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Two small children on a plane....

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I did a search but can't find what Im looking for. 

I am HOPING to be traveling from NY to TX at the end of August.  Possibly by myself with my (by then) almost 4 year old and 3-months-shy-of-being-3 two year old.

I am working on getting carseats covered when i get there, so for the plane trips (one stop in either Chicago or Atlanta) Would this be exceptable to you very safety conscience mamas?    http://www.kidsflysafe.com/

This would make traveling with the boys SO MUCH EASIER until I get to TX.  I am trying to picture lugging two huge carseats and two small children and all our carry on luggage ONTO a plane, belted in, off the plane, through the busy airport, onto another plane, all buckled in, back off that plane, and then doing it AGAIN on the way home, and Im having a panick attack.  LOL Thanks!

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

OK, I just realized those restraints are 75 bucks a PIECE!!  Holy moses! 

 

FTR, as of right now, Charlie is 35 pounds, Matthew is 30. 

post #3 of 21

I think a lot of airports have people that can help  you lug things around if you're traveling alone. I mean, they help the elderly and handicapped...I'd say that a mom traveling alone with two toddlers qualifies for help too. Can you call and ask?


 

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

I could, except I dont even have tickets bought yet, therefore I dont know what Airline I will be traveling with, OR what airports I will be traveling THROUGH.  lol  So I a, just weighing my options.

post #5 of 21

Use it as a way to weigh airlines.If one offers halp and one doesn't it will narrow things down.

post #6 of 21

We used those CARES harnesses for a recent trip with our 4.5yo and 2yo. It worked well for the 4.5, not so great for the two. She got really sleepy and couldn't get comfy enough to sleep, so then she started crying and fussing and ended up on my lap, which is not great safety-wise (or mama comfort-wise!) The next time we flew we had the 4.5 yo in a CARES and the 2yo in her carseat, which was a lot better. Then we got a booster seat for the 4.5yo from the rental company when we got to our destination.

 

Do you think you could manage one car seat?

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Possibly.  I have been considering that since I found out the harnesses are so expensive AND there arent a whole lot of options for carseats at my destination.  A booster that my then 4 year old will fit fine in, but not my little guy. 

 

Katie, I cannot BELIEVE you live in TARRYTOWN!!  We just shipped coffee to Kraft like last friday!

post #8 of 21

I know hauling 2 seats and kids doesn't sound fun, and it isn't, but I  have BTDT and it's definitely do-able.  I would suggest getting a cheap luggage cart (we got ours from Walmart for $15) that you can strap the seats on.  I put one seat on, clipped it on the cart with the seat's LATCH straps, then put the blankies and diaper bags inside the seat, took the second seat and flipped it around, set it on top of the first seat and all the stuff, and then used the bungees that came with the luggage cart to secure the second seat.  I also clipped the second seat's top tether to the frame of the luggage cart for a little extra security.  Then I wore the baby and had the toddler walk and hold my hand, and pulled the loaded luggage cart with my free hand.  To get onto the plane, it was too wide to fit down the aisle like that, but I always managed to find some help to carry a seat for me.  Once I had to take two trips, but I ended up taking both kids and one seat, putting the toddler's seat on the plane, but the kid in it, and went back to the end of the jetway where I had left the baby's seat, got her seat, went back and installed it and put her in it.  I loved having seats on the plane as my kids are all big car seat sleepers and would just sit in their seats and play and snack and sleep.  

post #9 of 21

You can rent a CARES on eBay for about $10 apiece.  I used them with my 4.5 and 2.5 year olds last year and had absolutely no problem.  Every kid is different, though.  If your younger one is very squirmy, a carseat would probably work better since with CARES, there's no bottom strap.  Good luck!

post #10 of 21

There are also wheelers  that let you attach a carseat and pull it like a rollaway luggage through the airport: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&sku=14973508 They are also expensive, but maybe ask around or look on Craigslist or eBay to see if someone is selling a used one?

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanab View Post

There are also wheelers  that let you attach a carseat and pull it like a rollaway luggage through the airport: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&sku=14973508 They are also expensive, but maybe ask around or look on Craigslist or eBay to see if someone is selling a used one?


 

I've frequently traveled by myself from new england to texas with my two (who are 20 months apart) since they were wee- they're 2 1/2 and 4 now.

