Would you fly without a carseat? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Would you fly without a carseat?
Yes 190 71.16%
No 65 24.34%
Depending on length of flight 12 4.49%
Voters: 267. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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We flew with our 26 month old this past summer, and while we bought a seat for her, we didn't put her in a car seat. She spent some time buckled in her seat, but she also spent a lot of time in our laps or nursing. Like captain crunchy said, I wasn't willing to put her in a guaranteed three hour screaming session to protect against a one-in-a-million chance of injury. (As compared to the high chance of injury in cars.) We also discovered that because my dh and I carried only one small bag each, it was much easier to attend to our DD in the airport, especially on our layovers--hold her hand, carry her if she needed it, not let her run away from us. If she were a calmer child who didn't cry in her carseat, I would have gladly brought along her car seat, which is why I think this is a decision that will vary from family to family.

I did a quick Google search, and a 1997 report said that 58 air passengers are injured in the US each year by turbulence. (http://cgi.cnn.com/US/9712/29/turbulence.explainer/) However, those numbers have gone down, partially because meteorologists are getting much better at predicting weather and turbulence pockets. In 2004, there were no passenger injuries. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05123/498351.stm) I wasn't able to find statistics on the number of people who travel in the US per year, but I believe it's in the tens of millions.
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#62 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 08:11 PM
 
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I have never paid for a child under 2, but I have done a combination of car seat and lap child travel. The few times I have brought the carseat, it was because I knew there was a seat available for it and I knew I would need it at the other end of the trip. If I know I won't need it at the other end, I prefer not to bring it. Lugging it through the airport is the most stressful part of traveling with kids for me, even with help. I undersand that there are always risks with every choice we make. Life after all, is a terminal condition.

I think the sling rule is stupid too, and usually use it anyway. I have only had a flight attendant say something to me once.

Mama to three small people; wife to one big person; pet-person to cats and dogs..."Be the change you want to see in the world"-- Gandhi
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#63 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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To be honest... if you crash in a airplane, i don't think a carseat is going to save you. same way i feel about a boat ride. lol

So no, I wouldn't take a carseat with us on the plane if we were to fly somewhere.

Now I hate the idea of busses not having seatbelts or carseats on them. Weird huh? lol
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#64 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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i think carseats on airplanes are like band-aids on broken arms. almost totally useless. unless your child is happier in a carseat. mine isn't.

FYI for people flying - your carseat does not count as a 'bag' under the 2 bags per person rule. i bought one of those carseat bags at babies r us for checking my carseat and i was happy i could check the carseat AND my 2 bags.
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#65 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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I HATED having the carseat with us on the plane trip. My ds was 17 months. THe number one thing was that ds wanted to nurse and be in my lap anyway. Also, the carseat put his feet RIGHT at the seat in front of him....so he kicked, and I had to make him stop, and it was just horrible. Also, it made me and my mom have so much less space as the carseat has to be in the middle. THe next time I flew with ds, I checked the carseat at the plane's door ( it's really easy, they put it on last minute with the strollers and stuff) and had him sit in his seat restrained by the seat belt. He was 2 1/2 then. And that's what I would do if we were to fly again - check the carseats and then have the kids fly with teh belts on in their own seat and space. The flight attendant actually said its best because the carseat is NOT going to save them in a crash, it only helps with turbulence, and if they will sit with the seatbelt on, its just as good.

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#66 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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My kids and I have flown about every six months for a minimum of 9 hours each way (where we live now it is more like 15-16 hours). I've never bought them a seat before the age of two primarily b/c they wouldn't have sat in the seat anyway. They want to be in my arms, nursing or sleeping. I am not going to have them CIO for 15 hours. Now that my youngest is 2, he sits in a carseat for the flight primarily b/c he won't sit with the seatbelt on. He undoes it and gets up. Carseat for him until he can sit and stay belted. My daughter has never done the carseat route on a plane.

In a car, yes, my children have done plenty of CIO in their carseats. But, then again, since living in a major metro area and relying on taxis quite often, my kids ride plenty in cars without carseats or even seatbelts. Needless to say, I do a lot of praying.
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#67 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee
I did a quick Google search, and a 1997 report said that 58 air passengers are injured in the US each year by turbulence. (http://cgi.cnn.com/US/9712/29/turbulence.explainer/) However, those numbers have gone down, partially because meteorologists are getting much better at predicting weather and turbulence pockets. In 2004, there were no passenger injuries. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05123/498351.stm) I wasn't able to find statistics on the number of people who travel in the US per year, but I believe it's in the tens of millions.
659 million, to be exact (# of passengers in a 12 month period ending in April 2006)
http://www.transtats.bts.gov/


more statistics:

http://hazmat.dot.gov/riskmgmt/riskcompare.htm

Motor Vehicle 1 in 6,300 (gen pop risk per year) 1.7 deaths per 100 million veh. miles

