M.D. asks from Chicago, IL on April 01, 2010
Flying with 20 Month Old
I am flying with my 20 month old next week. Do I need to put him in a car seat on the plane? Also, any ideas to keep him busy during the flight? He doesn't watch videos...so that is not an option. He does not sit still long...so I am nervous!! Thank you.
S.P. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2010
I would call the airline. They may require a carseat although I have never heard of it. and a carseat may help the littleone avoid airsickness.
M.B. answers from Chicago on April 06, 2010
You don't need a car seat. My daughter is VERY active. We did lots of walking up and down the airplane aisle (which helped a lot). Also brought new interesting books that she'd never seen, coloring, and forbidden treats (aka candy & cookies). Sticker books can keep them interested for a long time too, but he might be a little young. My daughter didn't get really into those until around 2 yrs old.
When you check-in, try to request an empty row...the more space, the better!
R.D. answers from San Francisco on April 03, 2010
I don't believe that you have to provide a carseat while flying, check with the Airlines' just in case. For a 20mos. old to keep him busy, take little books with lots of pictures, snacks, a couple of toys that you can hold or he that doesn't make alot of noise. What he is most interested in at your home as long as its not to big. It really depends on how long your flight is as well. Hopefully not to long. Even if you have an iPod that you can put childrens' music on that he may listen to, I'm sure this would be fabulous!. Children love music. Of course he may just love being on the plane with so many ppl. Try and sit by a younger person or couple so that they understand a little one. You don't need someone elderly who likes peace and quiet and you get those nasty looks or something said. It doesn't make for a nice flight. Good luck and enjoy your trip!!
S.S. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2010
Just an added note to these great recommendations is if you are flying American Airlines they were completely rude to us. We carried the car seats through and around the airport for our 2-year-old twins and had our carry on and 2 diaper bags with us. We go to board a completely booked plane (which we already had our assigned seats - 2 middle and 2 aisle seats; there were 6 across) and they guy looked at our tickets and told us that the carseats could only be next to a window (which we didn't have). It was an already delayed flight and then they were going to try to move people so we could have 2 window seats, which meant my husband and I would be passing things to each other over 2 other people if we were even able to sit in the same row. It was more of a hassle for us than anything. On our flight home we just checked them and it worked out great. My kids still took naps one in the seat and the other on my husband, but we brought stickers, lots of snacks and they played on our iphones (toddler games). That was the easiest flight so far with them. Good luck and have a safe trip.
C.P. answers from Miami on April 04, 2010
You can bring the car seat on the plane with you. It's a great comfort, as your child will feel at home in "his" seat. On the down side, I found that at that age in a car seat on a plane, their little legs are the perfect length to kick the seat in front of them. Fabulous...try to get a 20 month to stop putting their feet on the seat in front of them when its right there. I would check the seat with your baggage, fasten his belt in his airplane seat and let him stretch out a little. Snacks (especially since most airlines are stingy nowadays), drinks, books and play doh work well and hope he catches some zzzz. I always made sure I had a pacifier, drink or something for my little ones to suck on for the takeoff and landing-so their ears don't pop. Good luck-safe trip!
K.T. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2010
Just got back with my 22 month old from a flight to FL (her fifth or sixth flight). I did not buy her a ticket this time, so she sat on my lap and looked out the window, we colored, we looked through SkyMall catalog, we read books and ate LOTS of snacks! If you bought your child their own seat, I would bring the car seat so they feel more comfy.
D.D. answers from Denver on April 02, 2010
Safety first. Think of it this way. The most likely time an accident will happen on a plane is takeoff or landing. Your son will be safer if he is strapped into his car seat that has been belted into the plane seat. A five point harness is ALWAYS a better choice than a two point restraint. Take the car seat on the plane and strap him in for takeoff and landing.
As for keeping him busy. Take a couple of books, maybe even a new book that he hasn't read yet. If he is like my son, a new book can keep him happy for hours and he likes to have the new book read over and over... up to 10 or more times. LOL. And a smallish toy car is good. My boy drives a toy car all over the plane seat, me, the window, etc. My son is three now, and has had about 20 plane trips already. Some trips are great and easy, some have been harder. There is no magic to solve this one.
A.M. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2010
If you have bought him a seat or if there is an extra seat, you can and should put him in his car seat. He will be much safer that way and you will be bringing his car seat with you anyway. I don't let my little one watch videos generally but my exception is flying as it is so very useful. We have been to Ireland 6 times since my little one was born and so those are all 8 hour flights and so some distraction is essential. I bring a small etch a sketch, coloring pad and crayons, a few favorite books and some little people, a portable DVD with a few favorites and some sucky candy for take off and landing. It normally goes fine. good luck.
E.L. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2010
I took my little one to Germany when he was 20 months old and he did great. You do not need a car seat. If you think he may sleep, you may want to bring it on board if you are bringing it anyway for driving. He may sleep better that way. That is if you bought a seat or if they aren't full. I always bring a erasable/magnetic drawing board, small bag of legos, crayons & paper, play cars, cards, books, etc. Lots of diversions that don't take up a lot of room; it is good to have a bag of tricks. Make sure you bring some snacks like raisins for when you land to help him clear his ears while landing. Chewing and drinking helps relieve the pressure. Good luck!