If you're flying with a baby under age 2, you usually have two options when it comes to seating:
1. You can purchase a seat for your baby to give your family a little extra space, avoid being squashed next to an unpleasant neighbor, and ensure that your child has the safest possible journey.
2. You can take advantage of the fact that almost all airlines allow little ones under 2 to ride on a parent's lap for FREE.
We only have flown once since our baby made her grand entrance into the world and we decided on the latter option. Essentially, we hoped and prayed for uncrowded flights and pleasant seatmates - and, fortunately, we made out quite well in both categories.
Our daughter was 6 months old at the time and quite pleasant to travel with - sweet and sleepy and smiley. Now that she's an active, curious, and somewhat squirmy (but still sweet and smiley) toddler, I think we'd probably look into getting her a seat of her own.
AND we'd use CARES, the only FAA-approved harness type child safety device created for air travel. "Just carry a CARES in your pocket or purse, install it on the airplane seat in one minute, and turn any airplane seat into a safe airplane seat for your child!" I think the CARES device is genius because not only is it important for safety reasons, it is also a nice way to "contain" your toddler. What I mean by that is that if my daughter is strapped in, I'm sure she'd be more likely to view the flight as similar to a car ride rather than a free-for-all opportunity to explore the cabin. The best thing about this device is that it is A LOT easier to carry on to the plane than a bulky booster seat (I really don't know how people manage to carry that AND their toddler).
CARES devices can be purchased online or at a limited number of brick-and-mortar stores for approximately $75.
YOUR TURN: When you fly with your under 2 baby, do you choose option 1 or 2 (see above)? What do you like most about the CARES device and would you consider using it? Why or why not?
WIN IT! One winner will receive a CARES safety device. To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Sunday, July 13 at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
*UPDATE* The winner is #22 Noreen. Congratulations!
I am opting for #2 with my 9 month old to travel to see my parents next month alone. I am terrified!The extra space of #1 and not having to worry about the other passenger and safety would be nice. I would love to have this CARES device for future travels to visit my family.
I don't have a baby but I would love to win this fabulous prize for a friend. I like how the CARES device is lightweight and easy to carry. If I had a baby I would use it because it sounds easier than having to carry around a booster seat.
My son will have his second birthday while we are on vacation this year. So... we're doing both #1 and #2. He'll travel free since he's under 2 when we leave, but... the airline is required to reserve a seat for him on the return. Now, if I could just win this, I wouldn't have to bring his carseat on vacation! Thanks!
I'd probably do #1 but consider #2
Cares safety strap is a device I would use for my toddler brother.
I would never consider putting our little girl on our lap.I rather have her sitting beside me, strap and safe, i've never heard of such company like yours and i just love the idea, we are flying to california in 2 months and this would be great to take a long with us. i hope i win
When we've flown in the past it's always been with a child on my lap. Now with a 2yr. old and 4yr. old I'd love to have CARES. They are too wiggly for just a buckle and carseats are so bulky when trying to get through an airport or on a plane. Super idea!
I have a 10 week old!
#2, I think, although my new granddaughter is only 6 weeks old!
I have always gotten my babies their own seats so they are safe during take-off and landing. However, let me tell you...we flew from Texas to California last summer and it was a NIGHTMARE! I had two children who needed to be in their carseats. My husband was not with me on the trip. So I had to lug all our carry-ons, keep my children with me (one with autism, one a 2 year old, and my other children as well) and carry 2 FULL size carseats with us, as booster seats are NOT approved by the airlines. My kids were in booster seats so I went out and bought new seats just for this trip.
When we got on the planes each time...not one attendant would help us and the seats were next to IMPOSSIBLE to get buckled in, much more difficult than putting them into a car. Plus all the people trying to get into their seats around us and getting highly aggravated at us, because my kids are in the aisle while I am trying to get the blasted carseats installed. When I got home I gave those carseats away to another mom who needed them and will NEVER again try to use carseats on an airplane.
I think CARES are a GREAT idea and would have saved me a HUGE headache!
depending on the price of the ticket I would choose 1, but also option 2 would always be a choice!!!
We always did option #2. I hoped for a seat next to us but most of the time he was well behaved and sat quietly. This product would be a real help!
I haven't traveled yet with a baby because I am pregnant right now and I would not want to travel with my child on my lap but would use CARES.
Love number one; but of course more features for the money however would take #2. Many thanks for the wonderful contests.
We would do #2 because it is cheaper, but with the CARES device I wouldn't mind paying a little extra since we wouldn't have to carry around a bulky seat! Thanks for the contest!
We used to do #2. But now that she is older I end up bringing her carseat. This would be a life saver and so much easier now that she is in a booster.
