air travel with almost 4 year old — The Bump
Pre-School

air travel with almost 4 year old

We are flying from CT to FL about 3 hours for a cruise. We will not be using car transport at all once in FL therefore will not need her carseat once there. Would you still bring a carseat solely for the plane? I want to make sure she's safe but also don't want to unnecessarily lug around the seat and find storage on the ship. Any firsthand experience or opinions on CARES harness?
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Re: air travel with almost 4 year old

  • We just flew with my 4 yo from Baltimore to Florida for a cruise.  I bought a backless booster sear to use in any cabs/buses but didn't use it on the plane.  She was super psyched to use the regular seat belt.
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • We flew to Orlando in September with DD1 (she just turned 4 a few weeks ago) and we did not take any type of carseat or booster.  She did fine.
    Allie ~ 01/26/09 ~ 7 lbs, 9 oz ~ 20.75 in. & Amelia ~ 03/16/11 ~ 8 lbs, 1 oz ~ 21 in.

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  • imagefredalina:
    If I positively were not taking a car or taxi or van shuttle, I would not take a car seat.

     

    This.  

    How are you getting from the airport to the cruise ship?  Even in a shuttle I always use a car seat.  

    [img]http://lb5m.lilypie.com/03GSm6.png[/img]
    [img]http://lb2m.lilypie.com/O6MKm6.png[/img]
  • imageToBeMrsT:

    imagefredalina:
    If I positively were not taking a car or taxi or van shuttle, I would not take a car seat.

    &nbsp;

    This. &nbsp;

    How are you getting from the airport to the cruise ship? &nbsp;Even in a shuttle I always use a car seat. &nbsp;



    This, exactly.
    Loving Life being Brett's Mama! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We used a CARES harness on our last plane trip with our daughter and it was perfect. It was easy, took up almost no space and was comfortable for her on the plane.  You can rent them on ebay.  It was affordable and easy!
    Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers
  • We just let ds ride in the seat on the plane he does really well.  We check his carseat.

    image

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  • I would never take a carseat on a flight with a child that age unless I knew they'd sleep the whole time - it puts them at the exact right spot to kick the seat in front of them!

    I love our CARES harness - it works well, takes up little space - and even if she doesn't wear it the whole time can at least be restrained completely (not just seatbelt) for take off & landing!

  • No way would I do it unless the child needs to be restrained to prevent them from freaking out and not listening to the rules like staying seated during take off and landing, a child that is old enough to sit still (IMHO from two and up because you can put your arm around them and keep them calmer) would be way more comfortable with the entire seat and not a car seat.  And carrying it would be a PITA but seriously your 4yo will LOVE the plane seat.  I have not brought a car seat on the plane since my DS was around 3y10m and we quickly regretted it, actually he might have been younger and we did not put DD in one at 2y9m.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • imageKathrynMD:
    We just flew with my 4 yo from Baltimore to Florida for a cruise.  I bought a backless booster sear to use in any cabs/buses but didn't use it on the plane.  She was super psyched to use the regular seat belt.

    You cannot use a booster on a plane, I am pretty sure no real boosters are FAA approved and I know for sure the backless ones are not.

    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • imageLittlejen22:

    imageKathrynMD:
    We just flew with my 4 yo from Baltimore to Florida for a cruise.  I bought a backless booster sear to use in any cabs/buses but didn't use it on the plane.  She was super psyched to use the regular seat belt.

    You cannot use a booster on a plane, I am pretty sure no real boosters are FAA approved and I know for sure the backless ones are not.

    Yes you can ONLY use a carseat with an FAA sticker or a CARES harness on an airplane or just the plane seatbelt. The stewards will not allow anything else. I doubt any boosters have that sticker - as only certain carseats do
  • imageAmericanInOz:
    imageLittlejen22:

    imageKathrynMD:
    We just flew with my 4 yo from Baltimore to Florida for a cruise.  I bought a backless booster sear to use in any cabs/buses but didn't use it on the plane.  She was super psyched to use the regular seat belt.

    You cannot use a booster on a plane, I am pretty sure no real boosters are FAA approved and I know for sure the backless ones are not.

    Yes you can ONLY use a carseat with an FAA sticker or a CARES harness on an airplane or just the plane seatbelt. The stewards will not allow anything else. I doubt any boosters have that sticker - as only certain carseats do

    I didn't use the booster on the plane and didn't suggest or recommend it either.

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  • yea your post your suggested you did - but I didn't think you were either :)

    was just clarifying!

  • I never use the car seat on the plane.  I used it for each of my girls from the time I stopped having them on my lap until they were close to 3.  They have always traveled great and done wonderful on the plane.  If I need to bring the car seat with me, I always check it with my luggage.  We have the CARES system and am mixed on it.  DD#1 used it and had no issues and DD#2 hated the thing and cried whenever we tried.  I didn't feel like it was worth the battle and we have never had an issue.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • We flew to Mexico right after DD turned 4 and didn't take her carseat with us. We took the taxi to the airport and had requested carseats for both kids. She did great without a carseat. 

  • DS1 sits in the regular seat in the plane with no issues.  I have used the CARES for DS2 though because I fly regularly with 3 kids alone and need him strapped down : )  Usually, I fly to my moms house and she has carseats.   If I had one kid, nah...not at all would I used a carseat/CARES for just the plane.  

    We have flown to Disney (MCO-orlando) and the cabs usually have carseats you can barrow one--not the nicest but whatever...it worked to get us to our hotel (we had intended to take magic express but change out mind--plans do change). There really isn't away to put carseats (and no one does) on the Disney vans.   The carseat laws are very lax in FL--they have NO rules after age 5.  

    If you are flying into MCO the cruiseline port are actually quite far away--45 mins to an hour.  I did that when I was in college.  I would be more comfortable with a booster.   


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  • DS is 3 and has flown a few times without his carseat.  We check it.  When he was younger we used it on the plane.  But, like PP said, he's just big enough so that his car seat would put him in great position to kick the seat in front of him.  It gave us more room to snuggle from Maine to Florida too.  :)

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