best carseat for traveling (airline, etc.) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It looks like we may be taking ds home to Trinidad soon. I will likely be making at least one leg of the trip (there or back) without dh (just ds and I). DS will be close to 18 months at the time of the trip. There will be at least 12-14 hours of traveling (including layovers) and probably 3 planes involved.

We have 2 cars and only one has a car seat (Britax Blvd). I don't know if the blvd will be the best choice to take on the plane. Once we are in Trinidad, we will likely also be installing and taking the carseat out of several different quite small cars over and over.

I'm a little concerned about carrying the blvd through the airports and transferring it so many times. I am wondering if there is a carseat out there that may be less bulky, easier to transport, but still very simple to install.

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#2 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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I haven't done it with a boulevard, but with the Marathon. It is really not that bad. You have two options for easy transport....

1) Buy yourself (even from a yardsale or consignment shop) a universal baby stroller frame. It is normally used for the infant pumpking/carrier seats, but can also temporarily work with the Britax. Strap the Britax into the frame, and then you can use it as a stroller to push the carseat and child around. When putting the carseat on the plane, ask the flight attendant for a seat belt extender, it makes it easier.

2) Buy yourself one of the rolling/backpack combo carseat covers. Between flights put the seat in the bag, and then you can stuff some of your carry on stuff in it as well on the seat. Pull it behind you or use it as a backpack.

One word of advice, don't expect to be able to put the tray table in front of the carseat down for use by the child, it wont work.
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#3 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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#4 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khaoskat
I haven't done it with a boulevard, but with the Marathon. It is really not that bad. You have two options for easy transport....

1) Buy yourself (even from a yardsale or consignment shop) a universal baby stroller frame. It is normally used for the infant pumpking/carrier seats, but can also temporarily work with the Britax. Strap the Britax into the frame, and then you can use it as a stroller to push the carseat and child around. When putting the carseat on the plane, ask the flight attendant for a seat belt extender, it makes it easier.

2) Buy yourself one of the rolling/backpack combo carseat covers. Between flights put the seat in the bag, and then you can stuff some of your carry on stuff in it as well on the seat. Pull it behind you or use it as a backpack.

One word of advice, don't expect to be able to put the tray table in front of the carseat down for use by the child, it wont work.
Thanks for this advice! I guess it is doable with the blvd! I don't know that I would have thought of either of those options!

So what do you do with your child while you are installing the seat in the plane seat? And how do you handle all of the disgruntled passengers behind you if you are blocking the aisle as you try to wrangle it in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joannarachel
Now that product is really neat. Not attractive, but it does look practical for the situation! It took me a minute to realize that the wheels actually were a part of the carseat and not a separate frame that you attach it to. I wonder how heavy it is.

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#5 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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My dream carseat is the Radian, which folds up and is narrower than most other carseats.
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#6 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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We have flown with a boulevard. Are you taking a stroller? Ours balances quite well on the stroller through the airport. It's fast and easy to install. Make SURE you get a belt extender on the airplane though. The other passengers suck it up

-Angela
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#7 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Hi Trini,
I've traveled quite a bit with my son and his Britax Wizard (basically the same as a Marathon). I have one of those backpack bags. I won't lie...it's heavy and BIG! You'll get lot's of weird looks but also people tend to want to help you. Also, like one of the other posters said it's nice for tucking other items into such as food packs, blankies, jackets, etc.

"So what do you do with your child while you are installing the seat in the plane seat? And how do you handle all of the disgruntled passengers behind you if you are blocking the aisle as you try to wrangle it in?"

My advice here is to (if possible) fly on an airline which allows pre-boarding for families w/small children. Surprisingly, a lot of the major airlines don't anymore (I've been denied on both American and United.) Southwest and JetBlue are both really awesome for families with small children.

You will have to install the carseat on a window seat (the airlines require that) so one thing you can do is to have your partner (assuming you're not travelling alone) to hold your child in another seat where no one is sitting yet. This works best if you can pre-board. If you're alone (which I've been too) if your child is an infant ask a flight attendant to help you by holding your child while you install the seat. I suppose you could try using a sling but I think that would be pretty difficult/awkward. Or, if your child is able to take direction you can have him/her sit in the seat across or in front of you while you do it.

