Flying with a little one can be quite a challenge. From packing all the necessary items to ensuring the safety and comfort of your child, there’s a lot to consider. One essential item for any parent traveling with a toddler is a car seat. However, carrying it around can be a hassle. Luckily, there’s a solution that can make your journey a whole lot easier – a travel car seat on wheels!
The Benefits of a Portable Car Seat for Travel
When preparing for my first flight with my baby, I knew that having a car seat at my destination was a must. Renting one was not an appealing option, as I wanted to ensure its safety and quality. Additionally, most airlines allow you to check baby items, including strollers and car seats, for free. So, why not take advantage of this convenience?
Turning a Car Seat into a Stroller
To make the most of my car seat, I decided to turn it into a makeshift stroller. After some research, I discovered that you can convert your car seat and carry-on luggage into an airport-friendly stroller on wheels. Alternatively, there are car seat dollies available for purchase. However, I stumbled upon an American Tourister Luggage Cart on sale for just $4 at a local store. It was perfect for my needs!
Making a Portable Car Seat Dolly
With my bargain luggage cart in hand, I placed my FAA-approved car seat onto it, securing it with the built-in bungee straps. It fit perfectly! Now, I had a custom car seat dolly to easily transport my baby from the car to the airplane and everywhere in the airport.
Tips for Using a Car Seat on a Plane
Before taking your car seat on a plane, there are a few important things to consider:
1. Know the width of your car seat.
Ensure that your car seat’s width aligns with the dimensions of the average economy airline seat, which is approximately 16 inches wide. Although flight attendants may not check if your car seat is FAA-approved, width could still be a concern due to the confined nature of an airplane.
2. Prepare for seat belt issues.
An airplane seatbelt may cause complications as the buckle clasp lands directly in the middle of your baby’s back. You might consider using an airplane seatbelt extender or bringing a small portion of a pool noodle to enclose the seatbelt for added padding.
3. Commit to using the car seat on a plane.
If you have an extra seat for your baby on the plane, using a car seat is the safest option. However, keep in mind that it takes up considerable space in the already tight airplane seats. Be prepared for the commitment and considerate of other passengers.
4. Be mindful of a kicking toddler.
The cramped space on the plane may tempt your toddler to kick the seat in front of them. To avoid any disturbances, keep a close eye on your child and prevent them from kicking the seat.
5. Remove the car seat from the dolly before boarding.
While a car seat dolly is convenient, remember to remove the dolly before boarding to navigate the narrow aisles on the plane more easily.
The Bottom Line
Creating my own portable car seat dolly was a smart choice. It allowed me to transport my baby comfortably and easily throughout the airport. As I strolled along, several people were impressed with my “fancy car seat with wheels.” Little did they know that it was simply a combination of a luggage cart and an FAA-approved car seat. It was a conversation starter, and it made our travel experience much smoother.
If you’re planning to take a car seat on a plane, consider making your very own car seat dolly. It’s a versatile and cost-effective solution that will make your journey with a toddler a lot more convenient. Happy travels!
For more information on car seat travel and other helpful resources, visit DHPL Travels.