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Car Seats for Travel
It isn't always practical--or possible
to bring along your child's car seat or safety booster. But there
are safer alternatives to traveling without the car seat at all.
Here are some solutions to consider for travel by taxi or car, and
also by airplane, without the car seat.
RideSafer Travel Vest / CARES /
FlyeBaby / Baby
Travel Vest Deluxe (Ride Safer 2)
the Ride Safer Vest your child can travel safely without a car seat
or booster from 3 years and 30 lbs.
Think of it as a "wearable
belt-positioning booster seat," which you
can pack in the outside pocket of your carry-on. After your flight,
have your child put it on outside baggage claim while you wait in
line for your taxi. She can wear it like a normal vest, or add the
optional crotch strap for the safety of a 5-point harness--something
you won't get from a regular booster, and the comfy removable head
Like booster seats, however, it is not
approved for use in aircraft. A
removable head rest offers extra comfort when desired. Weighs 2.5
lbs. without head rest or optional tether, under 5 lbs. with it.
RideSafer 2 model (with optional top tether and crotch strap) is
certified to FMVSS 213 for use in motor vehicles.* Read the
Travels with Baby feature review of
the RideSafer Vest
for more details and photos.
it online at:
*Please note: A new model of
RideSafer travel vest (Ride
Safer 3) is also available now, which does NOT
include the tether or optional crotch safety strap and is NOT
certified to FMVSS 213, although it has been tested to meet or
exceed federal motor safety standards.
Click here for important differences between these
Find it online:
Turns the airplane seatbelt into a
4-point harness for children over 1 year old and weighing 22 lbs. to 44 lbs.
CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) is ideal when children will be flying in their own airplane
seats, but won't need their own car seat at the destination, as when you'll be
renting a car seat at your destination or using another car seat
alternative for your ground transportation. For very light travels,
consider pairing the CARES with
the Eddie Bauer portable
car seat or RideSafer Vest for car seat alternatives in motor
vehicles (see below). CARES is FAA-approved
during all phases of a flight, including taxiing, take-off, and
landing. First adjust the straps
to fit around the airplane seat, then use the harness to secure your
child to both the seat back and airplane seatbelt. Please note that CARES is approved for use in aircraft, but
not in automobiles.
you're bringing along your car seat, but don't want to use it on the
aircraft, I recommend you
always gate-check your car seat rather
than subject it to possible damage--which
may or may not be visible--from the airport baggage system, or use
one of the other car seat alternatives for your ground
weighs only 1 lb. and packs into a 6" stuff sack.
Find out more:
Read the Travels with Baby feature review of CARES
with more photos and tips.
Find it online:
Air Travel Hammock *
Find it online at:
Saves your back and arms while allowing
interaction between you and your baby--and, unlike most airplane
bassinets, the FlyeBaby can be used on rows offering more peace and
privacy than the bulkhead. The soft "sling-like" hammock features a
3-point harness and attaches to the tray in front of you and your
airplane safety belt, and stores in a small pouch that fits easily in a
corner of your diaper bag. Note that the FlyeBaby is not considered a
safety product, and is not FAA-approved for use during take-off or
landing. It was, however,
featured in the SkyMall
Inventor's Corner and is widely
accepted for use on airplanes during cruising portions of flights.
That's a picture of us using it above. If you're interested in the
FlyeBaby, be sure to see the Travels with
Baby Feature Review of the FlyeBaby Air Travel Hammock.
Find it online at:
B'Air Flight Safety Vest *
Turbulence is by far the leading cause of
injuries in flight, and no one on board seems quite so vulnerable to
injuries from turbulence than the little lightweight people riding as
"lap children." This handy little vest slips over your lap child and
attaches to your safety belt with a loop, securing babies and toddlers
against unexpected bumps. Made of soft 100% cotton and fully adjustable
side and crotch straps, it allows for shifting around as needed, even
for breastfeeding. The Baby B'air is permitted for use in-flight by the
FAA as noted on its tag, though not for taxiing, take-off, or landing.
It slips into the side of your diaper bag or carryon with ease.
Available in two sizes: Infant, recommended for newborns up to 8 months,
and Toddler for up to 2 years.
Find it online at:
there's no safer position for a flying infant than in his car seat
behind a 5-point harness (especially in the case of an unplanned
landing), but I know that in the real world many parents will continue
to fly with a lap child as long as it's allowed, and even children
flying with their car seats often need to spend some amount of time out
of them (nursing, burping, etc.). In either of those cases, the Baby B'Air is far preferable to no restraint at all. - Shelly
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