I always pick option #2...because it is cheaper. I think the harness is great and I would try it.
Number 2 is my choice but now that she's bigger I have got to get a harness. so much better than lugging a carseat around.
We always chose #2 as we are cheap...and often got an empty seat. This harness is just great - my daughter loves hers.
just to cool
Option #2 so far. I'd probably use it, much easier to carry.
Caleb is just about to turn 2. We have always had him sit on my lap and during the flight, I would wear him in my Ergo or "release" him to color or play while sitting on my lap. We are flying back to Chicago for Christmas and I was interested in trying something like this since we have a Britax carseat for him and it is quite bulky. I did pick up this thing that attaches to it and converts it into a stroller that is quite handy. So...we'll see.
wow - this is great- we'll be bringin our son on a 13 hour flight and I've been concerned as this will be his first seat by himself instead of on our laps
My son was traveling with me for business beginning at 3 weeks old. Though I always carried him in my lap, the last time I did this, I thought I would lose it!. The little puddle jumper was full, no place to move, the guy next to me decided to play "smart boy" and pulled out his laptop which left me absolutely no wiggle room at all, and my son would not sit still. Thank goodness, someone had brought a portable DVD in the last row with Star Wars playing, he kept my son entertained for over an hour!
sigh, I choose 2 cause it is free, however the cares system is awesome!
This is a great question, and like many that have come up already for our baby one we've given great thought to. Although, before reading this topic, we never knew of this particular option.
On trips when he was very little, I mostly held him in my lap, so I could comfort and feed him - although he seemed to sleep most of the time.
Our last trip, last month, he wanted to explore everything! If he had his choice, he'd be running up and down the aisles, banging the window shade up and down a zillion times and swtiching laps as much as possible.
I think this CARES device is really helpful for parents. No lugging a seat around - that in itself is good, and when I fly by myself, no fiddling with getting it in while passengers wait for me in the aisle. I can hold him in my lap while attaching the harness to the seat. Not to mention getting there with diaper bag and purse and car seat!
Once again, thanks for the great information! I'm not sure when my husband is being transferred to another base but it will come in handy!
I used to use the free option! but this seems like a safer alternative
We looked into getting a discounted seat for our 12 month old and found that almost all the airlines no longer discount them. Doesn't that figure! Southwest will still knock a little off the price. CARES sounds like a good option instead of dragging along a car seat.
We flew once when our little guys was 11 months old and we did pop for the extra seat on the plane because it was a flight from St. Louis to San Fran.....LONG! Next month I am traveling alone with him from St. Louis to Oklahoma City...SHORT! He will be 15 months old. I think for that distance, the CARES would be perfect.
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to try out this product. I would most certainly use it. Juggling a stroller and a car seat and a carry on, and a diaper bag, and oh yeah, BABY, isn't much fun when you're boarding an airplane.
Really? there are airlines still allowing you to hold a baby on your lap? We got a flat out no on our last flight, but did get a reduction in the seat price. Not a big one, but still.
We've traveled once since having our daughter. She was about six months at the time so we took advantage of the free flight and she sat on our laps. I'd like to travel once more before she turns two but even then I'm a little worried about the safety of it all. This company makes some great products and I'd love to try one. Thanks for the chance.
Years before we had our son, we spent a lot of time on planes traveling overseas with my husband's job. I will never forget the turbulence we experienced coming home from one of our trips. It was the worst I've ever flown in. You know it's bad when the flight attendants look scared and most passengers have stopped talking and are holding onto their arm rests with clenched knuckles. Anyway, there was a mother sitting a few rows in front of us with a baby on her lap. She was doing her best to hold onto her child, but then the plane dropped suddenly. I'm not sure what the baby hit, but it came out of that experience with a bloody, swollen lip, swollen eye and a large goose egg on the forehead, not to mention a very shaken mother and flight attendants. That memory is worth the extra money we have spent buying our little guy his own seat and carrying his car seat on our backs through the airport with the Pac-Back. Now that our little guy is a toddler, it's great to have him strapped in on the plane, because he knows when he's in his seat, he's staying there. And it's the only place he'll sleep since he refuses to sleep in our arms. As he gets older and we expand our family, we'll have to invest in something such as CARES to continue to keep him safe in his airplane seat.
#1 - I always buy an extra seat. Even if I choose to have her sit on my lap, in turbulence I feel much safer if she's in her car seat.
we'd do #2! This device is a wonderful wonderful creation and I'd love to have one for our daughter and to demonstrate to our traveling friends!
Our under 2 sits on my lap. Would like something like this as it is much safer
This is great, I love this car seat item, so much easier to carry, Thanks.
