Flying with toddler, re: carseat - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 09-26-2003, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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We are flying to UK and Turkey over the holidays and this will be our first trip with dd as a toddler needing a carset bigger than a pumpkin seat. The pumkin seat always fit fine on planes, but her Britax Marathon is waaaaay too big to fit. Dimensions on the seats are 17" (!!!) wide. (I never realized how really narrow these stupid seats are!) So, I'm looking to buy a seat specifically for air travel. We have traveled and will travel a lot internationally with her, so we always make sure we're flying with a carseat-friendly airline. I'm just wondering what kinds of seats you have had success with flying with your toddler. Specifically we are thinking of getting the stroller/carseat that is FAA approved. It's called the Sit 'N Stroll. TIA!
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#2 of 6 Old 09-26-2003, 09:05 AM
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I have the sit and stroll and I totally love it! We don’t drive much so it’s actually our only car seat.

A couple of points though,

1st, I don’t think I’ll ever travel with a car seat ON the plane. I would always check it. This is a personal thing for me especially because my daughter has no real car time and isn’t used to her car seat. The reality for us is that my daughter would end up sitting on my lap and the car seat would get the seat that I paid 66% of the full fare for. No, thank you!

About the sit and stroll:

As a convertible car seat stroller, it’s awesome because it’s really light and easy to hold so you can move a sleeping child easily.

That said, my daughter is really light and I imagine the conversion gets much more difficult with a heavier child but I can get the seat from the car/converted to a stroller (and vice versa) in no time.

As a stroller, it’s great for traveling in airports, shopping malls, and museums with but that’s about it. You will not travel in Turkey on the street with it, ever. It doesn’t handle curbs or rough sidewalks well at all! Big draw back if you absolutely need a stroller but we use a sling so it was no biggie for us.

As a car seat, I think its fine. I’m able to get it in easily and tightly with no problems because the belt fits the seat like it fits and adult passenger.

They say it can be used as a booster seat in a restaurant but we’ve never been able to use it that way. I would not factor that in.

For us, it was the best gadget after the sling!

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#3 of 6 Old 09-26-2003, 05:38 PM
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My son is 2.5 y.o. We used the Britax Roundabout Advantage for our air trips to the East Coast fine. But when we came over to Europe (and while flying all over Europe), we left our carseat behind. When we rented a car, we also reserved a carseat. The rental carseats are not great but at least we didn't have to tote a carseat that we barely use, etc.

We are SO glad that we didn't bring a carseat along. Our son used his seat so much more (and it gave all of us more space) without the carseat in it. Not as safe in turbulence, I'm sure, but we didn't have much of that. He was excited to buckle his own seatbelt, etc. so that wasn't a problem.

As far as the sit-n-stroll, I'd have considered that for Europe if I was a stroller person. On the whole, though, I rarely use the stroller b/c I like to encourage my son to walk/exercise and then it's a pain to watch him and the stroller. Although, with all hte walking here in Europe and me being on my own while my husband works, I'd appreciate a really good stroller with pneumatic tires. So I considered buying one over here but my son absolutely refuses to even sit in one for a second.

So, that's our experience. I wouldn't invest in one just for the plane trip, unless you really want one while there and are adamant about having one for taxi's etc.

Good luck.
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#4 of 6 Old 09-27-2003, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Hanna and Fraya for your thoughts. A couple of things... we live in the 'burbs here and have to drive EVERYWHERE, including frequent trips to see family 2 hours away, so dd is VERY used to her carseat and actually snoozes in it better than she does in our bed. I think she'll have no problem sitting in it for long stretches as long as she is asleep (trip over) or occupied (trip back). She's actually a good little traveller. That being said, we will be bringing her a carseat to sit in on the plane, as in the past it's always worked. I'm a safety freak and want her to be as safe as possible.

We left our stroller in Turkey last time we were there, so we have a good stroller for the streets of Turkey. Most of the time, though, we spend visiting with family, so don't usually go out sight-seeing when we're there. We'll mostly need the stroller for London, which has good sidewalks, so we should be okay there with this sit n' stroll, it sounds. Also, in London we'll be using the Underground for going about, so I want to make sure the stroller is relatively light and easy to get on and off the trains. In Turkey, dh's sister and bil will be picking us up from the airport and taking us around (via car) and in Turkey you can't rent car seats. We have to have one when we get to Turkey. So, that's kind of our situation and I appreciate any and all advice!! Thanks!!
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#5 of 6 Old 09-28-2003, 12:06 AM
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We have flown twice domestically and twice internationally with our Britax Roundabout, and we use it on the plane. It is great to know Meg will be safe in the plane and in taxis and cars once we arrive.

We use a backpack especially made for car seats to carry it, and the bag fits a whole baby bag inside it together with the car seat. It is a bit awkward and heavy trudging through airports with it, but not terrible. (I travelled the Tokyo subways with this system by myself, carrying the baby and two bags in addition, and I didn't keel over.)

The Roundabout is 18" wide, and the airlines we flew said their seats were only 17" wide, but I read a lot of online reviews of the seat in which users had used the seat on the plane with no problem, so we tried it. It fit just fine. The only potential difficulty is that the person sitting in front of you will not be able to recline if you use the seat in rear-facing position, and you will not be able to sit anywhere that would block another passenger's exit from the row or through an emergency exit.

Meg is used to her seat like your little one is, and I think this really helps make travel easier. She sleeps comfortably, and understands that there are times when she just has to sit in it and buckle up. We take a sling, too, for bfing and cuddling, but she is in the seat for most of our air travel. Thank you, Britax!

When people make comments (and they *always* do!), we just say that we will be so happy when the airlines make a good, easy, standard, and SAFE way for babies to fly! I think it's good to have that kind of reality check sometimes.

Hope you find a good solution. We looked at the Sit-n-stroll, too, but it just didn't seem to hold a candle to our comfy Britax.

happy trails,
Kam, mama to walkin', talkin' Meg
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#6 of 6 Old 09-28-2003, 04:15 AM
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I have always flown with our Britax roundabout. I have been on 6 trips with 3 different airlines and different types of planes and it has always fit.

I did look at the sit-and-stroll also, but rejected it for comfort and the stroller feature didn't look very good.

I travel with the Britax RA and a Maclaren techno stroller. The car seat will fit on the stroller so I don't have to carry it and then I gate check the stroller. (In a pinch I could even put DS in the carseat on top of the stroller, but I would never take my hand off of it since it is not designed to do that.) I usually carry him in a sling or baby bjorn and put my carry on bag on top of the carseat. The techno steers very easily with one hand so I can also let him walk and hold his hand. And I love that the techno folds umbrella style yet still has a recline for DS to nap if needed.

I'm glad to see you will use a carseat on the plane. I think its so much safer to be able to strap them in in case of turbulance.


Part-time L&D RN and Full-time Mama to Xander 4/01 & Carly 6/08
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