three sleeping children so I could just work, or catch up on that book or movie I’d like to read or watch one day. But, they took their nap already today, and it’s not time for bed. So they will spend the whole flight awake, and each one of them will need something at the exact same time as their sister.

So I hope you moms have it figured out, and can get your child to sleep on the plane! And maybe you’ll even get some much-needed you-time. Oh, you wonder how I’m typing to you now?

Thankfully, the flight wasn’t full and they all got their own seats. And then, magically, they all decided to sit and watch a movie…it’s truly a miracle. Wait, I spoke too soon. Now one of them is ripping up a napkin, making some kind of creation out of it, and singing at the top of her lungs. Time to go!

- Mama Jackie


*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your eight hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie answers all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series and Jackie will address your specific issue!*
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