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  1. #1
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    Question Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Hi there, I'm a new member and I am hoping some long-haul international travelers can help me out here. We are planning a flight from Australia to US later in the year when DD will be about 2.5 yo. I keep hearing how much safer it is to fly with a carseat, but honestly I've never seen a kid in a carseat on such a long flight and I can't imagine her sleeping in that position for so long? And this may seem silly but DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is also a concern of mine and isn't it better for a person to sleep with their feet up rather than dangling down in a carseat? I am really looking for an excuse not to lug around our enormous Britax/Safe-n-Sound AHR.

    Thanks!

    KT

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Regardless how a child sits in a plane it's the safest thing you will ever do. All data, statistics and real life experiences show that using a car seat purely for safety is not rational. There are zero children dying each year globally due to turbulence desperate tens of millions of flights. A lap belt provides plenty of protection. It's also extremely unusual to have adults injured in flights due to turbulence.

    Using a car seat the whole time would not be a good idea. Your child needs to move around a bit as well. Using a car set on the plane might still be a good idea for some. If a child is calmer, sleeps better, and behaves better it may make sense. By using the car seat you also know that it will make it to your destination without damage.

    A more important question would be what you plan to do when you arrive in US? Do you have a car seat to use there? Injuries/deaths on panes is not a worry but traffic accidents is the number one killer of kids in US....

    I've done 50+ flights with my young kids. Many 20+hour flights which I think are a little exhausting but almost easier due top the planes being so much larger.

    A few tips:

    -Bring plenty of clothes changes (don't ask)
    -Bring some new toys to keep toddler occupied
    -Pack smart, don't bring 5 carryons
    -Bring food for the little one (they will let you through with it)
    -Book a bulk head seat. Like sitting in business class

    Have a nice flight
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy leebeeag's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    also be sure that you check out if the actual airline will allow you to travel with a carseat for that age..i know Qantas has an age cut off for kids traveling in carseats.I have a feeling its 2yrs..but dont quote me...

    also im not sure if the SnS AHR is suitable for air travel...read you manual or try calling britaxAU.

    DS1- Regent 23kgs
    DS2- Regent 21kgs
    DS3 Graco Safeseat/ Marathon 11kgs

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Good advice, traveling with a car seat on the plane internationally is unfortunately a nightmare. Different rules in different countries and often poor information from the airlines
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  6. #5
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozgal View Post
    We are planning a flight from Australia to US later in the year when DD will be about 2.5 yo. I keep hearing how much safer it is to fly with a carseat, but honestly I've never seen a kid in a carseat on such a long flight and I can't imagine her sleeping in that position for so long?
    Here's some thoughts on sleeping in carseats on long haul flight. If you recline the seat & the airplane seat, legs are actually higher up than you think. You also don't need the harness tight, just restraining in case of turbulence & child shifting around.

    DD & I flew long haul from Seattle-Korea-Seattle last fall. The toddlers were screaming in misery all over the place. Loads of flailing and trying to soothe because they were just not happy with airline seats. DD's problem was all the tv screens on the headrests were causing a huge distraction. Poor tyke finally fell asleep on my lap & then I was able to transfer her to the airline seat. Yes, her legs were dangling, but I wrapped them in her comfy throw, so not so much.

    I flew with dd when she was 2 1/2 on Germany-US flight 9 hours. Carseat was checked under since it had a 3pt belt requirement. Overnight flight. She would have been more comfortable sleeping in a good Car Seat than laying as she did propped on pillows & blankets across 2 seats. It was cold, unfamilliar, and a pain whenever I needed to move. I can't imagine what it would have been like if DH hadn't had an open seat across the aisle to sit in.

    I"m looking at a return flight with her now 3 years older. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. She's large enough to not use her Radian, but when she wants to stretch out & sleep, it's going to be tight with dh & I on each side of her. Wheels up at 9pm & land at 10am, so she needs to sleep, as do dh & I.
    If she uses the radian, she'll prop her feet up on the seat in front, & go to sleep, but then dh & I are crammed next to one another. He's 6'3 and radiates heat like crazy. I"m always hot on flights -- part of fighting off the claustrophobia.

    It's going to be a grit & bear it experience, just like the last time we flew over to Germany. (sigh)

    Anyway, try out the seat you have in a hypothetical sleep situation with your child. Practice & arranging & thinking & considering. My best suggestion.
    I have no clue what the 'right' answer would be for you. It's up to you to figure out the 'best fit' for you & your child's situation.