We took our first plane ride with our son in April ( he was 10 months old) and we did purchase a seat. I felt like it would be safer should we experience turbulence. We have traveled overseas and have experienced turbulence severe enough to make us nervous and I would not want to be trying to hold onto my child during something like that. Reality: He barely stayed in the car seat. It was bulky and difficult to carry on and while he did nap and eat in it on the way to Nashville, the trip home was something else all together. We actually had some strong winds coming back to LA so we had to put him in and I'm so glad we did because we had a pretty hard landing. Anyway...all this to say that this sounds like a great alternative to placing a child on my lap. I would consider using it. I LOVE that it is FAA approved and can be carried in my purse. Easy to use too? I'm sold!
I borrowed one of these to travel w/my 2 and 4 yr olds and it was awesome! I'm going cross country w/them again soon and could really use one of my own! Not having to deal w/a carseat was priceless, I don't know how I'll travel without the CARES system, it was so incredibly easy to use.
#2-to save money
#1 Because my childs safety is very important and a first of a long list. I will be checking this product out, but would love to win one. Thanks
I dno't have a lot of experience traveling with a child, but my son who is 14 months old is going on his first plane ride. I'm taking hime without DADDY so to say I'm stressed and nervous is an understatement. My InLaws are bugging me to take a car seat for safety, but I cannot imagine draggin it, a stroller, the carry ones, and my son through security and the entire airport. I'd love the CARES harness, it would take a lot of stress of everyones minds.
No lugging car seats for me...yuck! This would be fantastic for when we go flying in the single engine airplanes. We have used a car seat in those so far, but they don't all have more than 2 seats.
We've never bought a seat for Jayce and most everytime we've lucked out and been able to seat him (carseat and all) without difficulty. There was that once though when the flight was totally sold out and we had to lap him. Not fun. Not fun at all.
Now that he is about to turn two we won't have an option anymore and I'm okay with that. This device certainly would make our upcoming trip to Disney World far easier on us though.
We always did number 2, mostly to save money.
I've traveled with toddlers by air, and only wish I'd had one of these. If I have to do it again, I'd definitely use one of the CARES devices.
We usually have them sit in our lap under age 2. But I think the CARES lap belt would be so much easier than lugging around the carseat at the airport, THEN holding up people getting onto the plane while trying to install that seat into the airplane's tiny lapbelt!
We would do #2 to save money. You need to in this day and age!
Out of all the times we've flown, only twice were any of the kids under two and they sat on my lap. I used the baby b'air at the time, that was all that was available. We're flying next month to Florida and had to purchase 5 tickets...sigh. Too bad they can't stay little forever! :)
#2 to definately save some jingle.
I'm usually with my daughter and grandkids when they travel on a plane to see her sister. This sounds like a great idea. Please count me in. Thanks!!
We haven't flown yet, but would probably do number 2. As far as the device goes, I would love to see more independent reviews for safety considering all the FAA issues this year with their agency. That being said, we might give it a try!
I haven't flown yet with my little one. I would likely put him in a seat. Just safer that way.
THANK YOU GOD BLESS
Option 1: We always purchase seats for our little ones. The price is worth it to protect our children who are priceless. I always relay a story of a crash landing many years ago where a mother was instructed to place her two-year-old on the floor in front of her with her legs crossed in front of her. The crash landing was rough to say the least. Everything went flying with force to the front of the compartment. When everything settled, the mother realized her daughter was no longer between her legs. They found her daughter crushed to death under all the carry-on baggage and other items. A child can also be ripped from your arms in very rough turbulence. So, I would never consider putting my children on my lap.
Interesting. I've never seen this before.
I'm actually planning on flying out to CA in August with my son, but I have not (and will not) purchased an additional seat for him. It's just too expensive.
I will be lugging our giant car seat with us, but it will get stored below the plane unless there is an open seat that we can use.
This device looks great, but until I can find the money to purchase an additional seat I'm going to stick with my "lap child." Once he's two, this is the kind of thing I could see myself using if there was a car seat at the other end!
I have a 1 year old and have not flown with her yet. I would probably choose option 2 but if the flight were not full I would use this harness as I think safety belts are so important and she would just slide out of the regular airplane seatbelt.
#2-to save money
We always did number 2, mostly to save money.
we did 2 with a difference, we picked flights that are usually not full. That way we could use the carseat in an unoccupied seat. We only had to hold them on our laps once each. With the way flights are now we would buy a tickets since most flights are pretty full.
We flew quite a bit when my daughter was young and it was a breeze. But like yours, she's busy and active now, and the thought of holding her on my lap for hours at a time seems a little daunting. We'll be flying to my Mom's for Christmas and Riley will still be just under 2 years old, but we may opt for option 1 if our budget can handle the extra seat.
