Flying with 15 month old: To take or not to take the car seat on flight.....?

A - posted on 09/14/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




I'm flying this weekend with my son who is 15 months old. We're taking the car seat either way, but I'm trying to decide whether or not to check it or put it in his seat (which we've already paid for).

Usually I don't put convenience over safety, but I'm very tempted this time. From the research I've found, unrestrained babies are at 9.6 times higher risk of serious injury in a crash versus a restrained adult. Didn't find any data on unrestrained versus restrained infants.

However, I think having the extra room for my son to climb up and down on the seat would do good for the trip. He hates being in his car seat, and is very mobile. Keeping him entertained is going to be hard. Plus lugging it around through 3 airports will be a pain. But, if we were to run in to turbulence or be in a crash....I would regret not taking it on board. Its going to be a long day with three flights- 11 hours total, 8 hours flying.

I need advice and opinions and any other options I haven't thought of. Maybe bringing it and if there's another open seat moving it if he gets fussy...?


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Chinese - posted on 10/01/2010




don't bring it. i have 4 kids and have flown with them a LOT. in a carseat your son will be kicking the person in the seat in front of him the whole time, even if you can get him to sit in it (remember how tight plane rows are these days). not having the seat gives you greater flexibility - eg he can stand on the ground and draw or play with a toy on the seat; if he's tired he can lay down with his head on your lap. also with the car set i don't think he'd be able to use the tray table, which kids tend to like for snack, playing, etc.

i agree with joy - this is an airplane, not a car. you're not trying to protect against whiplash from a fender-bender. in the very remote event of an issue (knock wood), a car seat will not help.

btw, i started a food/family blog this summer - recipes and brain food for moms. i know everyone here has lots of spare time to read, haha. but my goal is to provide useful info in bite-sized bits. if you want to check it out, it's

Joy - posted on 09/22/2010




I wouldn't bother with the car seat. The age your son is a very mobile age, if he's anything like my 14 month old daughter. I agree, its a very slim chance of anything happening and realistically, would the carseat even save the child? Its not like a car, where only a small handful of people are involved. Save yourself the sanity and check it.

Miranda - posted on 09/15/2010




it is great flying with a little one!!!! We took my daughter when she was 9 months with no carseat!!! I don't know how it works but a car seat had to be aproved for a plain. At least that was how it was for my sons booster seat...he was 5 when we went and has the no back booster and we couldn't take it on the plane. So I would recomend checking into that!!!!

Kristen - posted on 09/15/2010




I understand what the other moms are saying about safety however that is a long flight. The chances of the plane crashing are very slim. Your child is not going to want to sit in that chair and then you are going to have no room in your seats because you will have a big empty chair. You are not going to let your baby run up and down the isle without your supervision im sure, so I wouldnt worry about pedaphiles and other children. We flew 8 hours on one plane then switched planes for another 3 hours. You are going to be miserable already, why add the extra stress and baggage? Your child will be perfectly safe.

Erin - posted on 09/15/2010




I would take the carseat on the flight. If you can, get 6 or so new toys (they don't have to be expensive just something he's never seen) to entertain him. Also take some of his other favorite toys that are easy to carry. This way you only break out 1 to 2 toys per flight segment. Besides the safety, there's also other passengers to think about. While no one enjoys a screaming child, how would you feel if your child ran up the aisleway and encountered someone who doesn't like children and doesn't hesitate to take it out on the child/parents. Or even worse, runs into a child molester. I know those are worst case scenarios, but worth thinking about.

Lori - posted on 09/15/2010




I agree with Lori. I would say safety first. You can keep him entertained in his carseat, lots of snacks, and maybe even a dvd player if your child has a fav show they watch? If he gets restless, you can always allow him to stretch his legs in your lap or take a walk to the potty. Good luck, my son was 5 months when we flew and it went great, but he was not mobile.

Lori - posted on 09/15/2010




If you've already paid for the seat, I would take the car seat and put it in his seat. You can always get a strap to put on the car seat and put it on your back while walking around the airport. I have a strap and it is called a cheeky monkey pac back. I purchased it from Amazon. They ship very quickly and it is very convenient for carrying a car seat around the airport.

I would put him in the car seat at first and bring a bag of toys. An etch a sketch, coloring books, reading books would keep him entertained for a bit. Oh and a bunch of snacks. Take him in and out of the seat as needed.

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