If you must get baby somewhere and don't have a car seat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been a while since this happened, but I'm expecting to have another child and would like to be prepared.

 

I had a horrible incident a couple of years ago when traveling alone with my 12 month old. We were returning home to Hawaii from Texas and missed our last flight. The airport closed (airports in Hawaii close at 10pm and you can't stay) and kicked me out and I had nowhere to go and nowhere to stay. There were no chairs and no more flights leaving until the next morning.

 

I didn't know what to do and all the money I had in the world was $200 in my pocket, so I asked the desk clerk what the cheapest hotel on the island was. She gave me the number to a place that was just in my price range for a single night's stay. I called the hotel and they said they would pick me up in their free shuttle.

 

The "shuttle" turned out to actually be just a guy driving a Scion. I had to get in holding my baby with no car seat and I was so scared, especially considering the guy drove like we were late for something. I didn't know what else to do, so I sat in the back, belted myself in tightly, put my baby on my chest in a wrap and held her tightly (which I know is stupid because it does nothing, but I was scared.)

 

In that kind of situations, what do you do? Just grit your teeth and hope you come out the other side okay? I didn't know what else to do and I had to get somewhere. Everything was closed. Is there a safer way to hold or wrap baby in this situation? How do you handle emergency car rides?


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#2 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post

It's been a while since this happened, but I'm expecting to have another child and would like to be prepared.

 

I had a horrible incident a couple of years ago when traveling alone with my 12 month old. We were returning home to Hawaii from Texas and missed our last flight. The airport closed (airports in Hawaii close at 10pm and you can't stay) and kicked me out and I had nowhere to go and nowhere to stay. There were no chairs and no more flights leaving until the next morning.

 

I didn't know what to do and all the money I had in the world was $200 in my pocket, so I asked the desk clerk what the cheapest hotel on the island was. She gave me the number to a place that was just in my price range for a single night's stay. I called the hotel and they said they would pick me up in their free shuttle.

 

The "shuttle" turned out to actually be just a guy driving a Scion. I had to get in holding my baby with no car seat and I was so scared, especially considering the guy drove like we were late for something. I didn't know what else to do, so I sat in the back, belted myself in tightly, put my baby on my chest in a wrap and held her tightly (which I know is stupid because it does nothing, but I was scared.)

 

In that kind of situations, what do you do? Just grit your teeth and hope you come out the other side okay? I didn't know what else to do and I had to get somewhere. Everything was closed. Is there a safer way to hold or wrap baby in this situation? How do you handle emergency car rides?

 

I would do exactly as you did.  You are taking a risk, to be sure, but you are also taking a risk to stay outside an airport overnight. 
 

 

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#3 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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I would have done the same, but asked the guy to drive extra carefully because of the baby not being restrained... though I realize that would be so hit or miss as helpful...


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#4 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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I generally advise against renting carseats from car rental agencies, but in that situation, I would have tried to rent a seat for the night.


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#5 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, that is a good idea! I don't think they have any car rental places at the airport on Maui, but next time, I'll look. Even so, they were probably closed, but I'll file it away if we have to travel again.


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#6 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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Sometimes life is about making the less bad choice.  I would have made the same choice you did: it sounds like your other choice would have been to sit outside a closed airport all night.

 

It sounds like a scary situation, and I'm glad everything worked out.  *hugs*


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#7 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 08:48 PM
 
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I'd sleep outside the airport before I'd transport my child without a carseat.  

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#8 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 09:28 PM
 
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I would have done the same thing in your shoes. I'd feel safer going without the car seat and getting into a hotel than sleeping outside at a deserted airport at night. The world is a scary place and I think you made the right choice.

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#9 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There would have been no sleeping outside the airport in any case. There was only concrete and we didn't have anything at all - not even our luggage. I had no diapers, no bathroom, no wipes for the baby - NOTHING. :(


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#10 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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For an adult or child, when no seat belt is available, the safest place would be to sit on the floor between the back seat and front seat. Sitting sideways with legs pulled up in front. I am not sure if that would also apply to an infant.


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#11 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post

I'd sleep outside the airport before I'd transport my child without a carseat.  



really?  I wonder if you would have been picked up for vagrancy - and transported by police car without a carseat?

 

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#12 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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Sleeping on the concrete outside of an airport with an infant seems more risky than a ride in a vehicle w/o a car seat.  Especially in many major cities. 


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#13 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 10:37 PM
 
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ITA that I would have done the same thing in that situation.  Sometimes there is no "safe" solution and you have to take calculated risks.  Some cab companies will provide car seats on request (who knows what shape they'd be in, but better than nothing maybe?).  So if you ever find yourself in that situation again, my rec woudl be to request one.  And worse case you are no worse off then you were in the prior situation.


