Why no babywearing while flying? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I took a short flight with my baby this week. I brought my ergo along as I didn't purchase her her own seat and it was a packed flight. I tought, "Well, at least she will be secured to me in case of turbulance." And also, a good friends dad is a commercial pilot and told his daughter to never fly with a lap baby and to always have them in a front pack/carrier if she could because he has seen babies harmed by turbulance.
The flight attendant jumped all over me for having her in it... she said, "She'll break in half if we crash" I wanted to laugh because my thought was, "We'll all probably break in half if we crash!" At first I said, "I would rather keep her in it, as I am her mother and guardian." She told me that I could get off the plane if I didn't take her out of it. Are you joking! Why was she so insistent... other than it is "regulations" Logically, I think it would be far better to keep my baby from flying out of my arms in mild turbulance than to worry what would happen in case of a crash.
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#2 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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If your baby is strapped to your chest, and you slam into the seat in front of you, your body will hit your baby with tons of force (150# body x 100mph change in speed = 15,000# of force).

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#3 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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Also, because you are wearing a lap belt only, the body would bend at the hips (like a hinge) and the upper body would make contact with the thighs, the baby would be smushed in between.

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#4 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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I don’t get it! I love that they use ‘if the plane crashes, xyz” they do not state for turbulence cases! Well VERY few planes end in a good result so I feel its more of a fear based rule, IMHO!

however, a baby seat is the safest!

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#5 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Chickabiddy
1. Your formula doesn't result in a unit of force measurement.
2. Adults are wearing seatbelts specifically to not be thrown into the seat in front of them.
?
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#6 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
Also, because you are wearing a lap belt only, the body would bend at the hips (like a hinge) and the upper body would make contact with the thighs, the baby would be smushed in between.
Now that's more sensible.

However, wouldn't that happen with a baby held in arms as well, plus the added risk of the baby flying out of the parents arms? And the stewardess was just fine with the OP holding her baby in her arms, it was using the carrier that was a problem
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#7 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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I wouldn't argue with the flight attendants as they can and will have you removed from the plane.

You can get a baby b'air and use that but it's not allowed for take-off and landing (though I've used it during those times on most flights. I've only been told to take it off a couple times).

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#8 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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I think it's a stupid rule with no base. In most of the world (apart from US and Germany) they have lap belts for babies which attatch to the parents belt. I can't see this being much different to a sling. If the plane is at risk of crashing they tell you to assume a "brace" position which means your body won't "hit your baby with tons of force (150# body x 100mph change in speed = 15,000# of force)." That is Very unaccurate scaremongering at best!
In turbulence, baby would be very safe in a sling (and probably a lot more happy!)
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#9 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rebeccajo View Post
I wouldn't argue with the flight attendants as they can and will have you removed from the plane.
Yeah, and since the FA don't make the rules, debating them about the validity doesn't get you anywhere anyway.
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#10 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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I don't feel it has any validity & it is so poorly "enforced" that just reinforces it to me. I've flown with ds 4 times now & not once have I been asked to remove him from the wrap.

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#11 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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Most front carriers position the top of the child's head a little below your chin. If your head were to be thrown down, your chin would hit the top of LO's skull right about the soft spot (fontanel) if it's still there. There actually is a reason behind the regulations.

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#12 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
1. Your formula doesn't result in a unit of force measurement.
You're right -- I forgot to convert from newtons. The answer is 3,372 pounds/force, which is less than 15,000, but still not so good for a baby.

Quote:
2. Adults are wearing seatbelts specifically to not be thrown into the seat in front of them.
Adults are in lap belts only, which keeps them in the seat, but does not prevent their upper bodies from impacting the seat in front.

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Originally Posted by roxyrox View Post
If the plane is at risk of crashing they tell you to assume a "brace" position
The preventable danger is not from crashes, but from turbulence. There is not always enough warning to advise passengers to brace. A sling or wrap is not adequate protection against severe turbulence.

