Holidays are quickly approaching and when you have family at least 400 miles away in two directions determining the safest and most cost effective way to travel – if at all – is upon us!
So my mind is flooded with questions – if I fly should the munchkin get her own seat or sit on my lap? Should I bring a car seat for her onboard or should I check it? So many questions…here are my answers (and those supported by the FAA):
The safest thing to do would be to take a FAA approved car seat onto the plane and install it just as I would install it in the car. This does mean that I would need to purchase a seat for Mary. My car seat has “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” on the label – so I know it’s safe to use.
Then I would follow these instructions depending on the weight of my child:
- Less than 20 pounds use a rear-facing car seat (or until the highest weight limited of your rear-facing car seat)
- From 20 to 40 pounds use a forward-facing car seat
- More than 40 pounds use an airplane seat belt (booster seats are not approved for an airplane because airplanes do not have shoulder belts)
- A child may also use an alternative, such as a harness-type restraint, if it is approved by FAA. FAA has approved one restraint appropriate for children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds. However, this type of restraint is not safe for use in motor vehicles.
Traveling certainly gets more complicated with a baby…especially air travel. But in the end – it’s absolutely worth it spending time with family!