Monday, 20 December 2010

Who CARES?

Being a Transatlantic Mom means the inevitably you will take your baby on a transatlantic flight. Andrea, a former expat, has made the trip with her cutie son Finn more than a few times and recently tried out the CARES harness on her latest flight. Blondie Boy is still too small too use the harness so I was interested to see how she, and Finn, liked it.


Traveling with a toddler is never easy. Traveling with a toddler while lugging a car seat through an airport is even worse. So when we found out about the CARES harness, we knew it was the way to go. Who wouldn't choose a 5 point harness that actually folds up and fits in your bag?

We recently took a trip overseas with our 2.5 year old son, and while this is a trip we have made many times it was the first time we have done it without carrying on the car seat. We weren't sure how CARES would work, especially on the overnight flight, but it was fantastic. He feels like a big guy sitting in a regular seat, and his legs aren't long enough to kick the seat in front of him, a huge drawback of the car seat on board. He slept just as soundly as he ever has.

The harness, a 5 point system that works like a car seat in the sense that it gives your child the same safety features of a car seat without the bulk, is perfect for kids who can sit up and are over the age of 1 and 22 pounds. It is the only FAA approved device of this type. After the initial use it takes us less than 3 minutes to 'install', which consists of sliding it over the back of the seat, underneath the tray table of the person behind you, and looping the airline seatbelt through the bottom. It comes with an instructional dvd, as well as a sheet you can bring with you, and it shows it is FAA approved, in case anyone questions that.

I won't say this revolutionizes travel - and as the parent of a toddler on any flight you still get those looks from people who think your child will scream the whole time - but CARES definitely makes the whole process a little bit easier!

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5 comments:

This Mid 30s Life said...

I looked into this for our flight from Aus to the UK (23 hours!! Thank god for Singapore stopover). I decided against it b/c I thought it might take ages to set up, but am re-thinking it now.

Not that we're in a hurry to do the flight again. Oh nooooooooo.

Liska said...

okay I am nervous now....

I am flying, first time with baby, on 9th January....

one hour flight.

I do not have a CARES, but was not aware that one brings a car seat on a flight.

Travelling with Ryan Air and I got the impression he has to sit on my knee?

Please advise.

Love the blog

Melaina25 said...

Hi Liska,

I've flown with Blondie Boy on my knee several times. You only need a carseat or CARES if your child has their *OWN* seat.

Don't worry! They should give you a seatbelt for him which attaches to your seatbelt for them to wear.

An hour is nothing, so don't worry :)

I suggest sitting the baby (if they can sit up) on the seat next to you until take-off that way you can hopefully get a wee bit of extra space.

I did this on a Ryan-Air flight and worked for me!

Liska said...

Hi transatlantic blonde

thanks for the explanation... and for popping over to my blog.

Liska

mtendere said...

I think they have to be two to use it properly. A friend lent us theirs and my 14 month old did okay, but we were required to hold her for take off and landing if she wasn't in a car seat, so we ended up just using the car seat since we had it with us, anyway. I think it will be good when she is older because of the seat kicking factor. However, there is nothing between their legs, so they can submarine out. Not sure I would've spent the money on it, but I'm sure we'll borrow it again in the future.