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#13 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
The preventable danger is not from crashes, but from turbulence. There is not always enough warning to advise passengers to brace. A sling or wrap is not adequate protection against severe turbulence.
Is it any worse than holding a child in your lap with your arms though? I wouldn't think so, but I might be surprised

And even if you think the flight attendant is being ridiculous, no point in arguing if they get to the "Do it or get off the plane" point. Next time, I would try and clear it ahead of time with the airline and hopefully get something in writing you can bring with you onto the plane

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#14 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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A friend of mine used to be a FA and she was taught that it was because in case of major accident, in theory you could be pinned under something and they wouldn't be able to save your baby. (Not that that makes any sense, but that's what they told her during training.)

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#15 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post
Is it any worse than holding a child in your lap with your arms though? I wouldn't think so, but I might be surprised
I believe the theory (which I do not agree with -- I am convinced that babywearing on planes is not safe, but I don't think babies in arms is much better) is that if the baby flies free, s/he might have a chance. Also, if there is any warning of turbulence, parents are advised to put the baby under the seat in front of them: presumably, that could be done more quickly if baby is not in a sling/wrap (as I wrote above, I'm kind of skeptical about this).

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#16 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Also, if there is any warning of turbulence, parents are advised to put the baby under the seat in front of them:
I don't believe this has been true for several decades now, at least not on any airlines I've flown on or according to any (current) flight attendants I've spoken to. Last time I flew I noticed several airlines now show how to hold the baby in case of turbulence in their seatback pamphlets. The pictures show holding a small infant up against your shoulder, facing you, and a larger infant sitting in your lap, facing you. You hold the infant with one arm and brace against the seat in front of you with the other arm.

All the flight attendants I've spoken to say that it is no longer suggested that you put the baby under the seat. Most had never even heard of it, and thought it was pretty preposterous.

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#17 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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I've only ever heard of not being able to babywear during takeoff and landing, but not actually during the flight. I was always told to keep my dd out of the wrap during TO/L, but when we were in the air the flight attendants didn't care.

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#18 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am still completely unconvinced that arms only is a safer alternative...

- If the force was great enough to harm a strapped in baby (in a frontpack) then the force would be great enough to launch a baby through the air and kill them. I would think it is logically MUCH safer to be restrained than to fear crushing a baby. (People and infants are injured by seat belts, airbags and carseats in crashes too, yet the potential risks of injury are worth the reality of death with out them.) Honestly, I suspicion they are only concerned with the adult or paying passengers.

- As for the "chin hitting the soft spot" I can understand it, but that would have to be a major force. My and many front packs can be shifted to the side. In fact, I did use mine today with a blanket over the top (hiding the carrier) and her head was no where near my chin. And again, if it were that major of a force, I think the baby would go flying and also, if you are holding a baby near your body their head will be under your chin, potentially. I really don't think that could be the reasoning...

- And for "if you were to be lodge in they wouldn't be able to get you out" that is very very hypothetical. Turbulence occurs often and regularly, why would they even worry about that...when so may things could happen in air? You could potentially be trapped in your seat by a seat belt...would that warrant not wearing it?

- They want you to put your baby under the seat in case of a crash? What kind of parent is going to do that? ...Why don't we just stow them in the over head bins for the flight? Seriously, I still think a front pack is the safest choice...with out question.

I did want to say that I have only dealt with this problem 2 times... both on Frontier and in situations where we had no choice... both last minute flights to funerals. And both FA were very very rude about it. We flew to another funeral on Southwest and used the ergo with no comment at all... it confuses me why they were SO rude and acted like I was ignorant and harming my child, while on other flights they say nothing... really it isn't right to treat people that way if it isn't a all over regulation...

True... arguing doesn't help. Both times I just waited until we got in air and put the baby in the carrier with a blanket over us and pretended to be asleep when the FA walked by..

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#19 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Also, if there is any warning of turbulence, parents are advised to put the baby under the seat in front of them: presumably, that could be done more quickly if baby is not in a sling/wrap (as I wrote above, I'm kind of skeptical about this).
This is what I was told I would have to do if we encountered turbulence:

http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal...me-turbulence/

I don't think flight attendants tell people to put the baby under the seat anymore.

