Traveling with your baby by plane

As many of you frequent flyer parents know, many of the internet sites and magazines are full of advice and what is said in one country might be very different in another country. Being a frequent traveler family means that what is good according to your friends and colleagues back home may not end up working for you if the need is to be mobile.

We first went with a car seat from the same maker as our pram, Emmaljunga. Emmaljunga is a go to pram if you live in cold and snowy conditions (most of Scandinavia). When using the car seat (Emmaljunga First Class 0+ Base Car Seat) we always felt that the seat wasn’t quite right for us and additionally that the seat was slightly too big to carry around the airport and shops, especially for me. Then we got a car seat from our friend (Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix infant carrier) to borrow for our visit to the UK. After a week or so of usage we upgraded to the Maxi-Cosi Pebble. The Pebble has since travelled with us on several airlines and rental cars (with and without the ISOFIX base) and has been a perfect travel companion for us. It is slightly narrower than some car seats, making it a perfect fit for today’s airplane seats.

So, if you are a frequent traveller, here are a few questions to ask about an infant carrier or baby travel system before you decide what to buy unless you wish to end up with multiple child seats as we did.

1. Do I wish to travel with the baby by air – if the answer is yes, then look at the car seats approved by airlines which you most commonly fly with. Also check the width of the car seat: the Pebble is slightly narrower than the CabrioFix although both are approved by the airlines that we use commonly.
2. Who is most often carrying the car seat – if the mother is carrying the baby, check that the seat is manageable even with weight (take for example 8kg weight and place it onto the seat to test)
3. Does the main user have the patience to use the seat belts to attach the seat to the car – if not an isofix base is a must, but check if your car is isofix compatible. If travelling with taxis or rental cars frequently, a seat which can do both seatbelt and isofix sounds like a perfect match.
4. Do the accessories match your frequent travelling patterns – we have noticed that it is best to have a seat which provides the most frequently needed accessories for example a rain cover, mosquito net and summer cover for sunny and hot places.
5. Does the seat match to the pram/travel system/stroller which you are planning to buy? Nowadays adapters are frequently available but we noticed that some brands have adapters to more models and brands than others.
When travelling by plane with a child with an infant carrier, always check if the airline allows the carrier to be taken into the flight or only up to the gate. If a carrier is allowed to the plane, this might be time to show your loyalty card to see if you could have a row of three seats to yourselves.

A tip: fly on less packed flights and there is more likelihood that the baby carrier can be taken into the flight and there might be a seat available for the carrier between the parents’ seats.