View Full Version : Need Advice on Taking 9 month Old on Airplane

01-24-2005, 03:45 PM
Hi. We are planning a trip to Florida this June. I have been speaking with our travel agent regarding the airplane tickets for myself, DH, DS (3 years old), and DD (9 months Old). My travel agent says I should just hold my daughter on my lap for the entire flight instead of buying her a seat and bringing her carseat. I don't mind holding her and I think she will be comfortable but is it safe to fly without her belted into a car seat? Advice Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!

01-31-2005, 08:37 AM
I don't know what the experts say about safety, but I would get a seat. I wouldn't hold an infant in a car, so why on a plane?

02-02-2005, 10:50 PM
Here's a link for you, not terribly detailed, but you get the idea:


Basically, everything - every last thing, including the coffee pot - on that plane is strapped down for take off and landing. Except lap babies. Then there is the severe turbulence factor - will you be able to hold onto your child? I wouldn't try it in the car, nor will I try it on a plane. I have a friend who was in an emergency situation on a plane, and had to place her lap baby ON THE FLOOR BETWEEN HER FEET!! The flight attendants would not allow her to hold onto her baby during this emergency!

No way, not for me. Colin goes in a car seat every time we fly - and we pay the fare to guarantee him that seat. I couldn't live with myself if something happened because I wasn't willing to pay a little extra for his safety.

02-17-2005, 03:23 PM
I would absolutely buy a seat for the baby. My husband has read several accounts of airplane incidents in takeoff/landing where children were thrown 15 rows forward because they were not restrained - where everyone else was fine. A baby died in one incident because of being thrown. Had the baby been strapped in, he would have survived. She said she didn't know, the travel agent told her she didn't need to buy a seat for the baby. Had she known it would have been safer, she would have gotten him a seat.

It doesn't matter the length of the flight either, because if anything happens, it's usually takeoff/landing.

$300 is not worth it if my child gets hurt in any way.

04-08-2005, 12:19 PM
I personally bought a seat for our DS who was 7 months at the time we took an airplane trip. We had a an hour flight, then a layover, then a 50 minute flight. Everyone thought I was crazy sicne the flights were so short, but it worked really well. DS was able to sleep in his carseat (fell asleep 3 takeoffs out of 4-super!) and DH and I were able to relax as well. Safety was a concern, but so was comfort. Even for a short flight it was so nice to have his in his own seat, and the extra space for us was nice too.

Hope that helps.


04-08-2005, 04:35 PM
OK, I can see this is going to make me kind of unpopular here, but just wanted to provide a little bit of a counterpoint to the overwhelming 'yes' vote. Yes, I agree with everything everyone says above. It is better for your comfort, your child's comfort, and your child's safety that you have a seat for her. That said, my husband and I took my son to Hawaii when he was 7 months old and we did not buy him a seat. Mainly that was because we flew first class, using upgrades, and I didn't want to both have to buy him a coach seat and then use my miles to upgrade him to first. In addition, with the seats being 2-2-2 in first, I didn't want to have to have either myself or my husband across the aisle from the other one and our son. In your case, coach seating to Florida is likely to be a row of 3, and you will end up with someone across the aisle as well. Perhaps you can get a row of 5 instead, I don't know. Clearly not a big deal, but something to consider.

As for the safety issue: It is true that everything is strapped down, including the coffee pot, and I do agree that it is crazy that we allow people NOT to buy seats for infants. However, statistics say it is much safer to be in an airplane than in a car. I don't think, in terms of statistical likelihood of trouble, that a single flight is even equivalent to a single car ride. When my husband and I made the decision not to buy a ticket for our son, I considered mainly the idea that the plane would crash, in which case I didn't figure the seat belt was going to really help us. Same goes for the modern day worries of terrorism/bombs/etc. The turbulence issue is a good one, and worth worrying about, but I didn't think much about it at the time. That said, I'm not sure your 3-year old is really much better off in a seat that is too big for him with a lap belt on. Having just taken my 3-year old son on an international trip and having seen the way the lap belt fit him, I don't know that it is much different from putting your 3-year old in a car right now with just a lap belt on and no booster/car seat. As others point out, you wouldn't do THAT, and yet on a plane we do it. I don't think it's too different, except the odds are better that nothing bad will come of it. Similarly, is your 3-year old going to have that belt on during the entire flight, not just take off and landing? That is what they tell us to do (due to sudden turbulence, etc.) and yet good luck with that! So if he's unbelted in his seat, it's the same as a child in your lap.

Just some thoughts. I'm not saying you should not buy a seat, but I wanted to point out what goes on in the minds of the people who don't buy seats for their infants, which is likely the majority of people. And I'm sure it's mainly for money reasons.

Good luck with your trip!

04-08-2005, 04:42 PM
One more thing--don't forget that if you DON'T buy a seat, you can still bring your car seat to the gate and ask if there are any extra seats on the plane. If there are, (and particularly if you are going Southwest where there are no seat assignments and you get to board first) you can still put your daughter in her car seat in her own seat, and you'll luck out and it'll be free. But with plane loads as they are these days, I wouldn't count on that if you really want a seat for her.

04-09-2005, 12:57 AM
My sister never bought seats for her kids and every one always arrived safely and totally insane. I always buy a seat for my daughter for two reasons- 1. While she is under 2 years I can get her seat at half price, and 2. I would go crazy having to hold my DD for the duration of the flight. My opinion might be different if my hubby was traveling with me and could share the work or if money got tight. But if you can afford it - it is SOOO worth it!