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  1. #1
    Member navy wife's Avatar
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    Car seat or CARES?

    I am flying home for Christmas in about a month and have been debating back and forth about whether to bring a carseat for my toddler or rent a CARES Harness. It will be my 18 month old daughter, my 3 month old daughter, and myself. The trip is two parts about an hour and a half each part. My 18 month old is very big for her age being 25 lbs and over 33 inches tall so her size isn't an issue. I think she would stay in her seat with the harness not having a crotch strap. I know she would be more comfortable and stay put better in a carseat but the thought of tryin.g wrangle two children and a carseat once on the airplane is so daunting. If I do opt for the harness, my family has carseats available for us to use once we arrive. The 3 month old will be held as a lap child (not my favorite option, but that is what our budget requires). What would you recommend I do in this situation?

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  3. #2
    Member navy wife's Avatar
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    Also, I if I do use a carseat I will be buying a new one. Currently my toddler is in a Safety 1st Alpha Omega 3-n-1. It is gigantic and I would not use it on an airplane. What carseat would you recommend to use on the airplane and then use for my 3 month old once she outgrows her infant carrier?

  4. #3
    CPST Instructor Carrie_R's Avatar
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    At 18 months, I would take a carseat, without question. The seats we often recommend for airline travel are not the seats we usually recommend for day-to-day usage... Primarily because it's easiest if travel seats are small and lightweight, but most of the seats that accommodate extended rearfacing are larger by necessity.

    How tall and heavy is your older daughter?
    Down to just a spare Radian, folded in the hall closet for my Godbaby.

    Check out this thread for a Pilot overview!

  5. #4
    Member navy wife's Avatar
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    She is 25 lbs and 33 inches.

  6. #5
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Car seat or CARES?

    I would get a scerena and CARES. Because if there is a spare seat available on the plane you could put the baby in the scerena and use the CARES for the oldest. If an extra seat is not available I would use the scerena for the oldest.

    The scerena is similar to your Alpha Omega without the base, but lighter weight and easier to install because it is narrower at the belt path. We have used a scerena as a primary seat. It worked great for us.
    Stefanie - CPST in Iowa
    mom to dd 11,/00, ds 11/01, ds 3/06, dd 04/07, dd 08/12 (radian rxt) ds 12/13 (evenflo sureride)

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Car seat or CARES?

    By the way, is your oldest rf or ff?

    If ff and you have the 40# Alpha Omega you can't use the top harness setting as a 5-point. The top setting is for booster use only.

    If ff and you have the 50# Alpha Omega you can use the top harness setting as a 5-point.
    Stefanie - CPST in Iowa
    mom to dd 11,/00, ds 11/01, ds 3/06, dd 04/07, dd 08/12 (radian rxt) ds 12/13 (evenflo sureride)

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member VoodooChile's Avatar
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    I've used a CARES harness and as a mom I don't love it, but as an RA patient who flies with kids I've found it pretty necessary. My dd sat in it very nicely at 2, but I doubt my ds would at 2 1/2.
    Dd 10/2005--Incognito
    Ds 3/2009--Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro, Clek Oobr

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member VoodooChile's Avatar
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    Re: Car seat or CARES?

    OP, here's a review I wrote waaaaaaay back about the CARES harness: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=39890
    Not my best writing, I'm afraid, but a candid view of it written not too long after flying with my now-6 year old dd, back when she was 2.
    Dd 10/2005--Incognito
    Ds 3/2009--Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro, Clek Oobr

  10. #9
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippi2077
    I would get a scerena and CARES. Because if there is a spare seat available on the plane you could put the baby in the scerena and use the CARES for the oldest. If an extra seat is not available I would use the scerena for the oldest.

    The scerena is similar to your Alpha Omega without the base, but lighter weight and easier to install because it is narrower at the belt path. We have used a scerena as a primary seat. It worked great for us.
    This.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

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