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#20 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last time I flew I noticed several airlines now show how to hold the baby in case of turbulence in their seatback pamphlets. The pictures show holding a small infant up against your shoulder, facing you, and a larger infant sitting in your lap, facing you. You hold the infant with one arm and brace against the seat in front of you with the other arm.
So... basically how they would be held in a wrap, sling or ergo...

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#21 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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I don't believe this has been true for several decades now, at least not on any airlines I've flown on or according to any (current) flight attendants I've spoken to.
You may be right. It's what was taught in my CPST class, but I don't have personal experience.

Still, I don't believe that a carrier is necessarily more unsafe than a baby in arms. I just don't think either is safe.

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#22 of 44 Old 08-06-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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I flew once with a 6 month old and had her in a front carrier. The FA told me that I couldn't wear her during take off or landing but the in between time I could.

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#23 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 02:11 AM
 
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I've only ever heard of not being able to babywear during takeoff and landing, but not actually during the flight. I was always told to keep my dd out of the wrap during TO/L, but when we were in the air the flight attendants didn't care.
Me too.

I had DD in a ringsling on a flight when she was 15 months old. She had her own seat which she was buckled in for take-off and landing but ended up with a stomach bug on the way home and wouldn't sleep unless she was against mama, so I snuggled her in there and we both slept for an hour. The FA checked on us a few times and never mentioned anything about DD being in a carrier.

I cannot see how having a baby in a sling or unstructured carrier is that different than having a baby in your arms with a blanket wrapped around you.

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#24 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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Meh, I wouldn't even question it. I'm not gonna mess with anyone willing able to throw me off my flight. Sometimes you just gotta follow the rules regardless of how stupid they may sound.
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#25 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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I cannot see how having a baby in a sling or unstructured carrier is that different than having a baby in your arms with a blanket wrapped around you.
I asked my former FA friend about this too, and she said that they can't make different rules for people using more structured carriers. So the rules apply to everyone, from Baby Bjorns to wraps.

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#26 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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What about if they have to make an evacuation of the plane? A baby in a structured carrier would be strapped to one person whereas a babe in arms could be passed to anyone who was able to exit safely. Just a thought, I'm not sure if it has any bearing on why the rule is there.

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#27 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I guess MY point is that I think its up to the discretion of the FA. I'm not sure there really is a rule.

Because while it may have affected some, others have never been bothered; myself included.

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#28 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fujiko View Post
I've only ever heard of not being able to babywear during takeoff and landing, but not actually during the flight. I was always told to keep my dd out of the wrap during TO/L, but when we were in the air the flight attendants didn't care.
Same here.
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#29 of 44 Old 08-07-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I've always only heard it for takeoff/landing (or if the fasten seatbelt sign is on, maybe) also.

I think there's a few reasons for this rule:

1) They've simulated crashes with babies in carseats and with babies in arms, but not with babies in every random carrier type on the market. They have NO IDEA what might happen, and while it might be better than in-arms, it also might be worse. It's a risk they can't take.

2) US tests of the belly belts that are popular on some European carriers show that lap children secured with them are more likely to be injured than those in-arms. It's not the same as a carrier, but it's the most similar circumstance that's actually been tested.

3) It's entirely possible that the carrier would dramatically worsen the nature of injuries. Your arms will give a LOT more in a crash; in an Ergo, for example, baby's head is free to flop about, but the body of the carrier will keep their torso with yours. That may result in much greater head excursion than the situation where their body *and* head will move a bit more naturally along with your arms.

4) FAA regulations prohibit it; they MAY NOT allow you to use a carrier during takeoff/landing, or risk their licensure. So if you don't like it, you have to take it up with the FAA... the flight attendant is in no position to negotiate it.
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#30 of 44 Old 08-09-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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never been questioned about using a carrier except had to take her out at the metal detector. only flown twice w dd though.
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