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Flying with my toddler and sharing a row with a non-relative? Any advice?? Please?

I'm flying with my 14 month old daughter and she will be a lap-child (no, I didn't buy her a ticket, so please no lectures on the "dangers" of having a child on my lap. I've heard it all, thanks).

I am in a row with three seats, and I've booked the aisle seat. The seat next to me is empty, but the window seat is occupied. My plan is to use the middle seat for my daughter to rest (we're doing an overnight flight).

Do you have any advice for sharing a row with your toddler and a stranger? Should I just keep my daughter in my lap, so as not to bother the stranger in the window seat? Or should I go ahead and try to let my daughter sit in the middle seat? I just don't want to bother anyone. It will be her first flight, and we'll in in the air at least 5 hours. I'm expecting her to fall asleep (the flight leaves at 10pm-her usual bedtime is 7:30pm), but you never know.


Asked by Anonymous at 10:16 PM on Sep. 9, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • go a head and use it if its empty but the first time she bothers the person simply appologize and ask if its ok if she still sits there..Bring crayons...books and tons of toys for her to play with as this will help distract her from wanting to talk to or bother other people..and i wont lecture you about the dangers i took my son when he was only 6weeks old on a plane and had him in my lap the entire time if it wasnt safe the FAA wouldnt allow us to put our children in our laps..good luck mommy and have a happy flight

    Answer by connorsmom22607 at 10:27 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • My only fear would be at the last minute if someone books the middle seat. Take some toys and snacks for her and you should be fine.

    Answer by mummy22kids at 10:25 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • i had my son on a flight and I just ekpt him up so he'd be sleepy and he slept the whole time. I brought snacks and stuff for him also just in case

    Answer by AshleyG. at 10:30 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • OP

    She usually wakes up from her nap at you think I should wake her up earlier than 4:15pm on the day of the flight?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:32 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • How long is the flight? A couple hours is fine but more than that I'd buy another seat. I flew with my daughter as a lap child and it was a pain in the butt holding her for so long. Plus the person in front of us decided to recline so then it was impossible to have the table down for her to color or play with play doh.

    Answer by MoonLover06 at 10:57 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • You mentioned that her usual bedtime is around 7:30 and the flight isn't until 10, so I personally would worry about the naptime. My 2 kids have both flown multiple times (all lap kids until they were 1, when they just plain behaved better belted in, or I would have kept them in my lap until 2). My daughter has always slept through flights, while my son prefers to interact with anyone who will look at him :) even if it is well past nap/bed time. I always bring plenty of snacks and and favorite toys and books to keep them entertained. As a back-up emergency plan, I go to the dollar store right before we leave and pick up a few small toys and wrap them individually in tissue paper. If the kids start getting squirrley, I pull out one wrapped toy at a time and let them go to town - between unwrapping a "present" and having something new to play with, it usually does the trick. Good luck and have fun!!!

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 11:05 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • WOW! So Sorry - I just reread my answer and realized that I said I WOULD worry about naptime - - I meant I wouldn't worry :) lol

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 11:07 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • By the time you fly the middle seat could be taken, skip the nap, and looks like easy sleeptime, and a dead arm for you! If middle seat isn't taken you can put her in there and I see no if your child is good. best of luck on the trip.

    Answer by SEEKEROFSHELLS at 11:44 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Well, one thing to remember is just because the seat isn't booked doesn't mean it will be empty. People fly standby, and buddy passes, and of course you have those whose flights came in late and need a seat on whatever flight the airline puts them on. So I hope you are OK with the idea of having to hold her the entire flight. If you are OK with that, then on to the original question. It depends on the person sitting next to you. If I were next to you, I'd have no issue with it, but I know that I have met some people on flights that would have an issue. So I think you are going to have to play it by ear, and see how that person reacts.

    Answer by Petie at 11:47 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Yeah, I fly several times a year and there is no guarantee that seat will be empty! Anyway, if it is then the person by the window has no idea that that seat isnt yours lol. If you apologize and ask if it's ok for her to sit in it again well, how does he know that's not your seat? Just act like it is lol. Also, With my dd if we have an extra seat and someone is sitting next to us that looks like the type that doesn't even want anything to do with you then you sit next to the stranger and let you child sit in the aisle seat. More than likely you'll just be using it for her to lay down in.

    Answer by mychinababy at 11:56 PM on Sep. 9, 2009