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Taking a 20-month-old toddler on a plane.... Lap or own seat??

Have any of you taken your toddler on a plane and had them sit on your lap? Did it go okay?

We're taking a direct flight to Florida and the flight is 2 1/2 - 3 hours long. We're debating on whether getting our son his own seat (an extra $300) or just having my husband hold him. I'm going to be 6 months pregnant so I don't know how well I'll be able to hold him, so it looks like it'll be all up to him.

We'll have the laptop so he'll be able to watch his videos.

What are your experiences with it??


Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:40 AM on Mar. 18, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (32)
  • If you can afford it, get him his own seat. the seats IMO are just too small to share with a baby that big. It will be more comfortable for everyone. You can buckle his carseat in the seat and put him in it, then he won't have the temptation of wanting to run around the plane. I have flown many times. I only flew once with a baby in my lap..that was the last time.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 9:44 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • when my son was that age, I just held him in my lap. But if the seat beside you is available, he can sit there at no charge!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:44 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I took my 18 month old on a plane trip a few years ago. I just held her on my lap. It was easy because she was still small and slept quite a bit. I brought some toys and books, but didn't really even need them.
    I wasn't pregnant, though, so I can't say it'll be as easy for you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:48 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I just flew with my 19 month old from Atlanta to Seattle and then Seattle to Okinawa, Japan the next day. From ATL to Seatac, about 7 hours in the air, she didn't have her own seat. She wanted to climb, throw tantrums, etc. Miserable. From Seatac to Okinawa, about 21 hours, she had her own seat with her carseat in it. She was an angel! 2 1/2 to 3 hours might not seem like a long flight, but it will seem a heck of a lot longer for everyone if that child decides to be crazy and you can't buckle him in. For my daughter, she refused to sit with her dad, so she either climbed all over me or screamed when he took her away so I could breath since I get claustrophobic on planes. Either way, having her in our laps was torture. I would definitely buy an extra seat if you can reasonably afford to do so.

    Answer by Danielle720 at 9:49 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I kept my kids as "lap" children as long as I could

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 9:49 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Yeah, I guess if your kid is a terror and neither of you can handle him like a parent should, get him his own seat.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:52 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I have taken my two year old on several long plane rides and it always went well just holding him on my lap. He slept and snacked alot:) We also brought along some toys and books. I am very sad actually that now that he is 2 I am going to have to buy him his own ticket, especially since I know he will still want to sit with me anyway. We have a trip planned for this summer and I have just started pricing tickets. I would take advantage of him being young enough to not need his own seat and take my chances. Good Luck!

    Answer by Luuckymommy at 9:55 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I took a 3 hour flight with my 18 mo. old on my lap while 6 mo. went fine. Just keep in mind that the bag isn't super easy to access on those small planes so take a small bag with just the essentials. Make sure you give your toddler a drink on the way up or a snack so that ears pop. The portable dvd player is great and will keep him entertained. I would do the lap thing unless you're traveling at nap time...if you're traveling at nap time then I'd go with the own seat deal so that he might sleep.

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 10:05 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Own seat...

    Answer by ryanlynn at 10:11 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • 9:52 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

    Answer by ryanlynn at 10:12 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

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