Commercial Air Carriers 1 in 1,568,000 0.7 deaths per 100 million aircraft miles
0.19 deaths per million aircraft departures
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#68 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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Slinging mamas- the takeoff rule happened to me too. I SO did not want to wake a sleeping baby by taking him out! I pulled the tail end of my maya wrap out of the rings, tucked the rings behind my shoulder, and said "There, now it's just a blanket." That was fine with them, and as soon as we were in the air, I put the tail back through the rings. Nobody bothered me on landing though.

I have flown many times and checked the carseats through for both children. Last time was my son's first flight, and I posted about this same question... I ultimately decided there was absolutely no point in having it for my him. He has hated all carseats since birth. When we have hours to kill on a plane, I'm sure as heck going to have to be entertaining him in my lap. It would be a nonstop screamfest if I had to keep him strapped in. I have weighed the risk and I'm very comfortable with not bringing a carseat on the plane.

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#69 of 112 Old 08-05-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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omg I SO should not have read this thread ... I'm about to fly with dh & 19mo ds to Australia to Thailand (where we'll be living for the next 2 years)... I'm going to call the airline when I sign out and see what the go is on their end.
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#70 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Bizarrely the JAA (European equivalent of FAA) will not allow children under two to ride in carseats when the seatbelt sign is illuminated, they must be in their parents lap with a seperate seatbelt that attaches to the parents belt.
Blows my mind how the JAA and FAA can have such different recommendations but they do. Over 2 years they can ride in an approved airline seat in their own seat but they say that being in an adult seatbelt is just as safe from two years and up. Very odd.

Even more strangely Britain has much more strict carseat laws than here, soon every child under the age of 11 and under the height 150cm will have to ride in a car seat or booster seat.
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#71 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 02:27 AM
 
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Sorry for butting in, but I was lurking on this thread because it really interests me!

I have flown three times with DD, the first time without a carseat and the second two with. It is a HUGE pain--dragging a Britax Marathon on an airplane is NOT easy, and no one is interested in helping you at all, especially when you're travelling alone with a toddler and are almost eight months pregnant!

But, I digress. Here is my actual question, I am really, really hoping someone knows the answer to this because I am stumped!

If babes under two can be in arms, where are the children over age two during take off and landing if their parents didn't bring car seats? I assumed they can't be strapped in to a regular seat (that couldn't be much safer than no seat belt!) but I just can't figure it out. I have seen lots of people in the airport with small children who aren't lugging carseats, so what's the deal?
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#72 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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I have had people, passengers and airline people, begging to help me with my kids and carseat and bags when I've flown alone with them (which I've done several times).

Kids over two without a car seat are sitting in their seat with the lapbelt on them.

Unschooling mama to DD1, 11/2001
and DD2, 11/2004
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#73 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 02:56 AM
 
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I'd only do it w/ a carseat for the safety reasons and because I sometimes like to not sit with my kids pawing me every second. Funny, I know.

Oh, but did I mention I am also a big wuss about flying and to get me on an airplane I'd have to be heavily medicated? Oh, but if I'm medicated I shouldn't be taking care of the child. I need a drink. Perhaps I should just cancel the trip. Yes, must cancel. Too much stress. Wait, there is no trip, is there? Whew. Don't do that to me again. Breathe. Breathe.
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#74 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 03:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Oh, but did I mention I am also a big wuss about flying and to get me on an airplane I'd have to be heavily medicated? Oh, but if I'm medicated I shouldn't be taking care of the child. I need a drink. Perhaps I should just cancel the trip. Yes, must cancel. Too much stress. Wait, there is no trip, is there? Whew. Don't do that to me again. Breathe. Breathe.


And to answer the original question...the one time we flew with dd (from CA to Sicily) we flew without a carseat. Or rather, dd flew on our laps and we checked the seat through. We're flying this month to Washington (state) and our newborn will be on my lap.
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#75 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 04:09 AM
 
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I've only used carseats on the plane during one trip. It was the biggest PITA that I've never done it again. If my kids are under the age of 2 they will sit on my lap, where they are happy. The spend the entire plane ride there anyhow, generally nursing. If we were about to crash, I certainly wouldn't have enough time or rational thought to put the kids in their carseats anyhow.
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#76 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eris
I have had people, passengers and airline people, begging to help me with my kids and carseat and bags when I've flown alone with them (which I've done several times).

