If you're jetting off somewhere lovely this spring or summer, you may be feeling a little apprehensive about the flight to get there, and you're right to be so. Long haul flights with little children can make the strongest mum break - trust me, I've done six of them, with children aged between 12 months and five years old.
There are actually distinctive differences between flying with babies and children. Children are easy to entertain - my 3 year old watched 19 hours of Doc McStuffins on our last flight, minus some sleep, which - while not first class parenting, was easy enough.
Babies - and younger children - are harder to entertain, and trying to go to the toilet with a baby in your arms - well, that's the really tricky part.
There are some things though that can make the whole experience a little less traumatic.
There are other brands on the market, sure, but we have two Trunki's. One for each child. We make sure that they are filled to the brim with books, activities, crafts, and travel toys. That's where you keep a change of pyjamas, a few snacks (make sure to bin uneaten foods before going through customs), and their activities.
2 Special Flight Toys
Still among the best travel toys I've used to date comes from the company Little Jet Setters. Their aqua doodle toy fits over the tray table, so it stays still and in place and there's no annoying picking stuff off the floor every two seconds. Along the same vein is the Travel Toy Clip which has a cute plush character and clips to the child/seat/table and the other end holds up to 4 different toys. And if you're packing colouring books, these Melissa and Doug triangle crayons* should at least halve the amount of times you have to pick them up off the floor.
3 Kids Magazines
Kids magazines are ideal for this. Normally I hate them, but for flights they are perfect. They provide bite sized entertainment and activity, and usually come with a cheap toy that lasts as long as the magazine. So at the end of the flight you can drop them in the bin, apologise to the planet, and get on with your holiday.
4 Pillow Pets*
Pillow Pets are great accessories. Few airlines are going to take a cuddly toy off a child because of "baggage allowance" so take advantage of that and take your cuddly Pillow Pet with you. When it comes to sleeping time, your children are going to be very happy to have a soft place to put their heads, rather than the hard arm rest and that will make the flight better for all of you.
5 Food Snacks Drinks
Kids don't fit in with airline schedules and when they need distracting, food is good. Just a word of warning: keep it sugar free, and E-number free! You don't need to add that to disrupted sleep and messy time zones! Bear snacks are good, as are Organix* finger foods. If the worst comes to the worst, Bach Rescue Remedy* - you can't overdose on them, they taste like sweets, and if they work for
you your kids, it'll be a much easier flight!