    Good luck


    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    -Book a bulk head seat. Like sitting in business class
    Don't bulkhead seats have immovable/fixed armrests? They're also narrower seats because of those armrests, IIRC?

    I've sat in them long ago and never thought they were like business class. Uncomfortable!
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

  7. #6
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganthe View Post
    If you recline the seat & the airplane seat, legs are actually higher up than you think.
    Can you recline the airplane seat with a carseat strapped in? Like a Radian or whatever? I am also considerign what to do on an upcoming flight and I hadn't considered that this was a possibility (or rather, I assumed that it would not work beyond the recline in the carseat, which for the Radian seems pretty minimal).

    Also, with something like a Marathon, would you all be ok with fully reclining it FF even though for a car installation this is a no-no?
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  8. #7
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    Can you recline the airplane seat with a carseat strapped in? Like a Radian or whatever? I am also considerign what to do on an upcoming flight and I hadn't considered that this was a possibility (or rather, I assumed that it would not work beyond the recline in the carseat, which for the Radian seems pretty minimal).

    Also, with something like a Marathon, would you all be ok with fully reclining it FF even though for a car installation this is a no-no?
    Yes, you can recline the airline seat with the Radian in it. Wendy Thomas passed along the idea to me. I also got dd an inflatable pillow to help with head slump. That was her biggest annoyance. But she was napping in the daytime after an early rising (3:30am). She's never been a good sleeper in that case. Whereas if she falls asleep in the dark/night, she's out cold. Our seatmate & I were doing our best to wake her up after wheels down in Korea. It was nigh on impossible! Everyone was laughing about it too.

    I have no idea about marathon -- though personally, I'd probably do it. Turbulence & airline dynamics are so different than in car crash. My rationale for carseats on board aircraft is more of a 'Secure child in specific spot designed to fit' than 'protect from collision.'
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

  9. #8
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganthe View Post
    Don't bulkhead seats have immovable/fixed armrests? They're also narrower seats because of those armrests, IIRC?

    I've sat in them long ago and never thought they were like business class.
    Speaking of bulkhead seats, I have this concern - that the seats are possibly more annoying due to tray table in armrest, etc. and probable lack of easily accessible storage due to no seat in front to stow carry-on. Balanced by the trade-off of having a spot in front of you for the kids to maybe get down and push some toys around for a few minutes for a change in position (which is not ideal in terms of unexected turbulence but probably necessary for them to move around a bit for physical/mental health reasons) without having to be out in the aisle and potentially in other people's way.

    Which is the preferred option for those of you who have done some travelling?
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganthe View Post
    I have no idea about marathon -- though personally, I'd probably do it. Turbulence & airline dynamics are so different than in car crash. My rationale for carseats on board aircraft is more of a 'Secure child in specific spot designed to fit' than 'protect from collision.'
    Good to know about reclining the Radian. And that's what I was thinking about the Marathon, too. Just wanted to run it by the masses.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    Speaking of bulkhead seats, I have this concern - that the seats are possibly more annoying due to tray table in armrest, etc. and probable lack of easily accessible storage due to no seat in front to stow carry-on.....
    Which is the preferred option for those of you who have done some travelling?
    For me, storage & being able to spread out on the seats have always won out over kids playing on cold (dirty) drafty floors while unsecured.

    I could quickly change dd's wet nappy sitting across the seats with armrests up & a pad under her. DH was sitting across the aisle or would be in the restroom. I'd hate to try and kneel on the floor with butt in the air trying to do the same. It would h ave been a big embarassing production.

    We've had plenty of room when dd was smaller sitting on the airline seats with her toys. Besides on flights longer than 4 hours, we're flying international and they're mostly scheduled during the night. Playing is overrated when it's past bed time already & it's been a long day at the airport.

    jme
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

  12. #11
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    ok, good to have that opinion to back up my own thinking! Thanks. And you are right, we have night-time flights, for most of the flight anyway.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  13. #12
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    I wouldn't want fixed arm-rests - in fact the EFTA wouldn't even fit in a seat with fixed arm-rests - not sure how the MA does? Maybe it sits high enough that the extra width is above the armrests due to the shape of the shell?

