This week my youngest daughter, Katienne, will be turning 2 years old! I cannot believe it! This time of reflection made think back to the time when my oldest daughter was 2, and we started our traveling lifestyle. There were so many questions I had about the best way to travel with a 2 year old, and two short years ago, I had a really hard time finding any useful information on this subject. So I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you, my lovely readers, about some tips and tricks I picked up along the way.
When you travel with a 2 year old, you can no longer purchase an “infant” seat and that means that a lot of people who have a 2 year old are curious as to what the next step is. Plus, it is unlikely that a 2 year old will sleep through entire flight, like a newborn would, so you also have to think in terms of entertainment (especially on long flights).
Here is the run down on options you have for an airplane ride with a young child:
To car seat, or not to car seat? If you look back at my entry about an air friendly car seat you will notice that I used the phrase “5 point harness” quite frequently. Your flight attendant might be more inclined to let you use a car seat that does not have 5 points on it if you are flying with a young child instead of a baby, but for safety purposes 5 points are always better than 2 or 3. In my opinion, a giant car seat for a 2 or 3 year old is a bit overkill, and you can end up with your little one wanting some leg room. I suggest using a car seat that is on the light, small side, or you could use this. It is a product called CARES, and it can be quite pricey. You can rent one for your trip on ebay for around $13, or you could purchase one used from $50. If you purchase your own, you might consider renting it out on ebay when you are not using it to make your money back. I have used this since our oldest daughter was 2 1/2 and she loves it. I found a pillow at Target with a button strap on it, and I just strap it right onto the shoulder harness for her to rest her head against when she sleeps. As for her actual car seat, I slip it into one of these babies (also known as a JL Gate Check Bag) and check it with our checked luggage. Read more