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Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

New York, NY
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Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

Can anyone give some advice on managing a cross-country flight with my 17 month old? We're planning one from NY to CA soon. She's good, but squirmy, and a recent shorter (two-hour) flight was quite stressful trying to keep her contained, happy and calm. Specifically, would buying her a seat help considerably over holding her as a lap infant? And, if we buoght her a seat, are there any plane-appropriate car seats we could bring and use during the flight, considering she tends to be very calm and happy when harnessed into her car seat during long drives. Thank you very much!

Salisbury, United...
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1. Re: Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

Buying a seat and using a car seat would be the best idea. Sitting with a wriggly toddler is no fun. A separate seat will be a lot less stressful and make it much easier to eat drink and relax. At 17 months she will be quite heavy sitting on you lap for a long journey.

Someone will be able to advise which car seats you can use, also check the airline web site.

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2. Re: Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

There is also a forum on Family Travel which you might want to check.

I don't have a 17-month-old but woudl imagine that buying a seat and using a car seat would be the wisest thing.

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3. Re: Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

I would buy a seat. If she's happy with her current car seat, just check and make sure it is FAA approved (I think most of them are). I think you might be able to take it to the airport in advance and have it inspected by someone (although I heard this a long time ago as DD is now 14).

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4. Re: Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

When mine were toddlers, I found it helped if I timed flights (as far as possible) to coincide with their sleeping times. Night flights were always more pleasant that day time flights as they tended to sleep right through them.

A seat for a 17 month old is a must.

You wouldn't try and hold her in your lap for hours on end at home, would you.

Good luck with the trip.

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5. Re: Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

I remember another post that was similar to this with a poster contemplating an 8 hour (I think) flight with a lap child. II really can't remember how old the child was, but young enough to be able to travel without the purchase of a seat.

One of the responses suggested that the poster get a dining chair and spend the night in the chair with his/her child on his/her lap and then decide. I don't have children but I thought that sounded like brilliant advice. Actually a bit like Eva has said above - she says as she reads it now!

6. Re: Cross-Country Travel with a 17 Month Old

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