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#14 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 11:02 PM
 
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Well.  In that particular situation, I probably would have done what you did.  But, I would like to point out that I wouldn't have been in that situation, because I would have followed the recommendations, and my child would have been *IN* a carseat on the plane, therefore i would have had the carseat WITH ME.  While some airlines do permit you to bring "lap babies" on for free, it is not safe, and not a choice i would make. The AAP does not support it, and even the FAA calls it dangerous, but doesn't eliminate it so as to not lose the money from families who would then just not fly if they had to pay for seats for babies.  So the parameters of your example don't apply to me, really.  In a true "ZOMG ZOMBIE ATTACK!" scenario, where I was literally fleeing from a natural disaster, wildfire, etc, then yes, I might make the decision to transport kids without proper safety restraints, or in a situation where i ended up somehow without a proper seat and simply Could. Not. Get. One.  Luckily it's a moot point, since you are safe and sound :)  


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#15 of 107 Old 06-13-2011, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand where you are coming from, but in some situations, it's just not possible. We are too poor to fly and family purchased tickets for us to come visit. Tickets are over $1000 each, so it would have cost us that much extra just for the plane ticket for my daughter. Add to that there wasn't any possible way I could have carried her and her car seat and all of our luggage all by myself. Plus, when I looked up safety stats, almost no one survives plane crashes. They are extremely rare and when they do happen, there are almost never survivors (they are pretty horrific) so the likelihood of the car seat saving her would be low. Still, I agree, they are safer if you can in any way get one or afford one.


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#16 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 01:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post

Add to that there wasn't any possible way I could have carried her and her car seat and all of our luggage all by myself. 



I just wanted to add that I recently flew by myself with my three kids, on four flights, and took two car seats.  It's totally doable!  


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#17 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How did you do it?! I'll probably be flying back with her some time soon and I'll need the car seat then, but I haven't figured out how to work it. How did you get the car seats onto the plane and wrangle the kids as well? All I remember is running through the airport with a baby on the front and a huge backpack on my back and it nearly killed me. lol.gif


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#18 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 05:13 AM
 
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I have flown by myself with two kids on one (very long) flight with two car seats. Never, EVER, again will I do that. It was a total nightmare. I feel like mothers on this board gloss over how ridiculously difficult it is to lug car seats through an airport while trying to keep young kids close. I was a basketcase, and I am normally a very calm, I-can-do-anything kind of person. It might be "doable" as in "technically possible" but I do NOT recommend it. I would rather stay home (and I really like to travel!).

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I just wanted to add that I recently flew by myself with my three kids, on four flights, and took two car seats.  It's totally doable!  



 

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#19 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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I have flown by myself with two kids on one (very long) flight with two car seats. Never, EVER, again will I do that. It was a total nightmare. I feel like mothers on this board gloss over how ridiculously difficult it is to lug car seats through an airport while trying to keep young kids close. I was a basketcase, and I am normally a very calm, I-can-do-anything kind of person. It might be "doable" as in "technically possible" but I do NOT recommend it. I would rather stay home (and I really like to travel!).



 

 

LOL, yeah.  I flew by myself with 2 kids and 1 carseat and they were easily 2 of the worst days of my life.  NEVER again... at least until my kids get much older.
 

 


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#20 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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well...in Lebanon riding a car with the baby on your lap with no car seat is a normal matter. eyesroll.gif....i used to sit with ds as well as dd on the front seat, have them on my lap and nurse them as well. (one of them not both of course lol.gif). In Lebanon many things are normal like riding with the baby on the motorcycle....etc....It's a crazy country with crazy people....eyesroll.gif


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#21 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View PostPlus, when I looked up safety stats, almost no one survives plane crashes. They are extremely rare and when they do happen, there are almost never survivors (they are pretty horrific) so the likelihood of the car seat saving her would be low.

 

You're right that a carseat may not help if the plane falls from the sky.  Carseats help keep babies from hitting the ceiling during turbulence, and can help in a runway crash.

 


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#22 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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OP, that has happened to me too.  We missed our last flight because the earlier one was delayed.  It was somewhere around midnight when I called the hotel shuttle.  It was actually a shuttle bus, but I was still scared.  No seatbelts, hard plastic seats.  It was in a major city, but I can't remember which one.  We made it fine to the hotel, got some rest, and took the shuttle back to the airport in the morning.  I think DD was 14 months or something.  It was awful.


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#23 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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This podcast is hosted by a flight attendant/mother of a 4 yo.  She has some excellent information on lap vs. seat, why you may not be able to have you baby in a wrap during take off and landing, what happens during turbulance, aborted take offs, giving yourself enough time to board, etc.  (FWIW, she does not use a carseat on a plane, she checks her daughter's seat and uses a CARES harness.)

 

Episode 49 is about travelling with kids, Episode 4 talks about turbulances and in general, she throw in kid-related travel stuff in most episodes.

 

We travel a lot by plane and I have gotten so much information from this podcast. 

 


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#24 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

Sleeping on the concrete outside of an airport with an infant seems more risky than a ride in a vehicle w/o a car seat.  Especially in many major cities. 