A couple of other tips:
Tilt the seat back while you attach the seatbelt then once you have it tightened bring the seat back forward to get it REALLY tight.

Sadly, you will probably be hassled at some point about the seat. I've gotten grief at check-in, security, at the gate, and once on board. Just know your rights. Make sure whatever seat you bring has the FAA approval sticker on it. Also, print out your airlines policy from their website RE: car seats and carry on baggage. (I've had airlines tell me the car seat counted as a carry on when it doesn't.) Know that in other countries they may not allow you to bring the car seat on. (Because OF COURSE it's safer to hold your baby on your lap than have him in a 5-point harness car seat...AAAARGH!) I've been disallowed from bringing the carseat by Bahamas Air, GermanWings, and EasyJet.

Best of luck!
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#8 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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I've done all my flying with dh along to help, but while he installs the car seat dd has been in the mei tai on my front or back. If you're talented you might be able to install it with her on you. She MIGHT be willing to sit in the next seat while you do it too.

-Angela
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#9 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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The Cosco Scenera is $45 and super light! It's much easier to carry it through the airport than your Britax, plus you don't have to worry about it getting damaged etc.

I have a Radian and it's nice, but it's HEAVY!

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#10 of 15 Old 07-29-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trini
So what do you do with your child while you are installing the seat in the plane seat? And how do you handle all of the disgruntled passengers behind you if you are blocking the aisle as you try to wrangle it in?
I try to board the plane either first during the those needing extra assistance or last. Many of the flight attendants, if they are not busy, will assist you if you are alone with a small child without a problem.

Another word of advice - change all diapers right before boarding the plane, they do have changing tables, but you will play heck trying to use it.
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#11 of 15 Old 07-30-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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We bought a little dolly that attaches to our Marathon. I went to the specialtly baby store (USA baby) and asked if they knew what I was talking about. She brought out this cheap plastic rectangle with little wheels. I didn't think it was very sturdy, but we've used it to fly halfway across the world with great success.

When you get to your gate, just ask the people if you can pre-board so that you'll be able to install your carseat and stow your luggage without getting in the way of passengers. We flew three different airlines and all three let us do it with no problems or hassle.

Oh, and if there are disgruntled passengers, just ignore them. Get yourself settled in and make sure the snacks, diapers, and toys are under the seat in front of you.

Monica - single mama to DS nono02.gifand DD blowkiss.gif

 

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#12 of 15 Old 07-30-2006, 03:08 AM
 
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If you want to buy a whole new seat, then the Cosco Scenara also gets my vote. It's about 11 lbs, I think. It's the lightest carseat I found. Not much padding and quite barebones, but inexpensivie, lightweight, and safe.

If you want to use your Blvd, then skip the Sit 'n Stroll and get the GoGoKidz Blvd attachment!

http://store.babycenter.com/product/...es/9194?stage=

Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)
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#13 of 15 Old 07-30-2006, 05:09 AM
 
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I want to discourage you from the Sit 'n' Stroll. I've had one for 6 months, flown 3 times with it, and it's trashed. Yes, it's heavy. And it's big-- too big to fit in an airline seat, unless maybe you fly 1st class, I don't know about that. First the handle broke off and I've spent the last 4 MONTHS trying to get a replacement from the company with no luck. Now the flaps that hold the wheels in won't stay closed, and there's no fix for that. Can you tell I'm peeved? I'll stop ranting now.

I've found the best thing for us is to leave our Britaxes home, and fly with our $40 Graco convertible carseat. It's smallish, lighter than most, and with no frills to break or weigh us down. The kids don't mind it at all, tho if the trip is longer than a couple weeks they start asking for their "big blue seats."
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#14 of 15 Old 07-30-2006, 10:17 AM
 
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since you said you would be using the carseat in a bunch of differet cars when you arrive, i would take your britax. they are so easy to safely install in pretty much any car. like a PP said, check out the gogokidz attachment for the airport.
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#15 of 15 Old 07-30-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Another vote for the gogokidz - best way to transport a car seat.
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