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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    So I am headed to Florida in January with my two DS'. We have two seats between the three of us - I just couldn't swing buying a seat for this flight for my 7-month old when we've got a big trip to Europe planned for this summer when we will absolutely be buying him a seat.

    Anyway. I am trying to figure out what to do about car seats. I have a RN65, a Frontier, and a Snugride. What I would like to do is carry the RN on, put my 3-year old in it for the flight, and then use it RFing for my 7-month old when I get to Florida.

    Which leaves me with a few problems.
    1) Do you think it is physically possible for me to manhandle a RN on to the plane while gate-checking a stroller, carrying a 7-month old (most likely in an Ergo), and guiding a well-travelled 3-year old through the airport/onto the plane? I am just having a really hard time visualizing getting myself through security with the big RN and a small stroller and then on to the plane. Thankfully, we are taking the one and only non-stop available.... The downside to the nonstop is the 2.5 hour drive on I-95 to get home at speeds way higher with way more traffic than I am accustomed to driving at in my little remote corner of Vermont.

    2) If it is possible to get myself onto the plane without putting my back out and having a temper tantrum (me - not DS#1), what do I do about older DS' carseat situation when we get to FL? Do I have dear granny go buy an inexpensive seat for him to keep down there, even if she tells me she can get her hands on one from some other granny in the neighborhood? Do I trust her to locate a decent loaner seat for the week? Not trying to sound flip about this, but I know that is what she is going to say, so I need to be prepared to respond appropriately.

    3) If I do tell her to go buy him a seat, what do I tell her to get? Would it just be better for me to buy it and have it shipped to her? Should I be worried about installation issues at the airport when we arrive if we go this route?

    4) Or should I check the Snugride on departure and then have my own seats on hand when we arrive in FL?

    5) Or do I use the RN for DS#1 FFing, and get an inexpensive seat for DS#2 to use RFing when we get there? If so, the same question looms - which one?

    She drives a VW Passat, I want to say it's an '06, perhaps an '07 at most. DS#1 is 34# naked, roughly 37" tall. DS#2 is about 17 lbs, and close to 28". TIA for your input.... We leave on the 11th, and it occurred to me yesterday that I really need to start strategizing this....
    Last edited by lilliput; 12-22-2009 at 02:53 PM. Reason: typos

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  3. #2
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    I would not check a seat. What about bringing the Radian on board for your three year old, and bringing the Snugride as a carry-on item (hopefully to be used in a spare seat if available?)

    That or bring the Radian on board and have granny buy a Cosco Scenera for the baby and meet you at the airport with it?

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Quote Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
    I would not check a seat. What about bringing the Radian on board for your three year old, and bringing the Snugride as a carry-on item (hopefully to be used in a spare seat if available?)

    That or bring the Radian on board and have granny buy a Cosco Scenera for the baby and meet you at the airport with it?
    Hmm, yes, I am thinking the latter. Or, maybe even an avenue. How often do you plan to visit? Or maybe a generations 65? There are plenty of inexpensive options for the older or younger child.

    Also, if you go with the convertible for younger rf baby, make sure dgm has a towel or pool noodle with her to install
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    OK, so checking the SR is out. I thought it might be. I don't have a travel system to carry the SR in in the airport though, and I don't think I could handle two kids and two carseats on my own. If DH was travelling with us, it'd be different. We visit once, sometimes twice, a year.

    I thought of another option. I do have one of those CARES harnesses. I haven't tried it out yet. If I did this, I'd have to invest in 2 seats for down there though instead of one. It sure would make the airport time a lot easier though to not have to lug the RN around. Don't get me wrong, we've flown with that seat several times, and I love it for that, but it is heavy. Does anyone have any experience with the CARES harness?

    How do people do this?? Am I just a pansy? This is making me dread our trip to Germany next year. I might be doing that alone too.... oh dear.

  6. #5
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    The Cares harness is perfectly safe.


    Can you get the 'backpack' straps for the Radian so that you can carry it on your back, and just bungee the snugride to your luggage or stroller?

  7. #6
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    I flew several times with my girls when they were around that age It is possible to get through the airport with 2 kids and 2 car seats.

    I took the Radian, and snapped it directly to a cheap luggage cart using the LATCH straps. It comes with a bungee, so on top of the Radian I would pile our diaper bag/blankets/coats. Then I put the handle down on the infant seat, and put that upside down on top of the diaper bag and stuff, and used the bungee to secure it. With our bucket I could fit the handle of the cart through the handle of the infant seat, and the bungee just kept everything secure. Then I had DD1 walk, and DD2 was in a sling or wrap. It worked very well
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    A quick note about going through the airport-at security, they will most likely require you to remove the baby from the carrier, put the ergo through the scanner, and then hold the baby to walk through. They will also probably require the 3 yo to walk through independently, although it sounds like you've traveled with him before, so that's old news I'm sure. Do you have a rolling luggage carrier you can strap the seat to or will you have to carry it? I carried a comfortsport w/ a then-8 mo old on my front in MT and that wasn't fun, but DH was in charge of the 3 bags. It might be worthwhile to call ahead and see if someone from the airline can assist you, especially with boarding. They should also give you the option of pre-boarding so you have time to install the seat and get the kids settled, though some people w/ kids prefer to board last so the kids are restrained the least amount of time possible. I don't think I'd go for a borrowed seat, unless it were coming straight from a known relative. (I did borrow an infant seat from my safety conscious SIL, but wouldn't from someone less known). I hear all the time about how cheap and lightweight a scenera is, so that may be an option. Good luck! (K, so that wasn't quick afterall...)
    DD 01/06, 44 lbs., 48", turbobooster ss or harnessed in nautilus, RFed to 32 months, and occasionally after
    DD 07/10, 22 lbs., 32", RF myride or truefit

