Ask when you check in if the flight is full - if it isn't they can sometimes block off the seat next to you so you have more space to spread out. My dd is 20 months and slept lying across the next seat on our flight yesterday. - without removing either of our seatbelts.
I'd always advise getting a window seat - that way if you end up next to the nervous flier who has to get up and go to the loo every 10 minutes you don't have to move to let them out!
I first flew with my daughter when she was 16 wks - it was so much easier then!!! yesterday we had tantrums galore!!!
Done it loads of times to Spain...my top tips are...
1)You can take the buggy right up to the door of the plane...BUT you then have to dismantle it, so make sure babe is in the sling, otherwise you have to do it one handed!
2) If you breastfeed - do it at take off & landing.
3) Remember that when it's time to get off, if babe is sleeping, again you only have 1 hand to pack up! Basically don't get much out of the bag.
4) Try & get a nice 5 year old girl to come & play with baby!
Use a baby sling for getting on & off the plane. Also you can go to the loo with the babe in the sling if the disabled loo which fits the pushchair in is engaged!! Are you bf? Just feed throughout the flight plus take off & landing. The sound of the plane can send them to sleep. Have some spare nappies & small mat so you could change on you lap if necessary. Change of clothes is good as well in case they are sick. Take a tea towel for you to cover your clothes from any bread sticks etc. Try & have just one bag that's your handbag a nappy bag that will fit under the seat in front. Window seats are great. Put your passports & boarding cards in a bright envelope so they can be quickly identified in your bag. Good luck
sit behind people with children, i found they are the best entertainment available to babies and toddlers. (have been travelling on ryanair 3/4 times a year since dd1 was 2 months, she's now 4)
Sometimes they don't give you the buggy when you land, but with the rest of the luggage, so make sure you can handle baby and hand luggage on your own. (backpack and sling is ideal!), with documents within easy reach...plenty of food for baby as well! (and some snacks for you, youm may not have the time to buy something!)
Good luck, it's not as bad as it sounds, just take a bit of organising!!
you know, with ryanair you cant book your seats, but you will be allowed to board first, so make sure you have baby in sling and can fold buggy quickly, as the other passengers are let through immediately afterwards and I often found that by the time the buggy was folded half of them were already boarding the plane...)
Thanks everyone for the great advice.
We're off tomorrow morning and I'm sure it will be fine.
Have flown with DS and DH a few times before but this is first solo flight.
Will let you know how it goes.