We're taking our 10 month old on a cruise and was wondering if we should worry about a car seat. He's too big for the car seat that came with our travel sytem/stroller, and he'll be a lap child during the flight. What have others done? Any advice would be helpful.
I would reconsider booking a seat on the airplane for your toddler. Too much turbulance on a airplane to hold a child. You can use a standard car seat. You will also want to use the car seat for the transportation (taxi) . I haven't seen a good taxi cab driver yet! I posted a message before yours for a similar post and I say this with a caring heart. I have always gotten seats for my boys everytime we flew and its the one law I wish the FAA would change.
If you could at all add on an extra ticket to be able to put your child in the carseat on the plane, I would do so. You can't predict how the flight will go with a child of that age. He or she might get very cranky in your arms. Some children sleep easily though in their parent's arms, others sleep well in their carseats. I definately had carseat sleepers. If my sons were on my lap, they wanted to get down and play and fought tooth and nail to do so. If strapped in their seats they knew they couldn't get out, so they slept or played with toys I gave them. If a tantrum happens, having a carseat is a Godsend. You might also want to talk to your pediatrician about Benadryl to help him or her with the flight. It can releive ear pressure and helps them sleep.
Check out in advance your transport to and from the airport. Know whether or not carseats are an option. As a survivor of a car accident in which an out of control driver smashed into me fast totaling my car, I know the value of seatbelts/carseats (although thank God my kids were not in the car at the time.)
You can find further discussion about this topic on a similar Q posted on 1-19-02. As I state there, we didn't use a car seat much when my 8 year old daughter flew when she was little. However, now I'm better educated to the dangers of airplane turbulance and car accidents (having been in a few unfortunately) and we plan to bite the bullet and pay for a airplane seat for our newborn son when we fly/cruise in April.
Good luck with your decision and smooth sailing!
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor