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Old 12-08-2010, 09:24 AM   #1
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Flying with a baby (15 month old)

My baby girl has never been on a plane... I am debating whether to get her a seat or not. We need to bring the carseat along anyway because we will be renting a car. The flight is 6 hours, broken into two flights (changing planes after 3 hours). I'm trying to be thrifty and save on the ticket for her but I also don't know how well she'll tolerate being on my lap for 6 hours.
What have you done/would you do?

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Old 12-08-2010, 09:26 AM   #2
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

I have flown with babies. Save yourself some grief and get a seat! I know it costs more but honestly it will be so much easier on you.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

We have taken several trips with the boys on planes and done it both ways and i prefered the lap. it was just easier for me to entertain them, and they usually slept most of the way.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

I always did the lap, sometimes in biz class. That was really nice bc you aren't squished. Would it have been easier if my husband and I had an empty seat between us? Sure but it wasn't necessary. We went on many domestic flights baby in arms.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

my little man never tolerated a car seat, so i never even tried it. he was on my lap all the time, nursed, slept, and does great.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:22 PM   #6
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

i always do on lap. although a lot of people have told me it's better to get the extra seat. i don't think my ds would tolerate it at all. he would flip and just scream to sit on my lap anyways. sometimes it's a little squished, but now that dh is here to fly with us it's no big deal. i did several flights with him by myself when he was younger, and it was a little harder being crowded up against a stranger, but i still wouldn't have put him in a separate seat. i think it probably depends on your child and what they tolerate better. ds does get a little stir crazy sitting on my lap for so long, but there's no way he's tolerate being strapped in his car seat either with me sitting right there next to him.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

There's no way we could have ever afforded the extra seat so we did the lap. I don't think we would have bought an extra seat even if we could have though. My DS would not have been happy about being strapped into his careat. We did a 3 hour flight when my LO was about 13 or 14 months. I was pleasantly surprised at how mellow it was. I thought for sure he would be ticked off that I wasn't going to let him get down and walk around. He was actually pretty happy though. We brought some puffed kamut for a snack, a couple little board books, one small toy, and his paci. If your LO takes a paci then be sure to bring it. It can help her ears when you're taking off and landing. The one thing that sucked was having to change him on the plane. The washroom on the plane is itty bitty as I'm sure you already know but the change table is miniature too! Hardly even suitable for a newborn! Not to mention the loud noise and shakiness...it all added up to equal disaster. My DS was terrified of public change tables from that point on. So I would recommend doing a change right before boarding and use a really absorbent diaper so that you can maybe get by without changing her till you get off the plane for your stop-over.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

We have flown a few times with DS (who is now 13.5 months) and will fly again with him in January. We always get him a seat. The reason we do this is 1) we need to transport the carseat and we don't trust the way they handle them if they're checked at the gate and 2) if, god forbid, there were an accident during takeoff/landing, surely he's safer strapped into his carseat than in my lap (there is actually some evidence to back this up). the extra seat also gives us a little extra room to stow our things. We generally keep him strapped in whenever the seatbelt sign is lit, although sometimes not if it's just lit for mild turbulence.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:44 PM   #9
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

If you can afford a seat, buy one! First of all, the baggage handlers do who-knows-what to your carseat, so there's no way to know if the integrity is still there on the other end.

Second, during major turbulence (or landing/takeoff problems), lap children are called missiles.

This is because if you drop 50ft on an air pocket, you cannot hold onto your child. Now, this doesn't happen very often, but it does. In situations like this, the flight attendants will tell you to store your child at your feet, as it is the safest place for the other patrons on the plane.

If you can't afford it, the odds are certainly in your favor that nothing will happen, but your child is always safer restrained than unrestrained in any moving vehicle.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:05 PM   #10
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Re: Flying with a baby (15 month old)

Thank you all for your advice and opinions! I am going to check my finances and bas eit solely on whether i can afford the extra ticket.
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