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To buy a seat or not for 1 year old

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#1 FEdeRAL

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

Would you fly 8 hours with a 15month old toddler in your lap? Or would that be a nightmare?

Also what are the chances of scoring a bassinet with her age (we are flying overnights). Her size and weight won't be a problem as she is on the small side.

#2 danielle1985

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

When we have flown (and only for 4-5 hours) there is NO WAY ON EARTH my son would have stayed in my lap. We managed to get a spare seat though by asking at the gate and we had a seat blocked out for us. Where are you flying and when? If there are free seats you can what we did but there is always the risk the flight will be full and then you are stuck.

#3 lclb

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

I would prefer not to fly with a child that age without their own seat. I've always bought my DS a seat when we have flown that sort of distance or longer (and he was under the age of 2).

However that said I am seriously considering going on our family overseas holiday before DD turns 2 so that I don't have to buy her a seat! Once you have more than 1 child the ability to save $1000+ dollars is very appealing!

#4 farfaraway

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

I have flown dozens of times with at least one kid on my lap - all long-haul, US to Aus, Europe to Aus, or US to Europe. it's not fun, but it's certainly manageable - 8 hours is a walk in the park compared to 26! - but there's no way I'd fork over the cash for an extra seat. There's no guarantee they won't end up on your lap, or with you wandering up and down the aisles with them anyway.

With all questions like these about traveling with young kids I have the same response - expect the worst, hope for the best, and accept that it's only a very short time (grand scheme of things!) and you will survive.

Happy flying!

#5 Bluenomi

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

We did it with DD from Syndey to the UK and back and it was fine. BUT she wasn't walking and wasn't much of a crawler so didn't mind being restrained to our laps or the floor. If I had a more moible kid I suspect it would be tough.

Some airlines (VA) we happy for us to have a bassinet since they based theirs on weight but others (Emirents) gave us one but only to store stuff, she was too old to sleep in it.

#6 Tall Poppy

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

No I wouldn't, you know your kid though & for you it might be fine.

#7 VeritasVinum

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

As PP have said it depends on how much saving the cost of the child's airfare would be. I have done EU and back with 18-20mos.... On one trip I was PG too. For us saving the money to use on the holiday was worth more. $2k was a big part of our budget.

#8 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:05 PM

I flew to and from NZ with my then 15mo DS (walking).  The flight over we happened to have a spare seat, on the way back we didn't.   The flight over was a dream - sometimes he sat on me, sometimes in his own seat.  Having the 2 trays was also helpful.  The flight back was a nightmare - he kept fighting to get down, trying to kick me etc, we couldn't eat properly.    I've now bought him a seat for our trip to Broome (2 mo).

#9 FEdeRAL

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

We are flying to Singapore then Hong Kong and yes will be able to save about 1k. This will be our first time flying with the kids (have a 2yo DS as well). I am having nightmares already...

I am not hopeful that there will be spare seats on these flights eventhough it's not peak season (thinking maybe late Aug/early Sep)- from past experience the planes are always full...

#10 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

I flew Canberra to Sydney with DD when she was 15 months - NEVER AGAIN....... it was a nightmare half hour.

#11 Agnetha

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:10 PM

we travelled with our DD at 6.5 months Melbourne to Phuket. She only just fit in the bassinet and slept more than half the 8-9 hour flight. We did the same journey when she was 19 months old, harder as she was mobile and too big for the bassinet. However, it was an overnight flight and she was shattered by the time we got onboard,(1am) though wouldn't sleep till all the lights were out after a meal service(3 am). On the way home , I was lucky enough to cadge an empty two seats next to the window  and she slept most of the way , and lucky partner had a spare next to him!

#12 VeritasVinum

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

If you have a 2yo too, get them to share a seat by putting up the armrests and then they can watch something together. We asked NOT to have bulkhead seats which we were allocated as we wanted to be able to put up armrests so both kids could sit together. This was 20 o and 3.5yo.

I have been flying with kids since my first was 6wks. Plan relax. Kids pick up on your stress and anxiety.

#13 Eneloj

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

If you can afford it I would definitely recommend it.  I did it with my first child after a few stressful trips on my own with him, and it was just completely worth it to have some hands free time for even some of the trip (especially useful at mealtimes)!  I wouldn't have bothered if my husband had been with me however.

#14 FEdeRAL

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:51 PM

QUOTE (lsolaBella @ 27/02/2013, 04:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you have a 2yo too, get them to share a seat by putting up the armrests and then they can watch something together. We asked NOT to have bulkhead seats which we were allocated as we wanted to be able to put up armrests so both kids could sit together. This was 20 o and 3.5yo.

