For parents who are wondering whether or not to take your child’s car seat on an airplane, I highly recommend it! Do not assume your car seat is FAA approved though, make sure you verify this information (you can check the car seat manual or the manufacturer’s website). We did not purchase a separate seat for my son; however, since our planes were not full, Southwest Airlines allowed us to bring his Britax Boulevard on board.
My husband easily installed the car seat next to the window and my son did not disagree about being strapped in. This proved to be invaluable for our trip out of Orlando since we sat on the tarmack for 2 hours waiting for a storm to pass then another 30 minutes when we returned to the gate for a malfunctioning toilet. My son actually slept soundly in his car seat during most of the chaos. I was hoping he would sleep the entire flight to Washington, DC since I strategically planned our flight during his nap time, but the delay threw everything off.
He did really great though, only cried for a few minutes at take off due to the pressures on his ears. I tried feeding him and offering a drink; however, he didn’t want either. A mom with two young boys was sitting near us and gave my son a Tootsie Pop and said it may help his ears. The lollipop was too large to fit in his mouth, but it definitely distracted him from the pain. After a few minutes, I was able to strap him back into his car seat and keep him entertained for the rest of the trip.
On my previous post Flying With A Toddler, a fellow mom blogger left a comment about wrapping toys for her children. I took her advice and wrapped 5 new toys in tissue paper. Thank you Katie, each package kept him occupied for 15 minutes! He had a blast shredding the tissue paper and then discovering his prize inside. I also packed a few of his favorite books and some fun finger foods, so he was a happy boy.
In all seriousness, I do not know what we would have done without the car seat on the airplane. My son is a squirmy toddler and there was no way I could have held him still for that long. He would have driven me nuts! Even though it is a pain to carry along the car seat, my advice is to do it anyway. Your child will be much more comfortable and safely restrained. We used a GoGo Kidz Travelmate to roll it through the airport which lightened our load tremendously (we also strapped our son in it and pushed it like a stroller). I plan on posting a product review in the very near future.
I was also very hesitant about renting a car seat at our final destination. I have heard horror stories about car seats being filthy dirty as well as in poor condition. Having my son’s car seat also brought me peace of mind.
Do you restrain your child in a car seat while on an airplane? Do you bring along anything special to make your child more comfortable while flying? I’d love to hear about your experience.
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