Flying with a baby: mums share their tips

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 Photo: Getty Images

Planning a flight with a baby? Whether it's just a short trip or a long journey across the seas, there's lots you can do to make the flight happier and calmer for everyone.

And who better to pass on advice than the parents who have been there and done that themselves?

We asked the Essential Baby Facebook followers for their best pieces of advice when it came to flying with babies and toddlers. Here are our 20 favourite tips, but you can read them all here.

Planning ahead

• "Pay for a seat if you can – that way your child can spread out to sleep. My toddler would not sit on my lap for 10 mins, let alone 22hrs!"

• "If you've got a young baby, check-in early so you can get a seat with a bassinet. Most airlines are first come, first serve."

• "The bulkhead of the plane has the most leg room if you're booking a bassinet.It was great for my nephew who was five months old when we flew from Sydney to LA."

• "The best tip I got was to wear a baby carrier. Especially as we had a night flight, I could lean back and sleep without the panic of dropping her. It was also easier getting on and off the plane with her."

• "Take lots of swaddling/muslin wraps. They can be used for anything and everything – to clean up spills, as a bib or burp cloth, or makeshift blanket."

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• "I took a small backpack with little toys in it and just pulled out one new toy every so often. For toddlers, you can wrap each item – unwrapping is an easy activity that will take a few minutes."

• "Ask if they can have your pram waiting for you at the gate, as it can be a long walk from the plane to customs."

• "If your baby uses a dummy, definitely take it as the sucking helps. It wouldn't hurt to carry some children's pain relief drops too."

For the flight

• "Take more nappies and other disposables than you think you'll need. Better to be safe than sorry in case of long delays or nappy accidents."

• "Have a small nappy bag packed with wipes and nappies and a mat that you can fit into the airplane toilet. Remember to restock it every time you come back from changing your bub."

• "Make sure you have a change of clothes for yourself. My baby girl projectile vomited on me 10 mins into the flight and I had to sit in vomit-soaked clothes for the full flight, as I only had clothes to change her into!"

• "Pack changes of clothes for your baby into separate zip lock bags. This way you can just grab a bag, rather than trying to find clothing in your carry on bag."

• "Take a tablet or phone pre-loaded with favourite songs to calm down any tantrums."

• "Pack plenty of age appropriate snacks, rusks, etc."

On the flight

• "My biggest tip is to stay calm. Most people will be very kind and helpful."

• "Pop them on the boob/bottle just as the plane is taking off, and try to keep them on it as long as possible until the plane levels off. Also hope that they sleep for most of it!"

• "Ask for help - you would be amazed at what the hosties will do to give you a break."

• "If you find one or two people who start smiling at you and playing peekaboo, you can ask if they'd like a cuddle if you need a break."

• "If they're a little older, ask the flight attendant for a cup of ice to entertain them."

• "If it's your child's first flight ask the flight attendant if you can take them up to the flight deck after you land for a photograph with the pilots."

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