I have been flying with kids since my first was 6wks. Plan relax. Kids pick up on your stress and anxiety.

Oh dear, I have totally forgotten about the armrests on bulkhead seats. Thanks for the reminder!

#15 munchmum

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

We did it to the UK when our dd was 16 months. Got a bassinet the whole way there and back, planes were full. It wasn't easy but worth the saving. My dd could walk at the time so there was a lot of pacing the plane plus when she wasn't asleep in the bassinet (which she only did for about 5 hours of the whole 24) it got used to store toys and as a table for the laptop which was on repeat with childrens tv shows, may not be the best thing for a toddler but it was the saviour of our sanity.

Planning to do it again next year with a 4 year old and 18 month old, gluttons for punishment and all that.

#16 StringArt

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:21 PM

We went to Singapore last month with a walking 12 month old. No problem at all on our lap, the flight isn't that long. I wouldn't buy an extra seat. We flew in the daytime there, and overnight back. During the day trip, he had a sleep in the middle which split things up. Overnight was really easy, he was out to it before we left. It did mean however that we had to hold him for the trip, so less sleep for us.

We flew to Japan last July (he was 5 months) and had the bassinet both times (one day trip, one overnight). While it was good, it was also right up the front next to the toilet. Every single time someone went to the toilet he woke up. It wasn't fun. I would have much preferred to be holding him at the back! The extra leg room was pretty nice though original.gif

#17 bubmakes3

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

We flew to Thailand (Bangkok) with a 15 month old on our laps. We had great seats first time round (I think they put us in a premium economy type area) - the seats reclined alot further and had a footrest and we were at the front of the section so had about a metre of space in front of our seats so DS played there a bit and otherwise lay on me sleeping.
The way back was an evening flight and he slept sort of across both of us most of the time.
To be honest it wasn't that bad and for the amount of $$ it saved it was worth it.

#18 FEdeRAL

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Thank you all for sharing your experience. Another question: those of you who have travelled with 2-3yr olds, do they prefer to sleep reclining in their seat or lying down with their head/legs across your lap? I am considering the pros and cons of bulkhead seats.


Edited by Leeloomina, 27 February 2013 - 04:32 PM.

#19 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:57 PM

Ive done 5 hours with an 18 month old, and it was fine. we had a spare seat both ways though, and she was on the boob most of the times

#20 VeritasVinum

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

My kids have slept across us. Bulk head seats are a PITA in my view. Armrests up all the way.

Even when we flew as DD turned two, at one point all here kids were sharing two seats, even though DD had her own seat and we had spare seat next to us (ie. three to window and three in the middle).

#21 mandala

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

Up to 8 hours, I'd probably have a 12 month old on my lap. We did it for 4 hours with no dramas.

However, we're planning a 30+ hour trip with three legs, one 15+ hours. Because of that that flight we're getting a seat for DS, but will have it the whole way (because of the way the fare's structured). Given that we're saving because we're staying with family, we decided it was worth the extra $1k.

#22 Domestic Goddess

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

I took DS to Europe when he was 15 months. The travelagent automatically booked a basinette for DS. Though I already knew he had outgrown it. Yet there was no other way. It was booking the bassinette or coughing up for a full fair price to get him a seat next to me.
When I got into the plane, I just acted surprised like I didn't know he was too big. They just gave him a seat next to me as the plane was not booked full.

I think it also depends on with what company you fly. Some are better with kids and more flexible and will give your child an extra seat if the bassinette doesn't fit. Singapore Airlines were fabulous with DS

#23 VeritasVinum

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

Singapore are fabulous with kids. They also gave us spare seat where possible (3/4 legs).

#24 smithsholidayroad

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

We have done a few 8/9 hr flights with the kids.

I only pay for a seat over 2, but I am a budget traveler! wink.gif

We have traveled when the kids were 9m, 16m, 21m, then over 2.

My older kids sit up to sleep on the plane, we last had bulkheads for extra leg room. On occasion with no bulkheads the kids just lie on one of our laps.( adult in the middle)

Our next flight our youngest will be 20 months and an overnight. I am going to try and squeeze the three kids in two seats..... Or just end up giving mine to the toddler to keep the peace!

Good luck

#25 PizzaSteve

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

Last time with my DS 2yo, we had to buy a seat for our 8 hr flight and he spent the whole time (take off included) on my lap. 6 hours before moving once!!! And he is the crazy energetic kid other travellers look fearfully at in the departure lounge worried they will be sitting next to him.

I guess my point is it is hard to predict how it will go, so as PP said expect the worst and hope its better than expectation. And enjoy once you reach your destinaion!

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