The summer holidays are almost upon us and many families cannot wait for their long awaited family holiday somewhere hot!
We love our family holidays although sometimes the journey has been so stressful I feel like I need an extra week of holiday just to recover!
Here are some of my top tips for flying with a baby.
While your little one is under 6 months old, request a basinet. These are an absolute life saver as it means your infant can sleep flat. Remember to check the requirements before you fly though to make sure you get the right size. Also some airlines request that you remove the baby from the bassinet if you experience any turbulence in flight.
Make sure your baby has familiar things to take with them to help them sleep. This can be their favourite toy or blanket they sleep with as well as familiar pyjamas.
Try and keep a routine going. If you can, try and fly at night so your little one is ready for bed. Follow your usual bed time routine of face washing, teeth brushing and story or song if you can as this will make your baby feel comfortable and more ready for bedtime.
Remember snacks and milk. The cabin crew are normally very happy to warm up baby bottles for you and your little one will probably get thirstier in a dry cabin so making sure they have plenty to drink is important and will also help them sleep better.
When you have a toddler with you, make sure they have extra blankets and a comfy pillow so they can snuggle up and go to sleep too.
Some airlines say that they carry nappies and wipes but in my experience it is always better to carry your own. Your child will more comfortable in a brand they already know and you will have the correct size. Always take a multitude of wipes as they are not only useful for nappy changes but also messy hands and faces and also useful for wiping down the tables and changing areas.
If you are taking older children make sure you pack things to keep them entertained. Tablets are brilliant as they can watch their favourite films or play games which will keep them happy and quiet and allow you some chill out time. Colouring and sticker books are great for smaller children if they need something to do.
As well as packing familiar toys for a baby or toddler, I tend to pack a new surprise toy as well and give it to them during take-off or just before as this works as a great distraction!
Aeroplanes are one of the easiest places for your children to catch other peoples colds too, so being extra scrupulous about hygiene is a must. Pack a small bottle of anti-bacterial gel and make sure your children and you wash hands before eating.
You may find the low hum of the plane settles your baby quickly and they drift off to sleep. If they are anxious try playing a few games like peekaboo or pat a cake. You could look at a flight as a long uninterrupted gaming session with your baby, well as long as you dont have older children also clamouring for your attention!
Remember not to stress out if your baby is crying. People tend to be a lot more understanding than you might think and remember to ask for help if you need it! This is the start of your holiday, enjoy it!