A lot of people might think that taking a one year old who is quite a wriggle bum on a plane is a terrible idea. I know people who have gone to New Zealand, South Korea and Canada with babies and had no problems, yet I was still nervous about going on a flight lasting just 2 hours! We’ve actually spent longer on a train with Clem than we did on the plane, but I guess the difference is on a train you can get up and move to a different carriage if she gets that bad. On a plane you can walk up and down but that’s it. In all honesty I really didn’t need to worry, she was fine.
We had already checked in online and picked our seats, I love being able to look out of the window so we picked a window and a middle seat. It did mean some poor random person would be sat next to us but at least they would be on the aisle. Being by the window meant I had that little bit of extra room so I was able to feed her without annoying anyone else. We actually took off early, a first for me. I guess everyone was rather excited to be going away. Luckily we had booked flights for a time when Clementine usually naps and this really worked in our favour. We wore her out before getting on the plane, as she is now walking we took her for a walk around Gatwick departures looking in all the shops so by the time we actually got on the plane she was ready for a nap. We were able to keep the pushchair with us all the way up to the plane, where it then got loaded into the hold and we got it back with all the other baggage. Once we had found our seats and got comfy I decided to feed Clem and she actually fell asleep before we took off! She stayed asleep for almost all the flight which was amazing, if a little uncomfortable.
Unfortunately other parents were not so lucky, and I know that it could have been completely different for us. I remember when I was little I used to have terrible problems with my ears. One of the things I used to do was suck on a boiled sweet. Now I am not saying shove a load of sugar into your childs face (no one wants a hyped up child in a confined space) but a drink or eating something might help.
The child behind me on the way back was given an iPad and numerous episodes of Chuggington, Peppa Pig and Minions to watch and it worked. On the way out the family in front of us had a dry wipe mat and pens so they played noughts and crosses, practiced the alphabet/numbers and drew pictures. Stickers/books are also a good idea, basically anything to keep them amused and distracted. If all else fails let them walk up and down the aisle if they can. As we came in to land Clem was really interested in what was going on, she was looking out of the window and pointing as everything came into view.
Over all I think we were extremely lucky with how Clementine behaved. I’m not sure if I’m ready for a long haul flight just yet but I would definitely go on another European trip with her.