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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so some, uh, friends of mine are traveling in early September to a large midwestern city.

They're traveling with a baby, who turns 8 months tomorrow and who may or may not look like this:

<img src="https://www.itsjackson.com/Jackson/2010/july-2010/DSC1178/946331374_ZgmYz-L.jpg" border="4">

We'll call him ... Johnson.

Anyway, what is the best way to travel with Johnson? They're planning on bringing a stroller, but for the plane ride does he just sit in a parent's lap? Should they bring a carrier? And what about car rentals? Do car rentals offer child/baby seats? Anything we, I mean, they can do to limit the crying during the plane ride so as not to infuriate surrounding passengers?
 

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You can check the car seat and stroller at the gate. Your Johnson flies in your lap unless you purchase a seat for your Johnson and then your Johnson can rest comfortably in the car seat. Don't expect the Flight Attendants to be any help at all.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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This one even has wheels.




joe
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TWB8s said:
You can check the car seat and stroller at the gate. Your Johnson flies in your lap unless you purchase a seat for your Johnson and then your Johnson can rest comfortably in the car seat. Don't expect the Flight Attendants to be any help at all.
So does that mean we bring our own car seat?


JoeDaddio said:
This one even has wheels.

I already got one for the gimp. I don't think they'll let us check two.
 

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Bring your own carrier and (if you can afford it) get a seat for your Johnson. Everyone will be much more comfortable. And you'll have more options.
 

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DrRoebuck said:
So does that mean we bring our own car seat?
Yes. At Johnson's age, it's going to be required by state law and most car rental company's won't let you off the lot unless you can prove you've provided your own seat, or have rented one of theirs.

Bring something for Johnson to suck on during flight: pacifier, bottle, teething ring, etc. It will help his ears. Also, lots of toys, snacks, books, and other quiet distractions to keep him occupied during flight.
 

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If there is seat availability you can try to negotiate at check-in for a complimentary seat. It is safer for the baby and will give you more space and a better chance of the baby going to sleep. The car-seat that we had could be strapped into the airplane seat with a lap belt. We had a system with a stroller, car-seat base and a separate infant carrier that clipped into either of the other parts - worked great for travelling. As mentioned you can check this junk in at the gate, and pick up at the gate at the other end. You need to know how to fit the seat into an unfamiliar rental car. you might get one with LATCH which is easy, but you need to know how to do it with a regular belt just in case. Also, some cars don't have a "locking ratchet" mechanism on the belt and those will not work at all. We had to reject a rental car because of that. This is the feature where if you pull the rear belt out all the way, then it will only retract (not extend) until fully retracted.

As for crying that will depend very much on the baby. With ours 0-12 months was fine as the baby was mostly unaware of her surroundings. 12-24 months was the worst because she was aware of her surroundings, very excited by all the interesting stuff going and absolutely would not fall asleep for most of a 10 hour overnight international non-stop flight. That was a very long 10 hours - makes a 10 hour cycling epic seem like a walk in the park. We got some help from the attendants and lots of unhelpful stares from surrounding passengers. We did absolutely everything possible to solve the problem and to be as considerate as possible, but sometimes there's just no good solution. Eventually it was over, and then memories fade. For the return leg we paid for an upgrade to "premium economy", the plane was near empty, and the flight was fine. 2 years and up, and your have a much broader range of tactics to use with the kid including distraction, negotiation, rewards, bribery, etc, and as long as you have a generally well-behaved kid it should be fine.

Oh, watch our for the infants ears and pressurization problems - make sure the baby sips from a bottle during take-off and landing.
 

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If you're renting a car on the other side, you'll need the car seat.

We did it like this:
take the luggage and car seat and check them.
Take the baby, your three carry-on bags, and your stroller through security.
Gate check the stroller and then carry the baby on your lap (you don't get a seat belt or infant belt extension here in the states), and don't expect to get any quality time with your book.
One of you will be running baby distraction duty, going to the bathroom to change a diaper (be sure to pack plenty of airtight ziplocs for any dirty diapers... you don't even know what a drop in pressure can do to a baby's insides!), or holding a sleeping infant for the whole flight.

Get off the plane, pick up your stroller, and hope that all luggage and car seats make it through. If no car seat, check with the lost luggage guys because they *typically* have extras.

Repeat until 2 years old.

Edit: Good call from ukbloke on the bottle... save it for take off if you can.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PG_Gary said:
... or have rented one of theirs.
This is what I'm getting at. Do car rental places also rent baby seats? If so, that seems easier than lugging/checking a car seat.
 

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They do, but I preferred ours. It's got the right padding, the straps are in the right places, it's only got my boy's puke on it, etc.

Not sure what the new ones from AVIS, etc. look like, but the one time they lost ours, the one the airline gave us was really, really sketchy. Hard plastic with very thin cover, frayed straps, questionable buckles... it was nerve racking.
 

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DrRoebuck said:
This is what I'm getting at. Do car rental places also rent baby seats? If so, that seems easier than lugging/checking a car seat.
Yes, some do. You should book/reserve ahead of time. You do not want to risk being stranded at the car rental desk with no baby seat. You might be surprised at how much money they charge compared to the cost of buying the cheapest one at Walmart.
 

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I was going to post a link to an article about deplorable conditions of rental car seats but I'm on LD's mac and I don't know how to copy/paste.

:D

If you want to read it, it's on a site called DeliciousBaby.com and it's called Danger for Rent: Car Rental Agency Puts Infants at Risk.
Of course, it's about a specific agency, but I don't think I'd chance it.
 

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DrRoebuck said:
This is what I'm getting at. Do car rental places also rent baby seats? If so, that seems easier than lugging/checking a car seat.
Yes, they do offer them for rent. HOWEVER, they won't guarantee them (remember the Seinfeld episode? "You know how to TAKE the reservation, you just don't know how to HOLD the reservation"). They don't have a child seat for every car and if you're checking in behind a herd of other kids, you may be out-of-luck and do you want to sit in the rental car terminal while the wife runs to Target to buy a new seat?

It's easier to rent, but we always travelled with our kids' seats just to ensure we had one available.
 

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More carbon fiber please!
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Check UPS, FedEx, and USPS rates. May be more economical to wrap up your Johnson and ship it.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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Doesn't matter what you do: everyone on the plane is going to hate you.

hth


joe
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
JoeDaddio said:
Doesn't matter what you do: everyone on the plane is going to hate you.

hth


joe
Maybe we'll be on the same flight to Orlando. That would be awesome.
 
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