Kids over two without a car seat are sitting in their seat with the lapbelt on them.
You either have very good luck or fly to and from places where people are very caring. I have never had this, sadly. I just flew pregnant with my 2 yr old and 4 yr old with two months worth of luggage and duffle bags filled with cloth diapers and baby clothes (I stored my stuff at my mom's house. I had an airport cart filled over the top of my head and my sit and stand stroller stacked almost as high with my son strapped in the front seat. I had to push the cart, leave it, come back for the kids and the stroller (my daughter walked along side), push that up past the cart, go back for the cart, leave it, etc, etc. Back and forth, leaving my luggage and then my kids.

I did this at O'Hare in Chicago and at SeaTac in Seattle. Not a single solitary soul offered to help. I had plenty of stares. I even had a whole family laughing at me. But nobody lifted a finger. At O'Hare a woman stopped and pointed then said something to her husband. I saw him shake his head without even pausing. She looked back at me with sympathy and ran up to catch him. That was the closest I got to help.

When I arrived in Seoul, however, I did get help from a customs agent. He grabbed my luggage off the belt and loaded up and walked me all the way through to where my husband was to meet us.
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#77 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 11:09 AM
 
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I 1) think they're safer than in a lap, 2) would dread holding a squrimy baby for a few hours in such a small space with strangers perhaps next to me and 3) how do I transport my baby when I get there? I know about the gate check and all, but it makes me nervous with something that valuable to have it handled by people who just don't give a darn. They're fairly indestructible, but hey, I'm just a paranoid worry-wart!
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#78 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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I lost my car seat to gate check once. They give you money to replace it. BUt they don't tell you that $100 is all they are going to give you for lost luggage. So if you need $$$ to buy clothes or anything else lost you are on your own untill the time has passed to file an official claim:

Mom to Iris and Henry
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#79 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 11:36 AM
 
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Nope. My brother is in the Air Force, and when I asked him what he thought of me and the kiddlets flying out to visit him, he said that if we couldn't afford seats for each child, he'd rather we didn't come. He'd learned some horrible things about babies & small children in a class and seemed to think it wasn't worth the risk.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#80 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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I wouldn't ever think of driving my baby unrestrained, why should a plane be any different? Some of you mentioned that if a plane crashes, everyone will die, restrained or not. Wrong. Turbulence that hardly affects most adults will send a 20#er into the air. And the "human airbag" thing is a big danger, as well. I'm sorry, but if you can't carry the carseat, or afford an extra seat, then don't fly.
read this thread for more info
or this
and here's another

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#81 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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2 is the cutoff for "in arms." We have not used a carseat or purchased them their own seat yet - and my two are 6m and 22m.

DS - 5! - adopted at birth after infertility, IUI, and IVF; DD - 4! - surprise pregnancy discovered when DS was 8 months old ; Hoping for another soon (actively TTC ~ 2 years)
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#82 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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slings aren't FAA approved so that is why they make you take them off. the FAA hasn't done testing on them as 'restraint devices'.

kids over 2 are supposed to be strapped in the seatbelt during takeoff and landing. that is about how long my 2 year old will keep the seatbelt on. if even that.

i lived overseas for the majority of my childhood and have spent many many hours flying. i've rarely experienced turbulence rough enough to make things fly though the air. hence my low paranoia about the carseat thing. i have very high paranoia about flying in general. i hate it now. mechanical failure weighs heavily on my mind. i don't trust the airline companies and their maintenance plans
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#83 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 03:30 PM
 
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[QUOTE=HeatherKae]I did this at O'Hare in Chicago and at SeaTac in Seattle. Not a single solitary soul offered to help. I had plenty of stares. I even had a whole family laughing at me. But nobody lifted a finger. At O'Hare a woman stopped and pointed then said something to her husband. I saw him shake his head without even pausing. She looked back at me with sympathy and ran up to catch him. That was the closest I got to help.
[QUOTE]

I just had to comment on this-- these were the two airports I went through on my recent trip, as well! How crazy. O'Hare was WAY worse (I think because it was bigger and busier) but both were a nightmare. I also flew on an airline that was really, really unaccomodating. The two airlines I had flown previously were better.

I actually yelled at two employees in O'Hare because they were so rude to me. Ugh.
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#84 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamilkers

If babes under two can be in arms, where are the children over age two during take off and landing if their parents didn't bring car seats? I assumed they can't be strapped in to a regular seat (that couldn't be much safer than no seat belt!) but I just can't figure it out. I have seen lots of people in the airport with small children who aren't lugging carseats, so what's the deal?
If they're over age 2, their parents have to buy them a separate seat. They have to be strapped into their seat with the seatbelt during takeoff and landing.
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#85 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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I will be taking my 2 year old on a trip in August and no way woud I lug the Britax MArathon on the plane. I refuse to actually remove it from the car bc it takes so much effort to get it in there right.

