5-year-old need carseat on airplane?


New member
We'll be traveling shortly. There are lots of parameters that I'll post in a separate thread. For now, just a quick question. Does a 5-year-old need a carseat on an airplane? DD is 5.5 yo, 40 lbs, about 42 inches. I think the answer is no from what I've been reading but wanted to check. Assume for now that we'll deal with the carseat on the ground as a separate issue.
Thank you in advance!


Well-known member
In and of itself, I would say, no, a typical 5 year old does not need a car seat on an airplane.

There are times I might choose it - need a carseat at destination and there isn't one there or a long flight where I'm hoping my child will sleep and think they'd do it better in their normal carseat, for example.


Well-known member
I agree with rachelandtyke. I've flown with a 5/6 year old without a carseat before. We took a harnessed seat for his 2-3 year old brother and used a ride safer travel vest at destination, as well as a high back booster that we purchased while there and left for our next trip.

A kid over 40 lbs, who can sit in the seat properly, should be fine in an airplane belt without a car seat.


New member
I agree. 40 lbs is really the cutoff between safe ridership in an aircraft seat (as long as the child is able to keep from loosening and/or fiddling with the buckle on the seatbelt), and questionable safety without an additional restraint. If it's a long flight, I'd definitely recommend using the seat on the aircraft if she sleeps well in it. Otherwise, just do whatever works best for your family. She's big enough and old enough to be properly restrained by the aircraft seat.

Enjoy your flight! :)

(I was an airline pilot before becoming a full-time mom)

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