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Travelling with a toddler

Melbourne, Australia
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Travelling with a toddler

Hi there,

My husband and I will be travelling from Sydney to Paris in a few months with our daughter who will be 2 1/2 at the time. I've read so much about the benefits of seating a child in a car seat on the plane, but I'm still undecided. We'll be flying overnight to Dubai then have a short stopover, then on to Paris.

I want her to have the best chance of getting some sleep. Any advice on whether her chances would be better in a car seat or curled up on the plane seat?

We've flown between Melbourne and Sydney with her many times, but this will be our first long flight with her...any other advice?

Thank you!

Erith, Kent
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for Mijas, Sitio de Calahonda
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1. Re: Travelling with a toddler

I've never seen or heard of car seats being used on airplanes for toddlers and babies. I know that on some long hall flight some companies can provide a small air cot though but think it would be too small for a toddler.

Leyland, United...
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for Playa Blanca
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2. Re: Travelling with a toddler

Car seats are definitely the safest way for infants under 2 with their own seat booked. If your toddler likes her car seat and sleeps in the car whilst she's in it, I would take it. Obviously safer than just a lap belt at that age, and it's far safer than having her unrestrained curled up asleep on a seat.

Erith, Kent
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for Mijas, Sitio de Calahonda
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3. Re: Travelling with a toddler

As I've never seen anyone use a babyseat on a plane I googled to find out about it (my daughter has two small children who will want to travel abroad next year) and I found this site:

travel-baby-travel.com/air-travel-with-toddl…

There are others out there too but this one seemed the best one. Hope it helps.

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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4. Re: Travelling with a toddler

You do not see people using car seats because many do not want to spend the money when child can go for free as a lap child. That, however is not the safest way to travel.

IN terms of the OP, while your child may be comfortable curled up on a seat, as soon as the seat belt sign comes on you would be waking/moving her to put the belt on. You do not take her in a car without a seat, why a plane ?

Melbourne, Australia
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for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
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5. Re: Travelling with a toddler

OP,

Many airlines will not permit your child as a lap passenger after 24mths.

Have you heard of the CARES restraint system?

If your child is within the weight limitations (20kgs maximum and older than 12mths) and you do not require a car seat at your destination, it is a much more practical solution, rather than having to carry around a car seat throughout your travel.

It is FAA approved, and we used it on QF, SQ and CX including our last trip in March 2013 to Europe. it is available from a retailer in Melbourne, as well as online.

http://kidsflysafe.com/cares-overview/

Edited: 11:01 am, May 12, 2013
Edmonton
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6. Re: Travelling with a toddler

Ive never seen anyone use a car seat on the plane, including me with my 3 kids. The airines don't charge you to use one since at 2 1/2 they would have your own seat anyway, so it's not about the money (I assume she is planning on buying a seat for the child since that would be required at that age). I wouldn't bring one unless you need one at the other end of the trip. It must be FAA approved if you are goig to use it and not all are, I know mine isn't.

Cardiff, United...
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7. Re: Travelling with a toddler

Some airlines provide seats for small children, check with your airline, also most airlines will not allow you to take your own car seat on, as it hasn't been designed to fit an airline seat.

Illinois
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8. Re: Travelling with a toddler

Most US airlines will allow you to take a car seat on if it is FAA approved. Most were when my daughter was car seat age, but I haven't checked recently since she's now 15. My daughter always slept fine in her car seat on a plane. I agree that if she sleeps in it in the car and it's approved for use on the airline, I would take it.

I found that the sides of the car seat helped hold her head up so she could sleep better.

Brooklyn, NY
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9. Re: Travelling with a toddler

I've always brought the car seat for my son on all of our flights, and he sleeps like a dream in one. The plane is basically a giant white noise machine, and the whirr and vibration put him to sleep every time. There is no way he'd be able to sleep "curled up on the seat." Not in any way comfortable. He's used to napping in a car seat, and it's definitely helpful for getting some sleep.

He's not big enough for the CARES harness yet, but we have one for when he is big enough, and I'll use it when we don't need a car seat on the other end of the flight.

UK/Antigua
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10. Re: Travelling with a toddler

Allowing car seats on planes in not common outside the US, particularly for international flights but most airlines will, on request, provide a similar type of booster seat with a harness rather than just using a lap belt. I think the CARES system is an excellent option though - and very easy to use. I only saw it in action for the first time this year and was very impressed - I wish it had been around when mine was little! That said, the booster seat was helpful in letting her reach her tray and kept her a little nearer to adult height for chatting etc.

If you need a carseat at the other end, you'll almost certainly need to check it in (usually at the special luggage drop) and will also need to make sure that it's legally compliant for your destination.