To take a carseat or not to take a carseat?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by eyenjeff, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. eyenjeff

    eyenjeff PROUD DVC OWNER!!

    Aug 11, 2005
    We are going to Disney in Dec and my daughter will be two on Monday. She is still obviously in a car seat here at home.

    Does anyone have an opinion on whether to take a carseat on the plane still or just use the lapbelt? I hate carrying that carseat around as it is really heavy, but I will always err on the side of caution and I am worried about NOT bringing it.

    When we went last yr, they would not let us board ahead of time to secure the seat and we held up the line to get on the plane becasue we were in the front of the plane. This yr going to Orlando we are in Row 4 so again we will have the same issue. It is soo stressful when you are trying to secure something to keep your child safe, and then people are agitated behind you trying to knock you over to get passed.
    I know that if I bring the carseat, then she will sleep on the plane and I wont have to worry about her getting out of her seat. Maybe I just answered my own question.

    Does anyone have any experience with a 2 yr old on a plane? What did you do? Any suggestions would be great!!
  2. imthatgirl

    imthatgirl DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2008
    we always bring car seats, but we always rent our own car. i think if i wasnt renting a car and relying on buses all week, i wouldnt bring it.
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  4. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2006
    I second that - if you aren't renting a car, I'd skip the carseat. Unless your child is super active, you can be fine without it.

    I flew with my kids when my DD was 2 and didn't bring one. It would have been such a hassle. I think the only times we flew with them were when our kids were infants.

    Just plan on keeping them entertained on the flight - plan ahead with little treats! I loved color wonder markers back then - they don't make a mess (and if one or two drops between the seats, leave it and just bring extras, as I find the germy icky stuff gross). With snacks and stuff, sometimes I felt bad for the people cleaning up after us on the plane!:rotfl2:
  5. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2007
    Since I'm a car seat tech I am a bit biased...but we use a car seat on the plane every trip as long as our kids are using seats that can be used on the plane (ie, dd was 6.5yo on our last trip and her seat isn't FAA approved so she doesn't use a seat on the plane now). The last time we flew before this past December, dd was 3.5yo and she slept almost all of both flights in her car seat! :thumbsup2

    Ds was just 2yo during our December trip and we found it really easy to use his car seat on the plane... rear facing even! He was riding in a Britax Boulevard at the time and it fit really well in the airplane's seat.

    There are lots of ways to get the car seat through the airport. OR.. to forgo the car seat altogether.

    Go Go Kids makes a travel cart for car seats. It is pricey though at $79 on Amazon.

    The Traveling Toddler is less expensive at $14.99 (also at Amazon), but you need to use your own wheeled carry on.

    The Samsonite Micro Mover luggage cart is an older option (and what we've used for the last 6yrs) and about $25. The bonus w/ this is that it collapses easily to store in a backpack or other carry on.


    Lastly...the CARES harness. This is NOT a car seat but a harness specifically designed for airplane use. This is a great option for a family that flies often and does NOT need a child restraint at their destination. The harness costs about $75 (at the CARES website) but you can also "rent" one on eBay.
    The CARES harness can only be used with children between 22 and 44lbs and there have been some reports of younger/smaller children submarining a bit due to it not having a crotch strap.

    ALSO... here is a great website w/ a TON of great info about using carseats on airplanes.

    As for installing the seat on the plane w/o inconveniencing others...we divide and conquer! One of us boards w/ everyone else w/ the car seat and installs it while the other waits in the boarding area w/ the car seat user! I like letting the kids run around as much as possible before boarding!

    Generally we then board the plane about 5 min or so after the first parent. It works out REALLY well for us.

  6. Jakesmom504

    Jakesmom504 DIS Veteran

    Jun 15, 2005
    I agree with the previous poster. If I were renting a car, definitely would be bringing the seat but we just got back and we didn't bring DS seat. Granted he's 4, but he is still in a carseat (hopefully not for much longer). We will be getting him a booster soon. We just buckled him in. In fact on our flight down, we sat across from a family that had 2 toddler boys (well, probably 2 and 4) and 1 little girl that looked to be about 8 months old. None were in carseats, the mom held the baby. Have fun!:thumbsup2
  7. lezammer

    lezammer Earning My Ears

    Jul 5, 2005
    I'm leaving in 2 weeks with my 2yo, 3yo and 5yo. I agree that if I were renting a car, I would either bring their car seats or rent one. In fact, I rented one from Babies Best Friend about 4 yrs ago with my oldest. But since we are not (thank God!), I will skip them altogether. God knows if I had to lug all 3 car seats and my children through the airport (and a stroller since my youngest LOVES to run away from me, not to mention my handcarry) I would just shoot mysel! Anyway, have a great trip!!
  8. cindilou1977

    cindilou1977 Earning My Ears

    Sep 12, 2008
    We brought ours last week for our 2.5 year old. It was nice on the plane as he was able to fall asleep and was not squirming all over. It was a pain to transfer it but we just put it on our double stroller and it worked.

    My husband however has vowed to not travel with them anymore.
  9. tanyaandallie

    tanyaandallie DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 2006
    Best practice is definitely to bring a seat for your child on the plane. If your little one was older, I might skip it, but at 2, I'd take it. Your child will be far more comfy on the plane in her carseat.

    If you don't want to lug the carseat and you are not going to rent a car or take a taxi while you are at Disney, I would consider the CARES harness. You can actually rent them on ebay.
  10. 5 for WDW

    5 for WDW DIS Veteran

    Sep 27, 2007
    I wouldn't consider not bringing a seat if it were me. We have always used a car seat on the plane. Until each of the kids were 4.
    But, I am not a fan of flying. I feel much better knowing my kids are safe and sound in their car seats when they are young. It helps to calm my flying fears a little as well.
    It also helps to keep them from getting out of the seat since they know they have to stay in their car seat in the car.

