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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm a new mama to a 9 week old boy. When he's 3 mos, we'll be taking a 2ish hour plane ride for a long weekend to see my brother graduate from college. I plan on taking my carseat, but I have a few questions:

What is plane safety? I'm traveling Northwest. Is there a standard protocol for domestic flights? I'm picturing him on my lap, can I just check the carseat at the gate?

Also, do I need my base? Can I just attach my Baby Trend Flex Loc seat in our rental car with the seat belt? I'm already checking our bags, a pack n play, our snap n go stroller and the carseat. Yikes.

Any tips for flying/travel safety or just in general?


· Registered
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Hi and congratulations.

I'm a former Flight Attendant and I fly a lot with my kids.

Here is NW's page on baggage. You'll notice that car seats are exempt from the baggage restrions;

You can still try to ask at check-in if they can put an empty place next to you, if the flight isn't full. Buying a ticket guarentees that you can use your car seat but often they let you take the seat on board if there's room. Be really nice as this is a big favor.

Babies are safer in car seats than perched in your lap. They're not protected in case of an emergency, which is rare as air travel is safe. Be aware that it's dangerous to have a lap baby attached to you in any way for take-off and landing. Make sure he's loose in your lap and remove him from any baby carrier for those two portions on the flight (I had passengers remove the carrier and leave it on the baby as a blanket). You can wear your baby once in the air.

In any case, take your car seat to the door of the aircraft and gate-check it. Never check a car seat in as luggage. It could get lost and/or broken in the hold too easily, and then you're stuck at your destination without it.

Leave the base at home but get comfortable with the seatbelt-only installation. Get out your manual and practice before your trip. Don't try to figure it out while people are pushing your behind and your baby is crying during boarding (babies always cry on boarding but calm down once everyone's settled and the aircraft is moving). Car seat techs say that the seatbelt installation is just as safe as using the base if done correctly.

Your seat needs to be FAA approved but most sold in N. America are.

About 9 years ago I wrote a small article on flying with children, since I got so many questions in RL. Over the years, I expanded it and put it on a blog. Parents have written from all over the world giving me more tips. Skip the parts that don't apply and my contact info is at the end if you have further questions.

Have a good trip!
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