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It’s a familiar scene: a family with a toddler or two steps innocently onto the plane, and the other passengers immediately try and sink into their seats, hoping against hope that those empty seats near them are not those destined for the small noisy people. However, if the aforementioned toddlers actually belong to you, you could do worse than put some planning into place in order to make the journey as stress free as possible. This may well save your own sanity, and that of your fellow travellers.

Children aged under two are permitted to fly seated on the lap of an adult (on most main airlines, though not all, so do check before booking). This is normally the cheapest way to get them from A to B, although it is not to be recommended for long haul flights, unless you have a particularly docile tot. Many carriers provide a special extendable seat belt to accommodate your small travelling companion. If you are flying with a small baby, some flights have custom built bassinets, but these are in short supply and must be booked well in advance. It can pay to travel off peak, as on a quiet flight many flight attendants will be sympathetic to you situation, and allow you to sit in an uncrowded area of the plane. If you child is over two you must by law purchase them their own seat.

Your little one is likely to be very excited about their trip in the sky.

Try and give them an idea of what to expect, including going through security, the hustle and bustle of the airport experience plus the actual flight itself. If you are lucky enough to have a child with a good routine, try and schedule your flight for a time when they are normally asleep. Make sure you have toys and books to keep them entertained - this a good time to produce a new item that they have not seen before to keep their interest. Snacks are vital - plus milk for smaller children, this can be particularly helpful if their ears hurt because of pressure changes during the flight. Older kids often find chewing relieves this painful sensation, so have a stash of their favourite sweets to hand.

Plan for every worst case scenario that you can imagine, and you will most likely find that your flight goes without a hitch. And then you will have your whole holiday to plan the return leg of your journey…!

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