When flying with a toddler or infant, you will most likely want to bring a car seat to make traveling easier. The first thing the flight attendant is going to say when she or he sees you carrying on the seat is, “that needs to go under the plane.” Most of them are shocked you actually want your child to sit in it, or they know that most people that bring car seats on board are not bringing flight approved car seats. There are three lovely words that will get you out of this conversation early, without having to explain your intentions at length, five-point-harness. Other seats are not approved for air travel. When I found out that I was going to be traveling all the time with small children, I made the upgrade from my standard Graco seat to a Britax air travel approved seat. I’m not saying you have to, but it’s much more comfortable for my 2 year old. Just make sure you do indeed have a five-point-harness, you’ll be fine, and hopefully your little sprout will be able sleep much of the flight away.
We use a Britax Next Gen Boulevard Convertible Car Seat. I have read other people complaining that is is heavy and way too difficult to put into the airplane seat. It is a bit heavy, but we don’t carry ours around. Please don’t bother purchasing an expensive car seat trolly… do this instead. We have a special strap that hooks it onto our rolling carry-on luggage so we can roll the car seat, with our daughter in it, around the airport. It makes life a lot easier. It is also not that difficult to buckle into the airplane seat. The only thing I would recommend is bringing a small pillow (or you could use an airline pillow) so the buckle from the airplane seatbelt does not dig into your little one’s back. The buckles are usually pretty thick so they might poke a bit into the back of the car seat, although I don’t think there is anything they could have done to prevent this. Our daughter loves this seat! Before we got this she wouldn’t sleep in the car or on the plane. We are really happy we ended up buying this one.