    Have a great trip what ever you decide!:goodvibes
  11. dnlsmith

    dnlsmith "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing

    Aug 22, 2008
    I have been struggling with the same issue. After confiring with some Dis'ers
    I decided take the car seat. We are renting a car and the car rental place won't confirm a carseat rental so we have to bring it anyway. I also decided that I know my little one will be more comfortable in it and will probably sleep because she is comfortable. This is important for us because our flights are between 7-9 hours long. Sure it is a bit of a hassle but I would rather have that than trying to entertain a toddler who doesn't want to stay in her seat, therefore screaming and bothering eberyone else on the plane. I hope you can come to a decision that fits your situation as I did. Good luck!:goodvibes
  12. kimmylaj

    kimmylaj DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2008
    just got back with my 25 month old no car seat for the first time. she slept from takeoffon the way there and back. but hey she did have a smidge of benadryl because she does get motion sick.
  13. FunkyDuck

    FunkyDuck Fan of RAFA NADAL & DONALD!!

    Jun 2, 2008
    I am so torn. We will be traveling in Nov. My dd will be 18mos. We have a Britax Boulevard (HEAVY). We do not need a car seat once we arrive (ME). Our plane ride is only 2.5 hours. I'm torn between our car seat...which I don't look forward to lugging in the airport...and the CARES harness. She is already 24lbs. (22-40lbs allowable for harness). I've read about the slippage of smaller children...but one of the ideas I have come across, was to bring that rubberized shelf liner and place a square on the airline keep child from slipping. Thoughts? Help!
  14. mrstomrice

    mrstomrice Disney Planning Fanactic!

    Mar 7, 2006
    We did not use one for our 23 month old last month. He fit nicely in the seat with a belt (we bought him a seat) I did end up holding him as he fell asleep on our flight home, but it was fine. We couldn't have handled another thing to carry and we don't fly enough to spend money on those cool holders:)
  15. pooh4evr

    pooh4evr Mouseketeer

    Mar 13, 2005
    the first time we took the girls DD#2 was 23 mos we did not take a seat (never really thought about it because we did not need a car either) and she did fine on the flights - we took small toys, coloring books and snacks- some will tell you it is a must but it has always worked out for us not to take one.
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    We used a seat for DS until he was 3.5, and actually that trip was a fluke b/c I was alone with him and just exhausted on a FULL flight, and couldn't handle carrying it without hitting everyone AND deal with him, so I just gate checked it at the very last moment.

    But before then all but one of our flights was with the seat (first was with him as lap baby and that was a mistake I'll never make again!). I really liked having the seat and would recommend it.

    As for blocking people, how were you blocking people? Well I guess if all three of you are trying to get on right then, it might cause problems, but since the carseat has to be next to the window, I've just put my carryons on the aisle seat, sent DS to the middle seat, I tuck in with the seat to the window, wrestle with it, then pop him into the seat and figure out everything else. I almost never have anything to put up above so running out of that room makes no difference, and even if I have something for above I put it in the bin while kneeling on the aisle seat anyway, so I'm still not out in the aisle.

    If you've got more than you and your child, then I'm with this:

  17. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2007
    We took our Boulevard for ds last December w/ no problems. It fit on the plane just fine (Southwest) and we used the Samsonite Micromover to pull it through the airport.
  18. thepeach80

    thepeach80 Mouseketeer

    Jun 17, 2007
    We went to WDW last year and all of my kids had their carseats on the plane. So that was a 4.5yo, an almost 3yo, and a 10 mos, plus we gate checked our double stroller and everyone pretty much had their own carryon. Was it easy, not particularly, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.
  19. pinktink83

    pinktink83 DIS Veteran

    Jul 20, 2003
    Well, if you plan on driving from the airport to Disneyland, then YES, you need her carseat! It's kind of the law. ;) Yes, it is a pain to drag it through the airport, but you don't need to buckle it in right away. Just plop it on the seat, sit down and wait for everyone else to board. Then take those few minutes before they close off the doors to stand up and buckle it in properly. No biggie.

    Or you could just ignore the eye-rolling since your child's safety is more important than what a few strangers think. Its their own dang fault anyway for complaining about families getting "Special treatment". Well, they got what they wanted...families boarding with everyone else and holding up the line! Oh well, they'll all live!
  20. dixie321

    dixie321 Earning My Ears

    Aug 1, 2008
    We used on car seats (3.5 yo and 22 months) on the way there, but chose not to use them on the way back. My 3.5 year-old's knees were crammed against the seat in front of him on the plane when the person in front of us decided to recline. My almost 2 year old used the opportunity to kick the seat in front of her since it was so close. On the way back without the seats (we checked them), it was a little difficult to keep everyone seated and the kids changed places a lot, but it was a much better experience for us. We would not use them again on a plane.
  21. 3girls4me05

    3girls4me05 DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2008
    Take the carseat! I returned a few weeks ago with our two yr old. My DH tried to talk me out of taking the carseat. I insisted. We were also using ME and the buses-no rental car. However I wanted her comfy on the plane and using her seat would ensure that. We took a Cosco Scenera. We have a Britax Marathon and no way would I want to lug that. The Cosco is lightweight but easy to install (and cheap..$40 at Walmart). I don't regret it for a moment. She was happy and safe. On the flight home the plane had problems that were only discovered after we boarded. We were at the gate for about an hour before we took off. My DD was fine while we were waiting and then fell asleep before drinks were served (and slept for the rest of the flight). OTOH two rows in front of us was a little girl who looked to be about three and she did not have a carseat. She was awful! She couldn't get comfy and was crying and tantruming. I really urge you to bring the seat.

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