i am traveling with a 21 month old and want to know if i should bring the car seat on the plane? it's a 3.5 hour trip so fairly long. any advice would be helpful.

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Kelley - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi there,



We just recently flew a very long flight to Europe with our 13 month old.  We tried the car seat from New York to Paris but she wouldn't sit in the car seat.  We thought it might be helpful to sleep but it didn't work for us. 
I think if you can and your child likes to sit in the seat it is a great thing to have, plus if you are flying by yourself it can be helpful. 
My husband and I ended up holding her for the entire flight as well as all our other flights. 



Some airlines have baby bassinets that you can use, we didn't actually use these though.



From our flight from Madrid to Chicago we just placed her on the floor and let her sleep or in the seats. 



Just make sure you have plenty of things to keep them occupied.

Christina - posted on 01/27/2009

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Children under 2 fly free so to my knowledge, there would be NO guarantee that you would have seat. They fly free but have to sit on your lap..... We are flying to Mexico in March..... worth saving the money but you can purchase a ticket for your child and get a seat .. then I would recommend a car seat!

Angela - posted on 01/27/2009

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Ok I have an 18 month old and have flown 2 times with her. I would say YES get the baby their own seat. Bring the carseat for them to sit in on the plane. Look into a "GoGOBabyz" attachment. (Total lifesaver!!) and that way you can just stroll the baby thru the airport in the carseat (like a stroller) and not have to worry about carrying the baby and the carseat too. Also try to board the plane first with the people who need extra time and also ask the filight attendant for a seatbelt extension I learned that the hardway. But all in all it is so much easier. Good Luck!!

Christa - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi Heidi - I'm in the exact same boat as you.  We're going to Mexico in March, a 4 hour flight from where we live.  We don't really have the option to take the car seat, as we had to purchase an "infant in lap" seat.  If I had my choice, I would take it so that my little one would stay put a bit longer.  On the other hand, I'm glad I don't have to lug it around with me all over the place.  I'm just worried about the cab rides to and from the airport to the hotel...I have a feeling there won't be any car seats available to us at that point.

Amanda - posted on 01/27/2009

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Quoting Heidi:

i am traveling with a 21 month old and want to know if i should bring the car seat on the plane? it's a 3.5 hour trip so fairly long. any advice would be helpful.




I don't think they allow you to bring the car seat on the plane.  (i could be wrong though)  My son was 2 when we went to Hawaii and he had to have his own seat.  It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would have been.  Just be sure to bring things to keep our child occupied.  Books, toys, games, snacks, etc.  Hope this helps some.

Ruth - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi Heidi: Unless you had to pay for your baby's airfare, I would say no to taking the car seat on the plane. The last I heard, we had to pay for our children's airfare when they were two years of age. Of course you would have to strap the carseat into another seat aside from your own. Happy travels!

Karla - posted on 01/27/2009

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I agree that the seat belts are really easy to remove for kids. The first time he had a seat without the car seat I had to hold the buckle closed. He was not impressed but he learned very quickly that it was not an option to remove it. We packed things like apples and carrot to munch to distract him during takeopff and landing so he forgot about the seat belt. chewing food also helped with the air pressure changes at those times too. I would DEFINATELY take my own car seat anywhere, just not necessarily on the plane.

Helen - posted on 01/27/2009

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I travelled alone with my son when he was 17 months old.  I did not get him a seat of his own but was very happy when I got to the airport to discover that the plane was quite empty so he could have a seat (I did not take the car seat though).  Unfortunately, he learned very quickly how to undo the seatbelt and he was not happy to sit in the seat for any length of time.  As soon as I arrived at my destination, I called my husband and told him to buy a seat for him on our next trip a month later.  With his carseat in place, he was an angel.  He knew that when he was strapped in to his carseat, there was no moving around and he gave us no grief.



Another really important thing to consider is what you will be using at your destination.  We found out that most car rental agencies are quite happy to book your rental with a car seat.  However, they will not guarantee that a car seat will actually be available when you get there.  Imagine arriving at your family vacation with your lovely rental car only to discover that they don't have the car seat for your toddler!  Finally, keep in mind that the country you are travelling to (if you are leaving the country) may not have the same standards for car seats.  We are quite fortunate in North America to have strict rules about our seats but it is not always the same elsewhere.  On that trip with my 17 month old son, I was dismayed to find that the car seat I was given was not anything close to what I was used to.



All in all, my opinion is to absolutely take the car seat with you on the plane.

Denise - posted on 01/27/2009

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 I have travelled with my 5month old child and we didnt need a car seat. try calling the airline to see if it is an option and how to go about it. just take toys and its not as terrible as it sounds. One good thing which help was apply nasal drops just before takeoff and landing (for earpains) and get a drink handy for these times too. other buon voyage

Karla - posted on 01/27/2009

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Also, installing them on the airplane can be really stressful. Especially if you feel people are waiting on you and you are holding the child trying to get it in properly. I am pretty sure once my son was out of the infant seat I did not travel with the car seat if I was on my own.

Karla - posted on 01/27/2009

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I agree that the car seat can be a bonus. However, when we were not able to take it along, it was never an issue. Some airlines have a thing called 'infant in an unpaid car seat' where they will let you have a seat for free if the plane is not full. It is a 'stand by' option though so you are not guaranteed until just before boarding usually. Something to consider asking about anyway. We flew ALOT with our son - every second month or so from the time he was a baby. I think that really helped his tolerance to sit still when we did not have the car seat.

Natalie - posted on 01/27/2009

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I have flown twice with my son without a car seat, but he was only a year old. I think if you can swing it the car seat would be  a great help, as long as you have considered getting it through the airport. Those things get heavy! I know they make attachments that turn car seats into a stroller, and that would make it a lot easier for navigation.

Cheryl - posted on 01/26/2009

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We took our son to Florida at about the same age.  I was too cheap to buy him his own seat, so I held him on my lap.  He was very good, but he was just big enough to reach the back of the seat in front of us, and he proceeded to pretty much kick the nice lady for 3 hours!  I'd definitely sacrifice the money and buy the seat.  Bring your own car seat, as the car rental companies usually charge you a mint to rent one of their seats anyways.



 

Kirsten - posted on 01/26/2009

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Quoting Heidi:

i am traveling with a 21 month old and want to know if i should bring the car seat on the plane? it's a 3.5 hour trip so fairly long. any advice would be helpful.




Heidi,



Yes, yes, yes, yes!  I loved having our car seats for flights.  You could keep the kids in one place and they were happy.  For them it is no different than a car ride, when they are strapped in.  I had activities for them to play with while in the air, and it was much easier for them to take a nap in the car seat then without!

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