What seat to bring for 2 1/2 year old?


New member
Hi I'm a long time lurker, 1st time poster. ketchupqueen did a check for me a little over a month ago so I've even met someone here :) So I'm possibly going to be taking a 3 hour flight with my 2 girls at the end of the month. DD1 is 2 1/2 and just under 40lbs and DD2 just turned 1 and is 25lbs.

I absolutely know that it is better to buy a seat for everyone, but financially we just can't do that right now so my 1 year old will be riding in my lap. There will be a scenera available for her to use at our destination (RF).

I would love to be able to just take the scenera that we have for DD1, but since she is so close to 40lbs I would not feel comfortable doing that. So I basically have 3 options of car seats for her.

Option 1 - her frontier that is her car seat she rides in all the time, it is very heavy and I've never been able to do the SBP so this would actually be my least favorite option. But it is her car seat so I know she would be comfortable in it.

Option 2 - bring the MA that the baby currently rides in (RF) for her to FF on the plane and in the car. I would probably do this over brining the Frontier because I have brought it on a plane before, but that was before the baby was born.

Option 3 - would be to buy a Radian. I am planning on buying a Radian eventually so that DD2 can RF longer and because I am pregnant with baby #3 so I want to have more options with 3 across. I was planning on waiting until DD2 hits 30lbs so that the new 40lbs RF stickers will be on them. But if it would be easier to travel with then I would go ahead and buy one now. It just seems like it would be the easiest to travel with 2 kids because of the folding and the carry strap. But then I would just need to decide which one, but I could start a new thread about that :).

So with option 1 or option 2 I would probably have to attach the car seat to a luggage cart and drag it behind me while I push a stroller. I could bring a double stroller or a single stroller (DD1 could walk or ride in the car seat on the luggage rack). I've never done this before so I don't know how difficult it would be to manage.

And then there is the possibility of having an open seat on the plane I could stick DD2 in, so do I bring our Scenera just in case that happens, and if so how do I manage 2 car seats + 2 kids (+ being pregnant!) Would 2 luggage carts work, put both kids in car seats on carts and not bring a stroller?

I know I am making this so complicated! So any thoughts would be appreciated!



New member
I've been going thru scenerios in my head also as I'm travelling on my own with both kids in 1 1/2 weeks. We've done a few family trips this year so I've been able to test out some things with DH along. :) Depending on what stroller you have it's not the easiest thing to push a stroller one handed and pull a luggage cart or suitcase. Do you need a stroller at your destination?

I have decided for our trip to have DD walk and pull her own wheeled carry on (she's 3.5 though) and put DS (20months) in the carseat that we strap in the stroller. DD has a Safeguard Go that folds up in a carry bag so that gets hung on the back of the stroller. And then I can wear a backpack for the rest of our stuff.

Since your kids are younger, do you have a carrier or sling you could use for the 1yo? That's how we've been getting my DS thru the airport (Ergo). If you can carry your 1yo, and strap the carseat (I'd probably go for the Marathon, unless you really want to buy the Radian already) in the stroller and have ODD ride in that, or use your double with the carseat in one side & DD in the other. I've also attached our Marathon to a luggage cart and had DD ride in it thru the airport, which is a good option if you can borrow a stroller at your destination. I've also put the seat in a wheeled carseat bag that actually worked OK to hook the pull strap around the handle of our stroller, I just had to walk a little to the side when pushing the stroller.

Not sure if any of that was helpful. Definitely try some set-ups at home before you go. And remember that you need to take things apart to get thru security (the best part of traveling alone, trying to keep LO's from running off as you get everything on the conveyor).

Good luck.


New member
I don't even know why I didn't think of the sling for the baby! I use it all the time so it would totally work :) I don't need a stroller at our destination because my SIL has an extra double I could use so that would work perfectly. So I think I will bring the Marathon, but I'll definitely need to try everything out before I get there.

Thank you so much for your suggestions, it makes my trip seem so much less daunting!


New member
I would go with the MA because you already have it, it's super easy to install and I just tried carrying the Radian on a strap or backpack style and found it HEAVY and awkward and I just can't imagine myself doing this, being pg and worrying about 2 other kids. I would attach the MA to a luggage cart or a rolling carry-on and let baby ride in it or sling her. I would get a harness/backpack for the older one to help you keep track of her, but mine run so I might be biased. Also with your older being over 2 and close to 40 lbs, if there are seats free and they let you, you can let her sit in the lap belt and let the baby sit in the MA. It may not fit her as well as one might like (the lap belt) ad you will need to remind her to stay seated properly, but it would mean both of them are restrained in some acceptable way.


New member
Thank you for your input on the Radian, that is very good to know about it being heavy and awkward to carry. My 2 year old is a runner too so she will definitely need some sort of restraining (in the car seat or with a harness/backpack). And I think I will do that if their is an empty seat, put the baby in the seat and use the seat belt for the toddler. If it doesn't work then I'll just switch them, but I'd probably have to put the car seat FF just in case I have to switch them I guess. I may have to ponder that a little more.

Thanks again!


New member
I think the radian is OK to carry through an airport, but there is kinda a learning curve. I hesitate to recommend that bc you've never done it, will be the only adult, and if you end up not being able to carry it ..you are in a lurch while alone at an airport with 2 kids :). I also would hold off on the radian bc if you are considering the XT, some changes have been talked about, and *should be* available in the next few months. So if you don't need it right now,Id wait to see what is available when you have to have it :)

Since you already have the MA, id stick with that. Either attach it to a luggage cart, or do the gogowheels and have DD1 ride in it thru the airport.

Front pack/sling the baby, and have a backpack as a carry on.. then you technically still have one hand free..

What time of day are you flying? Possibly call the airlines before heading to the airport and see how many seats are left? If its full, then you know there wont be a spot for DD2 ..no need to even think of bringing another seat. If they tell you they have 20 open seats, you might want to consider bringing a seat for her.

Hope it all goes well :)


Ambassador - CPS Technician
OT, and you may already know this, but you should be able to leave the 1yo in the sling through security. YMMV of course, but that's the latest FAA policy on it.

I, too, would take just one seat, and use it for the baby, if there's an extra seat available, and the toddler, if there's not. Remember, too, that RF vs FF isn't as important on the plane, where the object is less to protect them from a frontal impact or crash, and more to keep them attached to the seat in some manner in the event of turbulence -- almost to keep them "down" in the seat rather than to absorb crash forces. So, you could even put that seat FF next to you, and alternate which child is in it and which gets mommy lap time while you're crusing. The harness wouldn't fit the smaller one spectacularly (at harness height,) but as long as it was tightened I would think it would do the trick. Others may chime in on this and disagree, though.

All of that said... if you speak to the airline and determine that it's a largely empty flight, I'd be more tempted to do the double stroller w/two seats on it, baby in sling, toddler on harness/leash, and then have both of my seats available. For me, it would be worth the hassle to give them each their own space on the plane, and have familiar seats available at the destination.


New member
Wow everyone has been super helpful! As a lurker I knew that would be the case, but it's so nice to see so many helpful suggestions to a newbie! So thank you so much!

As it looks we will most likely not even be taking our plane trip anymore :( But we will still probably be flying in December (and luckily I'll have DH with me at that time!) So these suggestions will all still be applicable then :)

I will definitely be posting more as it gets closer to trying to decide which Radian to get, especially now with so many more choices!

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