Looking for advise on traveling with a baby/toddler....

Kristi - posted on 04/07/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are planning a trip to visit his sister in Arizona in September. We would be flying. Our daughter will be 18 months at that time. My question is, for those of you who have flown with a child around that age, did you buy them their own seat or hold them on your lap? We would like to save the money on the 3rd seat, but obviously want to do what would be best for our daughter. Anyone have experience with this and/or advise for me? Thank you for your help!

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Kristi - posted on 04/08/2011

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For those of you who have asked, the flight will be approximately 3 or 4 hours.

Kimberly - posted on 04/08/2011

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I think it depends how long the flight is. Over the Christmas holidays I flew with my 16 month old daughter from London to Houston (10 hour flight) had a lay over and then flew to Omaha (2 hour flight) The 2 hour flight was fine with her in our laps. She was happy and content and we kept her busy, but the 10 hour flight was a NIGHTMARE! It's just too long a time to keep her occupied (we packed two FULL bags of books, crayons, small toys, etc, and she got bored with it all about half way through the flight!) and she couldn't sleep comfortably in our laps so she just didn't sleep at all! We're about to fly to Houston again in 3 weeks and we've bought her a seat this time!! She'll be able to sleep and I know she knows when she's strapped into her car seat she has to sit there, so she'll be more easy to entertain. So my advice, if it's only a couple hours she'll be fine in your lap, if it's 3+ hours, I'd buy the seat!!

[deleted account]

My 2 1/2 year old daughter has flown 19 round trips in her lifetime and didn't have her own seat till she was 2.... and it was SO TOUGH to buy that seat knowing she would still probably spend all her time on the floor in front of the seat :-). and she did.... oh plus I had a newborn with me.... it was nice to have the extra seat but with one kid DON'T SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY.... that's just been my experience.... it has never been worth it because my daughter doesn't sit still anyways - she would have been standing in it, doing headstands in it, climbing on me, etc.... but without the extra seat and having to sit in my lap we watched a movie together and it was GREAT! this summer we are taking BOTH kids overseas for 3 months and we're flying around Europe a bit. should be interesting!

Belinda - posted on 04/07/2011

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It is possible to make a trip with an 18 month old on your lap - or it better be because I am about to travel 12 hours on a plane in that exact situation. However it would be easier with the third seat and definitely safer during turbulence.

I would say that it really depends on how long the flight will be and how much patience you have. If it is a long flight, then consider whether your child will be able to sleep on your lap comfortably, and will YOU be comfortable with that little bundle of dead weight on you.

[deleted account]

My daughter was 10 months when we went to Florida.... it was a God send to have the extra seat. The plane had 6 seat rows... so that meant that the three of us got our own little area. We didn't have to deal with a jerk telling us to shut our baby up. I also felt better putting her in her carseat during the high turbulance coming back. It was worth the extra money.

I think it would be even better with an 18 month old. That way she can color using her own table and have her own space for snacks and what not. It also leaves room for them to play with some toys on the floor.

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