 

If you have some form of wheels with you (the travel mate thing, a luggage cart, anything like that) you can stack both carseats on it and find a way to stack/hang minimal carry on baggage on there as well.  Or, since your two seem old enough that they could handle walking, you could have a backpack of some kind.  Someone will certainly be able to carry the car seats down the aisle to you, and back off as well.  It's a pain in the butt getting them both strapped into the airline seats while semi-supervising two children, but other than that it's not bad.  Far from ideal, and if you can swing not having to deal with it that's great, but it can be done.  :)

 

Of course, it seems a lot easier now that I'm not wrangling the two car seats, luggage, and wearing an infant and a two year old at the same time.....that was a fun time! (especially when we had to change terminals and ended up having to take a set of stairs- or miss our flight- because there was NO WORKING ELEVATOR)

 

 

post #12 of 21

Wow good luck with your travels.  Just wanted to add my 2 yo was totally OK with CARES and slept in her seat with it so you could possibly do CARES for both your kids!  I managed to borrow one from a local mother's club for free so it worked out great for us.

post #13 of 21

If your oldest would still fit in a Scenera, I'd buy two of those.  They're about $45 a piece, and SO lightweight!  You could stack the two on top of each other and bunjee them onto a cheap luggage cart or even a lightweight stroller.  In the past, I've bunjeed my (much heavier) car seat to my compact stroller, plopped a carry-on on top of the car seat, and wore DS in an Ergo on my back.  If your oldest is good at staying close or holding hands, that might work well for you.  When I do it again, I'll buy the $15-$20 luggage cart instead of carting the stroller around, since we don't ever really use the stroller much once we get to our destination.  

 

You can totally do it.  Come well stocked with fun snacks and new books and toys (the dollar bins at target are my saving grace for long flights with a toddler!).  I've always found that the flight attendants are very sympathetic, and they've always been quick to offer to help when I'm getting all settled on the plane.

post #14 of 21

Personally I'd check the infant carseat and kid booster (they give special care to carseats and boosters instead of knocking them around on the carousels, and usually these don't count toward any luggage limits and have been free to check when I've flown) and just use the seatbelt or the older one and hold the smaller one.  Realistically, if there's a plane crash, it's not like a booster or carseat will make all the difference in the world like in a car.  You're more or less screwed either way.  Bleak picture, yes, but the chance of that happening is so much less than even being in a car crash at all.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ella Enchanted View Post

Personally I'd check the infant carseat and kid booster (they give special care to carseats and boosters instead of knocking them around on the carousels, and usually these don't count toward any luggage limits and have been free to check when I've flown) and just use the seatbelt or the older one and hold the smaller one.  Realistically, if there's a plane crash, it's not like a booster or carseat will make all the difference in the world like in a car.  You're more or less screwed either way.  Bleak picture, yes, but the chance of that happening is so much less than even being in a car crash at all.

 

I fly with a car seat, alone with three children on 10 and 11 1/2 hour flights about twice a year. Only on our last flight did we not bring one, since my youngest is now 7. She wanted it alone and quite frankly, it wasn't that much more convenient without it. One seat is not a big deal. Twos is definitely possible, especially on domestic flights. 

 

Just to clear up some misinformation;

 

1. The airlines do NOT treat car seats any differently from luggage. That's why so many get lost and busted by the airlines, who will not compensate for what they consider to be a "delicate" check-at-own-risk item. It's NEVER a good idea to check a car seat as luggage. They are only designed to withstand one accident and if they drop on to the tarmac or get thrown around, this is basically the one accident. You would be then using a compromised car seat that may not protect your child in the future, in the car. Not worth the risk! 

 

You have two seats so whatever car seats you bring should be used on board. If you had a "lap baby", the car seat should be GATE, not luggage checked but I would not risk this with connections. You need to get off the plane right away with your car seat. 

 

2. You can't "hold" a child over age 2 anyway. It's not allowed by the FAA. They have to occupy a separate seat, even though the adult seat belt doesn't fit them very well. 

 

3. Boosters can't be used on airplanes anyway. Only internal-harnessed car seats are FAA approved> 

 

4. A car seat can and has made a difference in an accident. Remember that most people today survive air accidents than die in them so it's even more important now, with better trained pilots and better equipped planes. 

 

In another post, someone said that you could get help in airports. The truth is that you really can't. I have nothing against handicapped people but the rights of the disabled are protected by law. When I was a Flight Attendant, my requests for "meet and assist"s were refused, sometimes because they needed to "position" them for incoming disabled passengers on other flights. They were afraid that there wasn't enough time to zip them around the airport. 

 

Sometimes I could "piggy back" solo travelers with wee ones with our disabled customers but that was the exception, not the rule. I'd just have them walk along with the assistant or jump on the scooter-thing they had in the airport. I was also chummy with the ground staff in a lot of stations (flew the same flights all the time) so that helped. 

