25 answers

Toddler Air Travel - Bring Car Seat?

Hi, we are traveling over Thanksgiving to Florida and we have had to buy, for the first time, our son his own seat. He is 25 months old. I understand it is safer to put him into his car seat in the airplane seat, but, it seems like it will be a big pain in the patootie to lug that thing on board the plane. We have a Britax Diplomat -- I don't even know if it will fit in the airplane seat. Anybody have any experience with this kind of thing? Thank you in advance!

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I have two children. A 3 year old boy and a 1 yr old daughter. I have traveled with them on planes since my son was 5 1/2 weeks old. I have never used a car seat on the plane. I have seen other parents do it and it seemed like a huge pain. The seats are small enough to then put a big carseat on top of it would be horrible. the only advantage to the carseat would be the child not being able to get out of the seat. My son could undo the buckle before he was 2 years old.

He is already used to her car seat, that is the best thing you can do to help her be comfortable. There are a couple of options. I strapped my Britax Diplomat to a luggage carrier with wheels to cart around the airport, that helped. Someone (I don't recall who) makes a car seat with wheels and a travel handel kind of thing. If for any reason you get stuck in an airport, you will want a comfortable place for him to 'settle in'
Good luck

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When I read your question, I immediately thought of this...

http://www.leapsandbounds.com/catalog/product.jsp?product...

If you do decide to take your carseat, I'd definitely get one of these. It's not cheap, but I think it's worth it.

1 mom found this helpful

We brought out carseat when we flew to florida on a small plane with our britax, although it was big, I think it made her feel extra safe, so I reccomend it, also your toddler since they brought a seat gets a carry on not including the car seat so you can bring a stroller on board this makes lugging the car seat off easier since you can put the toddler right in the stroller and then off you go, it was a slight inconvience but you can always ask them to stowe it away if you child doesn't want to sit in it, and then you can use your carseat instead of renting one if you rent a car, hope that helps
J.

I have used CARES, which was already mentioned (I fly with my son every month now). http://www.kidsflysafe.com My son is 18 months and was a bit squirmy in it the first time, but it was great safety-wise for take-off and landing. I have to imagine a 25-month old would be even better in it (bigger kid can sit in the big seat better). I've also used a wheeler borrowed from a friend, which worked well. But if you're worried about lugging a big seat and don't need it when you arrive in Florida, check out the CARES harness; it will resolve the safety concerns.

I would not bring a car seat - they take up too much room and even for a short flight your little guy will want to be moving around some and not having a car seat taking up the seat will give him some extra space! I flew w/ my son when he was about 16 months old and just held him and everything went really well - good luck!

I have two children. A 3 year old boy and a 1 yr old daughter. I have traveled with them on planes since my son was 5 1/2 weeks old. I have never used a car seat on the plane. I have seen other parents do it and it seemed like a huge pain. The seats are small enough to then put a big carseat on top of it would be horrible. the only advantage to the carseat would be the child not being able to get out of the seat. My son could undo the buckle before he was 2 years old.

I would highly recommend taking a car seat. We flew to Florida when my (very active) son was 13 months old and he was a squirmy worm. He didn't want to sit still and wanted to run around the plane. Last month when my son was 18 months old we traveled to California (with a layover both ways) and took our car seat. It was big, a pain to carry through the airport, and a bit of a pain to strap into the seat, BUT well worth ALL of the pain and effort!! He understood that once he was in the car seat he had to stay put. He loves his car seat and was also able to fall asleep for part of each flight. It made the experience much better. I would never travel without the car seat again until he gets much older. BTW, on each flight we were told that the car seat had to go next to the window.

We also brought our portable DVD player for him to watch, and that was also a huge life saver! Good luck.

My opinion is opposite of almost everyone else. I travel by myself almost every month with my two daughters and have NEVER taken a car seat. BUT on the flip side they have both been traveling since they were 6 weeks old. My oldest is 4 and my youngest is 2. It is stressful enough getting through security with all the bags, drinks, liquids, taking off and putting on everyones shoes, etc...that in my opinion it is just another thing to drag around. My 2 year old is very small and the seatbelt tightens up enough to keep her still and she love it because she thinks she is such a big girl. Just remember only you know your little boy and how you think he would be more comfortable. Also from experience and nothing to do with the car seat question. Dress in light clothing because after all the stress I seem to get really hot. Also with a little one you can bring juice just have it out and ready for security to check it and lots of snacks. Also my portable DVD players works like a charm. Good luck on your travels and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Totally recommend bringing the car seat for the plane. We've taken my son to Florida twice now and even though its a pain, I think the seat makes a huge difference. He's comfortable in his car seat and I think its easier for him to fall asleep. What we did is to basically tether the car seat to the back of one of our rolling suitcases. It wasn't too bad. I plan to do the same thing when we go to Florida again in February. This way, you don't have to worry about him getting up and down, he's strapped in. Just keep handing him toys or bring a portable dvd player. Also we took a Britax Marathon with us. I don't know how it compares in size to the Diplomat, but we didn't have a problem getting it in the plane seat.

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