How many people per year die from spending one night out front of an airport, vs in car accidents per year?     

 

I probably wouldn't actually sleep anyways, just sit around until something within walking distance opened.  

 

When I travel though, I don't check baggage or the carseat, so when I arrive, I have everything I need right there, all as carry-on's.  So this situation would never come up for me personally anyway.

 

Its very dangerous to check carseats as baggage for this reason, and because they damage  a lot of things (both are why I won't check anything in!), so if OP had her child in the carseat on the plane (safer for the baby and for the carseat), she would have had the carseat and this wouldn't be an issue.   At the very least, gate check the seat so you get it when you arrive even if there is a delay or something.  

 

 

Also, if I had a situation where a "shuttle" was going to pick up me and ds, I would have asked in advance what the vehicle was.  I let ds ride on a full size bus without a carseat in Mexico, but I wouldn't let him ride in a cab on the way back, we called around to find a bus.  

 

 

 

So to avoid this in the future - keep your carseat with you on flights preferably installed and used on the plane, but if not, gate checked in a cardboard box to protect it (NOT checked as baggage), bring extra diapers/change of clothes/credit card for emergancies, double check flight times and transfer times so you don't miss flights - also schedual flights so you are not flying the last flight of the day, so if you miss, you can get on the next plane the same day and not get stuck.   

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#25 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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I'd call around a couple cab companies and see if anyone had a carseat, but if I couldn't find one, I'd do exactly what you did. Put the baby in the wrap and belt myself in. And ask the driver to drive carefully.

 

If I really, really, really didn't want to go without a carseat, and I was at HNL and it was late at night, I'd take the bus if it was still running. 

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#26 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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You can now purchase little luggage carts for car seats to clip to. Wheels and handle make it much easier. It can also be clipped to your suitcase to be pulled by it as well.

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#27 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post





How many people per year die from spending one night out front of an airport, vs in car accidents per year?     

 

I probably wouldn't actually sleep anyways, just sit around until something within walking distance opened.  

 

When I travel though, I don't check baggage or the carseat, so when I arrive, I have everything I need right there, all as carry-on's.  So this situation would never come up for me personally anyway.

 

Its very dangerous to check carseats as baggage for this reason, and because they damage  a lot of things (both are why I won't check anything in!), so if OP had her child in the carseat on the plane (safer for the baby and for the carseat), she would have had the carseat and this wouldn't be an issue.   At the very least, gate check the seat so you get it when you arrive even if there is a delay or something.  

 

 

Also, if I had a situation where a "shuttle" was going to pick up me and ds, I would have asked in advance what the vehicle was.  I let ds ride on a full size bus without a carseat in Mexico, but I wouldn't let him ride in a cab on the way back, we called around to find a bus.  

 

 

 

So to avoid this in the future - keep your carseat with you on flights preferably installed and used on the plane, but if not, gate checked in a cardboard box to protect it (NOT checked as baggage), bring extra diapers/change of clothes/credit card for emergancies, double check flight times and transfer times so you don't miss flights - also schedual flights so you are not flying the last flight of the day, so if you miss, you can get on the next plane the same day and not get stuck.   




I think the point of the post is what can one do if they need to transport a baby by car, without a carseat?  I am sure there really are actually times when that happens, and even the most prepared parent might not have a car seat.  What if the airport was evacuated for some reason, and she couldn't get her carseat back?  sometimes even the best intentions fall short.  I think it's condescending to act as if you could prevent yourself from EVER being without a needed carseat.   Can you try your darndest?  Sure.  But even then, your best laid plans can go awry.

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#28 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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sorry to be a serial poster, but I am just blown away by the insinuation that the op should have stood outside all night long with her baby.  WHy would someone suggest that??!

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#29 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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I think you did the best you could, given the situation.  I think the idea of spending the night on the concrete is absurd.

 

For your future flight - I've flown many times with my now-3yo and a folding luggage cart makes a huge difference.  I strap her carseat to the cart, and put either my carryon bag in it, or put the toddler in it like a stroller.  You can get carts for $10 at walmart.   That way I can pull the cart and hold DD's hand, or wear DD and pull the cart, or wear the backpack and put DD in the cart...  

 

I've flown once with two infants (3mo) and a 2.5yo, and two adults.  One carseat (the infants were lap babies and we had carseats available at our destination).  It was really not bad at all, except security. 


Next time we go DD will be 4, and I think we will get a ride-safer travel vest for her and let her use the lap belt on the plane. 


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#30 of 107 Old 06-14-2011, 08:42 PM
 
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I had to ride in a car with dd when she was a baby with no carseat once. The circumstances were just one traveling disaster after another and we were left stranded with no better options. I did basically the same thing you did--I sat in the back with dd in the Ergo on my chest. I was a nervous wreck the whole ride and I am glad I will never have to do that again!

 

I agree that sleeping outside the airport would be far less preferable than one scary car ride.

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