One thing that comes to mind is if there is a crash landing and it is survivable I woud worry the car seat would become more of a hinderance. It can't be installed as securely on a plane seat as it can in a car - no tethers - so it can slide forward. What if it did and then there was debris or something and it ended up being a case where it was difficult to get to the child in the seat? Or what if the seat ended up blocking people's exit bc it got flung around.

Maggie
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#86 of 112 Old 08-06-2006, 09:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxswood
Bizarrely the JAA (European equivalent of FAA) will not allow children under two to ride in carseats when the seatbelt sign is illuminated, they must be in their parents lap with a seperate seatbelt that attaches to the parents belt.
Blows my mind how the JAA and FAA can have such different recommendations but they do. Over 2 years they can ride in an approved airline seat in their own seat but they say that being in an adult seatbelt is just as safe from two years and up.
We ran into a situation like this on Lufthansa. They told us German law did NOT allow us to use our (FAA-approved) carseat in the seat for which we we paid full fare for our 15-month-old, since she was under 2, and carseats in planes are considered "un-tested" for under-2's, and thus un-approved. We were supposed to take her out of the seat during take-off and landing, and they said I would be given a pillow to cushion the child as I held her on my lap. They did not offer any special belt. I raised hell and finally got the captain's approval to use the car seat. It was so bizarre. :
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#87 of 112 Old 08-07-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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They should have given you a loop belt to go around her, the JAA states this is necessary for children on laps.
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#88 of 112 Old 08-07-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
I recently flew w/ my 1 yr old dd in my arms. What really p*ssed me off is that she was sleeping soundly in her sling and the flight attendant told me I could not have her in the sling! WTF??? Why on earth not? She was comfy and sleeping nicely and I had to wake her up by taking her out of her sling in order that she could sit *totally unrestrained* in my arms for take-off. They assured me I could put her back in the sling when the "seatbelts" light went off.

DUH! How incredibly stupid is that? I mean, what harm could possibly come to a baby being in a sling in mom's lap? If there was turbulence, she'd be safer from being tossed around. And if there was an emergency and we all had to evacuate the plane, well I would have my hands free to help my other kids off and still be able to safely get her out. What kind of stupidity is this? Can there possibly be a sound reason behind it? I can see if they were saying she *had* to be in a carseat. But no. She could be totally free in my lap, just not comfy in her sling.

She cried all the way through takeoff too!!! Served them right.

I think I'd complain to the airline I flew. That is incredibly ridiculous. You're child was safely restrained compared to her sitting freely on your lap crying? Ugh the stupid it hurts. hehe I had them take my son who was asleep at 15 months out of the sling for the metal detector which makes more sense but of course still pissed me off because I had luggage and a baby by myself who was finally alseep. lol I was pissed to begin with though seeing how I was overwhelmed with flying by myself with a little one.
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#89 of 112 Old 08-07-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m9m9m9
I will be taking my 2 year old on a trip in August and no way woud I lug the Britax MArathon on the plane. I refuse to actually remove it from the car bc it takes so much effort to get it in there right.

One thing that comes to mind is if there is a crash landing and it is survivable I woud worry the car seat would become more of a hinderance. It can't be installed as securely on a plane seat as it can in a car - no tethers - so it can slide forward. What if it did and then there was debris or something and it ended up being a case where it was difficult to get to the child in the seat? Or what if the seat ended up blocking people's exit bc it got flung around.

Maggie
The tether only reduces head excursion (the amount of movement at the top of the seat) so the only reason the seat would get 'flung around' would be if it wasn't installed properly.
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#90 of 112 Old 08-07-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Yes, yes, yes...I always flew in my parents lap until 2..same with sis and bro.

I have flown at least 10 times in ds1's life span. Once he is two, we will buy him a seat. He nurses on take off and landing to help his ears, so he wouldn't be in his seat I paid for him even if he had it, during apparently the most risky times. He also sits in his sling the entire time, 1 or 4 hour flight, doesn't matter how long.

About take off and landing sling rule, I wear it loosely, and throw the tail of my ring sling over the baby or around the sling part. If someone mentions it to me, I say ok, and then loosen...when the attendant turns around and sits in here seat, I tighten him back up again. More times than not, no one has said anything!

Busy wife to dh for 5 years and mama to ds1 (11.09.04), ds2 (7.17.06) and ds3 coming Aug 09. :::
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