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Old 02-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
Mommy2RandN
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Carseats-3 and 5 yr olds

We are flying to FL in April and renting a car. I am trying to decide what to do about carseats for my 3 and 5 year olds. Right now my 3 year old is still in a convertible, but she meets the highback booster requirements. My DS is 5 and in a highback.
My thinking is that we'll just take the backs off and put in luggage and take out when we arrive. Am I crazy-we should have enough free luggage to do this. Not sure about doing the rental car seats.
I'd like to hear what others have done or any suggestions, we are on a budget so saving pennies is a priority.
Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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I'm a car seat tech. Your plan will be fine for your five year old assuming your luggage doesn't get lost by the airline. Put the seat portion in a carryon just in case. It can't be used on the plane anyway.

3 is really too young for a booster. Even if they fit the weight minimum - that's so petite older children have options. A booster can only do its job if the child is able to sit properly - no wiggling, leaning over to pick things up or bother a sibling, no unbuckling the seatbelt. No falling over while asleep.

They'll need their own seat on the plane so I'd advise a lightweight seat with a harness and use it onboard. Depending on size, a Cosco Scenera or Evenflo Maestro would be good inexpensive options. The current seat may be a good choice too.

I wouldn't rent a seat even if it was free. For your child you'd probably end up with a booster. And no matter what, you have no idea how it's been maintained, whether it's been in a crash, or anything like that. Plus it's not very cost effective. Two days of renting probably covers the cost of a Scenera.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
twinboysmom
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I would bring your 3 year olds car seat (or buy a scenera like the pp said) and either put her in it during the flight or gate check it. I would not put her in a booster, particularly a backless booster.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
nhmommy
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If you are flying Southwest they do not count car-seats against your checked luggage allowance so you can check them I'm not sure about other airlines but you could check the website or call.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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You can gate check the car seats for free. We do this with strollers. Id double check with SW but I was told you can also gate check car seats so they will have them waiting for you as you get off the plane and store them in the plane for free while you fly.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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Children should be AT LEAST 4 years and 40 pounds to use a booster.... Check or have her sit in her car seat on the plane as long as it is approved for airplane use.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #7
Mommy2RandN
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Thank you!!!

Thank you for all your input! I think I will try and figure out a way to get her seat on with us. I'm just trying to figure out how to carry/drag everything through the airport with my mom, the kids and luggage!!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
NashvilleMama
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We have a carseat carrying/travel bag - think we got it from Target - and it's awesome for just this scenario. It has straps so you can carry it like a backpack, and then it's protected if you check it. It's the JL Childress Ultimate Car Seat but I'm sure there are tons out there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #9
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There's a forum called car-seat.org with tons of car seat experts, many who fly all the time. They likely have good advice for getting everything through the airport.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
Mommy2RandN
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We are all set-I found the carseat bag we bought years ago. It has backpack straps AND wheels!!! This is almost as good as Christmas!!
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