I thought it might be worth me sharing some of my tips on how we've travelled with our babies over the last 18 months. We have definitely learnt a few life saving tips which have made the overall experience slightly more bearable.
Let me start by pointing out that Max does not watch TV at all....so when you're looking at a 4 hour flight to Perth....the anxiety sets in.
If you are travelling with a baby (newborn up to around 10 months) make sure you call the airline to secure the bassinet. This will free up your arms and means they can sit in there and play with their toys when they're awake and sleep in there! Life changing! Another life changing tip: buy a black muslin and blu tac it over the bassinet.
Please tell me you book your flights around nap time? If not, you're crazy. We always book the flight either at nap time or an hour before or after naptime. It has worked every time for us. Most recently we did the 1pm flight from Melbourne to Perth and Max slept for 2.5 hours....I had Jack on my lap who slept and I watched a movie....did you hear that?? I watched a movie! Bliss.
Some little tips I've picked up on my travels:
1. Snacks, snacks and more snacks. I always make sure I have a sandwich (domestic) as well as Sultanas (believe me, sultanas will buy you a good 15 minutes). If you're going International, I would pack some of those pre-prepared pouches, just in case you get delayed somewhere or if you arrive late at your destination. Max was a bit fussy at 9 months and when we arrived in Paris we struggled to find food that he liked (which wasn't bread!!!).
2. Nappies - pack as many as you want to carry! Again, just in case you're delayed somewhere, you will want to have some extras. Take a change mat for the toilets too (airplanes are yuck!).
3. Formula - in my opinion, formula is heavy and they do have formula overseas! I packed enough for the plane and for the first few days we were there. I researched what formula they had in Europe before I went and was comfortable with buying it there. But if your child is fussy, take some with you. Maybe put it in zip lock bags to save space.
4. Toys - pack whatever toys you can fit in your bag for the plane. If you're traveling domestically there are hire companies like Hire for Baby who have toys available for as little as $10 for a week.
5. Prams - I would have to say the most amazing decision was to buy the YOYO Babyzen. This nifty (who says nifty these days?) little invention means you have a pram with you at all times i.e. you have the pram from check-in right up until you're on the pram. It fits in the overhead locker! So you never need to carry your baby/toddler. Genius. Mountain Buggy also have a similar concept which is half the price and has some great reviews. If you don't want to fork out the cash, you can hire one to take with you.
6. Lounges - try calling the Airline Carrier before you leave to check if you can buy a casual pass to the lounge (if you're not a member). Lots of lounges have a kids area so the kids can wear themselves out and be nice and sleepy for the trip - you're welcome!
7. Jet-lag - it may be torturous but we just force our babies to get into local timezone...it has worked every time but I think we've fluked it.
And of course if you're lucky enough to be able to afford business/first class, then do it haha! We upgraded with points from Rome to Melbourne and it was such a cool experience....the airline allowed Max to play on the floor (which I know isn't allowed on Qantas) but it totally saved us and I basically got drunk haha.
Hopefully this helps you on your travels. Bon Voyage! xxx