1) Do not wear white
Do not wear white. I repeat do not ever get on that plane in white clothes. I know white epitomises summer and brightens things up but unless you want to get off the plane looking like someone from a Persil advert with every single stain known to mankind on you, then wear dark clothing.
2) Calpol is your best friend
You've probably heard people telling you this already but Calpol really is your best friend. Don't ever board the plane without it.
3) You will get a dead leg
If you haven't got a child sat on you, jumping on you, poking you then you will have one sleeping on you. It's fairly safe to say at some point during that flight you will get a dead leg or a dead arm. Don't even try and move whilst your child is sleeping. Just suck it up and cry to yourself in pain.
4) Do not take a book
Don't even kid yourself that you will have time to enjoy getting lost in that book you've been meaning to read for months. Most of your time will be spent focusing on the kids so don't even entertain carrying that book in hand luggage.
5) Be prepared to share your seat
Whether your child has a seat of their own or not, your seat will suddenly become the most desirable seat on the entire plane. It will be total hot property. Be prepared to share.
6) Sleeping is for losers
Even if your child is asleep and has been asleep for hours, you will never be able to switch off. I usually spend most of the time opening my eyes and checking the kids are ok. This will go on for about an hour by which point I then give up and attempt to watch a movie. A parents work is never done so get into your head that sleeping is for losers.
7) Food glorious food
The excitement on their faces when their tray of food arrives can quickly turn into dislike and a tantrum if they don't like anything on it. Make sure you take snacks with you so at least you have things your child likes. Plus, eating a snack takes up about another 10 minutes of entertainment on your long haul flight.
8) Make sure you're fit
By the time you get off the plane you will feel like you've walked a marathon. You will walk around that plane more times than you will ever think is possible. You will get to know all the passengers intimately to the point where you would be able to pick them out of a line out whilst blindfolded.
9) Changing nappies becomes a military mission
If you've never changed a nappy onboard an aircraft then you are in for a real treat! Sense the sarcasm here. You will get stressed, you may even start sweating a little and you will definitely bash your arm or head on something. This is something you need to practice before you get on board. If you have any very small, confined spaces at home then give it a go. You need to be able to complete this task with the finesse of a royal marine on a stealth mission.
10) Drink the wine
I don't think I need to say much more on this. Just drink the wine that's on offer.
11) I don't need the toilet is a secret child code which means I do actually need the toilet
Whoop there's no queue for the toilet, you ask your child if they'd like to go and of course you are met with a no. 5 minutes later when the entire plane is queuing up, guess what, your child needs a wee and they can't hold it in.
Always take them for regular toilet trips whether they need to go or not.
12) An iPad and headphones are a gift sent from the gods
Even if you like to limit screen time usually, I can assure you, an iPad and headphones is a gift sent from up above. As a passenger there is nothing worse than having to listen to the Peppa Pig theme tune 567,999 times.
The novelty of your child having their own screen attached to the seat infront of them will quickly where off and you will be left reaching for that iPad.
13) You can never have too many clothes
However many spare outfits you think is enough, always pack one more. If it's not food or a drink spilt all over the clothes, then it's a nappy accident (yes poonami's are epic when your 20,000 feet in the air and imagine trying to deal with that in those toilets (see point number 9 again).
14) Don't feel guilty
Whatever rules you normally follow on the ground can all be forgotten in the air. Give them whatever food they want to eat, whatever they want to drink and let them play with that iPad for 10 hours on the trot. Whatever keeps them happy will keep you and everyone else happy. Don't ever feel guilty when you have to parent differently. You are in a confined space with no exit after all.
15) Last but not least don't give a f**k what anyone else on the plane thinks
Get it in your head that it's inevitable that some sour faced sucker will be pulling faces and muttering at thought of you being on that plane with your children. How very dare you!! I can assure you i've had this every time we fly but you know what? The best attitude to take is the I don't give a flying f**k what you think attitude. Aslong as you entertain your kiddies and be seen to be doing the best you can if they kick off, then no-one can have anything to moan about. Every time we've flown the majority of passengers are lovely. They will talk to your children, talk to you and entertain them too but there will always be 1 or 2 that will have something to moan about.
That's it from me. Enjoy your travels and happy flying :)