Your Toddler Will Fall Asleep Much Easier On Long Flights Thanks To This TikTok Trick

A trip on a plane can be an exciting adventure for a little kid, especially if it's the first time they've flown. There are places to explore, people to meet, and a whole new environment, thousands of feet in the air. That's if everything goes well, and with toddlers, sometimes it doesn't. If so, it can end in tears or a tantrum. That can be worse with too little sleep and changing time zones on a long flight. Sleep is their friend (and yours, of course), and a TikTok from TravelFamilyAcademy has a fantastic hack that can make that sleep much more likely to happen. The hack involves making a plane seat out of a sweater so your kid can stretch out and get some z's. 


While you can often bring car seats on the plane, you may be asked to check them or put them in the overhead bin. Other times, you might not think you need it, it may not fit the size guidelines, or there just isn't room with the rest of your carry-ons. While you do your best to prepare, it doesn't always work out. This is a nifty little trick to have in your back pocket for when you need it. Here's how the hack works as well as some other tips and tricks for flying with a toddler. 

The seat bed plane hack for toddlers

Remember, this little person you have with you is brand new to the world and doesn't have the coping skills to overcome frustration the way we do (and going by some plane incidents in the recent past, not all adults do either). Sleep is one way to keep your toddler's schedule as consistent as possible by allowing naptime or bedtime to happen. The hack involves a sweater (though a blanket would work the same way, and you might be able to purchase one on the plane in a pinch). Simply tuck one side of it under your kid, and the other side into the seatback pocket. (Wash that sweater after because even travel pro Samantha Brown avoids using the seat pockets because of germs.) Now your cutie pie has a surface to stretch out on. We also suggest tying the sleeves around the armrests and tucking the bottom of the sweater into the pocket for more stability. Check it out below. 


It's a really easy hack, and it still allows you to keep the seatbelt on them. This also works if you, like the OP, just don't have the patience to deal with the car seat. If you want to just purchase a soft plane bed for toddlers, it does something similar, creating a sort of rest for the lower half of the body.

Other tips for keeping your toddler happy in the air

While sleep usually helps kids adjust to travel, there are other things you can do to help for a long flight. Brown suggests a tip for flying with children that tires them out first. Parents with little kids can often board early, but Brown suggests having one parent take the luggage onto the plane while the other waits to give the kids the rest of the boarding time to run around and burn off energy. That way, you're not fiddling with luggage and a toddler who is overexcited. It's also worth looking for a kid play area in the airport, or walking them around, explaining what they're about to do so it's not scary. (Books about flying beforehand are a good idea as well.) Having TSA PreCheck is also helpful as you won't have to deal with taking off shoes at security and you'll get through faster. 


Physical discomfort can sometimes happen on planes. A lollipop can help with ear pressure from takeoff if your toddler isn't using a pacifier. Purchase drinks for your kid in the airport or order them juice on the plane, but it's best to completely avoid drinks with bubbles on a flight. They can cause a puffy tummy and make your little one uncomfortable. Skip water and ice as well, as the water tanks aren't cleaned very often. Finally, model a positive attitude at the airport so they have a great role model for behavior.