What a great idea. I wish I had a CARES when my oldest son was little. We had to fly almost weekly. I would have saved hitting everyone down the aisle with the car seat. My youngest son would like the CARES, he would think he was a big boy without a car seat.
what a great product. I'll have to get that for #2!
I love this--- would make a great gift for a new grandchild to be born very soon
This looks like a wonderful idea.
Oh- this looks wonderful. These upcoming flights will be oldest's first we've had to pay for. She did great when we were holding her but I have no idea how she'll do in a seat. We've considered using her car seat but it will be bulky and annoying to cart everywhere. After shelling out so much for the flight I don't know if I could convince my husband that this would be a good buy. Maybe I could go in with a friend who flies too. I think you're right about her thinking it's more like a car ride if she's strapped in, I can just see her now clicking and unclicking the seat belt.
This looks AWESOME. We've only ever done the free lap option with our under-twos, and while it's gone well it's not as comfy for us. Now that Blondie has to have her own seat, the CARES looks great. I agree with you that it makes it more like a normal car ride for her. My favorite thing is that it's so portable, though. Most of the time that I've flown with one of the kids it's been without my hubbs, so I've been alone with a baby, a carry-on, a stroller, and a carseat. Yikes. This is small and easy and I want one. :)
I haven't flown with my daughter yet and by the time we do get to go on a flight she'll be close to two and the flight is long enough (19 hours), that we'll have to cough up the cash for the extra seat. I'd definitely consider the CARES device; I like the idea of a seatbelt that fits my toddler well - and not having to lug around a great big booster seat makes the CARES device extra attractive!
With Christopher we held him in our laps, and fortunately, he was a really easy traveller. Now that he is over two and we have had to fly with him in a seat, this CARE device sounds GREAT! The seatbelt on the plane did nothing for him, and he kept slipping and sliding anyway. This device would be a HUGE HELP to us, as we fly several times a year to visit family (on a 4 hour straight through flight) anything that would help make the experience a little easier would be wonderful!
chrisandamyward at comcast dot net
I haven't had to travel yet with a toddler or an infant on an airplane, but several times it was a possibility, and I was definitely going to op for the free seat as long as I was able. With a large family needing to travel, free was better than paying, although I still am not sure how well it would work out, especially on long flights! This CARE device sounds really cool, though!
tfisher83 AT myexcel DOT com
When we brought our daughter home she was 14 months old. We put her as a lap seat (they did charge us, but not as much). I wish we would have gotten her her own seat because on a 10 hour flight which she only slept 45 minutes, it was a nightmare. Plus she peed on my lap. Now I do #2 for both my kids. It was a pain dragging the carseats on the plane, so this would be awesome. I saw this on someone elses blog and love the idea
We always do #2. I like that the CARES device is so simple and I’d love to give it a try!
choose option 2 -- baby is on our lap. (Wish we had money for his own seat.) And we hope and pray for a free seat next to us too! We bring our bulky car seat to the gate in hopes of that free seat. I love that CARES removes the need for the bulky seat and is easy to transport. Yes, we would and could use this for our long hauls across the U.S. and across the pond this summer! fingers crossed!
We still take advantage of the free flights but I that many times with my active 17 month old - that it would be much easier to get her own seat. Although the thought of dragging the bulky car seat onto a plane would be rough! I love the idea of the CARES device.
This is fabulous! No lugging a giant car seat! Just check that annoying thing in with the baggage. The last 34 flights I've been on, which went from East to West coast and back, there was not one empty seat on the plane.
We always do #2. I like that the CARES device is so simple and I'd love to give it a try!
let them set in our lap. care device easy to use
My neice does #2.
When our daughter was under 2, we chose to have her sit on our laps, but it does get more uncomfortable for everyone as they get closer to 2 and more wiggly. Now that she's 2, and we're required to purchase a set for her, we LOVE the CARES harness. It's very easy to use, I think it's enough like her car seat harness that she didn't mind, and it kept her happily (and safely) contained in her seat. She knows that she can't get out of her car seat harness when we're moving, so I think this helped it seem the same to her, because she never even asked to get out. I'd recommend this to anyone!
Stephanie - I'm not looking to win this since we already have one. Just thought I'd share our experience.
We do #2; which we'll actually be doing with a 22 month old in about a month. Having traveled with a lap child who's closer to the age limit before, I can attest that it is much less pleasant that when they are still tiny. Mobility seems to be the cutoff as far as pleasantness goes.
I'd love to have a CARES device b/c the airplane seatbelts do absolutely nothing to contain my small kids even after they turn 2.