My daughter will be bringing her 1 year old on a Delta flight TPE-LAX this summer. He is too small for videos for entertainment. He has his own seat and they have selected the new EC seats but are not planning on bringing a car seat. Their car seat does not snap into the stroller and is really big so they are hoping to go with out it. If the consensus is a car seat makes life that much easier they could possibly borrow a different one. Do the EC seats present any benefits or problems for him? I understand a pacifier or bottle at take off and landing is very helpful for the ears. Any other tips I can pass on to them?
May 26, 11, 8:45 pm
I think a one year old would have a lot of trouble getting comfortable to sleep without a car seat
May 27, 11, 7:49 am
I haven't flown with Delta so can't comment on their seats but my daughter was fine sleeping in her own seat at 14 months, no car seat (on VS)
How potentially naughty is your grandchild? We jettisoned the car seat for my elder because the belt was effective enough at keeping her in her seat. She also loved being able to lean over and snuggle, which is hard with the car seat. My younger child likes to do things like pull up on the seat belt latch during taxi and takeoff - I kept bringing the car seat (even though it was a giant pain in the tuchus) because it was the only way to keep my child buckled in when the seat belt sign was on.
For travel we have a lightweight Cosco Scenara seat. I dislike it, but it cost about $50 and weighs much less than our everyday car seat. We just store it in the garage for when we need an extra.
May 28, 11, 12:16 am
If your grandchild has his own seat, it's kind of a shame to not bring the car seat. Kind of wasted money. It's not only safer for your grandchild but more comfortable for the rest of you. When he's sleeping, he can be popped in there and strapped in. As a Flight Attendant, I can confirm that children in car seats are more comfortable and more settled than those jumping around in the large seat. Also, some children without car seats like to lie down on their parents' laps but then the parent is trapped and can't get up without waking the child! Better to have them in their own place...
He's too young to sit in the airplane seat without a car seat. So for take-off and landing, they would have to hold him anyway, which isn't secure.
The real question to ask is; do you need your car seat at your destination? It's a really bad idea to check a car seat as luggage. They are lost and broken by the airlines all the time and if you get to LAX and your seat has decided to take a jaunt to Toledo, how will the little guy ride in the car? The airlines will NOT compensate for damage to car seats (they consider them "delicate, check-at-own risk" items).
With multiple adults and only one car seat, it shouldn't be a big deal to bring it along. I took a car seat when alone with three children, until only our last flight and my youngest hit 7. I put it on a metal luggage cart and pulled it behind me. They sell gizmos that do this but they're basically overpriced luggage carts. Use an extra bungee cord to secure it.
The Scenera mentioned is about $40-50. It will fit rear-facing on the plane. I flew alone on transatlantics with an older version and it was great. Be sure your grandchild remains facing backwards in the car until at least age 2. It's five times safer. Some families want their children rear-facing on the plane, because they're used to it but some opt to face it forward in case the car seat doesn't fit well. Facing backwards, you can see the baby and less chance of stuff being dropped and thrown to the ground. With a baby, it's a good idea to sit at the "bulkhead" seats with the wall in front. Not only will it make the seat easier to install but it's easier to get in and out of these seats. No one in front to disturb and complain!
It's a myth that children have to suck on take-off and landing. It doesn't hurt but please don't wake the child unnecessarily (and make him cry, and disturb others...) I've been flying with my kids since they were each 4 months old (about 11 years now and too many flights to count) and I have never done this and we have never, ever had any ear problems. They flew in car seats and didn't take pacifiers.
The AAP recommends that the child simply be awake, not on landing but at the top of descent. This is when the airplane is coming out of cruising altitude and starting to land. Offer something to drink, if you want or just make him babbles and laugh. That works too! Or simply having him move his head around. All of it clears the ears!
I recommend also scheduling a well-baby visit a few days' prior, to check for any symptomless ear infections. I did this and sure enough, my son (who had a history of ear infections when he was young) was about to step on an 11 1/2 hour flight with one...Glad we didn't. Fixed that! Healthy ears can handle the pressurization changes.
So be sure to bring the car seat on board if you need it when you get to L.A. With at least three adults, you can handle it!