hypothetical question - car vs. airplane lap baby - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay- this is a hypothetical. I volunteer with an organization for which I need to travel once or twice a year. For a lot of reasons, the family is a package deal and we all go.

That said, prices of airfare are skyrocketing. And we don't live close to any of the places we need to go.

SO- if you were going on the trip, no matter what, and your choices were driving (let's say 15-18 hours in the car) or flying with a lap baby, what would you choose and why?

Statistically, I realize that flying with a seat for everyone is safest. Statistically, NEXT safest would be flying with a lap baby. Then driving (with everyone properly restrained of course) would be the least safe.

All other factors aside.... (the hassle of a long car-trip with kids etc)

JUST safety-wise- which would you choose? Long car trip? Or infant/toddler lap child on an airplane?

-Angela
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#2 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Well considering my dd is not a fan of the car and I'd rather do just about anything other than take a long drive with her, I'd go for the plane with the lap baby.
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#3 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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Lap baby
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#4 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Lap baby.
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#5 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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lap baby
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#6 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Lap baby. 15-18 hours sounds torturous with 2 kids! As long as the total time involved in airline travel wasn't close to that, I'd do the airplane.

Unless, it was an easy ride to make a bunch of stops and we could afford to do it the over 2 days and do some sight-seeing on the way to break up the ride.
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#7 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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lap baby!

Denise, Mama to DS1 (7) and DD1 (5) and new baby due June 2012!

 
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#8 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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Lap baby, as much as it makes me cringe to type that.

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#9 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Would driving 18 hours each way even be any cheaper than the airfare? I can't imagine it would be particularly safe to spend a long time driving with unhappy (driver-distracting) kids in the back.

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#10 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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I would do the lap baby as well.

Not that I know the statistics but I'd guess that a short flight (w/out a car seat) is less risky than a long drive (w/car seats, of course).

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#11 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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Lap baby.

Been there, done that both ways and flying would be my preference.

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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#12 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Lap baby, as much as it makes me cringe to type that.
I was hoping you'd weigh in... I hope it doesn't come to that... for baby and money reasons we've not been in what will be 2 years by the next time... and of course this year is the most expensive site to GET to. Sigh. Here's hoping for great airfare deals.

-Angela
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#13 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would driving 18 hours each way even be any cheaper than the airfare? I can't imagine it would be particularly safe to spend a long time driving with unhappy (driver-distracting) kids in the back.
WAY cheaper than the airfare Airfare for 4. Right now the best flights are $500+ a head.

-Angela
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#14 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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We're flying with DS as a lap child on Wednesday. DP's parents bought us seats with frequent flyer miles, and a separate seat for DS was just not in the cards. It worked out well for them since it's a week before his 2nd birthday.

I know it's not ideal. But there's no way we're going to drive from Toronto to Oklahoma. DP's parents have a Nautilus for us to use while we're there, and I've got a CARES harness for DS should a spare seat happen to be open on the flight.

Really, even though we all know that flying with a lap child isn't the safest option, I think that there are many worse choices people could make as parents.

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#15 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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I would drive. I haven't been on an airplane trip when my and DD's flights were on time. Granted, I never had any help and it was just me and her. It was such a hassle. I flew about 6 times from when she was 8 months to 20 months. One time I got stranded at the Denver airport until 3 in the morning. Not fun.

I like the control of driving, but I love road trips. I plan out stops to include parks or fun things for DD to do along the way. She is super good in the car, so it is and easy choice for me.

I probably won't fly again for who knows how long. She is almost 3, no more lap baby. I really can't afford a ticket for me, much less for both of us. Plus the hassle and stress.

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#16 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right now I'm really just analyzing the safety aspect. Flying is faster, but has its own hassles. Driving is cheaper, but has its own hassles.

Just looking at safety....

-Angela
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#17 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Just looking at safety....
Really and for the most part, it's unlikely that you would get into either a car or a plane accident on your trip. If you get into a car accident, might you get hurt even with everyone restrained - yep. In the case of a plane crash/accident, might your child get hurt as a lap child - yep. In the case of a plane crash/accident, might your child get hurt even with everyone restrained - yep.

You know the stats. Would I fly with a lap child? Not if I could avoid it. But I've done it once before and I'm going to do it again.

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#18 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Lap baby, as much as it makes me cringe to type that.
:
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#19 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Lap baby. I couldn't even imagine making my kids sit in car seats for 12 hours when they were small.
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#20 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Lap baby. Though I'd try anything I could to get the babe his/her own seat. But if not possible, statistically I'd feel more comfy with a lab baby vs. 15 hours in a car (properly restrained the entire way).
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#21 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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The statistics I've seen (which I don't have at hand) all make it clear that planes have so many fewer accident per mile that there's no question that lap baby is the safer choice.

My brother, the pilot, says the reason why the FAA doesn't require carseats for babies and toddler is that they worry that the extra cost of the seat would push some families over the edge and make them drive, thus putting them at greater risk.

I'm not sure I buy that that's the real reasoning -- I suspect it has to do with airplane lobbyists and profit, but I can see why he thinks it.
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#22 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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Lap baby, no question.
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#23 of 72 Old 11-23-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Lap baby!!

I would drive if and only if both children were under the age of one, as my DS sleeps well in a car, and I can change diapers in the car and someone could sit in the back to feed them without stopping.

Otherwise There is NO way I would or could drive 15 to 18 hours with a toddler. I just don't have the patience.

+ + =
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#24 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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I don't know, we just did a very long drive (2200 miles) with both kids and they were fabulous. We left at 8 pm so they could both sleep all night so we got a good 14 hours of straight driving before we stopped for breakfast and a long break. DD1 never had a problem but DD2 did get a bit bored after the 3rd day in the car.

Flying with both of the kids has never been a problem either, though.

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#25 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all. Again, hopefully I can swing airfares decent enough that it's not an issue. Just a hypothetical I've been toying with.

Anyone else with thoughts is welcome to weigh in.

-Angela
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#26 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Lap Baby no question. I would prefer a seat for everyone but if it isn't possible I would do a lap baby over a 15 to 18 hour car ride any day. I've dealt with a lap baby before and I'll likely end up dealing with one again once DD arrives, so as much as I prefer a seat for everyone flying is just so much easier for traveling those distances.

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#27 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Lap baby, as much as it makes me cringe to type that.

: I can't believe I'm saying this but I gree with the lap baby thing. 16 hours in a car sounds like torture--for you and the kid!

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#28 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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Lap baby.

IF you are statistically more likely to be in a car accident than a plane crash/accident, then 15-18 hours in a car is exposing you and your family to more of a risk than 4 hours of air travel.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#29 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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Lap baby. Also, have you tried www.kayak.com ? I have found that to be a helpful site.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#30 of 72 Old 11-24-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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No way of taking the train? It'd probably be longer than driving, but then you wouldn't have to deal with all the stopping that car travel with a LO entails.
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