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Ever dealt with a tired, overstimulated Toddler in an airplane?

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

I was definitely sweating by body weight trying to handle my tired toddler!

Mom and Child by Beautiful Stories Photography

Have you seen those paintings of a Mom dressed in white gown, standing by a window drenched in moonlight, smiling tenderly at her baby and singing in the most melodious voice, a magical lullaby that drifts her crying baby to slumberland?

Yeah, those perfect moms from the paintings, I am not one of those!

I could never calm my crying baby with ease, it took all my strength, sweat and tears even to soothe my upset baby.

So when we were getting ready to board our flight to Palm Springs, at the nap-time of my little one, I knew I had to pull a painting mom.

I know fully well what a tired toddler can do on the plane! I will save that story for some other day.

In the fear of sounding desperate, I told him a story of a little boy who fell asleep in his Mommy's arms on the plane.

Me: “And today, you get to be the little boy who can sleep in mommy's lap.”

His brows suddenly furrowed, half annoyed and half surprised he said,

Him: “I sleep in my bed.”

Me: “But there are no beds on the plane, you get to sleep on mommy.”

Him: “Nooo I sleep in my own bed and you sleep in your own bed.”

Me:(Now almost begging) “But sleeping on mommy is so much fun.”

Kiki was born in August 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. We had a second grader at home who was trying the untested waters of online learning, we had absolutely no help and had a baby whose day and nights were flipped.

He would sleep peacefully during the day and no matter what we did he would not stop crying in the middle of the night. No amount of milk or swaddling or sushing or rocking or walking around would calm him down. Me and Vicky were recording 10k steps way before 6am, thats when kiki would finally give in and go to sleep for the rest of the morning.

In my utter desperation I wrote to an anonymous new parents group at work. An overwhelming number of parents wrote me back telling me they have been in the same boat and a link to a baby sleeping class "Will I ever sleep again" by Taking Cara Babies.

At this time I was so desperate I could have thrown money at any thing, place or person who promised me to teach my baby to sleep. I got the said class and watched through it in one sitting. I was now armed with a plan.

To my husband's annoyance I followed the class to the T and Kiki was sleeping through the night, all by himself starting at 5 months.

The only downside being he needed his complete shebang of blackout curtains, white noise machine, 4 pacis, 2 rattlers, 1 unicorn feather and some stardust( minus the last two, obviously, but you get the point)

He is physically incapable of sleeping like a regular child.

So when I had the daunting task of getting a tired, overstimulated toddler to take a nap on the plane, I knew I had to do things differently!

But if you know me, you know I don’t perform well under pressure. So I plan and plan and stick to it even when it is falling apart 🙂

Like a broken record I told Kiki stories about all the animals that sleep on their mommy’s lap in an airplane. He kept refusing but kept asking me to tell one more “tory”(he still can’t say S).

So when we did get on the plane, he asked me to tell yet another story. I asked him to sit on my lap and close his eyes for the next 5 tories.

I held him close and yapped on for another 15 minutes, feeling his little body get limper by the minute!

And then the most magical thing happened… he slept!

Like all those beautiful paintings of babies sleeping in their mother’s laps, he slept while I held him close, trying to sniff the baby smell off his head, remembering how quickly the time has passed and thankful for this moment where, even if just for a few minutes(50 to be precise), he felt like a baby!

I will tell you this, I am no painting mom and I don’t want to be one. But every once in a while, it's fun to imagine what it would be like to live in the paintings. 🙂

Soon my perky little toddler woke up, did all the non-painterly things and we were back to our reality!


Hi! I am Heena.
Your very own Family Photographer!

I am a mom and to two little munchkins and just like you I am a memory keeper of mprecious little family.


This is why I created this Memory Keeper's Handbook. My hope is with this Memory Keeper's Handbook you will be able to preserve the beautiful and fleeting moments of everyday life.

I believe the most important legacy that we give our children is happy memories.



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