Flying with an infant and toddler seat

U

Unregistered

Guest
I will be flying after Christmas with my almost 3 year old and 3 month old. My infant is flying as a lap child (Please don't give me a hard time....this is not a decision that is made lightly, nor am I uninformed. I do care about the safety of my children. My toddler is still rearfacing in cars). We are flying southwest and have the option of installing a car seat for my infant if the flight isn't full. I've flown many times with my toddler, but this is my first time with 2 children and I'm getting very nervous! I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do as far as taking both seats vs. taking one or the other. My options are:

1) Take both seats, install the convertible for sure and the infant if a seat is available. This is of course the best option safety wise and for my sanity once everything is strapped in, but the logistics of getting them both on the plane sound kind of horrible. I like the idea of my toddler being strapped in, even just for the fact that she can't touch as many things and pick up so many germs (infant was 6 wks early so we're on germ alert). Does anyone know if it's possible to install both an infant seat and a convertible in the same row and still have room for me to sit? Ideally I'd put the infant seat next to the window and the convertible forward facing with me in the middle, but I'm not sure I'd have room to nurse between both seats, even if I would fit (I am on the smaller side with narrow hips). Anyone have experience with this? The seats are a snugride 22 and my travel convertible a Safety First Avenue.

2) Take just the convertible which sounds easiest, but leaves my without the option of installing a seat for my infant. I know this option won't be popular here!

3) Take an infant seat, and buy/rent a cares harness for my toddler. Does anyone have experience with the cares harness? Is it actually worth it?

I know there is an infant seat available at my destination and I'm working on finding a convertible at my destination. If there aren't any safe borrowed options, I'd be willing to buy one online and have it sent to my parents (our destination).

So, any thoughts? I have a stroller frame that works with my infant seat and a folding hand cart that I've used as a car seat carrier/stroller when I flew with just my toddler. We have a connecting flight so whatever I end up doing, I'll have to do it 2x's each way. Ahhhhhh....I think I must be nuts!

Thanks in advance,

Megan
 

thtr4me

New member
Can the convertible be installed RF on the plane? If so, I would take the convertible only. You can install it FF for your older child on the plane if you end up needing to take the baby as a lap baby. If they have space on the plane for the baby to have a separate seat, you can install the convertible RF for the baby and use the lap belt or the Cares harness for your older child on the plane. This gives you some flexibility, minimizes what you are trying to carry through the airport and onto the plane, and reduces the risk that you would have to check or gate-check a seat.
 

mommaof2boys

New member
Can the convertible be installed RF on the plane? If so, I would take the convertible only. You can install it FF for your older child on the plane if you end up needing to take the baby as a lap baby. If they have space on the plane for the baby to have a separate seat, you can install the convertible RF for the baby and use the lap belt or the Cares harness for your older child on the plane. This gives you some flexibility, minimizes what you are trying to carry through the airport and onto the plane, and reduces the risk that you would have to check or gate-check a seat.
The Avenue does fit RF in the plane, although more upright than it does in the car. Since you have an infant seat available at the other end, I agree that I'd take just the Avenue and maybe a Cares and hope that there's room for the baby to have a seat. I usually do something similar except with a Radian instead of a Cares. If there's room for both to have seats, the little one gets the Avenue and the big one the Radian; if there's not room for the baby, the big one sits in the Avenue and the Radian goes in the overhead bin.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Thanks for the replies! I actually had a 'duh' moment after I posted my questions, and thought of just taking the Avenue myself! My one thought/dilemma is where I would set the shoulder straps. Maybe just set them for my infant and use the cares for my toddler no matter what happens with an extra seat?
 

Pixels

New member
A day or two before your flight, go to southwest.com and try to find your flight, to purchase tickets. If your flight isn't listed, then it is sold out and you probably won't get a seat for the infant. Then set the straps for the toddler. If there are still tickets available for your flight, it is more likely that you will get a seat for baby and set the straps for baby.

They will not let you sit in between two carseats. FAA regulations say that a carseat cannot block the egress of any other passenger, and most airlines interpret that to mean that nobody can sit on the far side of a carseat. It's questionable whether they would even allow you to install carseats window and center, since the center seat could be said to impede the egress of the child at the window (or more aptly, block the adult trying to get the child out).

Carseats are not allowed in the emergency exit rows, and many airlines also do not allow them in the row immediately in front of or behind the emergency exit row. Just a heads-up, so when you get on the plane pick a different row so they don't have to move you.

When I've flown with a toddler, I parked her in a seat in front or behind our row, buckled her in, and told her to stay put while I got the carseat and our bags arranged. Will you have another adult to help you, or do you use a carrier to wear the infant? I don't know how you would hold the baby and get the carseat installed, or even carry the infant, the seat, and a diaper bag.
 

lilliput

New member
They will not let you sit in between two carseats. FAA regulations say that a carseat cannot block the egress of any other passenger, and most airlines interpret that to mean that nobody can sit on the far side of a carseat. It's questionable whether they would even allow you to install carseats window and center, since the center seat could be said to impede the egress of the child at the window (or more aptly, block the adult trying to get the child out).

Carseats are not allowed in the emergency exit rows, and many airlines also do not allow them in the row immediately in front of or behind the emergency exit row. Just a heads-up, so when you get on the plane pick a different row so they don't have to move you.

