plane travel with a toddler - need car seat?

Old Oct 5th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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plane travel with a toddler - need car seat?

I posted a variation on the Europe board. My pardon if you caught the duplicate.

Mom and 28 lb squirmy toddler are traveling to London from Los Angeles late this month.

Any advice on car seat needs? I'm tempted not to take one on the plane because I can't carry it, a diaper bag and my baby - not to mention a stroller. Actually, even if I stuffed a few diapers in my pocket I couldn't carry the seat and baby!

I know airplane travel is safer with baby in a carseat (I bought him a seat) though a carseat is not required.

In London, we will mostly use buses and the tube though an occasional cab may be used.

I've seen those combo stroller/car seats that can go on planes but they are big too.

Words of wisdom appreciated from anyone who has lugged or not lugged a carseat. Thanks!

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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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If you do feel the need to bring a car seat, I suggest a lightweight one. I know that Britax makes a seat that weighs far less than a regular car seat. When I've carried it, I've been able to wedge it between the handles of a lightweight McClaren stroller we have. We've only used it when we didn't intend to rent car seats.

In terms of the need for one, I think the issue on planes is really one of age. Under 2 they definately need to be in an FAA approved car seat. (You give the weight, not age of your child.)

Over 2, they must be in their own seat and use the seatbelt restraint. There is no FAA rule requiring a child over two to be in a seat.

I'm sure some advocates will say all children should be in a car seat on a plane. I've never felt like I was putting our children at risk by not doing that. The important part is the child uses their seatbelt.

But, at the end of the day, it's your child and your call.
Ryan is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Renee2: Hi. The previous poster is right. Your child's age is really the issue, not the weight. You said you bought a seat already. If he's/she's over a 2, you won't need the car seat. But if he's/she's under 2, you'll have to have the car seat for that seat you bought. My understanding is for kids under 2, it's either on your lap or in a car seat in their own seat.
For the diaper bag, can I suggest a bag pack? That will leave your hands free to carry all the other stuff.
Lightweight stroller is the best. And yes Britax have good lightweight car seats.
Good luck.
Old Oct 5th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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I've been through airports by myself with a 22 lb. 18 m/o child. The best way that I have found is to carry the child in a sling or hip carrier (playtex makes one that goes to about 35 lbs.), use a backpack as a diaper bag and haul a Britax carseat by the straps (and still have one hand free to hold tickets/passports).

I don't bother with a stroller in airports (although if you want one in London, I'd suggest either getting a cheap umbrella there or checking one with the rest of your luggage).

I live in NYC and spend a lot of time on public transportation. I prefer taking my daughter on busses and subways in a hip carrier- it keeps her securely against me and means she can't run off on a platform. She is also very squirmy and is something of a Houdini, but she is willing to ride in the hip carrier for as long as I am able to carry her (at least an hour and a half at a time).

Have a great time and good luck.
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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This is interesting. My child is 20 months old. The newest FAA ruling (9/05) is that car seats are not required for children.

I may have misread that to mean car seat not required even if I buy baby a seat on the plane. I'll check with the airline and post back to see if the options are

1. in my lap
2. in seat with carseat.
3. in seat without carseat (and held for take-off/landing).

If it is only 1. and 2., then the seat goes on the plane.

Thanks so much for the replies!
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