So I know some of you ladies have flown with babies and I was just wondering how it went, and how did you do it. Did your LO have their own seat or did they sit on your lap, and how old were they?
MIL is bugging us about this portugal trip and is insisting Lucas will be fine on our laps. For him to sit on our laps it is $100 for his own seat, it's an extra $1,000 so quite a difference. But, this is a 5.5-6 hour flight and this kid will not sit on my lap for even 10 seconds at home or any other time. He will be 21 months at the time that we go and going there might be ok because it will be at night but coming back will be in the afternoon. Going there will just be me and DH as well, but DH has panic attacks when flying so it will probably just be me dealing with it. Coming home MIL and FIL will be there, but honestly i don't even think that matters. I also have a whole problem with the safety issue of this and maybe my fear is irrational, but i can't stop thinking about what if there is turbulance and he goes flying if i have him on my lap. I know the chances of that are rare, but it can happen. What would you ladies do in this situation? I really don't even want to go on this trip and neither does DH we would only go to see his grandpa but MIL is making me feel like i am being irrational and stupid and since i don't want to go i don't know if i am being fair or not. DH is torn on what to do.
At that age if I could afford the difference for DS to have his own seat I totally would. There's no way Aiden would sit on my lap now like he did when I flew with him at 5 months. I just had Aiden in a ring sling during the flight and he slept on me on the way there. On the way back a dumb flight attendant insisted that he couldn't be in the sling at all and DS started howling and screamed for an hour before finally taking the boob and going to sleep (in the sling ).
And do note that if there are any issues while in flight, it is very common for flight attendants to insist that you put your lap baby on the floor. I knew this before flying, but it made me nervous!
When we flew this holiday season we did both. On the way there, DH and I flew together and had Teagan on our laps the entire time. On the way back, I flew alone and had Teagan in her car seat in a seat one leg and on my lap for another. If I could afford to buy her a seat, I would. Wrestling a toddler for 4 hours with a complete stranger sitting next to you is ... complicated. However, just because you have a seat for him doesn't mean he'll sit in his car seat contently the entire way. He'll probably end up in your lap anyway. It makes it easier to keep the kid from attacking the person next to you if you have an extra seat but don't be naive and think he'll actually be using the seat. If he's sleeping, sure. But if he's awake you'll be wrestling him the entire time. If you can't afford an extra seat then just hope and pray the flight isn't full and they'll gladly move you next to an empty seat and let him use it without charging you. They did this without even asking me on one leg! I say, bring your car seat with the intention of gate checking it and bring it on board if they can stick you next to an empty seat. You car seat also gets far less banged up if you gate check it than if you check it with your luggage. If you bring your car seat onto the plane DO NOT expect the flight attendants to know how to install. They won't. Make sure your car seat is FAA approved and read the manual for how to install it. I had to learn the hard way how to install it with everyone on the plane glaring at me because I hadn't prepared to use it. That was fun. NOT.
To keep him happy, go to Target and buy as many small loud, flashing toys as you can and don't let him see them until he's fussing on the plane. The things I bought for Teagan for the flight back were a lifesaver.
Erin, made a great point - if you're brining your car seat gate check it every time! I even made them bring it back to me at my layover instead of transferring it. I wanted to know that it was going to survive! If you're not bringing your car seat, not much of a point in having his own seat IMO. He'd never stay! DS would stay in his car seat buckled if I had enough junk to rotate through.
Maybe you should have his carry on be a busy bag full of new and creative things for him.
we will be bringing his car seat. There is none there for him and there is zero options of getting one anywhere. I know he could still freak out in his car seat, i just think it would be easier. I also don't think we would have the luck of empty seats as it is a specific airline for where we are going, meaning there is no other way to get there and the flights are always full. i think going and getting all the toys will be a good idea. We can't afford an extra $1000 we really can't even afford our own tickets but if we don't go now, we will never go. i'm pretty sure we are going to end up with him in our laps and i will be pissed off and bitter the whole trip lol.
Just go for survival and it'll be okay.
I agree with the others, flying with a little one is stressful, but toys can be a lifesaver. We also bought a few cheapie toys and DS never saw them until we were on the plane. One leg of the round trip, he was perfect, slept was quiet, but on the other it was a nightmare. He was tired, wouldn't sleep, and we passed him back and forth a million times. I guess that's just how it goes. We had no issues with his ears popping, thank goodness, just kept stuff for him to eat and drink and he was fine. I like Jackie's idea of the busy bag, that would probably be a huge help. I just tried to keep him happy and quiet (as much as I could), and didn't pay attention to how others reacted to him. I didn't care. Good luck, you'll get through it.