    I think a car seat like the radian or something else low profile is likely to be more comfortable in terms of legs. I know that ds's legs got uncomfortable when he was ff'ing in the EFTA on the way back. He kept on putting them up on the seat in front of him and when he was falling asleep they'd slide down and he'd stir every time his legs ended up with their full weight resting on the edge of the carseat. Granted he's not used to being ff'ing and maybe it was just uncomfortable for that reason... He did eventually drift off - right when we hit turbulence and they turned the lights on bright to check everyone was wearing seatbelts, and that tolled the death bell for him sleeping.

    That being said, I don't think he'd have slept at all without a place to rest his head and I'm really debating CARES vs. buying a lower profile and narrower lightweight seat for the next time we fly for this reason.

    He was typically in his seat for about 45mins to an hour at a time... Anytime we went to the bathroom I let him walk there and back. And with all the kicking of the seat in front of him that he did he got plenty of leg exercise.

    As long as kiddo has room to move their legs and you let kiddo walk periodically I wouldn't worry about blood clots etc. Kids don't sit still the same way that adults do...

    That being said, if you guys have something like CARES there I'd look into that as well. I think with a young kid the shoulder restraint is beneficial, but don't feel a carseat is the only option for that.

    So far as turbulence being rare, I'm going to say that I'm guessing it's more common in some climates and weather patterns than others. We had some rough periods on the way to Ontario this last flight but not enough that the seatbelt sign came on. On the way back though they knew of the turbulence a couple minutes before we hit it so the seatbelt sign was already on. I don't think it was high on the scale, but it was like a kiddy roller coaster. I don't think ds would've been comfortable in just a lapbelt for the period of time the seatbelt sign was on - not to mention I'm sure he would've loved to have played with it and tried to undo it... he tried to undo it when he was rf'ing on the way there.

    So those are my thoughts anyways. We were on the plane for just 6hrs, with around 3hrs or maybe a bit more of that the seatbelt sign on. So definitely not as long as 14hrs, but it was a good chunk of time to be on a plane by myself with a 2yr old.

    I hugely 2nd the carry on as little as possible, and pack lots of food. Ds grazed most of the time we were on the plane both on the way there and the way back. Crackers, cheese, and apples were most of what he ate. And either buy a giant bottle of water on the other side of security, or bring some empty water bottles and fill them on the other side of security. You'll want lots to drink and I know on our flight there they didn't bring the water around often enough to keep my thirst at bay.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  14. #13
    CPS Fanatic mom2juliarose's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    I can't imagine NOT traveling with DD in a seat when we fly from Los Angeles to Southern Brazil once a year. I, too, have been on flights with miserable toddlers while DD has been content in her seat. We do get up and walk on occasion when she's awake, and I have had to hold her once or twice to get her to fall asleep... but the restraint of her car seat is well worth the hassle of bringing it onboard!
    Anne, driving a '13 Odyssey and an '05 CRV

    DD-Julia 9/04 (5 stepping now!)
    DS1-Luca 11/10 (Graco Wayz and Graco HB Turbobooster)
    DS2- Enzo 7/15 (Chicco NextFit and Diono R100)

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    Speaking of bulkhead seats, I have this concern - that the seats are possibly more annoying due to tray table in armrest, etc. and probable lack of easily accessible storage due to no seat in front to stow carry-on. Balanced by the trade-off of having a spot in front of you for the kids to maybe get down and push some toys around for a few minutes for a change in position (which is not ideal in terms of unexected turbulence but probably necessary for them to move around a bit for physical/mental health reasons) without having to be out in the aisle and potentially in other people's way.

    Which is the preferred option for those of you who have done some travelling?
    Preferences vary. Some like to be in the very back, some close to the toilet, some don't care and others like the bulk head seat. Personally, I make large efforts to secure the bulk head seats. I'm tall so the extra room is perfect. My kids also have extra room to move around if needed.

    I did 50+ flights with my kids before age 3 so I consider myself a very experienced flyer. Many of those flights were long transatlantic flights. We used a bassinet when kids were young and that was great in the bulkhead. But like I said, preferences vary.

    All data shows that if you use a seat belt/map belt when fasten seat sign is on then you and your child is extremely safe. My kids are not in a seatbelt for 20+ hours but are of course always secured when needed (and more)

    I, too, have been on flights with miserable toddlers while DD has been content in her seat.
    My experiences are the opposite. It's actually rare to see someone using a car seat on the plane. But those kids are often barfing and screaming their lungs out because they are stuck in the seat. If you have kids which feel comfortable and calm in the car seat then that's perfect and a good reason to use a car eat on board.
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  16. #15
    Senior Community Member USmominOz's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    I have done the flight several times from Au to the states and back.
    We just flew home for x-mas and if you are flying w/ Qantas then you need to call a week ahead and give them all the details of your seat (Make, Model and base width) Just make sure that you speak w/ someone w/ Qantas and do not have a travel agent do it for you, it will not be done the correct way and Qantas can refuse you using your seat when you go to check in.
    Just make sure that you call back before you leave to make sure that it is approved and get the details of the person who you spoke w/ as confirmation.

    My ds was 5.3 y/o when when flew and they did not say anything about his age.

    Just make sure that you ask for a seat belt extender when you first board, it will make it easier to install and un-install your seat.

    I travelled to the states w/ my Britax Blvd and came back w/ my Graco Nauti and we had a total of 7 airports to go through. Dh was not very happy w/ me and dd carried her base to her graco booster too.

    Just remember to check which airlines you will be using in the states because some of them like United no longer let you check luggage w/out being charged. Some airlines let the first piece for free and the second one you are charged for.

    Here in Au you never see anyone use their car seat on the plane how ever in the states you see people in the airports w/ them all the time and dogs too.
    Karleen
    Kinsey - 5/3/00 - Compass B510 Daisy/Graco HBB, Bryan - 9/9/03 - Britax Regent/Graco Nautilus




  17. #16
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Thanks for the helpful info
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  18. #17
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Since we're on the topic of long flights...

    Have any of you installed a Marathon on the side-facing sleeper compartment seats? I'm not sure if we're going to end up with business-class like big forward facing seats, or if we're going to have first class sleepers when we go to Costa Rica in April--depends on the plane. I know the Marathon is fine on the forward facing first class seats, but I'm not sure about the side facing ones.

    I'll go mental if Abbi isn't in her seat! Some lucky passengers might just find us swapping with them.

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    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
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  19. #18
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice and info!

    It really sounds like 6 of one and a half-dozen of the other, there are many opinions on both sides of the issue here.

    Personally, I'm leaning in favor of not bringing a carseat, and asking my parents to buy inexpensive ones to install in their cars for our visit. I have heard horror stories of children being killed in turbulence or being crushed to death by being held too tightly by parents in severe turbulence or a minor crash. (But I can't remember if that was for lap-held babies or for children 2+ years in their own seats.) And somewhere I saw that not only should babies (again, can't remember the age) be in a carseat, but should be RF as well since their head can hit the seat in front of them if FF. So that is guiding my concern and I wanted to head that off before making the final decision to leave the seat at home...

    Does anyone know if you can get a CARES harness in Australia? And what is the minimum age/weight to use one? Is it only for older kids?

    Thanks, this is a really great forum!

    KT

  20. #19
    Senior Community Member USmominOz's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    No, you can not get the Cares harness in Au and you might not be able to use it when you leave Au. I think that it is only approved w/ the FAA and it does not have the SMV213 code of approval which you need to have on your seat to use it on flights from here to the states.

    I have flown w/ my seats w/ both of my kids and on such a long flight I found it great that he could fall asleep and be comfortable. We did hit some turbulence and I was happy that he was safe in his seat.

    I took my car seat and attached it to my carry on roller luggage and it worked great. I know that someone here on the boards do have some pictures.
    Karleen
    Kinsey - 5/3/00 - Compass B510 Daisy/Graco HBB, Bryan - 9/9/03 - Britax Regent/Graco Nautilus




  21. #20
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone put toddler in carseat for 14 hour flight?

    Cares:
    The CARES child restraint device is designed for children over 1 year of age, weighing between 10-20 kg (22-44 lbs), whose height is 100 cm (40 inches) or less and who are capable of sitting upright.


    You might find good travelling suggestions here (wow I just realized I am subscribed to A LOT of flying-related threads):
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=62648 - using luggage cart with car seat
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=73106 - travelling toddler attachment video
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=68772
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=74630
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=73655
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=74726 - travelling toddler and tote-a-tot
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=74668
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=75611
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=73940
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=69530
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

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