    Loving all the glorious space in our 8 pass 2004 Sienna

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    I've got the straps and the carrying bag. I guess I could give it a test run with the baby in the Ergo, the RN on my back, and the 3-year old in the stroller. I've travelled alone with the RN and a stroller before, but not with a second child in an Ergo.

    I'm liking the cheap luggage cart idea. So at security, did you have to undo the whole shabang because of the diaper bag and coats, or did you just put it all on the belt as one unit? I just like to know what I'm up against in case I have business people or impatient folks behind me in line. Not every airport has yet had the foresight to put in a family lane.

    And if there are no empty seats in which I could put the SR, it would then be gate-checked, right? Is that better than regular checking, or does it get tossed around just as much?

    Ed, yes, the 3-year old is now an old pro at going through security. He's only gotten weirded out once about having to go through ahead of me. That's not a bad idea to call ahead for help. I myself prefer to board early so we can get situated and have enough time to set up the seat. They barely give you enough time as it is, so I'll take what I can get....

  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic zeo2ski's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Maybe grab a snap n go frame from craigslist to get through with the snugride?

    Quote Originally Posted by lilliput View Post
    We have two seats between the three of us - I just couldn't swing buying a seat for this flight for my 7-month old when we've got a big trip to Europe planned for this summer when we will absolutely be buying him a seat.
    Quote Originally Posted by lilliput View Post
    If I did this, I'd have to invest in 2 seats for down there though instead of one.
    I know you're not asking for advice about this, but I have to be frank here: Either you can afford the trip of not. If you can't afford a plane seat for the baby, you can't afford the trip. But how much does the ticket even cost? Can't be a whole lot more than one or two car seats to keep at grandma's.
    Cathy
    B-- 6.5y harnessed cowmoo FR85;
    Sl--5y RF RXT;
    H-- 2.5 RF RNXT;M--7mos CCOA--1 mos KF30 and R 1.5 RXT

  11. #10
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Quote Originally Posted by zeo2ski View Post
    Maybe grab a snap n go frame from craigslist to get through with the snugride?



    I know you're not asking for advice about this, but I have to be frank here: Either you can afford the trip of not. If you can't afford a plane seat for the baby, you can't afford the trip. But how much does the ticket even cost? Can't be a whole lot more than one or two car seats to keep at grandma's.
    Depending on where she's headed in the country, a round trip ticket could easily cost 4-600 dollars. I agree with your sentiment, but they ARE pricey!

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Ouch. Total for 2 seats RT on JetBlue from Burlington, Vermont to Orlando with a Monday departure and a Sunday return in January is $638.40. The return is the pricey one - almost $370 just for one leg. Ordinarily, I'd have stopovers in NY or some other East coast hub to save some change, but I decided to spend the extra dollars to avoid changing planes in the middle of January and potentially getting stuck somewhere or rerouted because of weather. I have no interest in being stranded in NY. Honestly, I think it's commendable to even suggest bringing one seat on a plane, let alone two, when I am travelling alone with 2 small children, since every time I travel, both before and after I had children, I hardly EVER see a parent with a child in a carseat. I've gotten ample looks and frustration from people while trying to install my RN on planes before for DS#1. I've traveled both overseas (to Chile and Germany) and domestically with DS#1. Sorry for getting defensive, but I'm doing the best I can with what I've got, and I prefer not to travel unprepared for handling my own luggage and children. On all those trips, this will only be the second time I've had a lap child....

    Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards leaving the SR at home to avoid gate-checking on either the trip down or back, and getting a Scenera and having it shipped to my mom for DS#2 to use down there. Hopefully it will install well RFing when my mom picks us up in Orlando. Thanks again!

    ETA: Sitting here looking at my wriggly 7-month old, I know that in hindsight you're both probably right - it'd have been ideal if I'd bought three seats, but I didn't. So now I've got to figure out what I'm going to do to make sure both my boys are riding safe once I get there.
    Last edited by lilliput; 12-23-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: extra thoughts

  13. #12
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Quote Originally Posted by ed_tricia View Post
    A quick note about going through the airport-at security, they will most likely require you to remove the baby from the carrier, put the ergo through the scanner, and then hold the baby to walk through.
    FYI...on my last trip with our baby (11 months old), it was hit and miss - they often let me go through the scanner with my baby on my back! Yeah! You have to be prepared to undo everything, of course, but it is worth waiting until they specifically tell you to do it.
    DS1, 15yo, 5 steps
    DS2, 14yo, 5 steps
    DS3, 13yo, 5 steps
    DD, 11yo, backless booster
    DD, 5yo, 52 lbs, harnessed in a Chicco MyFit, just outgrew Clicktight Blvd.

