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flying w/o a car seat

  1. #1
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    flying w/o a car seat

    has anyone flown w/ a toddler w/o a car seat? we'll be taking our daughter to the states early next year. she'll be 2.5 yrs old. just wondering if there are any experiences. i find the selection in hk is limited and really would like a convertable seat bc my daughter is at that in between rear-facing/front-facing stage. but they tend to be big and may not fit the airline seat. (cathay econ)

  2. #2
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    We're using US seats as all my children were born in the US. The twins are in Britax Marathons (we travelled with them on UA without a problem) and my oldest is in a Radian 65 (she's 4 and still harnassed, very good seat by the way which will last a long time!).

    We moved back to Europe end of December and the twins travelled in their car seats, they were 13 months at the time, not walking. We moved to HK 2 weeks ago and decided to fly without car seats (checked them). They were / are 20 months. I liked it because it's easier with the tray tables (eating, coloring, snacks, etc.), it's almost impossible to recline the seat in front of you with a Britax behind it (their legs can actually get stuck) and the tray table is also impossible. Easier to lay them down (move the armrest up and they can basically lay flat with their heads / feet on your lap). I know it's less safe, but with 3 kids I have to choose my battles. We had them on our laps in the lap belt for landing and take off because they weren't 2 yet (we bought them seats anyway). My oldest flew in a regular airline seat since 18 months of age without a a problem.

    I would definitely look in the US for a car seat. They have many great rf / ff seats that can keep children harnassed up to age 6-8.

    HTH!

  3. #3
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    mom2sofie&twins,

    thank you for sharing your experience. i'll definitly consider getting a carseat in the states. my toddler is very active and i don't think she will take well to being so confined on the plane. and she will need lots of distractions. did you find that the seatbelts can tighten enough to the small size of a toddler?

  4. #4
    MLBW Guest
    I just flew with my 8-month-old to the States this week and the seat belt tightened tight enough so he could sit in a seat--we took a few of the airplane pillows to set behind him for more of a comfortable fit but I'm sure an older child will have no problems with using the airplane seat belts.

  5. #5
    apples is offline Registered User
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    In my experience a toddler won't want to sit still on a plane no matter what kind of seat you put them in. At least this is the case with my 2 year old who has flown a lot. We tend to focus more on which distractions we take along. Games, toys, books are great but the best thing we have ever done for travelling is buy a portable DVD player. Even though most planes have personal TVs, they are a bit small and limited so we take along favourite movies.
    Also favourite snacks are great for bribes!
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Sleuth is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLBW View Post
    I just flew with my 8-month-old to the States this week and the seat belt tightened tight enough so he could sit in a seat--we took a few of the airplane pillows to set behind him for more of a comfortable fit but I'm sure an older child will have no problems with using the airplane seat belts.
    Not sure how safe that is, for the same reasons it isn't safe in a car.
    Might want to try this alternative:

    http://kidsflysafe.com/

  7. #7
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    We flew to Canada with a car seat for our 16-month old and flew back with the car seat checked in.

    Pros and cons:

    It is definitely safer to fly with the child in the car seat. That said, my LO hated being strapped in and I couldn't breastfeed her during take-off and landing. The seat in front of hers could not recline without her legs getting squished; tray table could not come down properly. When she is sleeping, I could also safely grab some shut-eye knowing that she is well strapped in.

    When we found out that we could get two whole rows to ourselves on the way back, we decided to check in the car seat. My LO could lie down flat to sleep with seat belts strapping her in to keep her from rolling off. With this arrangement, though, it means that I couldn't really sleep very well, because I had to keep an eye to make sure that she wouldn't roll off (even with the seat belt on her). She felt "freer" with this option, though, and was a much happier toddler during this leg of the trip.

    Sorry, not much help, as I still cannot make up my mind which option we'd take on our next trip. I'm leaning more towards taking the car seat if it's a full flight, but if there if we can get seats blocked off, then we might just check the car seat in.

  8. #8
    MLBW Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuth View Post
    Not sure how safe that is, for the same reasons it isn't safe in a car.
    Might want to try this alternative:

    http://kidsflysafe.com/
    Well...in that case one should also not go on a bus or train in HK without a car seat. I think a plane is pretty fine.

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