When I've flown with a toddler, I parked her in a seat in front or behind our row, buckled her in, and told her to stay put while I got the carseat and our bags arranged. Will you have another adult to help you, or do you use a carrier to wear the infant? I don't know how you would hold the baby and get the carseat installed, or even carry the infant, the seat, and a diaper bag.
:yeahthatlove:

Your plan to bring the Avenue and a CARES harness sounds like a good one to me.
I flew alone with a 6-month old (yes, he was a lap child) and a preschooler. I had an Avenue waiting for me at our destination for the baby and my preschooler sat in his RN on the plane. I wore the baby, and did just as Pixels suggested - parked my preschooler in the row behind me while I installed his seat next to the window. There is no place for them to go at that point.... I do not believe you are allowed to keep the baby in an infant carrier during taxi, takeoff, or landing, FYI. Someone might need to confirm that for me.
I found that passengers were more helpful and patient than I expected since they saw I had my hands full. And I thanked everyone around me when we landed, even though my kids are generally pretty good fliers... a little good will goes a long way...

One thought on having a seat at your destination. In theory, it was wonderful, especially in the airport, but I was unfamiliar with the Avenue (which I had had shipped to my mom in FL) when we arrived and it took me forever to get the thing installed in her car in the airport parking lot. I got it, eventually, but I personally don't know if in future I would want to have an unfamiliar carseat combined with an unfamiliar car waiting for me at my destination. So perhaps find out what infant seat, and what car, is waiting for you and find out some tips or tricks for installation before you go so you're prepared.

Good luck!
 

mommaof2boys

New member
Thanks for the replies! I actually had a 'duh' moment after I posted my questions, and thought of just taking the Avenue myself! My one thought/dilemma is where I would set the shoulder straps. Maybe just set them for my infant and use the cares for my toddler no matter what happens with an extra seat?
The only problem with this is you might end up having to gate-check the Avenue, which isn't the best idea (likely safer than checking it at the counter, but still a risk). The straps are really easy to move on the Avenue. I do what Pixels suggested and try to book tickets before we leave to see if there's still room; if there's not, set them for the toddler before you leave home. If there still seems to be room, set them for the infant and you can find out once you get to the gate if there is still room for it. If it turns out that there's not extra seats, it only takes a minute at the gate to switch the straps up for the toddler--just know ahead of time which slot height they need to be at.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Thanks again for all your thoughtful replies!

I will be wearing my infant in a carrier and my toddler is used to waiting either in the aisle seat or the row behind me, while I install the seat. I've also installed the avenue in the plane seats enough times for it to be pretty fast. I know the baby can't be secured for take off and landing, but does anyone know exactly what that means in a wrap carrier such as a moby? Can I just move the fabric off one side of her body or does she have to be completely removed?

Good idea about checking if the flight is full in advance!

The infant seat waiting for me is my sister's keyfit. My mom will have it installed already, using the base, so it should be pretty painless once we get there! My mom know's I'm really picky about how seats are installed, so I'm sure she will double and triple check using the manual.

Anyone know any tricks to getting Avenue installed more reclined on plane seats?
 

Peony

New member
It will depend on the FA as far as the moby goes. I've completely left alone with my fabric sling or made to stow it in the overhead bin before take off. I was fuming that time because I had just gotten her to sleep and had pulled it down successfully without waking her up but she demanded I fully take it off and then instructed me to stow it and stood there watching. Of course she woke up and started screaming again. :rolleyes:
 

T4K

New member
I wore my Moby once when flying. Both times at security, people stopped to watch me put it on. They wanted see how it worked. :ROTFLMAO:
It was quite the spectacle.

I seem to always be lucky, if LO is sleeping, I don't take her out and out her in her seat right away (Moby or Ergo). I do once we are taking off but not when they come around to check. My FAs have never told me me to not wear her in over 10+ round trip flights with her.

Maybe you'll be lucky!
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I've been allowed to install two car seats next to each other, on Southwest and American flights. I've also been allowed to sit a child in a CARES in an aisle seat with other passengers on the center and window seats, so at least some FAs do not interpret a CARES as impeding access (since it really doesn't take up more space than a child just sitting there.)
 

Eclipsepearl

New member
NEVER have a lap baby attached to you in any way for take-off and landing. This is very dangerous.

You can keep the baby in the carrier but the carrier must be removed from the adult in that case. That F/A overinterpreted the rules but probably wanted to be sure that parent didn't pull out the carrier and use it once she was gone.

Even if the F/A misses this, you are still putting your baby at risk. In forward impact, attached to you, the baby doesn't have a prayer. Some babies, by contrast, have survived after being thrown in the cabin. They're actually safer loose in your lap. The pp who thought she was "lucky" could have been really unlucky if something had gone wrong. Luckily, nothing did! Many parents get a false sense of security from baby carriers but they are not designed for this kind of emergency. The parents' body has more mass and weight than the child's, so they don't stand a chance with the parent coming down on top of them in forward impact.

It's a FAA regulation, NOT dependant on the F/A, but what's more important is that your unsecured child in your lap at least has a shot at surviving an accident. They don't in a carrier.

You can use the baby carrier during the flight itself, once you're in the air. It is very convenient for air travel in general. I was watching a family who didn't have a carrier on my last flight a few days' ago. They were really pinned down under the sleeping child during our long flight and they didn't have their hands free. Hard with two other children...

No, a CARES harness does not come under the same rules as a car seat. It can be insalled in an aisle seat and a parent can sit in between.
 

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