 

There were many good options suggested above. 

 

Is there any way to arrange a seat at your destination? Are you visiting friends or relatives? Borrow or order a Scenera on line and have it delivered. 

 

You can rent a CARES harness but it does have good resale value. You also could continue to use it on future flights. 

 

Another small point, have someone come with you to check-in at the airport. Ask at the counter if your helper can have a "gate-pass" to come with you through security and give you a hand. This depends on both the airport and the airline. The worst that can happen is that they say no. 

 

Also, please don't buy the Gogo Travelmate. It's basically just an overpriced, plastic luggage cart. A metal foldable cart works just as well or better. Less chance of breakage (a major issue with the Gogo). 

 

Other small tips;

-Get rid of you purse. Do a "fanny pack" or small neck purse with your wallet and cell phone. The rest is in the back pack.

-A good baby carrier. Toddlers get clingy in airports, especially with a lot of people. Don't be one of the many parents I see clutching small children while trying to get through the airport. 

-Check everything you don't actually need on the flight itself. My Best-Woman dress got packed. I'm alone with my kids and I bring what we need. period! 

-Changes of clothes, snacks. 

-No need to make them suck on take-off and landing. Common myth. Let them sleep if they nod off on the runway. 

 

Here are my non-commercial flying tips;

http://flyingwithchildren1.blogspot.com

 

Good luck finding a workable plan! 

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post

 

Here are my non-commercial flying tips;

http://flyingwithchildren1.blogspot.com

 

Good luck finding a workable plan! 


awesome blog post - thanks!

post #17 of 21

Also, an "almost 4yr old" who is 35lbs is probably not safe in a booster.  4yrs old AND 40lbs is the bare minimum for safety, and this would be a booster trained child.  Most kids arent ready for a booster until they are 5-6.  An almost 4yr ols is still a 3yr old, and there is no way I'd ever put a 3yr old in a booster.

 

 

OP - get a wheely cart (mine was $15 from walmart), and strap the carseats to that (stack them), carry your other 'stuff' in a backpack.   Ask for help, someone is always willing to in my experience, even if you dont ask.  

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replays, everyone. 

 

I think I am nixing this trip until next year.  Im not a big traveler.  Never have been.  I love being home.  However, my BFF lives in SA, and its kind of MY turn to make the trip.  However, she has no children, so its much easier for her to make the treck then it is for me.  Therefore, I feel confident in waiting until next june, when both boys are older.  Its just what im comfortable with. 

 

Thank you!

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Charlie's~Angel~ View Post

Thanks for the replays, everyone. 

 

I think I am nixing this trip until next year.  Im not a big traveler.  Never have been.  I love being home.  However, my BFF lives in SA, and its kind of MY turn to make the trip.  However, she has no children, so its much easier for her to make the treck then it is for me.  Therefore, I feel confident in waiting until next june, when both boys are older.  Its just what im comfortable with. 

 

Thank you!



Maybe you can pay for her to travel to you as a compromise.  It'd be cheaper than 3 plane tickets for you guys to go!

 

post #20 of 21

I bought the Cares Harness and then sold it after our trip.  dd was 2.5 and it really didn't work well.  She could slouch down in it and I thought it honestly created a strangulation hazard as it is NOT a 5 pt. harness (no crotch strap) and I could not get as snug a fit as I could with the lap belt.  The cares harness that threaded through lap belt pulled up on the lap belt - so the position of lap belt was actually better without the cares harness.  It was a pain to constantly have to readjust her in the harness every time she slid down....and of course she didn't like it when I sat her up.  It might work better for an older child.  However, I agree with another poster that the chances of a plane crash are so tiny anyway.  This biggest risk is turbulence - and in most cases the lap belt snuggly fit as low on hips as possible should keep them in their seat.  Also, with cares harness, there was no place for dd to rest her head and she didn't fall asleep.  I wished I had a carseat- would have been more to carry but at least it would have been a more peaceful trip for part of it.

 

I agree with having a good baby carrier such as the Ergo to carry the toddler, and also a stroller that you can check at the gate that is sturdy enough to carry the other kid if tired, carryon luggage, and possibly carseats.  I'd do a "gate check" of any baby gear that you value - I've seen strollers and carseats get thrown around on luggage carts.  However, the gate check (from door of plane) is right there, and you can see the person loading it under the plane. 

 

There's a strap that attaches to wheeled luggage to carrry a carseat on it (even with a toddler in it).  http://www.amazon.com/Traveling-Toddler-Seat-Travel-Accessory/dp/B000JHN3AS  Not sure how user friendly it is (I'm guessing heavy with kid in it).

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