We fly to Lanzarote over Easter and I was feeling pretty smug about how prepared I am (see below Holiday Packing pin), until it occurred to me that I am going to have to find a way of keeping Jenson entertained on the flight. For OVER FOUR HOURS.

In general, Jenson (11 months old) is the happiest little chappy you could wish to meet. Whenever we’re out and about, I often notice him cracking a huge, beaming, crinkly-nosed and gap-toothed grin at whoever is in his line of sight from his pushchair. (The day he gets too old to be doing the crinkly nose thing, I will be devastated). It’s got to the point where if I’m not in the mood to talk to people/strangers/the general public (just me?), I have no choice in the matter because he will be there smiling at little old ladies and a conversation about how HAPPY he is is inevitable.

But try and hold him still for two seconds and it’s a different matter. He goes from Happy Chappy to Angry Bull in a flash. Doing his nappy is a full on wrestle: I have to put him on a changing mat on the floor and then contort myself into a yoga-esque pose that involves holding him down with my FEET so he doesn’t flip onto his tummy and so I can have my hands free to wipe his bum. Thank God for pull-ups, that’s all I can say.

Wiping his face/cutting his nails/getting a pair of trousers on him all involve similar wrestles.

So to say I am dreading the flight with him is an understatement.

We flew to Eurodisney recently and I used the following tactics:

– I tried to keep him awake through the whole journey to the airport, checking in, getting through security palaver. So during take-off he was happy to have a bottle of milk (apparently the sucking action helps avoid popped ears) and then snuggle down on my lap for a snooze.
– When he woke up (mid-flight) I plied him with rice cakes, raisins, veggie sticks and Pom Bears.
– I took a couple of toys and books (these Usborne Touchy Feely ones are great).

But there’s a big difference between a 55 minute flight and a 4 hours 20 minute flight and I’m not sure it’s advisable to ply kids with food for that long!

Lyra was a dream on the flight to Eurodisney: a magazine and a new Water Magic book and she was a happy bunny. She is also excellent at getting her little brother to chuckle so I’m hoping they can entertain each other for a little while. (Big difference from our first flight with Lyra – which was when she was two years old – and culminated in the tantrum of all tantrums and her screaming ‘Out Out OUTTT’ whilst pointing at the airplane door…).

Have you travelled with a baby? Any tips? Should I take a sling and plan to just walk up and down and bob around with Jenson in it for the entire journey? Are there any amazing iPhone apps for babies that might keep him entertained? Answers on a postcard, please!

And I will probably regret asking this question, but do you have any nightmare stories?!

P.S. Since writing this post Becky has pointed me in the direction of disposable bibs and changing mats. Travel gamechangers!