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    It's no problem flying with one car seat, especially since it's such a short flight and you only have two children. I fly alone with three children between Europe and California with three children and a car seat and quite frankly, it's no big deal.

    I use the metal luggage cart as described above. One difference; I pack the coats at the top of the checked bags so it's less to deal with on the plane. I also ditch the stroller and purse, opting to use a backpack and diaper bag and use the car seat on the cart as a stroller. Much easier! Can you borrow a stroller at your destination? That's what I used to do...

    Only bring what you need for the flight. Ask at check-in if there are any free seats and whether they can place one next to you.

    As a Flight Attendant, I saw MANY parents fly with car seats. It's very common. I don't think I've ever flown transatlantically as the only parents bringing a car seat.

    Here are my totally non-commercial flying tips. I have a section on getting car seats through airports;
    http://flyingwithchildren1.blogspot.com

    Have a good flight!
    Former Flight Attendant, 13 years, 2 companies in 5 countries
    3 trilingual, international travelers with two nationalities
    http://flyingwithchildren1.blogspot.com

  15. #14
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Thank you, Eclipse. I will check out your blog for additional tips. I think I'm going to look for a cart to carry one seat, order a Scenera to be shipped to FL for DS#2, ditch the stroller and use one of the jalopies the neighbors have instead. Better a jalopy stroller than an inappropriate carseat, right? I just love my stroller, and so rarely get to use it because of where we live.. Maclarens and dirt roads don't mix..... Thanks again! I know I'll have questions when we get closer to our trip this summer, once we've worked out who is flying when...

  16. #15
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Quote Originally Posted by zeo2ski View Post
    I know you're not asking for advice about this, but I have to be frank here: Either you can afford the trip of not. If you can't afford a plane seat for the baby, you can't afford the trip. But how much does the ticket even cost? Can't be a whole lot more than one or two car seats to keep at grandma's.
    The baby is statistically safer unrestrained on the plane that properly restrained in the vehicle.

    And plane tickets are ridiculously expensive- much more so than a $40-$50 Scenera. I would strongly encourage people to buy their babies seats, but if the alternative is a road trip they are in more danger driving. I don't see anyone advocating not taking road trips here.
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
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  17. #16
    Carseat Crazy steph_s's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    If the Scenera is getting shipped to grandma's house, make sure grandma brings a pool noodle or at least a rolled up towel or you might have some issues getting the proper recline. I'm almost more tempted to say to get a ff only seat like the generations for use down there. You could put your oldest in that seat, the baby in the rn (here is hoping it fits in grandma's car since they are so tricky) just because the scenera is outgrown so quickly! If you had a ff only higher harnessing seat for use down there you will get more years of use out of it for future trips to see grandma.

    Also, for such a short flight I would only pack a back pack, the car seat attached to a luggage cart and a diaper bag and nothing else! Easier to get past the check point that way! Just pack 1 change of clothes for everyone in the diaper bag along with the diapers. Get rid of anything you wouldn't use in the diaper bag for such a short trip and pack the back pack with things for them to do. Don't bother packing things for you to do because chances are your going to be too busy entertaining the kids!

    O yeah and don't forget to pack a little photo book filled with random photo's! I have one in my purse and they will keep the average 3yo entertained for almost 40 minutes off and on! Especially if they are blurry and bad pictures of people because it takes them time to figure out who it is! I haven't found a single thing that keeps any of my kids as busy as a simply little book filled with pictures!

    I've gone on a few flights alone with a 3yo and two 2 yo's and it was just fine. Just pack light because you won't use half the toys you want to bring anyways!

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    Thanks Steph! I was actually wondering about that with the Scenera. I think I'll look into the Generations. I'll need to decide this week though to make sure it gets down there in time. I can make room for the boot of the RN in my checked bag so that it can be RFed. Just have to keep everything crossed that it will install OK. Thanks again for your tips as well!

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    In addition to the Evenflo Generations 65 check out the Evenflo Maestro
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
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  20. #19
    CPS Technician courtfrog2's Avatar
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    What about Radian for the baby when you get there and a ride safer travel vest for the older child once there. That way you can pack the RSTV in your luggage and not worry about buying another seat there. Then you can use the RSTV in other situations like this or as a back up. They do not expire either. Don't know how big the 3 year old is though. I believe the new ones go from 30lbs up to 60lbs for the small.

    I know it's more than a scenera, but at least you can use it again and not just leave it at granny's house.
    Proud Mom to David (15), Hannah (14), Emily (13), Stella (9) and Zahari (8)

  21. #20
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Is this physically possible? Or am I nuts....

    DS#1 is 34 pounds naked. I just looked at it on elitecarseats, and the small size has a minimum of 35 pounds. I don't think I'm quite ready to take that step unless nothing else works. I think it will probably be a good option for us in 6 months or so though.

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